A couple weekends ago, the ISS did something special to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ISS, they transmitted 12 images over the weekend that people could “download” using only a directional antenna, a radio and a phone. I didn’t hear anything about it, unfortunately, until after the event ended when I listened to the second episode of the Hamradio 360: Field Radio Podcast.
It was pretty neat to listen to the interview with Galen Wilson (KF5BET) and his two daughters Abbi (KF5BEW) & Kendra (KF5FYS) as they talked about their adventures in downloading these images. I think they got like 8 full images and 2 partial ones, if memory serves. Their setup consisted of a tape measure antenna, a radio and a cell phone. They went out all hours of the day and night to a local parking lot to get these images, but it sounds like they had a blast.
In light of the participation of this event, AMSAT is bringing back its Experimenter’s Wednesday. Experimenter’s Wednesday is a day that is set aside to transmit images over the AO-85 satellite. We talk about this a little in this weeks Everything Ham Radio Podcast episode with Gabriel Zeifman along with a bunch of other stuff involving Amateur Satellite so make sure you tune in this Thursday for that episode.
Below is the story as posted by AMSAT on their news feed:
With the recent popularity of Slow Scan Television (SSTV) from the ISS, AMSAT Operations is bringing back Experimenter’s Wednesday to AO-85.
On a trial basis, we invite users to exchange pictures using Robot36 SSTV mode via the FM repeater on AO-85 during UTC Wednesdays. Please identify prior to beginning transmissions, and only send when the uplink is clear.
Stations are requested to only uplink if they have a reasonable expectation of maintaining a full-quieting signal for the duration of the image transmission. Smaller stations are encouraged to focus on receiving the images.
Please don’t send questionable or provocative images. If in doubt, pick another one. Expect all ages to be participating.
Feedback is encouraged, and comments may be directed via email to me at email@example.com.
Have you tried amateur satellite? Are you interested in trying it? Make sure you listen to this weeks episode to learn more about it!