Amateur radio, Digital Modes

More Space News from the Homefront


This weekend was a special event for the ISS with transmissions of SSTV images commemorating Apollo and Soyuz missions 40 years ago. Having successfully received images from the Russian celebration of Yuri Gagarin some months back I had great anticipation for this event. As luck would have it, several things went wrong, but several things went right, so it all balanced out.

First, what went wrong. The best flyover for me produced no images because there was no audio accompanying the carrier. The carrier was strong, but no SSTV modulation. Bummer! Those would have been some great images! Second thing to go wrong was my fault–my software was not set to save automatically while unattended. I must have changed something the last time I used the program, so I have a feeling some good images were missed during a 3 AM flyover.

The final thing that went wrong is that for some reason the program I was using copied the images I did receive in a green tint. Previous uses this did not happen, so I have yet to track down that little glitch.

Now to what went well. First, I learned a few things about the process which is always good. Check the save function!! Second, I recorded audio during one of the images so that even though my main program cast a green tint on things, I had an audio copy to pipe through to another program (which was a good experience in itself!) which showed the image fine.

Third, while capturing the audio for the second image I heard come down, a cosmonaut spoke, calling CQ!! I was stunned for a moment, but quickly recovered and put out a call. He did not hear me apparently, but it was still exciting. He repeated his call and another station nearby put out his call, but immediately another image started transmitting. So while neither of us made a contact, it was still exciting to put my first call out to a live person on the ISS! So all-in-all I consider the effort a success, and hope for better reception of images the next time they have a special event! And I have my second voice recording of a cosmonaut in the same month!

Here’s the audio in MP3 format:


Here’s hoping the next audio file is me actually making a QSL with a crew member! This is FUN!!

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