International Space Station (ISS) Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Ham Radio Adventures

The ISS is currently (at the time of writing) broadcasting lunar exploration images throughout Dec 26 2021 – Dec 31 2021. They broadcast on 145.8 FM with a 25 watt output making receiving the transmissions a relatively easy affair.

It has been unusually cold here in Southern Alberta (-40c) but I thought I would bundle up, risk frostbite and make my way outside to capture some audio. Unfortunately, my first attempt on the 29th was spoiled as I attempted to record the transmission on my FT5DR but ran into and issue. I rectified this today and was able to capture two images on a short pass, one much better than the other.

While this was my first time dabbling in SSTV I found the process to be relatively straight forward. Receive audio -> Record Audio -> Convert Audio to an image. I used YONIQ as my program of choice and had little issue downsampling the wav files for decoding.

Below is the second image of the pass which suffered from poor reception. Ultimately the cold weather caused an issue with a crimp in a cable which introduced noise coupled with low angle in the horizon.