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ISS Amateur Radio Status: June 25, 2002

ISS Amateur Radio Status: June 25, 2002
By Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)
ISS was active on Voice June 22 - 23 2002
I talked to Commander Valery Korzan on board the International Space Station
Alpha, a few times weekend.  It has been a few years since we had chatted
during his Missions to the Russian Space Station Mir.  Commander Korzan is
an experienced Amateur Radio operator and was very active during his stay on
Mir (Mir 1997, 197 days in space) and it looks like he will be very active
using the Amateur Radio station on ISS.

During our short conversation, Commander Korzan had a few questions about
some of the operating procedures for a Radio contests which was taking place
during that weekend.  The radio contest is called Field day and is sponsored
by a radio magazine.  One of the goals in this contest is to talk to as many
people as possible by Amateur Radio in a 24-hour period.  Another goal is to
prepare amateur radio operators for operation from remote locations in case
of an emergency.  During this contest, the radio operators exchange
information such as the number of transmitters in operation and the source
of your electricity (commercial power, generator, etc.).  In this case the
International Space Station Alpha was running on pure solar power and they
had 1 transmitter in the amateur radio bands running, for a category called

If you were listing to your radio or scanner you may have heard voices from
the International Space Station "CQ CQ this is Valery Korzun 1A ISS".  We
are not sure how many people the talked with around the world, we can assume
it was at least a hundred.  I have read emails from Amateur radio stations
all over Europe, USA and Australia , all had successful contacts with the
Space Station Alpha last weekend. When I asked the commander later that
evening if he was having fun, he  responded "YES".

Radio Status and Voice Tips:

Current crew:
Valery Korzun RZ3FK
Sergei Yevgenyevich Treschev RZ3FU
Peggy Whitson KC5ZTD
The ISS is currently using an Ericsson portable radio (known as a HT) which
is operating on the Amateur Radio 2-meter band. The Packet Radio System
(PRS) is using a Paccom Picopacket 1200 baud Terminal Node Controller (also
called a TNC or Packet Radio System). The radio is currently connected to a
pair of externally mounted co-phased mono band antennas (2-meter band). The
typical power output is 5 watts, with an ERP rating of 5 watts.


The ISS crew is using a set of headphones with mic (David Clark Aviation
style), which is then attached to the HT.  There are a few minor draw backs
to this configuration.  The first is, the other crew members can not join
into a conversation easily because there is no external speaker for the
system (a speaker upgrade is in development).  
The other issue is the noise canceling microphone on the DC headset.  The
audio level is very low and the ISS crew members must remember to "Eat the
Mic" and talk loud.  I had to remind Commander Korzun about this a few

The ISS crew is on UTC times, so expect the crew to be awake from 07:00 -
22:00 UTC time.  And sleeping from 22:00 - 07:00 UTC (approximately). Make
sure you know the difference between your local time and the UTC time.
The ISS crew can only use the Amateur Radio station, during their OFF-Times,
when all other important work has been completed.  Voice contacts are purely
Random.  However your best times to find the crews are during the evening
hours on ISS (ISS crews are in UTC time.  Best times between 1500 - 2200
Good luck all, suggest you get your tape recorders ready and start listening
to the ISS channels.  Please observer the proper calling procedures.

 1. Make sure you are using the correct channel for your country.
 2. Wait for ISS Crew to call CQ or QRZ.
 3. Send only your call sign and wait for crew to acknowledge.
 4. Listen closely for the call of the station she is talking to.
 5. If you do not hear your call sign, do not transmit again until you hear
the ISS crew member say CQ or QRZ
Please be courteous.
Note:  ISS changes channels depending on which  part of the word they are
http://www.rac.ca/arisnews.htm#Frequencies in use

145.80 Downlink  Worldwide
144.49 Uplink Regions 2 & 3 (Americas, Asia, Australia)
145.20 Uplink Region 1 (Europe, Africa)

Packet Email project:
ISS Personal Message System
Commander Valery said, he will starting working on the [amateur radio]
packet system, he needs to get Winpac [software tool] loaded onto his new
computer.  The next day the packet Email system was on line.

Related NASA indexes:

 The ARISS Europe team has posted a QSL address for ISS.
 Please follow the links from the www.marex-na.org web page.
 73 Miles WF1F MAREX-NA
 Copyright 2001 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
 distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
 and World-Wide-Web.  It may not be reproduced for profit including, but
 limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without
 written consent from the author.
 Until we meet again
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Via the sarex mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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