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Marex News, ISS aug 29, 2002 Voice and QRM

ISS Amateur Radio Status: August 29, 2002

ISS crew active on Voice
Interference on Voice channel for ISS
ISS calling ASIA

By Miles Mann WF1F,


Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division

ISS crew active on Voice:
The ISS crew for Expedition Five has been very active on 2-meter voice. 
The current crew consists of Commander Valery Korzun and Flight
Engineers Peggy Whitson                                        and
Sergei Treschev. The most active member of the crew is commander Valery
Korzun, a seasoned Mir veteran and an active Amateur Radio operator. 
The commander has been active almost every week.  He likes to talk just
before his bed time. Most contacts are completely random.

Today Valery and crew had a planed ARISS school schedule with the
Kursk's High School No. 55, in Russia.  After the schedule, commander
Valery was active on 2-meters for a few orbits, talking to stations in
many countries around the world.

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
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 UTC).
Good luck all, suggest you get your tape recorders ready and start
listening to the ISS channels.  Please observer the proper calling

 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 over
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)
145.990 Uplink Packet

Interference on Voice channel for ISS:
During today's conversation with commander Valery, he informed me that
he often hears people having a conversation on the 144.490 Voice uplink
channel for ISS. The commander tried to call these people several times,
but they could not hear him. The conversations prevented the commander
from hearing the stations calling ISS.   The commander went on to say
that this is mostly a problem over the USA while using channel A1.

The 144.490/145.800 voice link channel for Regions 2&3 is called channel
A1.  When ISS in Regions 2 & 3 and the crew wants to use voice, the
switch to channel A1 and listen for stations transmitting on 144.490. 
The commander though a repeater may be on the channel, or just some
people talking Simplex on 144.490.  The conversations he is hearing is
most likely stations using Simplex on or near 144.490.

Let me start off by staying, that No Amateur Radio station owns any
frequency not even ISS, all frequencies are part of a shared resources.
Any licensed Amateur Radio station may use 144.490 in accordance with
local and international laws.  ISS is also sharing the Amateur Radio
frequency band.  As an unofficial Gentleman's agreement, 144.490 has
been assigned to ISS for voice link in Regions 2 & 3.  All courteous
radio operators will avoid using 144.490 when ISS is in range. 

We do have a few problems and a few possible solutions:
1. Not everyone knows about the band plans for ISS.  
We need your help to spread the word to others in Regions 2 & 3 polity.

2. Not everyone knows when ISS will be in range.
If you need to use 144.490, then MAREX asks that you accurately track
ISS's location to know when to avoid using 144.490 and the adjacent

3. Bleed over from adjacent channels.
The FM capture effect and the Doppler frequency shift, will cause
stations operating near 144.490 to bleed over onto the ISS uplink
channel.  If you do not know where ISS is located, then you should stay
30k away from the ISS uplink channel to help avoid interference to the
ISS uplink voice channel.  Avoid using 144.465 - 144.515

ISS calling ASIA:
Some of you may have seen the reports of Commander Valery Korzun taking
to many Amateur Radio Stations in Argentina and other South American
countries.  The commander said, there are many active stations in South
America that he has talked with over the past few months.  He has also
tried to make contacts in India, China and other countries in Asia
pacific area.  It appears he has not had much luck with that part of the
world.  The stations in the Asia and Pacific area need to try harder and
to try when ISS is passing over head just before the crews sleep period
or on Sundays.

Take care all and good luck and please be courteous.


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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