Below is an Example of a brief 2 Meter FM packet QSO digipeated through the ISS. The 'Earth station' consists of radio, computer, antenna, and UISS software v.2.5.6 by Guy Roels, OM6NU.

Yellow text = transmission format. red = message successfully digipeated by ISS,
blue = general digipeated traffic, green = digipeated message intended for me.
(time lapse)
  My Basic ISS Packet Station

  • Yaesu FT-847 FM @ 25 watts
  • Signalink USB sound card interface
  • Laptop running Windows Vista @ 2.0 Ghz
  • Comet GP-6 Vertical Antenna
  • UISS v 5.2.7 software
  • AGWPE software
ISS Packet communications requires a 5-100 watt 2 meter (or 440 MHz) FM xcvr. and an ordinary VHF/UHF antenna. The radio must be capable of operating digital packet internally, from a TNC, or with a computer running sound card and packet software.
the ISS

... that's it !!
AGWPE program
UISS software
Comet GP-6 144/440 Vertical Antenna has 6dB gain, and is sufficient to work the ISS and ARISSAT-1 sstv satellite.
Essentials of tracking the International Space Station
  • Predict passes
  • Track the ISS
  • Determine orbital trajectory and period
Updated Aug 2012
Current location of the ISS
ISS orbiting

Terrestrial amateur radio operators can communicate by FM packet as far as 2100 miles (3380 Km) away through the orbiting ISS' digipeater. The ham radio station onboard the ISS can receive and re-transmit (digipeat) VHF/UHF FM Ax.25 Packet. The ISS travels at an avg. speed of 17,200 mph (27,743 Km/h) and 225 mile (362 Km) elevation in low earth orbit, so data must be exchanged quickly during a pass. Home and portable access is possible using average 2 M and 440 equipment.
How to set up a 2M and 440MHz. Amateur Radio Packet station to contact the ISS
(hold left mouse to move map)
I received this qsl from Jim, WB2LHP who lives in Traverse City, Michigan. Our 2 m ISS packet contact spanned a distance of 745 miles between Michigan and New York.
Above is an ISS QSL testimonial received from WB2LHP
Mouse over
K3AS runs the
UISS SatGate 1.0
Module ...
... Recived ISS packets are posted at

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ISS Packet : Exchange 2 Meter (and 440 MHz) packet messages through the ISS digipeater.
Click for GoSatWatch user guide
GoSatWatch ** is a VERY useful ISS tracking App ($9.99) - for iPhone and iPad.
  • Predict future ISS and Sat. passes / trajectories
  • See where sats are in sky in any compass direction
  • See 'footprint' - extent of the digipeater's range
  • Simulate orbital direction for any date and time
ISS Pass trajectories can be seen by user-modified dates and times, and orbit paths include a 'footprint' of digipeater coverage areas.
Simply point the iPhone or iPad at a bright object to see if the object is a satellite or the ISS. Or, manually enter a date and time to find out where to look for the craft !!
Visible night time passes are listed by date, time, and where to look for the ISS in the sky.
Click for User Guide
** I am not endorsing the product, but the App IS an excellent tracking tool. posts digipeated messages and APRS data from stations connected to the network through SatGate.
Above is an ISS QSL testimonial received from WB2LHP