Skip to comments.Earthlings and astronauts chat away, via ham radio
Posted on 12/24/2020 6:31:30 AM PST by BenLurkin
NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock was just a few weeks into his six-month mission at the space station when feelings of isolation began to set in.
Wheelock would be separated from loved ones, save for communication via an internet phone, email or social media. At times, the stress and tension of serving as the station's commander could be intense.
One night, as he looked out a window at the Earth below, he remembered the space station's ham radio. He figured he'd turn it on—see if anyone was listening.
"Any station, any station, this is the International Space Station," Wheelock said.
A flood of voices jumbled out of the airwaves.
Over the last 10 years, ham radio has become more popular, experts say, with about 750,000 licensed amateur operators across the U.S. (not all of whom are active on the air). Helping to drive that interest: emergency communications.
Amateur operator Larry Shaunce has made a handful of contacts with astronauts over the years, the first time in the 1980s, when, as a teenager, he reached Owen Garriott.
More recently, Shaunce, 56, made contact with NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor in 2018.
"Hello, this is Larry in Minnesota," he said after Auñón-Chancellor acknowledged his call sign.
"Oh, Minnesota!" she replied, adding that she could hear him "super clear" up in space and that he must have nice equipment.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Well...what’s the frequency Kenneth?
Great to see an article on amateur radio!
The writer didn’t mention it but the space station has long done chats with school groups using the amateur bands.
I wish there were more opportunities for amateurs to use satellites - the Russians had a several satellite ‘repeaters’ operational back in the 90’s, where you could transmit on one band, and the satellite would re-transmit on another. It was pretty neat with the Doppler shift moving signals, and a limited operating window of about 8 minutes while the sat was visible. I built a CW transmitter especially to work them.
I’d be okay with shaving off a little cash from Outer Slobovia’s foreign aid and throwing it into a nice amateur satellite!
“So, is it really turtles all the way down?”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The ISS radio transmits signals at 145.80 MHz and receives signals at either 144.49 or 145.20 MHz, depending on its orbital location.
I got my technician’s license this past summer. I really need to get into this a little more.
I wonder if NASA sends out QSL cards for the ISS?
I managed to get the ISS when it passed over the Chicago area some ... I dunno, six or seven years ago now. I have the QSL card from it packed away here somewhere. (I’ve moved since and don’t have a station back up and running which is difficult to do living in a townhome and limited to attic antenna’s)
Depends on what Amateur Band you wish to operate. My suggestions: 80 Meters (3.5-4.0 Mhz) !/2 wave center fed dipole
40 Meters (7.0-7.3 Mhz) Horizontal Yagi first or 1/2 wave center fed dipole second.
20 Meters (14-14.350 Mhz) Horizontal rotatable 3 or 4 element Yagi
For the VHF and UHF Amateur Radio Bands for repeaters use vertical gain antennas. If you operate in the phone portions of these bands use a Horizontal Yagi.
Merry Christmas and good Luck. All other bands above 20 Meters (i.e 17, 15,12,10 and 6 Meters) Horizontal Yagi.
Vertical antennas work well to but they tend to be a bit noiser than Horizontal Yagis.
For any ham radio aficionados, the movie ‘Frequency’ is very interesting. A little violent - and a lot ‘fantasy’ - but thought-provoking and fun:
It’s an odd hobby with rewards
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