Astronaut André Kuipers PI9ISS was calling CQ from the International Space Station on 145.800 MHz FM on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25-26.
André worked mainly Dutch stations although one UK Foundation holder Paul Waddington M6WAD was lucky enough to have a contact with him on Sunday.
Paul says “I am absolutely thrilled to have had a QSO with the ISS. I just thought I would put out a random call, as I have done so many times in the past, and he answered me. I must say, when he did reply, I became a little tongue tied in disbelief!!! I use a Yaesu FT7900 to a Comet GP-15N Triband antenna.”
When the astronauts work other radio amateurs back on Earth they transmit on 145.800 MHz FM but operate “split” listening for replies 600 kHz lower on 145.200 MHz. If you are lucky and hear them calling CQ just remember to activate your rigs repeater shift to ensure you reply on the correct frequency. You should never transmit on 145.800 MHz.
The amateur rado station on the ISS runs QRP, just 5 watts of FM to an omni-directional antenna. Despite the low power it is a strong signal and can easily be received on a handheld radio with quarter wave whip.
Get the latest status of the space station at the ISS Fan Club http://www.issfanclub.com/
Read ‘Listening to the International Space Station’ http://www.uk.amsat.org/3491