Best way to call the ISS

Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1
#1
I did a quick search and didn't see anything so please excuse me if this has been asked before.

Assuming the timing is right to attempt to contact the ISS, what is the best ISS callsign to use?

If there is not a US ham aboard, should I still call NA1SS, or will I have better luck calling RS0ISS (assuming there is a Russian aboard). Or just call for the ISS?

Assuming they are listening and can here me, what is most likely to get a response?
 

n9mxq

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Dec 15, 2005
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1,596
Location
Belvidere IL
#2
It will depend on who is operating the radio.. If you find them active. I was lucky enough to work NA1SS once with an HT in my yard when Col Doug Wheelock was up and active. Keep an eye on the ISS Fan club site (google it) and they'll have posts on when someone might be active.
 

WB3DYE

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Dec 30, 2015
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White Haven Pa
#4
I thought my modest ham shack has given to me all it had to offer.. Got an app for my phone showing ISS passes over my QTH. Listened many times just silence. Then one day I heard them but was unable for them to copy me...Kept trying and near the end of November CONTACT! I heard my call coming from the ISS. I even got a QSL card!
Not bad for a station running 50 watts into a ground plane ;-)
Attached is a pic of the QSL card and a link showing whats it's like in pileup city also known as the ISS. The best video comes in at appx 11:00

 

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Joined
Jan 24, 2014
Messages
102
Location
Arizona USA
#5
Hi!

Until December 20th, one of the American ISS crewmembers (Serena Aunon-Chancellor, KG5TMT) had been active on the ISS ham radio making unscheduled contacts. She used the NA1SS call sign for her activity, from the Kenwood TM-D710 mobile radio in the Russian service module (Zarya, or FGB). Unfortunately, Serena's tour has ended, and she has returned to Earth with two other crewmembers.

I made 3 voice contacts with Serena, in October and November. The last of the 3 contacts came while I had an AMSAT booth at a hamfest near Tucson AZ on 10 November:


Since most crewmembers like Serena don't have a lot of experience with ham radio, it can be hard to tell when one contact has finished and the crewmember is waiting for a call. Being in orbit, there are times where the ISS crewmember hears nothing but noise - illustrated in the last part of the video from 2010 in the previous message. You have to listen, and sometimes make educated guesses, on when to call. This video was the second time I worked an ISS crewmember from a hamfest, but the only time I have a video of one of my NA1SS voice contacts.

In my video, I used an Icom IC-2730A 2m/70cm FM mobile radio with an Elk Antennas 2m/70cm log periodic to work NA1SS. My other contacts in October and November used the same antenna, but a different radio - a Kenwood TH-D74 HT.

73!
 
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