Welcome to the Space Communicator Club!

Good Food, Good Company, Good Technology
Monthly BBQ + Radio Contact

We help facilitate:

Connecting Students to Astronauts via ARISS Contacts with the International Space Station

Connecting Students to CubeSats for School Projects

Boy Scouts obtaining Merit Badges in Radio + Space Exploration

Link to Satellite APRS packets received today:


Link to April 2018 DX Convention Presentation:

Space Communicator Slides as PDF

Upcoming Event!
This Friday & Saturday

Tuesday the 19th of February 2019 @ 6:08 PM
Friday the 8th of February 2019 @ 6:08 PM
Saturday the 9th of February 2019 @ 6:52 PM

Best to arrive 30 minutes prior to ISS pass time

Meet @ The Clubhouse
381 Sable
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688
(949) 371-6319

AISAT Packets

There is a new APRS Satellite available to connect with: AISAT


Receiving packets from AISAT is difficult because the formatting of the Digipath is not correctly applying AX.25 standards. This causes most radios with built in TNCs to not be able to displays the packet on the screen. Although the packet is likely received internally and available via the raw TNC output. Sending packets to AISAT appears to work as intended.

1) SSIDs arrive as ASCII rather than 4 bits in the AX.25 subfield
2) The Digipeated flag arrives as * rather than 1 bit in the AX.25 subfield
3) One extra (blank) callsign field exists at the end of the Digipath

SCC Bumper Sticker

You might notice this huge bumper sticker if you drive
I-5 between Irvine and Las Flores!

Saturday the 12th of November 2018

Hanging out with Tony (KM6HCW)
Awaiting Space Balloon Launch
Lake Forest Sports Park

Space Balloon (HAB2)
Filling Helium

Richard (KM6HCB)
Robert (KE6BLR)

Sunday the 7th of November 2018

Sunday the 7th of November 2018

Tony (KM6HWH) and I (KE6BLR) compared AX.25 APRS radio contact
with the the International Space Station (ISS) from Las Flores, California 92688
passing over the Pacific Ocean as seen on Heavens Above:

9:53 AM
Pass Details

9:53 AM
Ground Track

Tony (KM6HWH)
RX Callsign Listing


Tony (KM6HWH)
ISS Packet Listing
4 Position Beacons
2 Messges from KK6OTJ

Raw Packets

Raw Packets

Station Listing
Yeasu FT2D

Station Listing
Yeasu FT2D

Congrats Tony (KM6HWH) on his first TX contact with the International Space Station!

!!! Fun Times !!!

Sunday the 7th of October 2018

Today, my Dad (N6DAN) and I (KE6BLR) compared AX.25 APRS packet routing
from two locations: Wildomar, California 92595 & Las Flores, California 92688
As seen on ARISS.NET (International Space Station RS0ISS)

Elk Antenna
Icom IC-229 Radio
Win3in1 iGate

47 Packets

Arrow Antenna
Icom IC-V80 Radio
R2D2M2 iGate

45 Packets

Friday the 21st of September 2018

Clubhouse @ Las Flores Apartments
391 Sable, Las Flores CA 92688

6:30 PM BBQ
7:56 PM International Space Station -- Visible Pass
Feel free to text me your steak preference: Well Done or Medium
Robert Mobile: (949) 371-6319

Fun times with Terry, Edith, Ken, Michelle, Kenny,
Bob, Ron, Steve, Tony, Ron (+2), David (+3),
Daryl, Robert = 18 Space Communicators!!!

The string lengths on the ballons match 2M and 440 quarter wave lengths!

