[amsat-bb] Has anyone made a satellite QSO with an orbiting ISS astronaut?

Andy w5acm at swbell.net
Tue Dec 26 20:48:28 UTC 2017

During the SAREX days we coordinated a QSO between the Shuttle and MIR on 2
meters. It was a bit involved due to Doppler and choosing a window on the
Shuttle for the antenna, but it did work. Operating via a VHF/UHF FM Hamsat
would be more involved, but could certainly work with the external antenna
on ISS and a satellite like AO-91. Complete frequency calculations would be
needed for the ISS astronaut.

Andy W5ACM

-----Original Message-----
From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Patrick
Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2017 10:24 AM
To: Douglas Quagliana <dquagliana at gmail.com>; amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Has anyone made a satellite QSO with an orbiting ISS


No, this hasn't happened - but not from a lack of trying.

In 2006, at the very end of Bill McArthur's ISS tour, there was an effort to
see if Bill could make a QSO via AO-51. Bill had already completed WAS, WAC,
and DXCC working hams around the world, and this was considered the last big
thing he could do from the ISS radio. Time was tight, and probably the
biggest reason why this didn't work. Instructions were sent up to the ISS,
and stations were recruited on the ground in locations compatible with both
available AO-51 passes and Bill's available time. Bill was heard through
AO-51, but no QSOs were made.

I am not aware if there have been other attempts since 2006 for an ISS
crewmember to work an amateur satellite from the ISS. Maybe if Doug Wheelock
can get another ISS tour, this could be tried again.

IIRC crewmembers that used the ISS cross-band repeater to work stations on
the ground are not using a different radio to work through the ISS repeater.
Since the cross-band repeater was a function of the Kenwood dual-band mobile
transceivers, the crews would use the microphone and speaker on that radio
to work stations. Really no different than if the cross-band repeater
function on those radios is turned off, or if the crews used the GE/Ericsson
HTs to work stations.


Twitter: @WD9EWK or http://twitter.com/WD9EWK

On Thu, Dec 21, 2017 at 2:35 PM, Douglas Quagliana <dquagliana at gmail.com>

> Has anyone ever had a successful two-way QSO with an orbiting ISS 
> astronaut through an amateur radio satellite transponder?
> Regards,
> Douglas KA2UPW/5
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