Starting on Friday Feb. 8 2019 @ 18:25 UTC until Sunday Feb. 10 2019 @ 18:30 UTC, the International Space Station (ISS) was transmitting Slow Scan TV images on the normal downlink frequency of 145.800 Mhz FM. I copied three of them during 2 passes over our area.

The receive setup was an Icom IC-271H, a Signalink USB and an old XP computer running MMSSTV software. The antenna was a simple ¼ wave ground plane at about 20 feet. Signals are quite strong, so even a handheld with ‘rubberduck’ antenna should work. One could even record the sound and decode it later.

I wasn’t aware ahead of time of the scheduled transmissions, but I have the ISS downlink frequency on my scan list and happened to hear the signals on an earlier pass.

Occasionally you can hear voice transmissions on that frequency when they do school contacts. I’m hoping to eventually have a QSO with one of the astronauts, but those rare times are not scheduled (to the best of my knowledge) and happen at random.

The voice frequencies are 145.800 downlink and 144.490 uplink (odd split) and standard amateur FM.  The ISS packet frequency is 145.825 Mhz (up and down). The packet transmitter is currently off-line, but they supposedly have new gear and just need to find crew time to install.