You have to love the Internation Space Station. It is a brilliant concept, seems to work, and hasn’t fallen out of the sky (at time of writing). International co-operation at its best.

And they broadcast radio signals that us Earth-bound misfits can sometimes pick up. If you know when and how.

The When

Well, that depends where you are. The map below shows the current location os the ISS, and its orbit for the near future. Lucky you if you live under the red line!

But the chances are that you don’t. So the thingummy below will aloow you to set your location and get predictions for forthcoming passes. You have to select a city, but Stoke is close enough to me for it not to matter. You can also get email and text alerts.



The How

Well, you’ll want a VHF/UHF radio with a suitable antenna.

The following frequencies are currently used for Amateur Radio ISS contacts (QSOs) (from

  • Voice and SSTV Downlink: 145.80 (Worldwide)
  • Voice Uplink: 144.49 for ITU Regions 2 and 3 (The Americas, and the Pacific and Southern Asia)
  • Voice Uplink: 145.20 for ITU Region 1 (Europe, Russia and Africa)
  • VHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 145.825 (Worldwide)
  • UHF Packet Uplink and Downlink: 437.550
  • UHF/VHF Repeater Uplink: 145.99 (PL 67 Hz)
  • UHF/VHF Repeater Downlink: 437.80

A lot of moaning old shite