NA1SS Active from Space

Saturday, December 03, 2005

There has been a marked increase in the level of ham radio activity from the International Space Station (ISS). Astronaut Bill McArthur KC5ACR has been active on the 145.80 MHz downlink, making quite a few random contacts with hams on earth. Many of the other astronauts with amateur radio licenses have focused on making the scheduled radio contacts with schools and didn’t take time to make random contacts. It is great to have Bill up there making contacts.

I have not made a contact with Bill yet, but have heard him several times now. Of course, quite a few hams can hear the ISS signal and lots of people are calling him. It is critical that hams on the ground use discipline in when they call on the uplink so that Bill doesn’t get totally overloaded by a pile up. More information on working the ISS is available at the ARISS web site.

General information on the ISS space station radio gear is available here. The ISS Fan Club web site is another great resource, as well as the AMSAT web page.

73, de Bob K0NR