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Mir Amateur Radio Status Feb 10, 1998

Mir Amateur Radio Status Feb 10, 1998
by Miles Mann WF1F, Mirex Director of Educational Resources


The Mir Personal Message System (PMS) is still not configured properly.
The existing parameter
configuration is preventing reliable access to the Mail box section of the
The TNC thinks the channel is always busy.  This is because of an incorrect
Carrier Detect parameter.
The TNC is set for Internal Detect.  The radio is providing a small but
constant energy level to the TNC.
The TNC thinks this means the channel is busy.  The correct parameter
should have been ?Software Detect?.
This correct value would cause the TNC to listen specifically for Mark and
Space tones to determine if the
channel is busy.  If you connect to the PMS mail box, the TNC will attempt
to send you back an
acknowledgment.  However since the TNC thinks the channel is busy, it will
wait 1-4 minutes for
the channel to clear.  Since the channel will never be clear, an internal
timer forces the TNC to dump
all stored acknowledgments, etc.  Normally the acknowledgment would be
returned to the connecting station in
1-3 seconds. Yes it is possible to connect to the mail box port (R0MIR-1),
but you will not be able
to up load any messages.  I  would recommend that stations do not attempt
to use the mail box
at this time.
Mirex would like the stations monitoring the PMS to please be patient while
we make adjustments.

However the Digital Repeater mode is currently turned on, and is some-what

Below is a copy of a previous Unproto bulletin.  Since the Mail box is not
functions, I would
suggest that stations try to used the Unproto option.  There will be some
noticeable limitations.
When you send a message via unproto, the retransmission of you packet may
be delayed 1-4 minutes.

I have been successfully using Unproto, to make HF radio schedules with
stations all around north America.
WF1F>CQ,R0MIR*/V [04/21/97  22:22:09]: <UI>:
WF1F Listening on 3.830

What  this  means,  is that I have Just bounced a message off the Mir Digi,
and everyone within 1000 mile radius
of   Mir   could   see  this  message.   If  monitoring  stations  have  HF
capabilities, then they would tune to
3.830     Mc and join in on an impromptu meeting with other satellite

Previous Memo
The Mir PMS (Personal Mail System) also supports the Digital repeating mode
called  UnProto.  I am not going to get into too much detail about UnProto,
for  more  information  check  Amateur  radio hand books and back issues of
Amateur  Radio  magazine.   Basically  UnProto  is  a way of sending packet
messages  without requiring an acknowledgment from the other station.  This
mode  is  similar to RTTY in that, you can have several stations in one big
QSO  at the same time.  Set your UnProto command in your TNC, on my KAM the
syntax  is  "U  CQ V R0MIR".  Then switch to Converse mode (enter K at cmd:
prompt).   Now everything you type will be transmitted in UnProto Mode.  If
the  Mir station hears your transmission, the Mir PMS Digi will rebroadcast
your  information  with  a  range  of over a 1000 miles.   Below is a short
UnProto between a station in Massachusetts and Alabama, using the Mir Digi.
The stations were arranging to meet on Oscar 13 when the Mir pass was over.

WF1F>CQ,R0MIR*/V [04/21/93  22:22:09]: <UI>:
hi Tim can you work OSCAR 13?

N8DEU>CQ,R0MIR*/V [04/21/93  22:22:30]: <<UI>>:
Hi miles, yes what freq?

WF1F>CQ,R0MIR*/V [04/21/93  22:22:40]: <UI>:

The  UnProto mode does not guarantee you message will ever be heard, but if
the  Mir  Digi  does rebroadcast your line of text, then you can be assured
that  someone  saw  it.  The line of text you send will be repeated with an
Asterisk after it, ?R0MIR*/?.  If you do not see the Asterisk, then Mir did
not hear your packet.  UnProto does have its drawbacks, but it is much more
efficient  to  use  on  Mir  than  the  Direct two-way connect method. Full
two-way  packet  connects  via the Mir PMS are not recommended because they
use  up too much resources and excessive ?Retires?.  Before you try Unproto
on  Mir,  I  recommend that you practice on a Terrestrial Digi first before
attempting  to  use  the  Mir station for Digi-repeating. If you make a few
UnProto  calls  and  do  not  get  any echo's back from Mir, it is probably
because  UnProto  is  turned off or because of a collision. Also there is a
good time and a bad time to use the UnProto mode with Mir PMS.
Do not use UnProto when:
1. The Mir crew is operating in Voice mode.
2.   When the Mir PMS is connected to another station that is actively
sending/receiving information from the PBBS.

The  only  real  safe  time to use UnProto, is when the Mir PMS is in its 5
minute  time-out  mode.  This time-out is caused when the station connected
to  the  Mir PMS is out of range and cannot log out of Mir.  No one can log
into PMS Mail box until the connected station times out.  Time-outs are the
best time to use UnProto.  Before using UnProto, monitor Mir?s down link to
see  who  is using the PMS Mail box port ?R0MIR-1?.  If you do not seen any
Index  packets  from  Mir  PMS to the ground station using to the ?R0MIR-1?
port  for  90 seconds, you can assume the connected station is out of range
of the Mir PMS and its ?UnProto time?.
The  shorter  the  Unproto  sentence,  the  greater  your success of  a PMS
repeat.  Long sentences may get clobbered by other stations.  If you are in
the  middle  of  an Unproto QSO and you see someone connect to the PMS Mail
box  ?R0MIR-1?,  you should end your Unproto QSO and let the Mail box users
have access to the PMS.

Good luck and lets be courteous to everyone.

1 16609U 86017A   98040.18561453  .00005883  00000-0  71781-4 0  2319
2 16609  51.6585 333.4975 0004686 358.6560   1.4439 15.62076878684037
1 17845U 87030A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  2943
2 17845  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894618098
1 20335U 89093A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  1480
2 20335  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894467100
1 20635U 90048A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  9405
2 20635  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894437931
1 23579U 95024A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  9033
2 23579  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894155411
1 23848U 96023A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  5892
2 23848  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894102502
Soyuz TM-26
1 24886U 97038A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0  1810
2 24886  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894 29255
Progress M-37
1 25102U 97081A   98040.18760422  .00008870  00000-0  10638-3 0   496
2 25102  51.6577 333.5089 0004127  13.2413 346.8695 15.61774508  7958
Soyuz TM-27
1 25146U 98004A   98039.86574083 -.00010796  00000-0 -11507-3 0   172
2 25146  51.6592 335.1129 0004997 356.0515   4.0423 15.62058894  1604

Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:

Mir 24 (Going home crew)
Commander Anatoly Solovyev
Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov
They are scheduled to be replaced by another cosmonaut crew on Feb 1 with:

Mir 25 (New arrivals)
Talgat Musabayev RO3FT
Nikolai Budarin  RV3DB and R4MIR.
Frenchman Leopold Eyharts (3 week stay)

David Wolf has been replaced  by Andy Thomas  kd5chf
The Russian replacement crew has docked with Mir.  The two crews (a total
of 6 people) will live on Mir for
proximally 3 weeks.  Crew 24 will return to earth with Leopold Eyharts
later this month.

Shuttle schedule:
The next shuttle docking Mission is currently scheduled for May 28, 1998

VHF DCI Filter update.
Please check out the Mirex web pages for pending and proposed Mirex

MIREX has created an Internet Web page containing information regarding Mir
and the various Amateur Radio experiments proposed for the space station.
The pages are still "under construction", but some good information can be
gathered from what has been put together so far.  URLs include the

     http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm  OR

     http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex.htm  OR

Some stations have had problems using the some of the URL aliases, if so,
try the long
version of the home page address


Miles WF1F