[amsat-bb] ISS Tracking info on your APRS Radio

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Sun Dec 9 09:28:18 PST 2012

KJ4ERJ's satserver will send you live tracking data to your APRS radio
anywhere, anytime.

Just send an APRS message to ISS from any APRS radio (on the national
APRS channel) and if you are in range of the global APRS network (an
IGate nearby), then it will respond with the time to AOS and the
direction of AOS, max elevation and LOS.  This also works for all
satellites.  For example, send a message to FO29 and get its
prediciton for  your location. (Of course, you have to have sent your
current APRS position if it is different from when you last used that
radio and callsign).

You can see the types of responses as collected by APRS.FI messages page:


So, if you find yourself outdoors in the mobile, with nothing to do
while the wife is in the mall, just send the above message and see if
anything is coming up soon.  Of course, to actually work APRS via ISS,
you will have to QSY to the ISS channel 145.825 and change your path
to via ARISS for the pass (*instead of the usual WIDE2-2 for
terrestrial APRS)

For a full dscription, see: http://aprsisce.wikidot.com/doc:satsrv

When I send a query, I like to use the text "pass?" this is so that
others seeing the message will know what you are tyring to do.  The
text of the message can be anything actually...

THink of APRS as your ham radio smartphone...  access to data anywhere, anytime.


* Note, that the ISS will ALSO digipeat the WIDE2-2 path, but it will
not insert its RS4ISS* callsign in the path for proof that you were
digipeated via the ISS.  So it will "work" without changing from the
standard WIDE2-2 path, but you will have no proof.  Also, as soon as
you use that radio even a few minutes later back on the national APRS
channel, the sucessfull packet via ISS will be overwritten by the next
terrestrial packet in most APRS Web interfaces.  SO if you want to
make an APRS contact via ISS and preserve it, you should use a unique
callsign SSID only for your satellite operations.  Good luck.  Bob


More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list