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Mir Status June 20, 1999 Voice Contacts and qsl info





Mir Amateur Radio Status: June 20, 1999

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

SSTV Update from Mir crew:
Over the weekend MAREX-NA engineer Miles Mann was able to have a short
conversation
with French Cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere on board the Russian Space station
Mir (June 20, 1999, 15:58 UTC).  During the conversation, Miles asked
Jean-Pierre
 about the Mir crews work-load and about the status of the MAREX-NA SSTV system
 and other Amateur Radio projects.  Jean-Pierres response was that the Mir crew
was very busy with their normal experiments and that they would try to connect
 the SSTV system when they have some free time.  The Mir crew has been making
random voice contacts around the world, and many of the ground stations have
been
 asking Jean-Pierre the same question [when will you be able to see some more
SSTV
images and how do I QSL].  Jean-Pierre stated the primary reason we have not
seen
SSTV is because the two windows are not currently aligned to see earth and one
of
 the windows is very dirty.

Here is a partial transcript of the conversation:

Miles:  How is the camera working, are you having any problems with the
equipment
or the camera?

Jean-Pierre:   PictureTel camera is working perfectly but it is showing picture
of
nothing of about anything but the picture before it, which we cannot do all
of the orbit going before it, which we cannot see all of the orbit going.
Miles, did you understand that, say again.

Miles:  Is the system getting stuck sending the wrong image?

Jean-Pierre:   No,  the camera works but  in the automatic mode it shows
what  is before
it and since camera is on other side of station it doesn't show nothing.
It doesn't show astronauts, it doesn't show essence (?), it just shows end
of Priroda which is almost nothing , I mean.

(Miles: What Jean-Pierre means, is that when the camera is taking pictures of
 out the window, the windows are pointed out to space currently.  So all you
would see would be repeated shots of Black images and maybe a star once and a
while.
Until the Station is reoriented, there is not much to see out the window at this
 time.
When the camera is pointed into the Priroda module, there is not too much to
see, because
the Mir crew is usually in the Mir-Base-Block module.  The crew only visits the
Priroda module once and a while.  So if the crew left the camera constantly
taking pictures of the Priroda module, it would get a little boring seeing the
 same image over and over again.  At least that's their opinion.  I know many
people who would still love to see any image decoded live on their
SSTV system from Mir, even it is a repeat.)

 Miles:  I under stand its all working good.

Jean-Pierre:   Yes, everything working perfectly but there is one mode that is
not
working to record picture of ground or pointing to crew during dinner and
then would send same picture all the time all around the world, do you
understand that?

(Miles: The current MAREX-NA SSTV system was specifically designed NOT to
 use a computer interface.  The big limitation, is the crew can not Save images
 from Earth, nor can the
crew plug in their JPEG digital camera and send snap shots to earth and repeat
 images.
MAREX-NA is working on a PC version which will meet the new requirements of SSTV
for the International Space Station.)

Miles, I explained about the current limitation to Jean-Pierre:

Jean-Pierre:   yes, you understand that the camera is next to the station as
 I said at
the end of the station and since we are not standing in front  of the
camera all the time most of the time we switch to the automatic mode then
it is just an empty room.

Miles:  Can we see anything out the windows?
     Yes, but to tell you the truth the window here , we have the window next
to the station in the Priroda is indeed dirty and when the sun is shinning
on the window it puts a blank picture because of all the stuff which is on
the window and if we use the other camera it is like changing the mode and
we don't receive proper picture because it looks like it is in the
automatic mode.  In Europe they don't receive properly the image because the
 format of the picture is different, it is not  Robot 36.

Miles:  It might be possible to hook up you VCR and play images recorded
earlier,
 into the SSTV system

Jean-Pierre:   It's a Beta camera format, Professional one. It's a bit tricky to
 connect it to this camera.  Because mainly we have only one recorder here, it
is
better
compared to the personal , I spoke about the trick anyway especially since
cannot
 connect and
disconnect all the time, do you understand that?