We served Steak + Salad
plus Cheeze Pizza
for the Kids

Perfect weather for viewing the International Space Station
Not a cloud in the sky during the pass, all planets and stars fully visible

This pass arrives from Australia

Thursday the 6th of September 2018

ARISS Contact with Astronaut Ricky Arnold
International Space Station (ISS)
Mendez Fundamental School
Santa Ana, California

Video 1 of 2

Video 2 of 2

The Students of Mendez
+ ARISS Volunteers

Bob Keopke
ARISS Lead Ham

Left -- Bob Keopke (AA6TB)
Right -- Robert MacHale (KE6BLR)

Left -- Gordon West (WB6NOA)
Right -- Robert MacHale (KE6BLR)

Monday the 20th of August 2018

SOARA Show & Tell / Open House / Radio Expo
Mission Viejo, California

Left -- Daryl Jensen (KK6USM)
Right -- Robert MacHale (KE6BLR)

R2D2M2 aZeL Demo
Live Tracking the pSat

Friday the 10th of August 2018 @ 8:18 PM PST:

Working Demo of the R2D2M2 Az/El Antenna Rotator

Friday the 20th of July 2018

Watch Party
Visible Pass -- International Space Station

Pizza + S'mores + Arduinos @ 3:30 PM
Pizza + S'mores + International Space Station @ 7:30 PM

391 Sable
Las Flores, CA 92688

Robert MacHale
(949) 371-6319

Next event is Saturday the 2nd of June 2018

Merit Badge Day
Our next meetup is tentatively scheduled for Friday the 8th of June 2018 after Sunset. We will meet at the Clubhouse at the Las Flores Apartments and walk behind the pool area to the Satellite Radio setup for communicating with the ISS, pSat, and pcSat.

Stay tuned; sign-up information coming soon!
For more information contact: Robert MacHale; robert.machale@yahoo.com; 949-371-6319

Space Communicator
DX Convention
Friday the 20th April 2018

Convention Schedule
DX Convention
Friday the 20th of April 2018

Welcome to the Space Communicator Club!
Tracking the International Space Station (ISS) with the Boy Scouts of Las Flores Troop 718
Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting!

I am a software engineer at Cirrus Insight in Irvine, California. In the 1990s I passed the basic Ham Radio exam and received my Technician License (KE6BLR). Recently, I have become interested in Satellite communications with APRS on FM 145.825 MHz.

About once per month I teach the Boy Scounts of Las Flores Troop 718 how to track the International Space Station (ISS). Also, I serve as Merit Badge Counselor for Radio and Space Exploration.

Building this website has become one of my new hobbies.

Why does this hobby remind me of golfing? Rather than hitting a small ball into a hole 250 yards away I prefer a better challege: sending a small data packet 250,000 miles into a small antenna on the International Space Station (ISS) travelling 17,500 MPH above us. Ergo, we call this sport spacegolf.

For more information on tracking data packets from the International Space Station (ISS) visit:


For more information on tracking data packets from pcSat or pSat visit:


For more information on tracking your APRS location or raw APRS data packets visit:


For more information on tracking satellites visit:


For more information on programming Orbital Elements with Python visit:

http://rhodesmill.org/pyephem/ and https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pyephem/

For a current list of Two Line Elements (TLE) for calculating the position of satellites visit:


For the health status of pSat visit:


For a current list of ground station beacons including az/el angles visit:


You should see a page that looks like this:

For a map showing the position of the transmitter, satellite and iGate click the Map link on the Beacons page. You should see a page that looks like this:

Where the green satellite dish is the transmitter location, the blue downlink is the satellite position, and the red textpad is the iGate position.

For a map showing the position of the pSat (NO-84) and T# beacons recently iGated visit:


You should see a page that looks like this:

Where the blue downlink represents a beacon between iGates, the red textpad represents a beacon recorded by an iGate. Each view shows a 90 minute pass plus a 10 minute overlap.

You can replace the UTC value in the URL with any UTC from pcsat.aprs.org where PSAT or PSAT-1 broadcasts a T# beacon.

For a current view of the celsius temperature of pSat visit:


Let me know if you find any bugs on the www.spacegolf.xyz site; there is a lot that can go wrong here.


Robert MacHale


Installing antennas on the Eurpean module of the ISS