QRZ Logbook

Monday, November 29, 2010

QSOs with the ISS, from the ISS point of view!

Ever wonder just what the ISS hears when they try to contact stations on the ground? Commander Doug Wheelock (KF5BOC) treats us to a glimpse of the amateur radio station on board the International Space Station as he makes a pass over North America just before he returned to earth last week after spending 161 days aboard the ISS.

In the 20 minute YouTube video Wheelock introduces us to the NA1SS "shack" as well as a few of the US and Russian segments of the station before beginning his QSOs.

Some of the stations he worked this particular pass:
  • N6RSX
  • KD0EXV
  • N0KGM
  • N0WAR
  • N6RSX (again)
  • KF7IO? (he missed the suffix)
  • W0PD
  • W5SSV

As you'll hear, it's quite a pileup of noise as dozens of stations struggle to make contact with Doug. At one point he switches to what he referred as "Channel 5" which is a simplex frequency alternate he used to relieve the pileup he was getting on the primary frequency used over North America. I checked with a couple of web sites but no reference to a simplex frequency is mentioned.

If anyone knows what the "simplex" is he was using please let me know.

Skip to 10:30 for the NA1SS station and laptop used for them to monitor their location. 11:40 for the radio power-up.

So remember, the next time you try to contact the ISS and they don't hear you, chances are you're not the only station trying to talk to them.

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