We then discussed other MAREX-NA projects pending.

During the next few passes Jean-Pierre took time to have many random
conversations
 with the general public.  Here are a few tip to improve your success:

1 Listen first before Transmitting.
2 Wait till the crew says CQ or QRZ
We have been teaching the crew more  Amateur Radio protocol and they are
catching
 on, slowly.

3 When you hear CQ/QRZ, just say the last two letters of you calls sign, twice
and
 that's all
     example:  WF WF    (don't say anything else, until you hear the crew say,
 something similar too.  Station WF please continue?.

4 Keep your conversation short and speak very slowly.  If you are fluent in
French
 or Russian that's better, use the appropriate languages or English too.

5 When you are done, the crew will usually remember to say CQ/QRZ for the next

 station waiting. When the band is too crowded, Jean-Pierre usually says Break
Break,
 which is his way of asking all stations to please stop transmitting.

6 If the crew is on voice, so not send any packet messages.  The crew will
sometimes leave the Kantronics KPC-9612 ON, while they are on voice.  This is
 so they can read OLD mail while
they are talking on voice

7. Do not ask the crew about the QSL card procedures.  The Mir crew does not
Keeps logs
of radio contacts.  Just send a card to one of the two address below.

Current Channel, 145.985 FM Simplex.

I would like to ask everyone to please be patient regarding Amateur Radio
 operations on Mir.  The Amateur Radio portion of the Mir experiments are
 primarily OFF-Hours experiments.  The Mir crews do have a very busy schedule
 and only have a very limited amount of FREE-Time to use the educational Amateur
 Radio experiments.

QSL Information:

Please use one of the following QSL managers and follow the directions for that
Manager
and included the following information:

Return Name and Address, country, ZIP
Date and time of your contact, In UTC format
Signal report (Best guess)
Radio Station and Antenna (optional)

All Mir contacts, including SWL, Two-way voice or Packet connections (R0MIR),
and including the Sputnik Satellites

Envelopes should be well sealed and do not include cash.
Send a SAE (Self Addressed Envelope ) and one or two IRC coupons
(which can be purchased at major US post offices).
Do not make any notes on the out side of the envelope with Amateur Radio Call
signs visible.

Sergej Samburov
PO Box 73
Korolev-10 City
Moscow Area, 141070, Russia

************************************************

For Two-way contacts with Mir ONLY.  Just for the call sign R0MIR and R0MIR-1
No SWL (Short Wave Listener) cards will be issued at this address.
No Sputnik cards

Dr. Dave Larsen - N6CO/K6MIR
PO Box 311
Pine Grove, California
95665
USA

Please include a SASE (Business Size Envelope) and two IRC's  for international.
 If you are sending an IRC, Please make sure it is dated 1999, 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 appreciated for covering additional costs.

Note: Dave Larsen MIREX / N6CO is not handling SWL cards for Sputnik, please use
 the other addresses

*****************

Current Mir Crew Members:
SOYUZ TM-29 arrived at Mir on February 20, 1999.  Mir Soyuz TM-29 crew consisted

of French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere, Viktor Afanasyev and Slovakian
Cosmonaut
 Ivan Bella
On February 28, some of the crew returned to earth, they were:
Slovak Ivan Bella and Gennadiy Paldalko.
Gennadiys mission lasted approximately 6 months (August 16 1998 - February 28
1999)

The remaining crew consists of:

The French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere (aprox 6 months)
Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev (aprox 6 months)
Cosmonaut  Sergei  Avdeyev.   Sergei mission began August 16, and is expected to
last a total of 12 months.


PMS Status (Personal Message System):
The PMS activity was a little intermittent last week, but its running good.

Tracking Mir:
For current tracking data, try the CelesTrak web page at 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 World-Wide-Web.  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
 Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior
permission.

Miles WF1F


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