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With 25 watts of power coming from the radio on the ISS, the signal,
transmitted on 145.800 MHz, can be received with a setup as simple as
a handheld amateur radio or scanner, and a rubber duck antenna.
Decoding the images can be as simple as holding the radio next to the
microphone of an iOS or Android device.
Ideally though, you would use a high gain or directional antenna, and
an audio cable connected directly between the radio and decoding
device, whether it’s a smart phone or a computer. Whatever software
you use, make sure it’s set to SSTV mode PD120, as that’s what the ISS
will be using, and if you don’t set that, you might not decode any
images at all (see hint below).
= Recommended decoding software =
For iOS use “CQ SSTV”
For Android use “Robot36”
For Windows use “MMSSTV” (see AMSAT UK link below for setup)
For Mac OS X use “Multiscan 3B SSTV” (not verified)
= Tracking the ISS =
Howto use heavens-above.com to track the ISS
== Other ISS tracking methods ==
== Websites: ==
ISS Fan Club
ISSTracker (no predictions, just live tracking)
ISS Dectector Satellite Tracker
Space Station (ISS) (not verified)
= What to expect during a pass =
SSTV mode PD120 will be used instead of PD180 which was used during
previous SSTV events this year. With PD180 it takes about 3 minutes to
send an image. With PD120 it takes about 2 minutes to send an image.
Since images transmitted with PD120 take less time to send than with
PD180, more images can be received during a single ISS pass.
An ISS pass that goes right overhead (90 degrees elevation), lasts
about 10 minutes. ISS SSTV transmit time and off time are usually
setup to provide the radio with a 50% duty cycle (only transmit half
the time so the radio doesn’t overheat). With image transmission
taking two minutes, off time will probably be two minutes as well.
Compared to previous SSTV events using PD180, this means it should be
relatively easy to receive at least two complete images in one pass,
with the possibility to receive up to three images if timing,
conditions, and setup are ideal.
When the ISS comes into view/has line of sight with you, this is known
as Acquisition of Signal, or AOS. The ideal situation for a high
elevation 10 minute pass would be if the first image started
transmitting exactly at your AOS, and you had a directional antenna so
you could receive the signal even while the ISS was very low in the
beginning and end of the pass.
In this case you would be able to receive three images like this:
minute, image TX/off
0-2, complete image 1
4-6, complete image 2
8-9, complete image 3
The more common situation will be that the first image transmission
will start either before or after AOS. In this case you will only have
the opportunity to receive two complete images, but this is still
twice the amount of images that were possible with PD180. The downside
is the image quality is not as high as with PD180.
Even though you’ll have the opportunity to receive two complete
images, don’t expect to. It may take practice and it will certainly
take the right setup and conditions, to get just one complete image.
With that said, here are some tips that may help you get more images
and/or better images.
= Hints =
== Check Twitter for #ISS #SSTV status and images ==
For several hours after the April and July 2015 SSTV events were
scheduled to start, only a “blank signal” was transmitted. There was
no audio so no images could be decoded. During these events Twitter
users all over the world posted what they heard using hashtags #ISS
#SSTV. As soon as people started hearing the SSTV audio, they reported
it on Twitter.
By searching for these hashtags you can stay up to date on the current
status of the transmissions, which sometimes go longer than scheduled.
Maybe more importantly, you can also see all the images people are
More hints at https://spacecomms.wordpress.com/iss-...