ISS Apollo 8th 50th Anniversary SSTV Event⚓︎
February 15, 2019
My First ISS SSTV Event⚓︎
I’d been hearing about SSTV and the ability to receive ISS images with easy from HT’s so I figured I’d give it a shot on the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and didn’t have a great idea of how I was going to to it, but I had to start somewhere.
I reviewed the resources at amsat-uk.org and watched some YouTube videos. It seamed the easiest method for me to do this was to install Robot36 and Heavens-Above on my Android phone. I then checked the pass times in Heavens-Above and placed all the passes which I’d be able to chase in my calendar with reminders and I was ready to go.
The first pass which I was able to chase was scheduled for right as I was going to be arriving at work. I left home a few minutes early so I could be as ready as I could be. I pulled over, to what looking back wasn’t the best location as it was directly under some significant power lines, pulled out my phone and launched Robot36, turned up the volume on my Kenwood TM-D710GA mobile station, and placed the phone close to the speaker.
After waiting a minute or two Heavens-Above showed the pass starting. No audio… I opened up the squelch and checked the frequency. Still nothing… Well, this wasn’t going as magically as I was imagining it would be.
Then, without warning, I was startled by a solid PD-120 signal. I looked down at my phone and sure enough, Robot36 had detected the calibration header and was starting to show a really great image. I was shocked, the previous image transmission from the ISS must have been while it was over the horizon, and this transmission was going to be 100% while it was overhead. I sat there in silence, watching Robot36 draw each line, and when the transmission was finished I was shocked. The image wasn’t as great as I’ve seen some people receive, but it was wasn’t bad.
My first image was the best from the event, good think the power lines didn’t provide me any significant noise level. All the other passes I was able to chase where either low passes, or they started or finished over the horizon. Still, for my first ISS SSTV event I had a blast and couldn’t have planned a better first pass.
Received ISS SSTV Images⚓︎