Friday, March 16, 2012

André Kuipers talking from Space

This morning near 11:14 local time (10:14 UTC), Dutch astronaut André Kuipers onboard the ISS had a radio talk with a school class in Belgium on 145.800 MHz. From Leiden, I listened in using my old scanner radio and a homebrew dipole antenna (two hardware store 50 cm metal rods connected to a coax cable). Below is a recording of part of the reception (voice is André Kuipers, in Dutch):


The school class in question was a class from primary school De Regenboog in Bree, Belgium.

It is always cool to directly hear astronauts from Space. I listened in on André Kuipers talking from space before during his 2004 mission and several times have picked up communications between ISS astronauts and Russian ground stations in the past. You don't need fancy equipment for that: a normal scanner-radio and the kind of simple homebrew antenna I use will do. I use an old second-hand Realistic Pro 2042 receiver and a dipole antenna made out of a 1 meter M5 rod from the hardware store that I sawed in to 50 cm halfs, which are connected to the coax cable. Very simple but it works! See below image (cat is vital for good reception ;-p  )





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