- Filed under: Ham Radio
- Date: Jun 1,2008
One of the things I’m most interested in with Ham Radio, is Satellite Communications. There are satellites in space that contain repeaters that enable ham’s with the right equipment to communicate incredible distances in voice mode, Morse Code, and Packet Radio.
With the right equipment (Meaning Radio’s that can tune to the right frequencies and good antenna’s) you can also listen to the Space Shuttles communications with Ground Control. Most astronauts are also Ham radio operators and they often spend some of their “free time” in space talking with other ham’s down on earth.
I have tried and failed many times to hear Space Shuttle communications the few times I notice the shuttle being in range, but I must admit I do not have the greatest antenna for this kind of reception AND I only have a VHF radio which really limits the number of “space frequencies” that I can monitor. The best i’ve gotten was hearing morse code via a satellite, and hearing packet radio packet’s whizzing by on the frequencies.
You need to download software to know what satellites are in range of your current location. There are lots of these softwares available. Google “Satellite Tracking software” . This Nasa Page has J-Track available for download which has been recommended to me by a few Ham’s.
If you’d like to read more on the subject, I suggest visiting these sites :
- AMSAT – The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation
- NASA – Satellite Tracking Webpage
- NORAD Links – Weather Satellites, Communications Satellites, and scientific satellite frequencies
- Ken Reitz wrote an interesting post on this subject in 1998.
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