APRS Contact with the ISS

After some trials and tribulations, I was finally able to bounce an APRS signal off of the International Space Station this afternoon.  Needless to say, there are only a few chances per day to even attempt a contact, and each of those windows is approximately 5 minutes long.  That doesn’t give you much time to make changes and try again!  After getting a little help from KF4GTA, I was able to get my Kenwood D-710a configured to digipeat on 145.825 MHz and just had to wait for the next pass.

Once the space station was within about 800 miles, the radio started lighting up like crazy.  After a few quick attempts to send packets, I got my innergalactic confirmation!


My radio wasn’t the only one to light up when my packet was received. This next image is from Bobby’s radio, located a few hundred miles away from me. Basically, anyone within range of the space station got the same confirmation of my radio signal! For a very brief second, I was immortalized in geekdom!


I must admit that it is a pretty cool feeling when your radio lights up with a confirmation of a radio acknowledgment from RS0ISS! While attempting some packet communications a few days ago, I heard a voice come over on 145.800.  After a few breaks and listening for a few minutes, I could tell that it was one of the astronauts answering questions from a school on the east coast.  I was only able to hear the downlink frequency, but it is just amazing knowing that you are listening to someone that is talking from 273 miles above the earth while moving at 17,000 mph!

I think I’m addicted!  I just wish it flew over a little more often.