QSL from the ISS
(Originally published in the September 2002 LEARA Spirit of '76 and '88)
A few weeks after penning the previous article, "Working
the International Space Station," I was able to make
voice contact with Cosmonaut Valeri Korzun, RZ3FK, the ISS Expedition
Five Commander from the car, using an HT, seven watts and a quarter wave
mag mount on the roof.
I parked the car and flipped the HT over to
145.805 Mhz and started to monitor fully expecting to hear the on-board
packet digipeater at the start of the pass.
A minute or so later the radio started to quiet up
a little bit and I though I heard a voice or voices.
(When monitoring the ISS I have found it easier to open the
squelch all the way and as the receiver starts to capture a signal the
static gets quieter letting me know I am hearing something).
A few moments later the voice was S9 and better and had a thick
Russian accent and was clearly working stations and identifying as
I listened for a few more moments but because the
nature of split frequency operation I could not tell when other stations
may have been transmitting. I
tried calling RS0ISS a few times but whenever I un-keyed the voice was
in the middle of saying something apparently to someone else.
I listened a few more moments and then tried calling RS0ISS again
and repeated the suffix of my call sign three and four times
phonetically, (a trick I have learned participating in many Field Day
operations). I did this three or four more time over the next minute
sometimes just repeating the last two letters of my call phonetically…
“RS0ISS this is Kilo Alpha Eight
Victor India Tango, India Tango, India Tango, India Tango, over.”
“India Tango, nice to
hear you. Good Evening, RS0ISS.”
I was dumb struck! Did he just answer me? It
took me a second or two to regain my composure. I tried to reply back to him but by then he had already
worked two other stations. I
listened to the rest of the pass, which lasted about another seven
minutes. He worked all the
other stations in a similar manner.
Short and sweet. I
could just imagine the pile-up on his end.
I QSLed to ARISS hoping he had copied my call correctly and that it had made it into the log. A few weeks later I was rewarded when I received the QSL card pictured above confirming my contact!
Front of QSL card
Back of QSL card
(Click either QSL card image for a larger view or click the ISS QSL Card page link below)
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