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Mir Amateur Radio Status Dec 17, 1998





Mir Amateur Radio Status:  Dec 17, 1998

SSTV is On line

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

MAREX-NA SSTV
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
connections.
The SSTV system is currently  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 is an extra filter was is
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.  After reviewing the information, the
Energia team has told the crew not to remove the filter, so we are limited
to only 2-meter access from the Priroda module.

Current Schedule for Packet PMS and SSTV:
The crew will be keeping  both projects on 145.985 FM Simplex for the next
few weeks.
Only one project will be active at a time, either the Packet PMS or the
SSTV.
The crew will, as time permits, turn on one system then after a period of
time, switch
over to the other system.    These changes are only made during the crews
free time.
It is not possible to develop an exact schedule announcing the times for
each project.
The people wanting to use Packet and SSTV will just need to be a little
understanding
and patient.  The Mir crew and the team at Energia have put a great amount
of effort
into supporting our educational Amateur Radio projects.
And I know the world appreciates all of the hard work they have invested.

The switching between the two projects is excepted to continue until after
the holidays.
Then the hardware situation and work load will be evaluated to see if we
can get access
to a different antenna.

Mir Video:
The crew has been having a lot of fun with the new educational SSTV system.
They have been experimenting with all different types of cameras and
Camcorders.
You may even see the crew playing video tapes into the SSTV system.  The
SSTV video
is compatible with most of the equipment on Mir, and the crew has even made
a long
extension cable to allow the camera to be in the Mir module, while the SSTV
is located
in the Priroda module.

Mir Module:
The Russian space station is made up of 6 modules, Mir, Kavant-1, Kavant-2,
Kristall, Spektr and Priroda.  The SSTV and PMS stations are in the Priroda
module.  There is also an Amateur Radio antenna located in the Mir module.
This antenna has not been tested since it was replaced
with a new antenna last summer.  The old antenna cracked from exposure to
space and was removed in December 1997.  The Mir antenna is a dual band
antenna, supporting 2 meters and 70 cm.  It is possible that if space can
be made available in the Mir module, then the PMS and SSTV projects could
be moved into the Mir module.  This options is being investigated.

Power Supply:
The PMS and SSTV Amateur Radio stations are all running off one 150 watt
power supply.  The power supply is
a special space certified 28 to 12 volt DC to DC converter.  The original
plan was to have each radio on its own power supply.  Unfortunately for
political reasons, the club chosen to make the power supplies has refused
to deliver the completed power supplies.  So we are a little short on power
supplies.  It is possible to run both radios at the same time from one
supply,  just as long as the radio stay on the low power setting.  However
Energia wants a greater safety margin and does not want to use one supply
for both radios.  They said, it is better to run one radio at a time
than risk damaging a power supply, then there would be no Amateur Radio.
Until we resolve the power supply issue, there will only be ONE radio on at
a time, either
the PMS or the SSTV.

MAREX is looking for a reputable club willing to take on a Power supply
project.
If you club has the time, money and experience to develop space certified
28 to 12 volt converters
for future Amateur Radio projects, we are interested in hearing from you.

RX Signal:
The strength of the down link signals has been much better than we had
anticipated.
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.

SSTV Receiving Software:
There are several SSTV software and hardware decoders on the market.  Some
you can buy
while other are shareware.
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.

Web pages:
The new MAREX-NA SSTV web is under construction.
In the mean time check out these webs for Mir SSTV images

http://www.siliconpixels.com/W95SSTV/w95dload.htm

 http://www.interlog.com/~stevef/mirsstv.htm
http://www.idcomm.com/personal/n0vse,
http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/aprn.html


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:

http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Hangar/7355/sstv_proj.htm

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

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

Tracking Mir

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



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