[amsat-bb] Help with 2-meter ISS packet performance?

Scott scott23192 at gmail.com
Thu Apr 20 19:08:38 UTC 2017

Hello everyone.

While the ISS packet digipeater is off for the crew docking today, I thought it might be a good time to see what I could learn from the group in regard to the rather drastic reduction in performance (both ways - TX & RX) that I've seen since the Space Station's digipeater moved back to 2-meters.

I noticed this from day-1 and might have even commented on it previously.  But now that some time has passed and a good number of you reading this have had your own experiences with the ISS back on 2-meters, I had to bring it up again.

I realize that is a complete apples/oranges situation... different radios & antennas on BOTH ends, different band propagation, etc., etc.  But here is my dilemma...

While I have been enjoying the very positive reports from many of you, I have also been in touch with some hams from various locations that, like me, can't buy a connection.  And unlike myself, these are experienced operators who regularly could connect to the ISS on 70cm across perhaps half the width of the U.S.  Also, to the best of my knowledge, these same amateurs were very successful on 2-meter packet to the ISS before the original radio failed.

So yes, I know this is like asking why two different cars drive differently, but as I said my confusion is how and why others are seeing so much success.  One more stick on the fire is that my iGate is also basically deaf now, even though I have put it on an appropriate 2m antenna and of course changed the frequency settings.  I was enjoying an exceptional number of iGate relays to the website on 70cm, but next to zero on 2m.

(Please let me add that my 2-meter packet setup works very well to a local digipeater or on terrestrial APRS.  Also, my iGate hears extremely well if I move it to 144.39)

Getting digipeated is fun, but frankly I would be happy to just HEAR the thing again.  So, I don’t really think it’s competition on the band & some of us not being heard, but rather something more in the RF arena.

As always, observations and suggestions from everyone are appreciated!

-Scott,  K4KDR
Montpelier, VA  USA

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