What Else is Out There? How Can We Receive it?

Besides Othernet I am looking for interesting data services on worldwide down beams.
There is Toosheh, a anti-regime and internet substitute service mostly for Iranians, there is a offline bitcoin blockchain transaction clearing update service, probably others too. Outside of GEO there are all kinds of ways to do amateur radio sats(especially QO-100 @25.8E) the International Space Station has a repeater, a BBS, and sometimes the asto/cosmonauts get on the radio too; it is possible to receive and decode weather satellites, on L-band you can use old Othernet hardware to grab some unencrypted Inmarsat services. Free To Air(FTA) is popular and the decoder hardware is cheap if you are in a beam with something worth watching on TV and radio.
What else is there that I am missing out on?
I have found several receivers which act as a Linux or Windows USB Ku or C band receiver for both TV/radio and data signals but I am not sure what worth those would be to a user who doesn’t have a subscription to a encrypted data stream or TV service.
If you visit Lyngsat.com you will see so many data feeds, there have to be more free to air(unencrypted) ones with something interesting, right?

Here is an interesting article on the ‘newer’ GPS frequencies called L2 (1227.6MHz ) and L5 (1176.45) , in addition to the L1 (1575.45 MHz) that we are all familiar receiving.


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I guess for GPS oscillator discipline, I have heard of making a DIY non-compliant receiver too which can get a fix above the altitude and speed which makes them munitions per US export law.

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Hi @biketool,

where can I find more informations about the ISS “bbs” service that you mentioned?

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You need a 70cm and 2m transceiver(I used an old Alinco DJ-580t), a steered or aim-able U/V yaggi with a bandpass to send the UHF to the 70cm tuned elements and VHF to the 2m elements(mine was a $5 Arrow(function not appearance or ease) clone, a wooden broomstick with fence wire reflectors/parasites and ground wire jpole antennas). The wielder of this mighty antenna is the antenna servo, equip him with headphones to keep the audio quieting/tones and probably some portable computing device that gives a general sky location of the overpass, this guy is also tuning the UHF radio for doppler shift, the satellite is moving fast enough we have to deal with relativistic difference in velocity between you and the satellite. Leave this guy alone he is just your receiving hardware.
You ALSO need another operator with an AX25 modem, it is possible to DIY this with an arduino(or ATmega) and other parts, and a computer or other device capable of acting as your serial terminal to talk to the modem, the modem connects to the radio sends/receives AFSK tones and keys up the TX/RX modes.
On a great pass you will have a few minutes maximum to find, tune, and login to get your connection and write or read something short for the post board. Last time I think I saw it or tried was 2007-09ish no idea if it is still an option. I used to have a checklist on everything including the login I think I had an automated script to check and send messages too as the passes are usually so short, 1200baud is super slow, and you have to share airtime with every other ham in your area.
Not often I can seriously say something so sci-fi but… it could be that BBS was discontinued or the hardware simply failed and that computer or embedded gadget(it only had a few Kb of memory as I recall) got launched out an airlock or or sent with a departing cargo ship to burn up over the south pacific spacecraft cemetery leaving only the digipeater.


This is the only video I could find of what it looks like to leave a message and check messages.

You could also try Flaconsat-3’s BBS