Contacting the International Space Station

Last Wednesday, OMG member Pat Joseph (KØCTU) stopped by the Makery to see if we could make contact with the International Space Station, as it passed overhead.

The Space Station has a few amateur radio operations on board, and the one we were making contacts with was an automatic mode known as APRS. The automated station heard my transmission and sent back an acknowledgement three times during the pass.

About a  half-dozen people took part in the attempt.  James and Rick manned the antenna, while Pat ran the radio.  The rest of us provided moral support :)

The antenna that Pat brought down was pretty innovative. The main body was made from plastic conduit, and the elements were built from bits of metal tape measure.  The result is a quick-setting antenna that is difficult to damage, yet easy to fold up and store.