here is my friend's response to satellite email i forwarded to him
- This guy is an expert with ISS contacts. He knows astronauts and worked MIR tons.
(You have my permission to republish the following
The status of HAMSATs and their prospective modes of
operation can be viewed at:
AMSAT (Amateur Satellite Corporation) controls most
HAMSAT functions, but, unfortunately it is sometimes
necessary to be a AMSAT member to have direct access
to current mode status, including FM mode, for any
HAMSAT. The question above makes little sense since
there are many HAMSATs that have FM function, although
most are limited to packet 1200 or 2800 baud data, but
no voice function. You can go to ...
... and download "STSPLUS" where most HAMSAT
frequencies will be included once you update the
keplerian elements, and use the orthographic mode to
watch the satellite of your choice. Some of these will
have FM mode, and any scanner with a good antenna
(indoor or outdoor) can receive the downlink signals
for whatever satellite you choose.
If the question was asking about voice on FM, there is
only one possibility that I know of ... the ISS.
However, the ISS has not been making voice contacts
except on their days off, Saturday and Sunday, after
their limited work schedule on those days. Although
occasionally they will make a voice contact after
their weekday 12 hour schedule which ends at 19:00
UTC. The Following might help for weekend contacts ...
They usually work 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday,
respectively. Predicting if they will pass you is
another challange. A HAM must understand their work
schedule which begins at 07:00 UTC daily. A weekend
pass for possible contact would therefor be after
11:00 UTC, which is after 06:00 CDT Dallas time. HAMs
must all understand their respective distance to UTC
in order to predict this. If a pass of the ISS
occurres on the weekend, over the HAM, at around 06:00
A.M. (in Texas), you might be able to make a FM voice
contact. You will most likely have to think in UTC
time to predict a good ISS contact time. The
tranceiver will have to be programmed for a 144.390
MHz uplink, and a 145.800 MHz downlink. That is a
weird offset, but can be done with most modern rigs.
Additionally, all HAMs should listen for the astronaut
or cosmonaut (both speak english) before calling up.
If they are talking, they will be obvious! You will
hear them as they approach your location, and as they
talk to other HAMs in areas thousands of miles from
you. Understand that there might be several other
ground stations attempting the same as you ... wait
your turn or for the ISS contact to clear with whoever
they are talking with. Speeding over us at 17,500 MPH
at 240 miles high can actually create a "bees nest"
for ISS HAMs. You can also monitor 143.625 MHz to
listen for downlinks from ISS to CAPCOM (Houston
Communications ... hundreds of ground relays all over
the globe). Other than that, FM traffic via HAMSATs
are rare today.
Douglas E. Trapp