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Mir Amateur Radio Status Dec 14, 1998

Mir Amateur Radio Status:  Dec 14, 1998

SSTV is On line

by Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

The SSTV system went on line Saturday December 12 at 15:58 utc.
I have been working with the crew all week, finalizing the numerous cable
The SSTV system was initially installed in the PRIRODA module.
During testing on December 8,9 and 10, we had problems with an extra filter
which was IN-Line on
the Antenna cable.  The extra filter was blocking all 70 cm transmissions.
Because of the
locations of the filter, it was not easy to remove the cables and wire
around the filter.
It was deiced for several reason to conduct the initial testing on the
2-meter band 145.985, rather
than the announced 70 cm 437.975 frequency.
I apologize for the last minute change in frequency.  After everyone is
fully versed in the operations we do expect to switch to a dual band
configuration with both the PMS and
the SSTV working at the same time on different bands.

Current Schedule:
For the short term you should still check both channels, 145.985 and
The crew has been using SSTV in their day time (Moscow Time) and switching
to PMS at night.  I am
not sure how long this pattern will continue.
I hope you will all be supportive and patient while the Mir crew
experiments with their
new educational tool.

RX Signal:
The strength of the down link signals has been much better than we had
The SSTV system was designed to be easy for beginners on earth to use.
A station with a zero gain antenna and a simple HT or Mobile radio, should
be able
to easily decode at least one image per 10 minute pass.  The signals have
been so good
that many people with zero gain antennas have been decoding 2-3 good images
per 10 minute pass.

Uplink Days:
The SSTV system is capable of sending and receiving SSTV images.  Most of
the time
the system is in Automatic mode, specifically designed to Send only.  You
can tell when
the SSTV is in Automatic, because it will send out the R0MIR ID before each
On special days, we will announce UP-LINK days in advance.  The crew will
be monitoring
the SSTV system looking for people to send them images.
We are also planning on using the SSTV during the upcoming school schedules
with Mir.
Now for the first time the Mir crew will be able to see the students
talking to them.
Due to the simplicity of the SSTV system, it is not designed to SAVE
images.  Any images
received are erased by the very next image.

SSTV Receiving Software:
There are SSTV software  and hardware decoders on the market
If you are just starting, you may want to try a software version first.
I am currently using W95SSTV.
I was pleased with the ease of use and quick setup.


SPOUTNIK 41 or RS-18
It is sad to say, but the talkative RS-18 went silent right on schedule
around December 10.
However, there will be another in the spring.

For more information about the RS-18 project, please check out the
Amsat-France Web page and
follow the links to the Sputnik


Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:

Current Crew
SOYUZ TM-28 arrived at Mir on August 16. Mir Soyuz TM-28 crew consisted of
Sergei Avdeyev, Gennadiy Padalko and Yuri Baturin.  (Sergei and Gennadiy
both received training on the MAREX-NA SSTV system in Star City).

Web Page information:
For information about the MAREX-NA SSTV project, check the web page at:


For general information about some of the Mir Projects, check the web page

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

Tracking Mir and Sputnik

The best way to track satellites is to get access to a good satellite
tracking program.
There are numerous programs on the market, both for sale and share ware.

The best place for current satellite position date (Kep

) data is at the
CelesTrak web page http://celestrak.com/

Copyright 1998 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
freely distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
Usenet, and WorldWideWeb.  It may not be reproduced for profit including,
but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without
prior written consent from the author.

Miles WF1F