More Space APRS


Using space based digipeaters this weekend I had a couple of firsts. One was successfully having a packet digipeated by PSAT (Parkinson Sat – NO84). This is a 1.5U CubeSat launched in 2015 carrying a APRS transponder and a PS31 experiment.

I’ve heard this satellite before, but yesterday I had a shot at sending it a packet, I heard it digipeated, but didn’t receive it back well enough to decode it. I waited 30 seconds or so and had another shot with the same result.

Almost immediately I had an email from Brian VK6TGQ with a screen-shot of his DireWolf iGate log showing both packets had been received by him.

brianpsat recpetion

The PSAT passes have a lot less traffic on them, so I’m starting to get interested in trying a QSO. I can see that I could just change the comment in the packets, but there is also a message format in the APRS specification that might work. I’ll have to read up on it.

On the Go

Even though there was an excellent pass of PSAT predicted for 16:40 local, I knew I’d miss it as I had to drive back to the farm. I took the D72 just in case, and at the predicted time I heard a couple of bursts on my mobile rig. I swapped the antenna over to the D72 and decoded a beacon packet as I was pulling back onto the road.

tgq in the uteI sent one of mine and heard it digipeated, stopped again to fiddle with the settings (I was transmitting the house symbol instead of the truck) and had another shot. A few minutes later, barrelling along the gravel at about 80 km/h I decoded a packet from Brian.

Shortly after I received a packet from VK6CO-2. Ken runs an iGate at his station, so I was interested to look on findu to see if Brian or I had made the map, but I haven’t. Since Brian and VK6CO are not iGating packets from PSAT there must be something about it’s path that the iGate software does not like.

Getting Busy on the ISS

The last success for the day was another ISS pass. I tried one this morning but the transponder was still off (they turn it off if they are doing anything tricky – EVA or docking are examples). There was a good pass tonight and I heard packets as soon as it came up over 10º.

As usual, it was pretty busy. Here’s the packets I successfully decoded:

cmd:cmd:cmd:VK6MIB-6>DDA6P1,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1:'.86l -/>Hi Brian VK6TGQ=

VK6TGQ>APDW12,RS0ISS*,PSAT,SGATE,WIDE2-1,OF76TO:!3324.66S/11538.74E`::EMAIL   : Hi Brian via Space.
VK6PII-7>APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1::VK6CO-2  :gday ken{97


VK6HAM-9>SQU4Q9,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1:`,a{l"l>/"7,}Tony via iss 
VK6CO-2>APRS,RS0ISS*,SGATE:!3154.00S/11556.42E` Igate Perth WA.
VK6PII-7>APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1::VK6CO-2  :gday ken{97

VK6PII-7>APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1::VK6HAM-9 :73{98


VK6TGQ>APDW12,RS0ISS*,PSAT,SGATE,WIDE2-1,OF76TO:!3324.66S/11538.74E`G Day via APRS Satellite from Brian in Gelorup, WA. 73 & Good DX.
VK6PII-7>APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1::VK6CO-2  :gday ken{97

VK6PII-7>APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1::VK6HAM-9 :73{98


cmd:cmd:cmd:VK6MIB-6>DDA6P1,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1:'.86l -/>Greetings from Lake Grace=

VK5ATN>BEACON,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1:!3408.82S/13824.96E- 73 de Terry - South Australia :-)


VK5ATN is my current distance record for via the ISS. Here’s what was gated (as show on the page):

 00:01:22:00 : RS0ISS]CQ,qAR,VK6PII-6:]ARISS - International Space Station
 00:01:22:10 : VK6MIB-6]DDA6P1,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6:'.86l -/]Greetings from Lake Grace=
 00:01:22:20 : VK6PII-7]D1ELZL,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6:`+Jdl"cS\]"4E}=
 00:01:22:27 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6::VK6TGQ :73 {99
 00:01:22:30 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6::VK6HAM-9 :73{98
 00:01:22:33 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6::VK6CO-2 :gday ken{97
 00:01:22:45 : VK6TGQ]APDW12,RS0ISS*,PSAT,SGATE,WIDE2-1,OF76TO,qAR,VK6PII-6:!3324.66S/11538.74E`G Day via APRS Satellite from Brian in Gelorup, WA. 73 & Good DX.
 00:01:22:51 : VK6PII-7]D1ELZL,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6:`+Jdl IS\]"4D}=
 00:01:23:02 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6::VK6HAM-9 :73{98
 00:01:23:05 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6CO-6::VK6CO-2 :gday ken{97
 00:01:23:09 : VK6CO-2]APRS,RS0ISS*,SGATE,qAR,VK6CO-6:!3154.00S/11556.42E` Igate Perth WA.
 00:01:23:14 : VK6HAM-9]SQU4Q9,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6:`,a{l"l]/"7,}Tony via iss
 00:01:23:41 : VK6PII-7]APK003,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6::VK6CO-2 :gday ken{97
 00:01:23:47 : VK6MIB-6]DDA6P1,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6:'.86l -/]Hi Brian VK6TGQ=
 00:01:24:01 : RS0ISS]CQ,qAR,VK6PII-6:]ARISS - International Space Station
 00:01:24:03 : VK6PII-7]D1ELZL,RS0ISS*,SGATE,WIDE2-1,qAR,VK6PII-6:`+Jdl!/S\]"4E}=

I was glad to get gated on this pass, as on my first effort, I had calculated my latitude incorrectly and placed the house icon near Ongerup. Now it’s fixed up again.

I’m having a lot of fun with space APRS. The D72 has probably turned out to be the most fun per dollar I’ve spent in the hobby.

I’m not sure what the next challenge will be. Perhaps to run the D72 in KISS mode with some APRS client software that can gate packets.




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