[AARA] Christmas ISS SSTV event
soundguymike at gmail.com
Mon Dec 21 19:35:15 CST 2020
NASA is holding an SSTV event celebrating 20 years of Amateur Radio on the
ISS. This is a great way to share ham radio with friends and family during
the christmas holidays
It is currently scheduled to begin on Dec 24 16:40 UTC which is 10:40 AM
Through December 31 more details can be found at
All you need is a 2 meter FM receiver and a way to decode the audio signal
into an image.
I have successfully received images using a stock baofeng radio and my
1) Find when the ISS will pass over you.
I suggest "ISS Detector app" for smartphones. The info is also available
online. If the smartphone has a gyroscope the app will also show you where
to point a directional antenna.
Some forecasted pass times for Lafayette there are some more p
Dec 24 12:56: 1:02 pm 32 degree pass
Dec 25 12:09-12:15 pm 67 degree pass
Dec 26 11:21-11:28 am 57 degree pass
Dec 27 10:34-10:40 am 30 degree pass
Dec 27 12:11-12:15 pm 17 degree pass
Dec 28 11:23-11:29 am 32 degree pass
Dec 29 10:35-10:41 am 68 degree pass
Dec 30 9:47-9:50 am 57 degree pass
2) Find SSTV decoding software.
For Android I would recommend "Robot36"
For Iphones I would recommend "SSTV"
For Windows machines I would recommend MMSSTV.
You can also record the audio and decode it later.
You can test these apps with sstv audio recordings found on youtube.
3) Receiving the signal.
Historically, images are downlinked at 145.800MHz FM not NFM +/- 3kHz for
Doppler shift. The expected SSTV mode of operation is PD 120. PD 120 takes
about 2 minutes to transmit a complete image. The space station will then
take a 2 minute break between each transmission.
Holding the phone running the decoder near the speaker of the radio is
usually good enough to get an image. For better quality though I would
suggest Using a directional antenna, a wired connection to directly capture
the audio, and going to an area with less interference and a clear line of
sight from horizon to horizon.
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