I was very pleasantly surprised that there wasn't a monumental pile-up attempting to work the ISS at 6PM local time here in Southern California!
I got in with just an HT and improved whip (21") antenna. 4W TX power.
SO ... If you've been hesitant in the past due to heavy traffic, please reconsider before December - when the ISS will be flipped to APRS/Packet mode!
Clint K6LCS work-sat.com