PI9CAM bounces Slow Scan TV signals off the moon at 1296 MHz – 30th Dec 2022


On the 30th of December 2022, the Dutch amateur radio station PI9CAM carried out a series of tests by bouncing Slow Scan TV (SSTV) signals off the moon at 1296 MHz. PI9CAM is the callsign of the special station at the Dwingeloo Radio Observatory in the north-east of the Netherands.

PI9CAM used the 25-metre dish at the site which was originally built in 1956 and was once the largest radio telescope in the world. As far as I know, they were using 100-watts for the SSTV tests.

One of those monitoring these tests was Rob, M0DTS in the NE of England. Listening on a frequency of 1296.120 MHz USB, Ron managed to get these images.

While the images have a lot of noise in them, it should be remembered that these 23cms SSTV signals on 23cms were bounced off the moon.

SSTV is an old analogue technology where signals well above the noise floor are usually required for a good decode and picture. It’s not some sort of modern digital technology which decodes signals buried in the noise. 

This short video clip shows what the slow scan tv signal from the moon sounded like…

For reception of the 23cms signal, M0DTS was using a 3-metre dish with a dual polarity feed and a 0.2dB noise figure low-noise amplifier.

Thanks to Rob, M0DTS for the above information.

For more posts on the blog about the microwave bands, see my Microwave page.


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