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Sunday 17 February 2019

ISS SSTV - 15th to 17th February 2019

Yesterday I stumbled, merely by chance, on what I thought might be a potential SSTV transmission from the International Space Station, which I did tweet about, confirmed by Trevor M5AKA, and I had a look on the Amsat UK website, my home shack radio for 2-meters is still the QYT KT-8900D and the antenna is currently just the 2/70 TX capable magnetic mount scanner antenna, with rubbish thin coax feeding it, on top of a radiator by the window and received the ISS no problem at all.

Today knowing about this, I was able to decode it, thanks to Carl 2E0EZT who mentioned the Robot36 SSTV app in one of his videos on YouTube (a channel I ended up finding out about thanks to Callum M0MCX of DX Commander fame so both are being credited for this), using nothing more than my phone's inbuilt microphone I was able to decode an image from the ISS when it passed over between 1350 and 1400UTC, my first successful attempt at SSTV rx from the ISS, and pleased is an understatement.

When I initially stumbled on the transmission yesterday purely by chance I had mounted the radio onto something to allow air to circulate around it, and also allow it to be raised a little higher, I have the ISS and a few local repeaters along with both 2-meters and 70cm simplex channels all programmed into the radio, and was turning the dial when I heard the transmission, bearing in mind I was unaware that the ISS was overhead at that time so it really was just luck, and on tweeting about it I got my confirmation.

Though I do plan to do some ATV (Fast Scan) I have for a while wanted to play with SSTV but lacked facilities, turns out to receive it all I need is a mobile phone, perhaps the same to TX it too? we'll see

And this is a screencap from Robot36 of what I received today
Not too bad for a first attempt and with equipment that is certainly not the best.

A good reason to get into the hobby, you aren't limited to receiving communications from stations here on good ol' planet Earth, the challenge with the ISS is, of course, knowing when the astronauts are on air and knowing when it will be passing over, and normally you only have a window of a few minutes. in my case it was 10 minutes and I made that count to receive the SSTV image here.

In some cases it is possible to talk to the astronauts but during this weekend the ISS 2-meter station was being used for SSTV so that would not have been possible.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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