Recent comments

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 2 days ago

    All appeared well after reboot on 12-deg pass over Exeter 22:34z. Beacons heard from other stations including my own and station logged onto RS0ISS-1 bbs also.

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 2 days ago

    First, thanks for the answers and second, as I wrote on the reports section, Packet is now operational again. I tried to connect to the BBS for my educational project and I succeeded but I could not read my messages because of low signal despite a high elevation. I was not using my perfect QFH antenna (see it on my website at since I didn't expect ISS to be operational again. So I used my tiny 1,50 m mobile omni-directional antenna cause I had no time to switch aerials. Next try should be better.

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 2 days ago

    Still no beacon according to

    Will confirm in a couple of hours, after next pass over europe.

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 2 days ago

    Just starting to look into this problem. Crew has done a power cycle of the system late today (May 19 GMT). Waiting to see if that fixes it or if more investigation is needed.

    Kenneth - N5VHO

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 2 days ago

    Since May 17th, ISS is in silent mode again.

  • ISS Radio Report   1 year 5 days ago

    I had a good pass here in southwest florida, same as Patrick. Lousy. One packet re transmitted. Something must be going on! 73 N1RCN.

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 1 week ago

    Thank you Patrick for quick reply,
    73, lionel

  • No more APRS data from ISS   1 year 1 week ago


    The ISS radios were turned off Friday (12 May) for a spacewalk, which is normal. The digipeater was turned on early this (Saturday, 13 May) morning, and shows activity since just before 1100 UTC when the ISS was passing over North America.


    Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
    Twitter: @WD9EWK

  • APRS to ISS via APRSdroid   1 year 1 week ago

    So sorry that no one has responded to your question. Hopefully you've figured out your issues and have made successful contacts/QSOs.

  • 5 May contact to schools in France !   1 year 1 week ago

    What you experienced is the problem we have encountered with the radio in the Columbus module. That radio has one output setting of 5 watts. It also has a very long coaxial cable run outside the ISS. We never seem to get as good a signal out from that radio (hence the work to get a replacement). Most folks find that they need significantly more antenna gain to hear COL than the SM radio which has a max output of 45 watts.

  • 5 May contact to schools in France !   1 year 1 week ago

    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone heard Thomas Pesquet talking on the 5th may at 9H58 UTC?

    I was making a demonstration of ISS reception with a group of 130 students in a school near Valenciennes, at 40km from Lillers, but even with a directive antenna we nearly heard nothing.
    We noticed for a few second a little voice in the far background of QRM and signal were extremely low.

    Can anyone give me some more information about what happened? I would love to be able to give some explanation to the students.

    On the movies of the contact in Lillers, it is the same, the signal were very low and hard to understand.

    It is a bit amazing while two weeks ago, at nearly same elevation scale, ISS signal was very strong and the audio very clear; as usual with ISS.

    Thank you!

    73 de F4FVI - Geoffrey

  • How to request call and talking with ISS Cosmosnaut/Astronaut   1 year 2 weeks ago

    You will need to apply for a slot using one of the recommended process listed at

  • NA1SS DXCC Campaign   1 year 2 weeks ago

    If you are in the USA, they have submission windows twice a year. Europe has a similar process. Other regions have a more open application process. You can get more info at

  • NA1SS DXCC Campaign   1 year 3 weeks ago

    How can you make a request for an educational contact

  • ISS Radio Report   1 year 3 weeks ago

    This is my reception of Thomas Pesquet FX0ISS talking to students via F8KGY from Lycée Hélène Boucher, Thionville, France. Thu 2017-04-27 08:53 UTC

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Hi David!

    I tried posting a reply to your post on Friday, but it disappeared from the site. I'll try again now...

    You said, "Because Packet Radio on ISS switched to UHF for too long". Too long? Since using the TM-D710G transceiver in the Russian service module wasn't apparently an option to keep ISS packet on 145.825 MHz, the options seemed simple enough: (1) Put the UHF radio into service for packet, for however long it takes to get a replacement radio up to the ISS, or (2) go without packet from the ISS. I am glad ARISS was able to have packet operational for a few months on UHF. It was a different challenge, and almost none of the unattended stations that clog up 145.825 MHz made it to 437.550 MHz. Having the UHF frequency available allowed me to experiment with different antennas, and transmitter power, on that band with a signal that was much stronger than almost any other amateur satellite currently in orbit.

