This afternoon I used my yaesu VX-8G GPS transceiver and Peters 2E0SQL 2m X quad antenna to send aprs data to the international space station. I was Successful on my second attempt I had tried just after lunch using the hand held and rubber duck antenna but I was getting nowhere with this and thought that on the next pass I might use Peters arrow antenna instead of the rubber duck but on second thoughts due to the variable weather we are having over this Christmas season I came up with the idea of using Peter’s 2m beam this proved to be the right combination for success.
And Tim G4VXE heard me and sent me the above screen shot.
I was sat with Allison in the sitting room reading an e-book I brought on Christmas morning called Crime in the 19th century Highland and islands when Peter walked into the room and handed me my Yaesu GPS transceiver VX-8G inviting me to monitor a test data transmission he was going to make in the next couple of minutes sure enough I heard a nice clean clear, signal of data burst – Peter returns asked what I heard then takes the VX-8G and head’s back to the radio shack I thought he said ISS was due soon. My ears picked up ISS due and data and only three minutes left – I must of have been on the ball the festive blues cleared and I was rushing up to the shack to see what Peter was up to.
I took a couple of snaps of Peter 2E0SQL in action with my camera phone:
As the International space station came over our horizon Peter 2E0SQL transmitted some aprs data and got a response he did this a couple of times then we heard a strong data signal and Peter said that was Tim G4VXE over in Longworth interesting enough we heard his transmission on ground wave and through the International space station – I noticed later in the evening Tim had commented on his blog “So, a few more frames digi-ed via the ISS today, and messages swapped between Pete, 2E0SQL and myself, over a ground path of around 12 miles, via a spacecraft travelling above us at 17,500MPH”. The thought did cross my mind that this might be one of the most expensive Amateur radio communication contacts of all times costing the American tax payer a few billion US Dollars.