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HOW TO WORK R0MIR-1



TO: sarex@amsat.org

                                                          

                         HOW TO WORK R0MIR-1



 The MIR Space Station is currently orbiting the earth about every
95 minutes while traveling at roughly 17,000 MPH. Due to the fact
that MIR is a moving object, and radio frequencies being involved
here, Doppler corrections may be needed. On the 2 meter band, the 
Doppler is a maximim of 3.5 khz on a pass directly overhead (90 degrees).
On a pass say 10 degrees above the horizion, the Doppler is small
about 1 khz. This can be a very important factor in working the packet
Personal Message System. This is because packets may become distorted.
Here are some items to look at in your station for sucessful attempts.

Note: Doppler on 2 meters is really not too valid unless there will be
a pass in excess of 45 degrees or so above you horizion. Your milage
will vary.

1. LOCATION

 If you are in a bad location where it might be difficult to get
a signal out, you might be limited to the number of passes that
you can work. You might want to look into a simple 1/4 wave 2 meter
groundplane. This antenna has a good lobe looking up. (pre-amp suggested)
Another common antenna is a J pole, and is a good antenna for this.
If you are in the clear to your horizions, you have it made. 
However, Doppler and antenna type will be your disadvantage.
For the average HAM station running say a 50 watt radio, and a J pole
antenna has a great advantage on MIR passes that are up to about
20 degrees above the horizion! Doppler isn't a real consideration
and your antenna pattern is ideal for something up to 20 degrees
above the horizion, or a bit more! Most radios will work, and no
frequency corrections are needed. Doppler up on UHF is around 10 KHZ
and Doppler compensation is needed! A MUST for SAFEX II or any UHF
satellite operations.

Note: SAFEX II repeater is semi operational.
437.950rx/435.750tx PL 141.3

2. TRACKING

 You will need some satellite tracking software to know when and where
MIR will be in your area. There is alot of tracking software available
on the internet. I use STSPLUS, and have for over 12 years. Keplerian
information on MIR and other satellites is updated twice weekly, and can
be found on your local BBS.

3. FREQUENCY

 The frequency is 145.985 SIMLPEX World Wide. (1200 baud packet and Voice)

Note: This frequency is subject to change. Look for MIREX UPDATES!

4. PACKET WISE

 If you are not familar with packet connections or mailboxes, do some
expermentations on the ground first before trying to operate MIR.
The TNC on MIR is a Kantronics KPC-9612+ V 8.1 and is operating at
1200 baud ONLY. Here is the HELP that you would get on R0MIR-1 when
using the Help (H) command.

B(ye)         PBBS WILL DISCONNECT
E(dit) n [BPTYNFH] [>tocall] [<fromcall] [@BBS] "old" "new"
H(elp)        THIS LIST!
J(heard)      CALLSIGNS WITH DAYSTAMP
J S(hort)     HEARD CALLSIGNS ONLY
J L(ong)      CALLSIGNS WITH DAYSTAMP AND VIAS
L [x [y]] [;] LIST MESSAGES x THRU y YOU CAN READ
L <|> call    LIST MESSAGES FROM OR TO CALL
LB            LIST BULLETINS
LC [cat]      LIST CATEGORIES
LL n          LIST LAST n MESSAGES
LM(ine)       LIST UNREAD MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
LO [+|-]      LISTING ORDER
LT            LIST TRAFFIC
LTn           DISPLAY LOCATION TEXT n=1-4
K(ill) n      DELETE MESSAGE NUMBER n
KM(ine)       DELETE ALL READ MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
R(ead) n      DISPLAY MESSAGE NUMBER n
RH n          DISPLAY MESSAGE n WITH HEADERS
RM(ine)       READ ALL MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
S(end) call   SEND MESSAGE TO callsign
S[B|P|T] call SEND BULLETIN, PRIVATE, or TRAFFIC

Please don't use the Help command on MIR. This is STANDARD to MOST
TNC's and doing so just limits the use of MIR by other stations.

**** There can only be ONE user connected to R0MIR-1 at a time. ****

5. BE PREPARED
 
 If you wish to send a message to the crew, have a file of message READY
to go! What I usually do is make a message to R0MIR BEFORE I even send it.
On my KPC-9612, I get in my mailbox, and SP R0MIR@MIR Then enter the
subject and then the message. When MIR is in range, and the mailbox is
not being used, I forward the message. My TNC talks to MIR's TNC and
goes through the forwarding process. This is ALOT quicker! I send 3.7K
of info in one minute! This includes the connect to disconnect time.
Consult YOUR TNC users manual for forwarding mail to a station.
---------------

HINTS:

PLEASE WAIT FOR A <<D>> FRAME FROM R0MIR-1 TO THE CURRENTLY CONNECTED
STATION BEFORE YOU TRY A CONNECTION!

