During Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1, the Russian ARISS team members plan to activate the amateur radio Slow Scan TV (SSTV) experiment from the International Space Station (ISS) on 145.800 MHz FM.
Start time should be around 1000 UT on Saturday and 0900 UT on Sunday and end around 2130 UT each day. It is expected that 12 different photos will be sent using the SSTV mode PD180 with 3 minute off periods between transmissions.
The equipment used will be the Kenwood D710 transceiver located in the Russian Service Module. It is thought the equipment may be producing about 25 watts output which should provide a very strong signal.
During the previous SSTV transmissions in December 2014, the photos celebrated the 80th anniversary of the birth of Yuri Gagarin, the first human to orbit Earth.
The images received by amateurs world-wide during those transmissions can be seen at http://www.spaceflightsoftware.com/ARISS_SSTV/
All you need to do to receive SSTV pictures direct from the space station is to connect the audio output of a scanner or amateur radio transceiver via a simple interface to the soundcard on a Windows PC or an Apple iOS device, and tune in to 145.800 MHz FM. You can even receive pictures by holding an iPhone next to the radio’s loudspeaker.
The ISS puts out a strong signal on 145.800 MHz FM and a 2m handheld with a 1/4 wave antenna will be enough to receive it. The FM transmission uses the 5 kHz deviation which is standard in much of the world.
Many FM rigs in the UK can be switched been wide and narrow deviation FM filters. For best results you should select the wider deviation filters. Handhelds all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.
On Windows PC’s the free application MMSSTV can be used to decode the signal, on Apple iOS devices you can use the SSTV app for compatible modes. The ISS Fan Club website will show you when the space station is in range.
Paul Turner G4IJE, co-developer of the SSTV PD modes, says regarding the MMSSTV PD180 mode: “Don’t forget to either enable “Always show RX viewer” or use the “Picture viewer” (magnifying glass icon) to show the picture at its real resolution of 640 x 496. If you just view as normal you will only see 320 x 248 resolution, which kind of defeats the object of using a high resolution mode.”
On the AMSAT-BB Rick W2JAZ and Alan WA4SCA comment on the need to set the MMSSTV sound card setting to 48 kHz instead of the default 44.100 kHz
• Then the Clock section at the bottom of the page
The MMSSTV default setting may need to be set to 24000 (exactly half of the sound card setting). You then should get good clean images.
The sound card adjustments will vary slightly depending on the version of the OS you are running, but usually will be under the advanced properties for the device. You can probably use a higher sampling rate for the sound card so long as it is a power of 2 multiple (2,4,8, etc) of the value in MMSSTV. For instance, 192k (8x) has no issues. The same applies to most similar software.
You can receive the SSTV transmissions online using the SUWS WebSDR remote receiver located near London along with the MMSSTV software http://amsat-uk.org/2014/08/15/suws-websdr-moves-to-new-site/
ISS Fan Club – Tracking / Predictions http://www.issfanclub.com/
Free MMSSTV Slow Scan TV software http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php
iOS SSTV App https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sstv/id387910013
For more on Slow Scan Television SSTV, see this article SSTV – The Basics
How to be successful with the ISS Slow Scan Television (SSTV) imaging system
IZ8BLY Vox Recoder, enables you to record the signals from the ISS on 145.800 MHz while you’re away at work http://antoninoporcino.xoom.it/VoxRecorder/
ARISS Slow Scan TV (SSTV) Blog and Gallery http://ariss-sstv.blogspot.co.uk/
Information on the MAI-75 SSTV experiment
Video showing reception of SSTV using the FUNcube Dongle Pro SDR and SDR-RADIO going into Virtual Audio Cable (VAC) then to MMSSTV software https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6MOrX9iZCk
ISS SSTV received online with SUWS WebSDR