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Handheld Satellite COMMS



The following successful experiments were just conducted at the Naval
Academy as part of the ongoing APRS School experiments via MIR using only
the new Kenwood APRS Data Walkie-Talkie during a pass just minutes ago...

1) The HT received and displayed the APRS formatted MIR Bulletin
2) The HT transmitted its APRS GPS position report and was digipeated
   via MIR
3) The HT transmitted an APRS formatted one-line Message to another
   station and was digipeated via MIR.
4) THe HT copied perfect SSTV images from MIR using an attached VC-H1
   Visual Communicator (Ken-Cam) (on an earlier pass when SSTV was
   active).

An amazing capability in your shirt pocket!

TEST Conditions:
This was an unscheduled, unplanned test on a low 20 degree pass using only
the HT and no attachments other than the VC-H1 for experiment number 4.
I did use a full size 19" whip instead of the usual rubber-duck.  I was
also using the 9.6v battery pack and was transmitting a measured 5 watts.

Thus MIR could be used by wilderness travelers carrying only an HT as an
emergency communications channel  on the high seas, or non densly
populated areas of the world where the MIR frequency is not totally
saturated.  The above test was conducted at random at 1600 Local time on
the East Coast of the USA and there were other packet users at the time.

The Kenwood HT can either be used with a laptop for standard PACKET
operations using its built-in TNC, or in the case of the tests above, it
can communicate and display APRS formatted POSITIONS and MESSAGES on its
own display with no other accessories required.  Thus it could be a
complete handheld satellite worldwide emergency message communicator.

This shows the viability of using Amateur Satelites for providing a basic
two-way emergency mobile communicatinos cabability for amateur radio
operators far from normal terrestrial links and the Internet.

de WB4APR, Bob

See our live MIR WEB page http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/mirex.html
which retains the last 8 passes of MIR packet traffic monitored here in
Maryland.


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