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fahnen/7.jpg How to Work the Packet Robot on the Shuttle
Launch Pad Return

AMSAT-NA How to Work the Packet Robot on the Shuttle


This script from the Houston AMSAT Net was written by AMSAT Area Coordinator Bruce Paige, KK5DO. Authorization is given for the use of this information over any ham band. Please give credit for the script where credit is due.

I have found a way to work the shuttle packet robot that always has placed me on the QSL list. It takes about 20 seconds to do and I have made the QSL list every time in the past 2 years.

There is nothing special to making a connection, the hard part is among all the signals the robot hears to make sure it gets a disconnect from you when it requests one.

Here is how I do it.

You cannot use a TNC program becuase I have found them to be to slow to let you know a connect has been made. Usually they wait a second, ring a bell, wait a second and by then, the world has passed you by. I use Procomm Plus (DOS version) and connect to the TNC. I have a Kantronics Data Engine but the type of TNC is irrelevant. My settings for the shuttle are as follows:

MONMODE ALL
MONTYPE ALL
MONITOR ON
FRACK 2

The other settings that you normally use are just fine. Here is how the connect goes....

Issue your connect command to the TNC. As soon as you see the message on your screen that the Robot has connected *IMMEDIATELY* press your dissconnect key (for me it is CTRL-C to gain control of the TNC and then 'D' for disconnect). The next time the packet robot looks for my confirmation of the disconnect, I will be telling it to disconnect and it is a done deal.

Below are 2 sequences where I connected to the Robot. You will see that the connect was at 14:03:47 and I issued the disconnect at 14:03:51, a mere 4 seconds later. The Robot finally got around to seeing it at 14:04:07, a total of 20 seconds to complete the contact.

Further down you will see the SAREX report of QRZ and QSL and I appear in both. Now I don't have to try any further connects if I hear the Robot and concentrate on a voice contact.

73 and hope this helps everyone make successful QSL connects on the Shuttle.


cmd:c w5rrr-1

KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:46 UTC]: <<C>>:
W5RRR-1>KK5DO [15/JUL/95 14:03:47 UTC]: <UA>:

*** CONNECTED TO W5RRR-1

W5RRR-1>WD4AHZ [15/JUL/95 14:03:48 UTC]: <I00>:{F0}
#145-is your STS-70 SAREX QSO number.
W5RRR-1>WD4AHZ [15/JUL/95 14:03:48 UTC]: <UA>:

W5RRR-1>KK5DO [15/JUL/95 14:03:49 UTC]: <I0cmd:0>:{F0}

#146-is your STS-70 SAREX QSO number.
cmd:d

KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:50 UTC]: <RR1>:
KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:51 UTC]: <D>:
KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:53 UTC]: <D>:
KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:56 UTC]: <D>:
KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:03:59 UTC]: <D>:
W5RRR-1>WD4AHZ [15/JUL/95 14:04:00 UTC]: <I00>:{F0}
#145-is your STS-70 SAREX QSO number.

W5RRR-1>KK5DO [15/JUL/95 14:04:00 UTC]: <D>:
*** DISCONNECTED
KK5DO>W5RRR-1 [15/JUL/95 14:04:01 UTC]: <UA>:


W5RRR-1>QRZ [15/JUL/95 14:06:25 UTC]: <UI>:{F0}
#99-WD4LYV WA5MYI N4ZQ KQ4AV N5ZNL N9OZU KB5JRA N0NTW WD4AHZ KK5DO
N9AB AA5OQ N9PKI W9HAD XE2MXU N7UFT K9MWM KG5OA XE1KK WA5PIE N7FUM 
N6TVZ W6BME N6JLH WD6EFM WB4FNH N1DL NO4J W4FWD ZL1UMB LW1EXU ZR5
MMD N7QQ WA5OUD N6HL

W5RRR-1>QSL [15/JUL/95 14:06:26 UTC]: <UI>:{F0}
KQ4AV/153 N5ZNL/151 XE1KK/150 KK5DO/146 N9PKI/144 N7UFT/134 K9MWM/132
KG5OA/131 N7FUM/127 WA5PIE/125 WB6LLO/110 WB6BDY/108 KA6UCD/107 K6AAW/106 ZS6BMN/102

W5RRR-1>SAREX [15/JUL/95 14:06:27 UTC]: <UI>:{F0}
This is STS-70 SAREX Robot station W5RRR-1
onboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.


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