    Although some operators in North America, and apparently many more across Europe, didn't try working ISS packet on 437.550 MHz - it was workable. It took changes to the stations - at least a group of memories to deal with Doppler for those using HTs and FM mobile radios, and maybe a different antenna. If operators decided to not try UHF packet - who's fault is that? There were a few who figured out how to use the UHF frequency. Obviously not nearly the number of those who showed up on 145.825 MHz in the past week, but there were operators around.

    Unless the replacement VHF radio suffers a failure like the original VHF radio, I don't expect that ISS packet will switch back to 437.550 MHz. That's a shame, in a way, given that so many think that iSS packet is only for squawking a beacon - or (too) many beacons - during ISS passes. Some stations do that much more often than most of the others, which is evident from looking on since packet moved back to 145.825 MHz just over a week ago.

    I understand how most operators have been happy to see ISS packet switch back to 145.825 MHz. On this forum and in other places, I have seen some who express opinions similar to me about how 145.825 MHz gets clogged with these beacons. I hope you're successful with your project, David. Keep in mind that trying to use the packet BBS on the ISS is generally considered poor form, a poor use of the ISS packet system. Especially considering how busy passes over Europe have been in the past few days.


    Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
    Twitter: @WD9EWK

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Because Packet Radio on ISS switched to UHF for too long, many users overload the waves like hungry people starved of food for a long time throwing themselves on supermarket. I think this situation will not continue in the future because they will end up being satiated.

    I'm using Packet radio for educational reasons because contacting the crew with voice is reserved to an elite and is to expensive : We have to Schedule the contact some years before, antennas needs to be moved by site and azimuth rotator(still unaffordable) , many cables and so on...

    I usually send my APRS position until it is repeated by ISS. At this moment I know that the Station hear me and I connect to the BBS with my students to leave a symbolic message to the crew that I know they will probably not read. But we succeed the challenge and hope they will read the 2 lines message from students which realize their dreams and prove themselves that we we want, we can. Most of my students comes from hard social context and this challenge help them to continue their efforts to build a best future and believe in school to get a social rise.

    Actually I'm trying to improve transmission with QFH antenna and I send many APRS data for the tests but not every second. But I'm happy that Packet switch back to VHF because despite Doppler correction and many antennas (omni-directional, Egg-Beater, QFH, I only succeed in one or two APRS and it was very very hard to be repeated. So I know that most of you are bored with this amount of beacons but I prefer this situation than reading on the forum : "Active OK but not many users heard".

    The best deal would be to have both VHF and UHF so everybody would be happy. Anyway, Before Thomas Pesquet, the French astronaut comes back to Earth, please don't ask to switch again on UHF and give my educational project a little chance to succeed like i did last June. I've been working since 2 years with UZ7HO for Doppler correction with my old and best transceiver Yaesu FT-847 on Linux system so my project works.

    Have a look at my videos available on YouTube and on my website at and read the Press paper about my project. Last June the French Astronaut wasn't on ISS and now that he is, this would be the consecration of my work. To reach my goal, I need that the Packet frequency stay on VHF. So don't ask to come back to the last frequency if you want to support my project. The only thing we should ask from everyone is the respect of the good sense. Don't mislead the target.

    Thanks for reading.

    David (F4BPP).

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Hi Patrick,

    Well the links speak for themselves and you do have a point about the UHF time frame and how the Doppler effect comes into play. As for NO-84 - I am getting ready to try it so you may hear me on there if I am lucky (ha ha ha).

    Jerry W8LR

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago

    On the other end, Clayton... if HAM radio contacts (via ISS) would be easy and no problem at all, then thís would become disheartening and boring in the end. So I have concluded for myself: HAM radio amateurs (must) love QRM/QRN! HI

    ;) Marc, PD4U

  • ISS Radio Report   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Good copy of ISS Exp 51 docking with ISS at 13.23 UTC on Thurs 20th. This is my received audio on 143.625mhz for comms heard over Exeter IO80gr using THD74 HT + Arrow-2 antenna.

