Packet Radio via the International Space Station – March 2021

The Packet Radio service on the ISS has been out for a few months, but during an EVA yesterday a cable was replaced and the service is back up again for the first time today.

I used my regular 2m radio , an Icom 880h with my homebrew copper wire 2m groundplane antenna in the attic, and transmitted on full power (50w), hooked up to a laptop via a Rigblaster, running UZ7HO soundmodem for the packet radio modem, and used the UISS software to send the APRS packets.

The pass was only 57 degrees at the highest, so it wasn’t a particularly high pass. I don’t think I started to hear packets until it was a couple of mins towards the peak. I heard 6 other stations get digipeated by the ISS: KB6LTY, K6FVC, N6RSX, KG6LHW, W7OSG and AB7DY, and I got about 3 APRS transmission digipeated (my callsign is KK6DCT):

If you’re wondering what this is about I have a couple of other posts from when I tried to get this working a few years ago:

Success! Packet Radio via the International Space Station

I think this was my third or fourth attempt, but I just successfully bounced a packet off of the ISS as it passed over this evening – if I understand this right, the red highlighted message is my message as I received it coming back from RS0SS (the callsign for the packet digipeater on the ISS):

2014 12 07 iss packet - 1st contact

Amateur Radio Packet via the International Space Station (update 2)

On yesterday’s pass I realized too late that the AGWTerminal software doesn’t send unproto packets needed to send packets via the ISS. I’ve now downloaded UISS, got it sent up and checked into the Sacramento Valley Sunday evening packet net, so looks like everything is good to go.

On this evening’s pass, I started sending my cq unproto packets, but looks like I wasn’t heard. I’m wondering after reading around that my ‘via’ value should be ARISS and not RS0ISS that I was using. Apparently your via should be ARISS, but the packets recevied from the digipeater on the ISS will come from RS0ISS. So, will give it another try on the next pass at a good time.

Here’s the packets I received this evening:

Fm K7LWV-6 To APRS Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=47 >[21:08:50]
=4454.96N/12319.98W`Dallas, OR Via ISS {UISS53}
Fm K7LWV-6 To APRS Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=33 >[21:08:59]
:NWS      :Hello from Dallas, OR!
Fm N7HQB To CQ Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=45 >[21:09:04]
=40.637569n/111.931580w/Hello From SLC Utah!