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Re: ISS Packet

At 23:55 02/12/2001 -0600, Jon Ogden wrote:
>Also, I believe the ham radio equipment shares antennas right now with the
>ISS communications system.  Until next month, the ISS will not use the TDRSS
>to communicate to earth.  It's all space to ground.  So if they need to make
>official contacts while over North America, I doubt they want to mess around
>with changing antennas and so forth.

This is not correct. The situation at this time is as follows. The
wonderful multiband antennas built for ARISS by AMSAT Italy have not
been installed yet. This requires an EVA and EVA time is in great demand.
In the mean time we have "found" other antennas to use. The Functional
Cargo Block (FGB) has one side of an automatic docking system that was
intended for docking the Service Module to it. The service module is
of course now docked and so the automatic docking system will never
be needed again. That system has two canted whips on the outside of the
FGB and it operated on about 149 MHz. Close enough for government work!
We have negotiated for the use of those antennas and a new panel that brings
the feedline out to an accessible connector has been installed. These 
antennas are now permanently available for ham operations. The other
antennas will be installed on the service module later this year.

Ron, wa4sir 

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