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago

    Hi Jerry!

    I disagree with your comment about how the situation with the beacons would be the same on UHF as on VHF. Over five months of the ISS digipeater on UHF more than proved this would not be the case. The main issue for the beacons is that someone - or something - would have to adjust the UHF frequency to deal with Doppler. In some cases, the antenna used for VHF would not work, or not work as well, for UHF. It's really easy to set up a station on a single channel, without needing a computer or other mechanism to adjust the transmit and receive frequencies - even if those frequencies are stored in memory channels.

    If you looked at over the time UHF was active, there wasn't as much activity over the continental USA, and it was like most of continental Europe went on a five-month holiday from ISS packet. Compare that with the dramatic increase in activity last Friday and Saturday (14-15 April), after the VHF radio was turned on. Hopefully some of those stations didn't keep beaconing, while the ISS was operating on UHF.

    Yesterday (Tuesday, 18 April), there was a station in the eastern USA that was copied through the ISS digipeater at a rate that was - at times - a packet every 2 to 3 seconds. This was excessive, and especially so if there was an operator at that station. W5PFG wrote two messages on the AMSAT-BB list about this station yesterday, including packet captures from two passes over the continental USA:

    According to posts in other forums, this station has been contacted in the past about excessive beaconing, and the responses were generally dismissive. Before the school QSO today, I didn't see that call sign on any North American passes this morning or early afternoon.

    On one ISS pass last night, I copied K1WY in grid FN31, Connecticut. This station was 3564km away from me, and this would have been a nice one to break current distance records for QSOs made through the ISS digipeater. With the congestion on the 145.825 MHz frequency over the past few days, being able to make a QSO like that is only a dream...

    Hope to work you again sometime. I see NO-84's digipeater is back on, and maybe we can make it work on an ISS pass using 145.825 MHz.


    Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
    Twitter: @WD9EWK

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 4 weeks ago


    Being new to working the ISS and making my share of mistakes along the way I have found that coming from UHF, which was my first exposure to working the ISS, to trying to work through the ISS on VHF has been most disheartening. I had read many comments about how VHF was loaded with unattended beacons and that it made it hard for anyone who is LIVE to even make a contact with another LIVE person. Listening to beacon stations that continually transmit every 2 seconds is unbelievable and even making a simple live QSO is a miracle.

    I wish for UHF now ... but UHF would eventually end up being the same as VHF if it stayed on UHF. It is just so annoying listening to 5 beacon stations on a pass and each of them beaconing every 2 and 3 seconds .... "what an ever lovin mess".

    Jerry W8LR

  • Unattended beaconing via ISS a scourge on ham radio   1 year 5 weeks ago


    Thanks for posting this comment here. I agree 100%. Nobody would think of setting up an unattended station to periodically transmit a call sign and location to an FM or SSB/CW satellite, but it is acceptable for the digipeaters in orbit? That was an advantage for having the ISS packet on 437.550 MHz - almost none of the unattended stations operated on that frequency, leaving it clear for stations trying to work each other.


    Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
    Twitter: @WD9EWK

  • ISS on Kenwood D710 - Help!   1 year 5 weeks ago


    There is now no need to program memory channels for split frequency on your D710 as the ISS radio packet digipeater is now back on VHF 145.825 Mhz FM and doesn't require the doppler correction.
    Use Data Band A (default) Menu 601. Set DCD SENSE to IGNORE DCD you can either close squelch or open the squelch fully to hear weak signals. Packet Path set to Others and Path: ARISS.
    If your radio has GPS Enable GPS so it's blinking. Set Beacon to Manual and press beacon button to transmit your GPS beacon.

    It's best to use Kenwoods free programing software (requires PG-5G cable) to easily program memory channels and APRS User Phrases etc. The software download can be found here:

  • ISS Radio Report 42820   1 year 5 weeks ago

    This is my reception of astronaut Thomas Pesquet FX0ISS talking to students from College Roger Martin Du Gard, Bellême, France via F6KCO 15:21 UTC over Exeter IO80gr using THD74 HT + Arrow-2 antenna


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