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HOW to Work ISS- RS0ISS





Hello All....

I have noticed a lot of new satellite HAMS trying to work ISS.
Seeing that ISS is an easy satellite to work, and is so popular
like MIR was, there is a flood of HAMS that might need a few pointers.

I have had many requests on how do I do this.. how do I do that....
ISS and MIR is very similar. I wrote an article back in the MIR days
on HOW TO WORK R0MIR.

Well, MIR is no longer with us, and ISS has taken it's place.
The operations on ISS is very close to what MIR ran. (Packet)
The users, however, are still experimenting. There are the same old problems
that happened in the past.
That is why I am sending this out to the list.

I hope someone can find it or use...

Forward it on......

73, Scott WA6LIE

PS...

All flames can be sent to extingflame@msn.com (real email address!)
I am in FIRE PROTECTION

--------------------------------------------------------



7/2002


HOW TO WORK RS0ISS


The International Space Station is currently orbiting the earth about every
95 minutes while traveling at roughly 17,000 MPH. Due to the fact
that ISS is a moving object, and radio frequencies are being involved,
Doppler corrections may be needed. On the 2 meter band, the
Doppler is a maximum of 3.5 khz on a pass directly overhead (90 degrees).
On a pass 10 degrees above the horizon, the Doppler is small, at
about 1 khz. This can be a very important factor in working the packet
Personal Bulletin Board. This is because packets may become distorted
due to Doppler and antenna polorization or nulls in your antenna system.
Here are some items to look at in your station for successful attempts.

1. LOCATION

One could say location- location- location!

If you are in a bad location where it might be difficult to get
a signal out, you might be limited to the number of passes that
you can work. You might want to look into a simple 1/4 wave 2 meter
groundplane. This antenna has a good lobe looking up. (pre-amp suggested)
If you are in the clear to your horizons, you have it made.
However, Doppler and antenna type can be your disadvantage.
For the average HAM station running a 50 watt radio, and a J pole
antenna has a great advantage on ISS passes that are up to about
20 degrees above the horizon! Doppler isn't a real consideration at 20 
degrees
and your antenna pattern is ideal +/- polorization changes for something up 
to 20 degrees
above the horizon or a bit more! Most radios will work, and no
frequency corrections are needed. Doppler up on UHF is around 10 KHZ
and Doppler compensation is needed! A MUST for any UHF/432 satellite 
operations.

Tips:

Keep your feedline losses to a minimum.
Satellite antennas will always work better.
5 watts into a fair/good antenna will work just fine! (Don't be a satellite 
alligator)


2. TRACKING

You will need some satellite tracking software to know when and where
ISS will be in your area. There is a lot of tracking software available
on the internet. I use STSPLUS, and have for over 16 years. Keplerian
information on ISS and other satellites is updated twice weekly by AMSAT,
and can be found on RS0ISS-1
(courtesy of Dave, N6CO)

ASTK-EXE.zip is a good program for tracking and communicating with many 
satellites.
It is APRS based, and has many neat features including an Auto-QSL mode!
See ftp://ftp.tapr.org/aprssig/dosstuff/APRSdos/ to download APRS/DOS 
software.


3. FREQUENCY

The frequency is 145.800/145.99 for 1200 baud Packet and 145.800/145.49 for 
FM Voice contacts.
(Set your radio accordingly... RX/TX)

4. PACKET WISE

If you are not familiar with packet connections or mailboxes, do some
experimentation on the ground first before trying to operate ISS.
The TNC on ISS is a Pacomm and is operating at 1200 baud ONLY. Here is the 
HELP file
that is common to Kantronics TNC's and many others.

