Satellite and Space Station

Scanning



Frequency List:

143.625 * ISS
145.800 ISS
145.825 * Sunsat SO-35
435.070 UO-14/UOsat 3
145.915 AO-40/Amsat P3D
296.800 Shuttle air to ground/orbiter to suit
259.700 Shuttle air to ground/suit to orbiter
279.00 Shuttle suit to orbiter/suit to suit
243.00 Military aircraft emergency channel

--- NOTES ---

* Satellites I've received and verified.


Satellite listening for me has just started to really catch my eye so I thought I would share what I have so far with all of you. I've only received MIR (no longer active), the International Space Station, and the HAM satellite Sunsat SO-35 (stoped transmitting ealier this year) but there's a big sky out there for anything.

I am going to explain how I receive these to help you receive them. You don't need anything fancy and a basic scanner will do. I use my BC895XLT hooked up to a cheap Radio Shack (20-176) scanner antenna that I have mounted in my attic and it does fine. I also have tried my BC245 handheld with the stock antenna that came with the scanner and it did good if you moved the scanner around as the satellite flies over. My BC210XLT didn't do as good but it could be the antenna (the 20-014) I'm using for it in the attic doesn't perform well on receiving satellites. I may hook it up to a different antenna to test that. If you have a metallic roof, I would suggest an external antenna outside because the signal won't be able to get through and you may not receive anything. You may only get one chance a day to hear a satellite and it only lasts for about 5 minutes. So the first thing you will want to do is find out when the satellites fly over that you can hear...You don't want to waste all day long trying to listen to it if it's on the other side of the world. You can only hear it when it is in your horizon, what you can see of the sky. Once it goes down below the horizon, the signal is gone. Every body should go to this sight: Heavens-Above. Once you get there you should customize it for your location so everything is more accurate for you, right now it is set for my back-yard. After you change the location, go to the link that says "24 hour predictions for radio amateur satellites". This is going to tell you when all the satellites fly over, altitude to your location (the higher the number the stronger the signal will be, 90 is straight up and that's the best), peak listening time for your location, and a frequency. I have played with almost all of them and with a basic set up, most of them are not easy to hear or they just aren't active. At first, I would suggest sticking to the ISS frequencies, to bad Sunsat SO-35 isn't active anymore because it was an easy to get. Later on I will add a paragraph on doppler shift so come back...

ISS (International Space Station) 143.625 - What to expect: I have received the ISS several times. The very early morning and weekends are probably the best chance to listen to it, and view it. It use to broadcast continually but I don't know if it does anymore. Usually it comes in all of a sudden. You can hear the guys on board usually speaking Russian. It will fade a little bit but for the most part stay clear especially when they are directly above you. MIR was just like the ISS. You get goose bumps when you first hear them, it is so cool! I believe your best bet now is to listen for the ISS on the HAM frequency of 145.800 if 143.625 isn't active.

Sunsat SO-35 145.825 - What to expect: I have received this satellite several times...This was a very easy saltellit to here, it would fade in and out a little more then the ISS but seemed to last longer then 5 minutes. This satellite is used like a HAM radio repeater. Most of what you will hear are HAM radio operators calling in their call signs and maybe a location to check in. Here in Indiana where I live I have heard locations from Maryland, Mexico, New York, Orlando, Quebec, Kansas, Mississippi, and North Carolina. As it flys across the country, everyone tries to check in. It was really cool while it lasted, something seemed to happen with the saltellite and now it's just floating around in space with no power. Hopefully there will be one like it to takes its place. If there is, I'll let you know here!!! I'll miss you SO-35.

Links:,
Heavens-Above E-Lebanon area
Space Flight Tracking - where is the ISS
another Space Flight Tracking - where is the ISS
Sunsat HAM Radio Info
Discover.com on the ISS
NASA
Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
Get Started on HAM Radio Satellites



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This page last updated

07/2001