[amsat-bb] ISS Beacons

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Wed Apr 20 04:13:01 UTC 2016

Hi Mark!

You can do a CQ over the ISS digipeater, or just send something like
an APRS position packet or a packet with your position and a short
comment. If you use APRS messages, you can use them to make QSOs.
I just did that tonight for the first time in a few months,
working two Texas stations with my TH-D72A HT and Elk log periodic
from my driveway. Using the ariss.net wen site, I could see my
packets and most of my two QSOs captured by Internet gateways,
and a missed QSO with a California station. My TH-D72A will store
and display APRS messages, but freeform twxt typed into a terminal
program won't be displayed on my HT unless the text is formatted
as an APRS message. For example, a station could type this and (if I
receive it) have it displayed on my HT's screen and saved as a
received APRS message:

WD9EWK-9 :hello from (grid, city/state, etc.)

On my HT, I'd see the call that sent this message, and the text following
the space and colon that trail my call. This makes it easy for stations
using the APRS-capable radios, as well as software like UISS, to make
QSOs and both sides seeing the QSO happen.

It tends to be rapid-fire, since you only have up to 10 minutes in
an ISS pass, and there could be a lot of activity coming through the
ISS digipeater - especially the further east you go in the continental
USA. Passes that only touch the southwestern USA are really easy
for the low-power stations (like me) to get through. I do OK on other
passes that cover more of the country, even with only 5W.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

On Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 1:23 AM, Mark Lunday <mlunday at nc.rr.com> wrote:

> <My first packet on an ISS pass always includes a CQ.>
> OK, call me ill-informed, I did not know you could do CQ and
> keyboard-to-keyboard QSO's.  I thought you could only send short messages.
> Is that how you do it?  The ISS pass is so fast...
> Mark Lunday, WD4ELG

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