B(ye)         PBBS WILL DISCONNECT
E(dit) n [BPTYNFH] [>tocall] [<fromcall] [@BBS] "old" "new"
J(heard)      CALLSIGNS WITH DAYSTAMP
J S(hort)     HEARD CALLSIGNS ONLY
J L(ong)      CALLSIGNS WITH DAYSTAMP AND VIAS
L [x [y]] [;] LIST MESSAGES x THRU y YOU CAN READ
L <|> call    LIST MESSAGES FROM OR TO CALL
LB            LIST BULLETINS
LC [cat]      LIST CATEGORIES
LL n          LIST LAST n MESSAGES
LM(ine)       LIST UNREAD MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
LO [+|-]      LISTING ORDER
LT            LIST TRAFFIC
LTn           DISPLAY LOCATION TEXT n=1-4
K(ill) n      DELETE MESSAGE NUMBER n
KM(ine)       DELETE ALL READ MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
R(ead) n      DISPLAY MESSAGE NUMBER n
RH n          DISPLAY MESSAGE n WITH HEADERS
RM(ine)       READ ALL MESSAGES ADDRESSED TO YOU
S(end) call   SEND MESSAGE TO callsign
S[B|P|T] call SEND BULLETIN, PRIVATE, or TRAFFIC

*** Please don't use the Help command on ISS. This is STANDARD to MOST
TNC's and doing so just limits the use of ISS by other stations.
There can only be ONE user connected to RS0ISS-1 at a time.

5. BE PREPARED

*** MAKE SURE YOU PUT YOUR CALLSIGN INTO YOUR TNC! ***

Default is NOCALL

To do so, go to the cmd: prompt and type MY (Your callsign) <enter>
Example: MY WA6LIE       Type my <enter> to see what it displays.

If you wish to send a message to the crew, have a file of your message READY
to go! What I usually do is make a message to RS0ISS BEFORE I even send it.
On my KPC-9612, I get in my mailbox, and SP RS0ISS@ISS Then enter the
subject and then the message. When ISS is in range, and the mailbox is
not being used, I forward the message. My TNC talks to ISS's TNC and
goes through the forwarding process. This is A LOT quicker! I could send 
3.7K
of info in one minute! This includes the connect to disconnect time.

*** Consult YOUR TNC users manual for forwarding mail to a station.

Do Not try to send a message to your buddy on ISS's PERSONAL Mailbox. (HAM 
etiquette)


                              **** NOTICE ****


At this writing, RS0ISS-1 mailbox should be considered CLOSED until further 
notice from ARISS.


For now, the UI or UNPROTO mode is in use!
This is done with no connections, and is just using ISS as a digipeater.
You need to have RS0ISS in your digipeat path.
Such as cmd: Unproto CQ via RS0ISS <enter>
Some use their grid Square instead of CQ.
if using APRS, make sure your Unproto path is set correctly!
When viewing using APRS software, you will see many stations on your screen
and even ISS's position being uplinked through offical tracking statations.
See http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/ariss/index.cgi for ISS activity log and 
MORE!


6. BE COURTEOUS

Please don't try connecting to RS0ISS-1 when someone else is already
connected. You will get a RS0ISS-1 **BUSY. When you get this, don't
keep trying while others are connected. This just messes up the other
station, and it is interference and will just take that much LONGER
for the user to finish before he/she disconnects. Would you like
others interfering with your connects to ISS? Look for the D frame(s)
from RS0ISS-1 to the connected station. Using MCOM ON will allow you
to see all these packets. Here is what MY KPC-9612 would show.

RS0ISS-1>WA6LIE/1 [05/13/02 22:18:04]: <<D>>:

After you see this, hopefully, the ground station has sent his/her
disconnect to RS0ISS-1, and it will be ready for the next connect.


RS0ISS

This is the callsign of ISS. Connecting to this port has no value to working 
ISS,
unless someone is at the keyboard.


ISS QSL Information:

For the USA :
ARRL Headquarters
ARISS QSL
225 Main Street
Newington, CT 06111-1494 USA
For Canada :
Radio Amateurs of Canada
ARISS QSL
720 Belfast Road, Suite 217
Ottawa Ontario
K1G 0Z5
For Europe: (Manager Christophe Candebat, F1MOJ)

ARISS-Europe QSL Bureau
c/o AMSAT-France
16, rue de la Vallée
91360 EPINAY SUR ORGE
FRANCE
For other countries, please use the US or Canadian address above
until such time as an address for your country is available.


If you have any questions, drop me a note!

73, Scott WA6LIE

E-Mail: wa6lie@msn.com
Packet: wa6lie@wa6lie.#wcca.ca.usa.noam



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