Assembled Amateur Radio 2m Filtered Pre-Amps Now Available

This is the completely assembled version of the 2m filtered preamplifier from G0MRF. The connectors supplied are a high quality PTFE insulated reduced flange Ntype for the connection to the antenna and a chassis mounted female BNC for the RF output to the receiver, this also carries the 5 V DC input from a FUNcube Dongle or the DC supply from an external bias tee or radio. *** LIMITED AVAILABILITY *** When they are gone, they are gone!

Read the Measurement Report here.

Buy the assembled 144 MHz pre-amp from the AMSAT-UK shop at

The pre-amp is also available in kit form, read the Construction Notes here.

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ LF/MF/HF/VHF/UHF Software Defined Radio Video

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

FUNcube Dongle Pro+ Software Defined Radio

The FUNcube Dongle Pro+ SDR is a complete redesign of the original FUNcube Dongle with many performance improvements and additional features.

It covers LF, MF, HF, VHF, UHF and L Band (coverage is 150kHz-240MHz and 420MHz to 1.9GHz), and has an increased frequency span of 192kHz.

Continue reading

Receiving PRISM CW satellite beacon with FUNcube Dongle Pro


This video demonstrates the AMSAT-UK FUNcube dongle pro receiving
CW signals from PRISM.

The You Tube video has the following comment by the publisher

“I was only using a vertical VHF/UHF antenna hooked up to the FUNcube Dongle Pro. Software is SDR-Radio and HRD Satellite Tracker, both by Simon HB9DRV”

You can purchase the FUNcube dongle pro HERE

PY4ZBZ captures stunning image from Noaa 15 using AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle.

Roland (PY4ZBZ) used an AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle VHF/UHF software defined radio to capture this stunning image from Noaa 15

Noaa 15 Image

“NOAA-15 vertical pass over my QTH
Sete Lagoas GH70un Brasil
Received with FCD+DCA antenna+Spectravue”

The FUNcube Dongle was developed as part of the educational outreach for AMSAT-UK FUNcube satellite project. Although it was designed  to enable school students to receive the satellite beacon the wide frequency coverage of 64 – 1700MHz has meant that it can be used for many other applications.

The AMSAT-UK FUNcube Dongle VHF/UHF SDR is available at
It is also sold by Martin Lynch & Sons (ML&S) at

FUNcube Yahoo Group

DQ0STRATEX VHF & UHF Balloon Mission March 10

DQ0STRATEX is a special event call on the occasion of the stratospheric balloon project (StratexB) planned for March 2012 by the local DARC clubs Duelmen (N28) and Luedinghausen (N29). They plan to send an amateur radio load, consisting of an APRS and a speech beacon, to the stratosphere with this balloon project. Another payload will be added by the HAMs of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Bremen (I04) with an experimental ADS-B receiver. The special event station DQ0STRATEX is active in all modes on all bands between Jan 13,2012, and Jan 31, 2013, handing out the special DOK STRATEXB.

They have two balloon missions planned, on Mar 10 around 0930 UTC and on Mar 24 around 1600 UTC, both starting on the airport at Borkenberge near Luedinghausen.

The APRS beacon is transmitting on 144.800 MHz and the speech beacon in FM on 430.375 MHz. SWL reports are highly appreciated (also online).

QSL cards via DK4REX. See also:

[ANS thanks the DXNL 1770 – Mar 7, 2012 DX Newsletter for the above information]

73 de JoAnne K9JKM
Editor, AMSAT News Service

Listening to the International Space Station

International Space Station

International Space Station

The amateur radio station on the ISS can be received using very simple equipment.


The first Amateur Radio equipment was delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) in September 2000 and an Amateur Radio station was established onboard for use by Astronauts who are licenced Radio Amateurs. Commander William Shepherd, KD5GS, made the first Amateur contacts in November of that year.

Most of the astronauts on the International Space Station are licenced Radio Amateurs and sometimes during their spare time they talk to other Radio Amateurs back on earth. There is a special thrill in talking to an astronaut out in space!

What equipment do you need to hear the ISS ?

Baofeng UV-3R

You can hear the ISS on a Baofeng UV-3R

Almost any 144 MHz FM rig will receive the ISS, you can even use a general coverage VHF scanner with an external antenna. As far as the antenna is concerned the simpler the better. My favourite is a ¼ wave ground plane as it has a high angle of radiation. I’ve found large 2m colinears don’t work quite as well since the radiation pattern is concentrated at the horizon.

You can receive the ISS outdoors using a 2 metre hand-held with its helical antenna but a 1/4 wave whip will give far better results.

In the UK we use narrow 2.5 kHz deviation FM but the ISS transmits using the wider 5 kHz deviation used in much of the world. Most rigs can be switched been wide and narrow deviation filters so select the wider deviation. Hand-held rigs all seem to have a single wide filter fitted as standard.

What will you hear ?

Much of the time the Space Station equipment operates in “automatic mode”. It can act as an AX.25 packet repeater, voice repeater or transmit Slow Scan Television (SSTV) pictures. Voice and SSTV transmissions take place on 145.800 MHz FM, when they are not active AX.25 packet may be heard on 145.825 MHz.

The aim to start with is simply to listen to the sounds from the satellite. You can check the current mode of operation on the ISS Fan Club website.

Astronaut Susan Helms KC7NHZ having a contact

Astronaut Susan Helms KC7NHZ having a contact

The ISS amateur radio station is used for school contacts. These educational contacts enable students to communicate directly via Amateur Radio with the Astronauts and ask them questions. In recent years a number of UK schools have made contact with the space station thanks to GB4FUN and volunteers from AMSAT-UK.

When the astronauts put out a CQ call they also use 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.

When to listen

The ISS is in a very low orbit and so is only in range 5 or 6 times each day and then only for a maximum of 10 minutes on the best orbit. This means you need to make sure you’re listening at the right time to hear it. There are a number of websites that tell you when to listen. I use the orbital predictions on the ISS Fan Club site.

Doppler Shift

The International Space Station is travelling around the Earth at over 28,000 Km/h. This high speed makes radio signals appear to shift in frequency, a phenomenon called Doppler Shift.

This Doppler shift will cause the ISS transmit frequency of 145.800 MHz to look as if it is 3.5 kHz higher in frequency, 145.8035, when ISS is approaching your location. During the 10 minute pass the frequency will move lower shifting a total of 7 kHz down to 145.7965 as the ISS goes out of range. To get maximum signal you ideally need a radio that tunes in 1 kHz or smaller steps to follow the shift but in practice acceptable results are obtained with the radio left on 145.800 MHz.


The Amateur Satellite organisation in this country is AMSAT-UK. Its members are involved in the construction of new Amateur Radio satellites and in running the stations used for ISS school contacts and. The group produce a quarterly A4 colour publication OSCAR News that is full of information on the Amateur satellites. You can join online via the AMSAT-UK website.

Get the latest status of the space station at the ISS Fan Club

Orbital Predictions (select ISS)

The IZ8BLY Vox Recoder enables you to record the ISS on 145.800 MHz FM while you’re away from home

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS)