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Re: ISS ham status 11/9/2000

Thanks for the detailed posting...

Heard the ISS Ground Relay Station downlink on 143.625 at about 1115 Z this
morning (11/11) on a 3db gain collinear inside a shielded steel frame
apartment building.  Astronauts gabbing Russian, some background noise, etc.


----- Original Message -----
From: Miles Mann <Miles.Mann@ind.alcatel.com>
To: Keith N. Thews <kthews@juno.com>
Cc: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Thursday, November 09, 2000 3:38 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] ISS ham status 11/9/2000

> Space Station Alpha given permission to assemble the Amateur Radio
> Station
> November 9, 2000
> By Miles Mann WF1F,
> MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)
> The first full time crew for ISS ALPHA has docked and moved in.
> One of their first official requests was to give the International space
> station a name.
> Astronaut Bill Shepeard ask Dan Goldin of NASA for a request on behalf
> of the first ISS ALPHA crew.  Bill asked to use the call sign of the
> Space station as Alpha.
> Congratulations to Bill Shepherd, Yuri Gidzenko  and Sergei Krikalev for
> cutting through all the red tape and giving ISS ALPHA a name.  Let's
> hope her name stays and she flies as long as the successful Russian Mir
> program.
> For more information on this mission please check the NASA web pages.
> http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/index-n.html
> Space Station Alpha given permission to assemble the Amateur Radio
> Station:
> The ISS crew received permission to assemble the Amteur Radio 2-meter
> station this weekend, if time permits.   The crew's workload is still
> very high and they may not have time to complete the project until later
> in the week.  The plans call for testing the amateur radio station with
> a few selected NASA and Russian ground stations to test out the signal
> performance.  If all goes well, then the system could be placed in
> service for the public to chat with the ISS crew during their off times
> on weekends in the near future.  The Amateur Radio system also includes
> a simple email system called packet  mail.  The packet system can be
> used to send and receive email from earth and will be open to all
> licensed amateur radio stations.  The system uses standard AX.25
> 1200-baud packet.  The TNC as is it called has its own CPU and 32k of
> memory for mail storage.
> ISS Alpha VHF / UHF radio links:
> The ISS uses three different types of communications links to earth:
> VHF Ground Relay stations
> S-Band commercial satellites
> TDRS NASA satellites
> VHF:
> The Alpha crew has been using the old MIR VHF and UHF radio links to
> communicate with Mission control.  The VHF link is usually active while
> the ISS is orbiting over North America and Russia.  There are
> approximately 9 VHF Ground Relay stations in operation (6+ in Russia and
> 3+ in the USA).  When ISS passes in range of a Ground Relay station, it
> is connected to Mission control in Russia.  The VHF / UHF links are used
> for voice and low speed data only.  During a typical 90 minute orbit,
> the ISS will typically have less than 20 minutes of communication time
> with Mission control per orbit.  If you are watching the NASA channel
> with the world map displayed, the circles over North American and Russia
> are the Ground Relay stations.  The ISS can only communicate over the
> VHF links while it is inside one of those circles.  The Amateur radio
> community in Europe and the USA have been having fun listening to ISS
> via the direct VHF links.  When ISS is over the Indian Ocean and pacific
> oceans, it is usually out of communications range of all Ground Relay
> stations.  Note: I do not post the ISS commercial frequencies.
> S-Band commercial satellites:
> The ISS has also been intermittently using an S-Band commercial
> satellite to pass voice and high-speed data, when ISS is over Europe.
> Last week we saw the ISS crew using a PC videophone using the protocol
> H.323 Video.  The image quality was quite good, and I assume there were
> running QCIF at 768kbit.  The new video standard will eventually migrate
> to Amateur radio in the form of Compressed Digital Amateur TV (CDATV).
> More on this topic in the future.
> TDRS NASA satellites:
> The ISS crew has not installed the Antenna needed for the TDRS links.
> The new antenna will be delivered and installed next year.  After the
> TDRS link is working, the ISS will have over 70% link coverage to
> Mission control with both voice and high speed data.  The web page below
> will describe how TDRS works.  New satellites will be added in the
> future to bring up the orbit coverage to over 95%.
> International Space Station Alpha Amateur Radio Call signs:
> The ISS ALPHA is keeping the international flair by hosting several
> amateur radio call signs from around the world.  So far the ISS ALPHA
> has three calls signs from three different countries, Russia, USA and
> Germany. Also each of the crewmembers of expedition 1, has their own
> personal Amateur Radio call sign.
> William Shepherd, Expedition commander, KD5GSL
> Yuri Gidzenko, Soyuz commander (unknown)
> Sergei Krikalev, flight engineer, U5MIR
> Russian Module call sign: RZ3DZR
> Other club call signs ISS used: NA1SS and DL0ISS ALPHA
> Ground Station:
> What will you need to Hear the ISS ALPHA Amateur Radio 2-meter Station.
> That's a tricky question because there are good orbit pass and poor low
> orbit passes.  On a good 45 degree orbit pass, since the ISS ALPHA is
> only 250 miles high, you will be able to hear the 2-meter signal from
> the space station with a very small antenna (0 dBd  to  minus 12 dBd
> (rubber duck)).  During a very low orbit passes under 20 degrees you may
> need a much larger antenna.
> The Amateur Radio station on ISS ALPHA will be transmitting in the
> satellite 2-meter band (ITU 144.000 - 146.000 mc).  I have listed a
> frequency chart below.  The ISS ALPHA transmitter power output is
> approximately 3 watts, into a vertical antenna rated at minus 3 dBd.  I
> do not have the coax loss values at this time.  This combination of
> power and antenna gain will provide an ERP rating of  approximately 1.5
> watts.  The 1.5-watt value is not that bad, I was able to hear the
> RS-17/18 satellites from my car antenna (minus 3dBd) and those
> satellites were only running 0.5 watts.  If you only have a zero dBd
> gain antenna and a police scanner you will still be able to hear the ISS
> ALPHA on some good orbits.
> (note:  if your antenna is rated in dB rather than the correct dBd
> value, subtract 3 to convert the dB value to the correct dBd rating)
> Suggested receiving station:
> Casual listening for ISS ALPHA and Mir
> 2-meter vertical or scanner antenna (0 dBd or better)
> Police scanner or amateur radio with the ability to receive in the 144 -
> 146 mc or MHz range, FM mode.  Antenna cable should be a low loss RG-8
> style cable less than 100 feet long (RG-213 best choice).  You will not
> need to mount the antenna very high, just try to get above the roof
> ridgeline.  And of course you will need to find / buy a satellite
> tracking program.  I recommend the InstantTrack 1.5. It's a simple easy
> to use program, which can be purchased from Amsat.
> http://www.amsat.org/amsat/instanttrack/
> ISS ALPHA frequencies:
> The Amateur Radio frequencies for ISS ALPHA have been posted.
> Worldwide downlink for voice and packet: 145.800
> Worldwide packet uplink: 145.990
> Region 1 voice uplink: 145.200
> Region 2 & 3 voice uplink: 144.490
> You will need to dig out the manual for your radio and program in the
> following frequency combinations.  Note that some of the older FM mobile
> and Walkie-talkie HT style radios over 15 years old may have some
> difficulty in saving these combinations into memory.  The channels
> listed below will help you compensate for the speed of the space
> station, called Doppler.  If the smallest channel step your radio
> supports is 5k, then only program in channels 2, 5 and 8.  If your radio
> supports the smaller 2.5k channel step, then program in all channels
> listed.  After you have determined your smallest channel step supported
> by your radio, then program in the channels.  You can either use the
> procedures for storing ODD-Splits or you can reprogram your repeater off
> set for each of the channels and then save the new combination in a new
> memory location. This channel procedure has been successfully used on
> the Mir Amateur Radio program for years and is the choice of usage for
> school schedules (you do not want to fiddle with VFO's during a
> 10-minute pass).  I also recommend you program in all channels, no mater
> what part of the world you live in.  The World Map ISS ALPHA location
> display used by the ISS ALPHA crew is not located next to the Amateur
> Radio station.
> Voice operations Region 2 & 3 (North and South America and Pacific)
> Chan Receive Transmit Offset (Meg)
> 1 145.802.5 144.488.5 -1.314
> 2 145.800.0 144.490.0 -1.310
> 3 145.798.5 144.492.5 -1.306
> Packet operations Regions 1, 2 & 3 (Europe, North and South America and
> Pacific)
> Chan Receive Transmit Offset (Meg)
> 4 145.802.5 145.988.5 +0.186
> 5 145.800.0 145.990.0 +0.190
> 6 145.798.5 145.992.5 +0.194
> Voice operations Region 1 (Europe)
> Chan Receive Transmit Offset (Meg)
> 7 145.802.5 145.198.5 -0.604
> 8 145.800.0 145.200.0 -0.600
> 9 145.798.5 145.202.5 -0.596
> Usage Example:
> Lets assume ISS ALPHA is approaching for a good 10 minute over head
> pass, running Packet.  When ISS ALPHA comes over the horizon the Doppler
> frequency error will initially be 3.5k plus 145.990 = 145.993.5.  This
> means the frequency ISS ALPHA will appear to be transmitting on is
> 145.993.5.  Set your radio to channel #4 for the first 3 minutes of the
> pass.  Then for the next 3 minutes use channel #5 and for the last three
> minutes use channel #6.  Follow the same procedure for Voice
> operations.  Since we are using the Mode FM, we do not have to have our
> Transmit and receive frequency exactly on frequency. We can be off
> frequency 1-2khz and still get reliable Voice and Data.  The MAREX-NA
> team has been using this procedure for 10 years with excellent results.
> QSL card:
> A QSL card is a post card, which you can request to confirm you made a
> two-way or heard the crew on the Amateur Radio band.  The QSL procedure
> for ISS ALPHA is under development, please check the AIRSS web pages for
> the latest updates and QSL procedures for ISS ALPHA.
> http://arISS Alpha.gsfc.nasa.gov/
> Copyright 2000 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
> freely distributed via the following means - Email (including
> listservers), Usenet, and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for
> profit including, but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other
> commercial outlets without prior written consent from the author.
> Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space
> Station Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed,
> without prior permission.
> ----
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