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RE: Packet and the ISS



Hello Tim

> How can I use my packet station to communicate with the ISS.  I have a 5w
> packet radio and a MFJ 1270B TNC, I am running into a 3/8 ground plane on
> 2m. I have seen several people mentioning using packet and the ISS, but I
> must have missed how to set it up

I just worked this one out with a lot of help from Maggie & Tony...

There's lots of other smart software about, but I just used a terminal
emulator, so here goes:

You need to be able to transmit on 145.990 and receive on 145.800 -
hopefully you have a radio which can do this, either using a Split function
or an odd repeater offset. Full duplex isn't necessary (and would be very
tough to do anyway).

Hopefully your setup already works on the terrestrial 1200 AFSK network. You
have your callsign set up in the TNC and all's working hunky dorey.

At the cmd: prompt on your TNC run the command

 cmd: UNPROTO CQ VIA NOCALL

and then

 cmd: PASSALL ON

and then when ISS floats overhead, you're ready to fire off..

 cmd: CONV

You're now in converse mode and each line you type is fired off to the ISS,
and hopefully you hear and see something coming back. There's no cmd: prompt
in this mode. To get back to the TNC's command prompt, press Ctrl+C. Here's
my first ISS QSO this evening...

  CT1ELE>CQ,NOCALL*:hello

  London calling
  G6LVB>CQ,NOCALL*:London calling

  Hello CT1ELE
  G6LVB>CQ,NOCALL*:Hello CT1ELE

  Greetings from London
  Greetings From London
  CT1ETE>CQ,NOCALL*:hello hw r u ?

  CT1ETE Very well thank you
  CT1ETE>CQ,NOCALL*:hello hw r u ?

  G6LVB>CQ,NOCALL*:CT1ETE Very well thank you

  how r u?
  G6LVB>CQ,NOCALL*:how r u?

You'll see not all frames are repeated back. As these are UI frames, there's
no guarantteed delivery, as this would inevitably fill up the channel with
acknowledgement and retry packets.

I believe normal etiquette is to exchange locators etc, but so far I've only
seen two stations other than myself on the ISS over here in Europe, a chat
seems to be the order of the day in lieu of having no idea what we should be
doing.

I understand the NOCALL is because the TNC lost it's memory and had a cold
reset having been in an antistatic bag for a couple of years.

Even the YL was slightly impressed, although she might have been putting on
a brave face. I could have told here it was alien information from the
planet Zog and she'd have been equally excited. ;-)

73 Howard G6LVB

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