Monday, June 30, 2014

ISS Contact - Field Day 2014

In the days prior to the ARRL 2014 Field Day, there were postings on the internet indicating that crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) might be making voice contacts for the event.  How exciting!














To get ready, I set my home satellite station to run on emergency (battery and inverter) power, and waited for the first pass of the ISS at 11:11am local time here.  Sure enough, just after AOS, at around 11:12am I could hear FM signals coming through the noise on the 145.800 FM downlink.  A minute or two later and the ISS (using call NA1SS) was full quieting!  I tried to make a QSO, and they came right back, woohoo!  I had a voice recorder running at the time, here's the audio from the quick contact:

video

In the first pass at 1811z, I heard NA1SS copy NU6S, K6LCS, KB5WIA, W6TO, WD9EWK, KO6TS, and a few more.  An hour and a half later (1949z), the ISS came by on a second pass (this time to the north), and I heard them copy quite a few more stations:  K6GHA, KJ6ZL, KE1B, K6XX, W6CKL, V7?LGY, WB6NOA, W6HQ, W6HTY, N7OY, VA7VW, N7OY a second time, WA2TND, VE7N, W6NN, KE6IWM, KJ6PFW, VE6EGN, VA7GAB, and AC0RA.  At that point (1957z) the ISS went LOS, but were still making contacts.  Links to the the full audio recordings from both passes are here:

ISS Field Day 2014 - Saturday 1811z
ISS Field Day 2014 - Saturday 1949z

All in all, a pretty exciting experience!  It's not often I get a chance to make contact with someone in orbit!