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ISS Operating Frequency

A simple dipole, or even the telescopic aerial supplied with a hand-held scanner, may suffice for the frequencies used by Soyuz, the ISS for voice, and the telemetry/tracking frequencies of 166 MHz and 922.763 MHz. A pre-amplifier is recommended for the best results.

121.75 FM
Voice downlink from Soyuz-TM during free flight operations, the frequency also carries ranging information from the TORU remote control docking system, and carries a recovery beacon signal during Soyuz descent (detectable over near-east and south- west Asia)
130.167 AM
VHF-2 downlink from Zarya - carries voice (Russian and English) plus packet data, sometimes instead of VHF-1 (during shuttle- docked periods) and sometimes in parallel with VHF-1
143.625 FM
VHF-1 downlink, the main Russian comms channel - content similar to VHF-2 - works with Russian ground stations plus White Sands AFB, Dryden Flight Center and Wallops Island in the US
166.000 AM
Telemetry during orbital operations of Soyuz-TM and Progress M-1 vehicles, also occasional transmissions from ISS - probably from a docked Soyuz or Progress ferry, it can be heard as a buzz with two distinct peaks at 166.125 and 165.875 MHz
259.700 AM
Voice from Space Shuttle during ascent and descent - reported as detectable over east coast US then from Europe about 20 minutes after lift-off, generally silent at other times but has been detected over Europe on the descent orbit
632.000 634.000 AM
Telemetry from Zarya module, similar to the 166 MHz transmission with peaks at +/- 125 kHz - transmissions not very frequent and seem to be confined to 634 MHz - most likely on passes over eastern Europe - watch out for the Doppler shift at this frequency - it can make the signal appear up to 15 kHz off-frequency
628.000 630.000 AM
Telemetry from Zvezda module, transmissions are similar to, and more frequent than those from Zarya and are on command from Moscow - the two transmitters appear to operate in parallel
922.76 CW
Beacon from Soyuz-TM and Progress M1 and from the Russian ISS modules - tends to be received in parallel with the 166 MHz or 620-630 MHz transmissions, beware of the Doppler, it ranges +/- 23 kHz from the centre frequency
2265.0 Digital
S-Band Single Access Telementry Downlink
15003.4 Digital
Ku-Band Single Access Downlink. Used for video and large file tranfers.