Early Monday morning Connor, AE9SS, got out of bed to see if he could hear a radio transmitter from the International Space Station (ISS). This weekend the ISS was running a slow scan TV event. Slow scan TV is were a signal (photo) is sent one frame at a time, there for you get a picture instead of video. At different times through out the year these events are run on the ISS, and on Amateur Radio satellites in orbit. Many amateur operators will try to see how many of these pictures they can get.

Connor had tried on Saturday afternoon to receive the signal, but problems on the ISS prevented this from happening. He had another chance, but it would be a low angle pass around 5:11-5:21am CDT on Monday morning. I had contacted Jordan, N0Rk to see if he had went to the Saturday attempt, and how it had went. He filled me in, and told me that Connor was going to try the Monday morning pass. I got in touch with Connor, and we set a plan in motion.

It would be easier to use a dual band mobile radio, and I just happened to have one setting on my desk, an iCom ic-2730. Connor came of Sunday evening, picked up my radio, and then all that was left to do was wait. He went back home to get ready, and I took a few hour long ‘cat naps’ until I started to get ready about 4:00am CDT. We had agreed to meet about 4:30am, I didn’t walk about the door till about 4:31, sorry Connor!

We had arranged to on the top deck of the parking garage right next to Juanita K. Hammon’s Hall for the Performing Arts, located on the campus of Missouri State University. When I got there, he’d pretty much gotten everything set up. He’d already assembled the antenna we would be using for the pass over, and Alaskan Arrow antenna. It’s a directional Yagi, and I’d estimate about a 1/3 to 1/2 length longer than the Elk antenna. It looked like a small broadsword!! This was connected to my ic-2730, and powered by an SLA battery Connor had. He ran a patch cable from one of the radio speaker ports to a Sony ICD-PX470 digital voice recorder, and everything besides the antenna was housed in an Amazon Basics large DSLR gadget bag. It was a right nice portable setup!

Starting about 5:11am we heard some transmissions on Connor’s car radio, and we know the ISS was starting the pass. He immediately got the Alaskan in the air, and found the signal through a partial transmission that he first heard just below the horizon.. The peak was about 5:16am with the ISS at 38 degrees above the horizon, and Connor was able to get one full transmission. He started to get a 2nd partial one when the signal was starting to fade out, as the station was now behind some buildings, and lowering in the sky.

Connor played the signal back, and we saw the image appear line by line on his cell phone, running a decoding application. I’ve seen these photos before, but never saw one being captured in the moment before, and I was very excited! I’d love to learn more about satellite operations, and maybe do a few of these myself in the future! Also present was a friend of Connor’s that i didn’t get her name, but she is a member of the MSU Astronomy Club.

Below is the photo that was sent from the ISS, followed by photos taken on both Connor’s, and my phones.

There is a website you can go to see other people’s captures of the photos sent by the ISS for the event. There are more photo’s than just the one we received. Go to : http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/index.php , to check them out!

Connor did send me a copy of the audio recording encase anyone was interested in hearing it. I’m not sure how I can upload it to Facebook without it being in video form. So if you are interested, comment on the post, I’ll get with you, and email it to you.

Hope you all enjoy!!

Franklin, KD0RSJ

Image received from the International Space Station!