Amateur Radio has a lot to offer and many different types of modes to operate in. In my opinion that is one of the great things about this hobby, a person can learn and experiment with many things. I recently got interested in Slow Scan Television via High Frequency Radio.
Slow-scan television (SSTV) is a picture transmission method used mainly by amateur radio operators, to transmit and receive static pictures via radio in monochrome or color.
SSTV has been around since the 1950’s and was used to record Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
The Apollo TV cameras used SSTV to transmit images from inside Apollo 7,Apollo 8, and Apollo 9, as well as the Apollo 11 Lunar Module television from the Moon. NASA had taken all the original tapes and erased them for use on subsequent missions; however, the Apollo 11 Tape Search and Restoration Team formed in 2003 tracked down the highest quality footage among the converted recordings of the first broadcast, pieced together the best footage, then contracted a specialist film restoration company to enhance the degraded black-and-white film and convert it into digital format for archival records.
The early SSTV systems used by NASA differ significantly from the SSTV systems currently in use by amateur radio enthusiasts today. Today all you need is an amateur radio, computer, soundcard interface and free SSTV software.
KH6OWL has set up a website that displays a sample of the most recent Slow Scan TV still-image pictures which he has received from across the world on the 20 meter ham band on 14.230 MHz. Quality varies with signal reception for images in analog format. He has AUTO-SLANT turned OFF in the MMSSTV software, so you will see the pure reception of received SSTV signal on his site.
The site displays the 12 most recently received signals. Thanks to Larry, WA9TT, for help in setting up the FTP program and the website.
KH6OWL SSTV Site. http://www.wb9kmw.com/KH6OWL/live_SSTV.html
For a YouTube video on the introduction of SSTV, please see Larry’s Video.
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