Most TNC's use the command MCOM ON to see ALL frame headers.
Consult your TNC user manual for more information.
cmd: MCOM ON

eg. R0MIR-1>WA6LIE [06/21/98 01:00:24]: <<rr2>>: (This is what my tnc shows)
R0MIR-1>W6XXX [06/21/98 01:00:30]: <<DM>>: (This station is QRMing)
R0MIR-1>K6XXX [06/21/98 01:00:34]: <<DM>>: (This station is ALSO QRMing)

WHY? R0MIR-1 hasn't yet finished with WA6LIE, thus still connected!

The <<D>> is a disconnect request from R0MIR-1 (To connected station ONLY)
At this time, you MIGHT be able to connect to R0MIR-1 IF the connected
station has already send his <<D>> request.

R0MIR-1>WA6LIE [06/21/98 01:00:45]: <<D>>: (NOW R0MIR-1 is DONE with WA6LIE)

A <<DM>> commonly seen is a "Disconnect" sent to a station.
We call this DM City! In otherwords, NO PERSON is doing ANYTHING EXCEPT
getting Disconnected! This is seen when stations are trying to connect to 
R0MIR-1 when there is ALREADY a user CONNECTED!
THIS IS THE MAIN CONTRIBUTATION TO QRM AND FAILURES of those that are
connected, or trying to connect, or send/read mail!

EXAMPLE:

If I were on a high speed highway, and STOPPED in the middle of the
road to see where I was at, I would become a traffic hazzard. Others
would honk their horns and give obscene gestures. Someone else will
rearend me, and cause a major accident and close down the road.
IF I had been aware of where I was at, and where I was going, there
would be no incident, and everything would FLOW NORMALLY!

Bottom line: LOOK,THINK and LISTEN FIRST!

Don't try to send a message to your buddy down the street to MIR's
PERSONAL Mailbox. It will NOT allow 3rd party messages. If you try,
you will get a response - MESSAGES MUST BE ADDRESSED TO THIS STATION.
Please Don't connect to your buddies MAILBOX OR HOME STATION Via
the MIR digipeater! This is like you and your buddy going down the 
highway at the same speed chit-chatting - IMPEEDING TRAFFIC!

** IF you can run your radio squelch open (using CD SOFTWARE KPC only),
you will increase your odds of decoding the signal.
Consult your Kantronics manual for more information.
--------------

6. BE COURTEOUS

 See #5 above, and apply here.

Again, please don't try connecting to R0MIR-1 when someone else is already
connected! You will get a R0MIR-1 **BUSY. When you get this, don't
keep trying while others are connected. This just messes up the other
station, and it is interference and will just take that much LONGER
for the user to finish before he/she disconnects. Would you like
others interfering with your connects to MIR? Look for the <<D>> frame
from R0MIR-1 to the connected station. Using MCOM ON will allow you
to see all these packets. Here is what MY KPC-9612 would show.

R0MIR-1>WA6LIE/1 [05/13/98 22:18:04]: <<D>>:

After you see this, hopefully, the ground station has sent his/her
disconnect to R0MIR-1, and it will be ready for the next connect.
-----------------

R0MIR
This is the callsign of MIR. This port has no value to working MIR
except credit towards a QSL card. There is nobody at the keyboard.

Note: Sometimes a connection to R0MIR will roll over to the mailbox.
This is set by the sysop, if the crew sends their script file you will
get a message:  HELLO FROM MIR SPACE STATION
-----------------

DIGIPEATING VIA R0MIR

Using UI frames (unconnected informational) is very effecient.
APRS uses this mode to send alot of information without having 
a formal connection to a station. To do this, you must set your
Unproto path. In the command mode cmd: type U CQ Via R0MIR
There are other variations that can be used like U CM96BX Via R0MIR.
This shows my grid square via R0MIR. To use the unproto mode, you
next have to get into the converse mode. The letter K <enter> works
on KPC tncs, and may work on yours. If not, type CONVERSE. Now,
EVERY line you type will be digipeated via MIR. Try something like,

Hello from Scott in Aptos, Calif. wa6lie@juno.com

R0MIR should have digipeated this, and if it does, you will see
your line appear on the screen with an astrik after R0MIR(*)

DO NOT use R0MIR for formal connects to other stations!
Use the digipeater as described above to send your short messages.
---------------

QSL REQUESTS USA and WW except Europe:

Dave Larsen - N6CO
PO Box 311
Pine Grove, California
95665
USA

Please include a SASE (Business Size Envelope) and two IRCs > for
international. If you are sending an IRC, Please make sure it is dated
1998, as the post office won't accept IRC's dated over 1 year old.
Make sure the cancel stamp is in the right place on the IRC.
"Green Stamps" (USA ONLY) are apreciated for covering additional costs.

European QSLs To:
Radio Club "F5KAM - QSL Manger de "R0MIR"
" Carrefour International de la Radio"
22, Rue BANSAC - 63000 - CLERMONT-FERRAND - FRANCE

with a self-adressed envelope, and two 1998 IRC coupons.
------------------------------------

MIREX WEB SITE INFORMATION

Additional information can be found at the MIREX web site at:

http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm
- or -
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/3431/mirex.htm


If you have any questions, drop me a note!

73, Scott

E-Mail: wa6lie@juno.com
Packet: wa6lie@wa6lie.#wcca.ca.usa.noam

updated 10/98

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