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Mir Amateur Radio / Survey, Feb 1, 1999

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

Current Schedule for Packet PMS and SSTV:
The Mir crew had time to switch on the SSTV this weekend and left it
running all day Sunday.  Station all around the word has access to some
very good pictures, looking out from a few different windows of the Prioida
module.  I have seen a few good pictures of the great lakes in North

The SSTV picture quality will be directly affected by the amount light and
the angle of the sun light.  The PictureTel Flip-Cam has a built in
Auto-IRS to automatically adjust the light input.  However, sometimes there
can be still too much or too little light.  When there is too much light,
the image will become blurry. When there is no sun at all, you will see a
dark screen with a few random specks of color.
As Mir flies around the world, the lighting conditions will be constantly
changing.  Mir will spend approximately 50% of it time in the sun light.
Window pictures fall in to three basic categories:
Sun on Mir and Earth (Best pictures)
Sun on Mir only (Sometimes good shots of sun sets against the solar panels)
NO Sun at all. (Black images, with a few random color spots)

If you decode some of these No Sun Black images, don

ít worry , there is
nothing wrong with your equipment.  There is just No sun to light up the
scene.  Most tracking programs will tell you
if the satellite, Mir is being Lit by the sun.  Use your tracking program
to help you predict which
pictures will be good ones.  You should also make a note of where Mir was
located just as the
Morse code ID begins.

The crew will be keeping  both projects on 145.985 FM Simplex for the next
few months.
We do not have access to the 70cm antenna at this time and we do not have
power supplies to run both projects simultaneously.

Only one project will be active at a time, either the Packet PMS or the
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
and patient.
And I know the world appreciates all of the hard work they have invested.

Future Schedule:
I am interested hearing from the general public about your desires for the
future SSTV schedule.
The representatives at Energia asked MAREX-NA if we were interested in
running  the SSTV for a fully month of contiguous access.  Personally I
think a full month may be too long, because we do have a lot of packet
supporters of the Mir PMS.
(Reminder:  Power supply and antenna limitations
are currently preventing us from running both projects at the same time).

>From the Emails I have seen and the great amount of press the MAREX-NA SSTV
is generating, it seems we should try a longer experiment of SSTV to give
more people around the world time to get their systems tuned up for SSTV
What I would like to propose to Energia, is that we run SSTV continuously
for two week straight. Then switch back to the weekend schedule (Packet
weekdays, SSTV weekends)

If you have time, could you please fill out this short survey form, and
then cut/past and return
just the survey portion by February 8, 1999.

Call Sign: (optional)
Licensed Amateur Radio station (Yes/No)
Have you received any Mir SSTV Images by radio (Yes/No)
How many days a week would you like to see SSTV From Mir (0-7)
Are you in favor of a two week Full time SSTV test (Yes/No)


Web pages, SSTV software pages.

John Langner , Pasokcon and others


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.  (Sergei and Gennadiy both received
training on the MAREX-NA SSTV system in Star City).

Web Page information:
The new MAREX-NA SSTV web is under construction but is now ON line, check
it out.


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

Copyright 1999 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.
Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space Station
are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior

Miles WF1F