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ISS PMS Help File (and some kibitzing)



In my last email, I sent the PMS help file to keep people from downloading
it over and over...  But how should we be using this precious asset on
orbit?  We all know that there are many  reasons not to use the PMS:

1) There is no PC attached so the crew cant read it anyway
2) It has been receommended by ARISS not to use it
3) CONNECTS to the PMS are terribly innefficient due to retries and acks
4) Only one person can use it at a time.
5) If a west coast person times out, then no one can use it for the
   whole pass until it resets (after having sent as many as 70 packets of
   retries)
6) Most people can't get logged on to read it, so they cant kill old msgs
7) Who is going to kill all of that unread mail?
8) Everyone has to connect to see who has mail even if they have none.
9) And the list goes on and on...

BUT!  There might be a way that we in HAM radiodom can find a way for it
to be useful to us all collectively if not necessarily us individually:
Consider this scenario...

1) One BIG GUN per pass does take the opportunity to do a LIST
   of the last 10 messages and LOGS OFF IMMEDIATELY.  Total connect
   time would be about 10 seconds max.
2) Everyone in the footprint now has a copy of the newest 10 messages.
3) Ground user software (an example PCSAT.EXE) even accumultates the list,
   eliminates headers and dupes and presents each user with an accumulated
   clean list each pass.

This process, while it does not satisfy the ego of all the peanut
whistles, and it does tend to inflate the ego's of the big guns, it does
accomplish in 10 seconds what MANY people might be interesed in seeing,
and at VERY LITTLE expense to everyone (about 10 seconds)

Conversly, Continuing with the status-quo, where everyone is discouraged
form using it, or everyone tries anyway and no one gets a copy of the
LIST doesnt accomplish much either. (compared to the potential).

BUT NOW THE HARD PART:

OK, so what good is a MESSAGE list if no one can UPLINK messages and no
one can  downlink them?  Hummh... good question...  No easy solutions that
won't upset someone...  But lets list a few possibilities:

1) ARISS VIP's only?  (Pitty whoever tries to define a VIP in HAM radio?)
2) Hawaii, Pitcarin Island, New Zealand, the Azores?  (Islands in oceans?)
3) Urgent Users (the guy driving 18 hours across N.Canada, etc?)
4) Schools and Demos?  (by RSVP only, but who has time to manage it?)

This is the classic gaming conundrum where no one can ever win if everyone
tries to maximize their own payback.  In this case, no one gets anything.
The only way anyone can win anything is if  everyone else gives up on
their desire  for maximum gain and settles for less.

I suggest that if we all set our goals lower, then everyone wins:
1) We consider a success, when someone ELSE is able to log on and use it.
2) We consider a success, when we have something to capture and see.
3) We are satisfied that a UI digi or UI msg shows our XMIT prowess.
4) We consider success is when a school group or demo goes well for THEM.

How about this rule for a starting point to establish a threshold where
someone gets to use the PMS with impunity, (so we all benefit by seeing
it used successfully) and which will keep the rest of us from QRMing them
so that we all win:

1) Schools or DEMOS with more than 10 observers on special 1-time occasions
2) Schools that are on the ISS QSO list or other PR list.
3) Other VIP demos with groups

This rule, of course only applies to the PMS, and is independent of UI
digipeating at a low level which should always be allowed especially by
low power 5 watt stations who cannot QRM anyone anyway...

Oh, and who ever QUALIFIES above the "rule threshold" SHOULD have enough
ERP to guarantee RAPID success with the lowest of retries.  and MUST
complete their transaction and be successfully LOGGGED off 2 minutes prior
to LOS! (to prevent timeouts).  Now that is a good rule.  "If you cant do
it without retries, then get out of the way...." (chuckle)... (i disavow
having said that)..

Just some ideas...

WB4APR@amsat.org, Bob

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