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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Slow Scan Television from the International Space Station

It was a nice surprise to get an SSTV picture from the ISS on its 6:43p.m. pass.
I think the Russian Cosmonauts are commemorating the first Amateur Radio contacts aboard the ISS by sending SSTV pictures like the one above. I was using the free MMSSTV software, with the 2 meter radio connected to the sound card input. But for some reason the software didn't automatically select the correct mode (PD180). Fortunately I had a little Olympus voice recorder recording the sound from the speaker, so I was able to feed that back into the sound card and get the picture above.
The data compression might account for some of the patterning on the picture.

The transmissions are on the usual downlink frequency of 145.800MHz. You can read about how to do it on the AMSAT website here. But you don't need anything more sophisticated than a scanning receiver speaker output connected to the sound card line input. I just use my normal "white stick" colinear antenna, but a 1/4 whip, or even a rubber duck should pick something up.

I use the Orbital Prediction Page on the AMSAT website to find out when the ISS is coming over.

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