June 2nd, 2021
If you have ever been interested in making contacts with the ISS also known as the International Space Station then you are on the right page.
There are several ways you can go about this, depending on operating schedules and gear on-board. The best known of course is making contacts with the astronauts. This is generally done with schools and by arrangement. If you hear one of the above, please do not interrupt them. Only call if you are hearing a CQ or hear a pileup but please be sure to let QSOs finish. Often you can hear ISS calling CQ before a scheduled school contact. Best thing to do is have a dedicated receiver ready when there is a predicted pass. Passes are SHORT, as in about only 10 minutes! ISS is lower then AMSAT satellites and MUCH lower the Geostationary satellites (such as DirecTV for example) which do not move.
There is an APRS repeater as well as a the occasional SSTV transmission. SSTV is one way, receive only! Please do not try and send back an SSTV image with a reply as you would on the HF bands generally speaking. Details are subject to change so please check this often.
Currently used Frequencies by the ISS:
- Voice & SSTV Downlink: 145.80 MHz (Receive ONLY)
- Voice Uplink: 144.49 MHz for ITU Regions 2 & 3 - Americas, Southern Asia and Pacific
- Voice Uplink: 145.20 MHz for ITU Region 1 - EU, Northern Asia, Africa
- VHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 145.825 MHz
- UHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 437.550 MHz
- FM Repeater Downlink (UHF): 437.80 MHz (Do NOT transmit here!)
- FM Repeater Uplink (VHF): 145.99 MHz / PL Code: 67Hz
- DATV (Ham TV) Downlink: 2395.00 MHz
Uplink is where you transmit, Downlink is Receive. Some are simplex, same RX and TX frequency, such as Packet/APRS. PL Code is used to gain access to the repeater, you can read more about this here. For FM Voice Downlink and SSTV downlink (receive ONLY) NEVER, under any circumstance transmit here!
Callsigns used are NA1SS (USA) and RS0ISS (Russian) as well as others depending on who is up there. Check the Ariss.org page for current info on this. The astronauts onboard changes often and some are more active on the 2m repeater than others.
If you need a way to log your satellite contacts, including your ISS repeater contacts, please check out: amazon.com/dp/B0BTRQ3GMR
Also be sure to check out my other logbooks available for general use, POTA/SOTA, Contests and Field Day.
For Information on How to get started on Ham Radio Satellites click HERE>
Useful links related to the topic:
If you find something incorrect, have an update, or if there is something you would like to see added to the site, drop me a line here. I like to keep things as up-to-date and as accurate as possible. Thank you! - Lucas / W6AER