[amsat-bb] ISS and NO-84 at the same time last night...

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) amsat-bb at wd9ewk.net
Thu Jun 23 14:19:04 UTC 2016


Last night around 0150 UTC (6.50pm PDT), we had a rare event - both the ISS
and NO-84 were passing by at basically the same time, and in the same
general direction. Both came out of the northwest, sweeping down the west
coast and ending up in the south-southeast. NO-84 was higher than the ISS,
and a few of us tried to make some double-hops through both.

Fernando NP4JV and I started with a path RS0ISS,APRSAT to force our packets
first through the ISS digipeater, and then through NO-84. I thought that it
might work better having ISS retransmit the packets first, then go silent
as NO-84 did its retransmissions. This did not work as well as I had hoped.
Fernando did not see any of his packets make the double-hop. I saw one of
my position packets make the double-hop near the end of the pass, but that
wasn't picked up by any of the Internet gateways listening on 145.825 MHz.
On my TH-D72A HT, I first saw "My Position via RS0ISS", followed a moment
later by "My Position via ARISS". It is unfortunate that the TH-D72A won't
store my own position in the list of stations heard, as many of the Yaesu
APRS-ready radios do, as this means I don't have any evidence to show that
packet making the double-hop. In any event, it was fun to give that a try.
There may have been one or two other stations that had packets make the
double-hop, along with what I saw for my position packet.

Beyond the double-hop experiment, this was another opportunity to practice
making QSOs using APRS messaging through the space-based digipeaters. I was
able to make quick QSOs with NP4JV (Fernando is in southern Arizona, near
the USA/Mexico border) and KG6BFD in California. I used only my TH-D72A HT
and Elk log periodic antenna as my station, and Fernando wrote about his
APRS station here on the AMSAT-BB last night. This is one way to get that
100-point ARRL Field Day bonus for making a satellite contact, something I
did during last year's Field Day.

I will be out this evening for the west-coast ISS and NO-84 passes around
0055-0125 UTC (5.55-6.25pm PDT). This time, the two will not pass over at
the same time, so there will be a chance to make QSOs through each of them
during their passes. If anyone out west is in the footprint on these passes
and wants to try to make a QSO with me, please look for WD9EWK-9 - and be
ready with APRS messages for the QSO. My TH-D72A won't show freeform text
entered into a terminal program, but will display (and store) APRS messages
addressed to my call. From a terminal program, you could send me APRS
messages using this format:

:WD9EWK-9 :Message follows the second colon

A colon goes before my call sign, a space and a colon follows the call, and
then the text of the short message. My replies to you would appear in this
format, with the other station's call in place of WD9EWK-9.


Twitter: @WD9EWK

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