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Mir Amateur Radio Status Feb 22, 1998





Mir Amateur Radio Status Feb 22, 1998
by Miles Mann WF1F, Mirex Director of Educational Resources
PMS:
The 2 Meter PMS is back on Line.  The crew on Mir, had some free time from
there very busy
schedules are were able to reconfigure a few of the basic TNC settings.
As I had mentioned earlier, the CD command and a few other commands had
been reset.  The CD
command prevented anyone from accessing the Mail box reliably.  The Mir
crew was able
to make several adjustments and put the PMS back on line last Saturday.
The PMS was then put into Sysop Mode to allow the System Operators to
upload the remainder of
the Mir specific TNC settings.
While the PMS is in Sysop Mode, only the System Operators will be able to
access the PMS.  The PMS will
ignore all other call signs, including Unproto messages.
Please understand this is a temporary status for approximately 1 week.
We want to make sure all of the TNC parameters have been adjusted properly
for maximum performance.
If all systems check out fine, the PMS will be switched to Public mode on
March 2, 1998.
Current frequency will be 145.985 fm simplex
Initial checkout:
On Saturday evening, the crew finished the basic changes and put the PMS on
line for a few hours.  Several
of the timing parameters were still off, and connections were difficult.
On Sunday Mirex requested the system be left on all day/night for
additional debugging.  I logged in early Sunday
and began to fix several of the Defaulted parameters.
AXDelay was 100 ms, change to 150 ms
TXDelay was 100 ms, changed to  200 ms
Maxframe was 1 , changed to 3
Paclen was 255, changed to 72
This was just a partial list of changes.  The Mir Kentwood TM-733 Requires
a total of 300 ms delay before
sending any real data.  The combination of AX and TX delays will generate a
350 ms delay with a 150 ms
of Idle tones, which will help wake up your ground station receiver.
New Features of the KPC-9612 Plus
1.   Check:
This is a new feature which will help reduce the amount of idle mail box
time.  How many times did u
see the PMS fly by, and no one could log in because the connected station
was out of range?
The old PMS required 7 minutes to time out, when the connected station went
out of range.  The
new PMS has an adjustable timer.  The new system is set for 120 seconds.
After you connect, if your
station is idle for more than 120 seconds, the TNC will begin disconnect
from your station.
This feature will free up the TNC much faster than the old version.
2.   Remote SysOp access
This is a big time saving feature.  Before, if we needed to get any
parameter changed, it always required the
intervention of the Mir crew.  To schedule crew time, required expensive
phone calls and faxes to Moscow. The crew time is very precious, and the
Amateur Radio station should not be intrusive into their schedules.
This feature is already being used to fine tune the TNC settings.
3.   More memory
The old modem had 13k of memory for Mail storage.  The new modem has 100k
of memory just for Mails messages.
4.   Dual speed support.
This modem supports both 9600 and 1200 baud data rates.  The 1200 baud rate
will be the primary rate.
The 9600 speed will be reserved for special testing at a later date.
Mirex believes that the Mir Station is the best place for beginners around
the world to experiment.  Mir is
the most popular Amateur Radio Satellite in the world.  The reason for it
success is because Mir is so easy
to use.  2-meter FM Mono Band 1200 baud packet is very easy to use and
inexpensive to implement.
When we do start testing 9600 baud, it will be only for short published
duration?s.  We will always bring
the system back to 1200 baud FM Mono Band for the rest of the world.
5.   Software Adjustable Audio Levels.
With the new Kantronics KPC-9612 Plus, we have the ability to remotely
adjust Packet Audio levels
in the TNC.  Here is where you can help.  If you have a service monitor and
are able to monitor the Mir Packet.
I would be interested in hearing from professionals who can analyze the
packet signal coming from Mir.
The  goal is to fine tune the Packet down link audio level to the best
level.
The system was tuned in the lab, however, the radio on Mir may be slightly
different than the Kenwood TM-733 used during the setup.
Mirex would like the stations monitoring the PMS to please be patient while
we make adjustments.
Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:
Mir 24 (Going home crew)
Commander Anatoly Solovyev (depart feb 19 )
Flight Engineer Pavel Vinogradov (depart feb 19 )
Mir 25 (New arrivals)
Talgat Musabayev RO3FT
Nikolai Budarin  RV3DB and R4MIR.
Frenchman Leopold Eyharts (depart feb 19 )
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
projects.
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
following:
     http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm  OR
     http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex
     http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex.htm  OR
     http://www.geocities.com/~ik1sld/mirex
Some stations have had problems using the some of the URL aliases, if so,
try the long
version of the home page address
     http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/3431/mirex.htm
Miles WF1F









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