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In Space a Female voice is 6db stronger, story/humor

ISS Amateur Radio Status: September 18, 2002

In Space, a female voice in the native language is 6 dB stronger.

By Miles Mann WF1F,


Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division

In Space, a female voice in the native language is 6 dB stronger.

Hi everyone, after reading about Veronica IK3ZAW I decided to pass on a
similar story from the old Mir days.

In 1991 Russia as called the Soviet Union CCP. The Space Station Mir had
ham radio, but was not very active.  I deiced to try to improve the
activity by running a pre arranged school schedule with Mir.  Dave
Larsen and I formed a club called MIREX and volunteered to support the
ham stations on Mir.  I then began sending packet mail to Mir cosmonaut
Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev in Russian trying to get confirmation
for a school schedule in Billerica Massachusetts.

After a few weeks had gone by,  I had not receive a reply for my
request.  So I deiced to try contacting Sergei on Mir by Voice.  I had
heard the rumors about "A female voice is 3 dB stronger than a mans
voice".  The logic here, is that since ham radio is primarily a male
activity, when a female voice is heard calling, the men will most likely
respond more quickly to the female voice, even if her signal is weaker. 
With this theory, I assumed that these men on Mir have not see a woman
in several months, that the amplification factor may be greater.  I had
also read another story on packet (this was the days before email and
the web), that one man was successful in making a voice contact with Mir
by speaking Russian.  He later said he only knew 5 Russian words but
that was enough to get Sergej attention to make the contact.

I deiced I would need a native Russian speaking female to help introduce
me to Sergej Krikalev.  Fortunately the company I worked for PictureTel,
had many Russian speaking engineers, including a girl named Diana
Fayngersh from the Ukraine.  I explained to Diana what I wanted her to
do and asked if she would come out to the parking lot with me to my car,
to talk to Sergej on board the Space Station Mir.  A few minutes later
we were in my car and I was explaining to her how to use the radio.  I
think she was a little skeptical.  When Mir came in range, I could hear
packet activity on 145.550 FM simplex.  I explained to Diana, that the
radio on Mir had an open speaker and that even though packet was active,
the crew would be able to hear Diana's voice (Note:  the radio on ISS is
connected to head phones only and the ISS crew can not hear anything
unless they are wearing the head phones).  
I told Diana to just key the microphone and start babbling in Russian,
just tell him who you are and where you were born, etc Sergej will hear
your words and come floating over and start talking back to your.  My
instructions to Diana were purely a guess.  When Diana let go of the
button, we only heard packet.  I asked Diana to do it again.  This time
when she let go of the button, we heard Sergej come back and say in
Russian "Who is speaking to me in Russian".  Diana came down with a
momentary case of stage fright, but continued to explain what we were
To make a long story short, the Billerica Massachusetts school schedule
took place on schedule and was the first of many.

11 years later, PictureTel is gone, it was bought by a company started
by a former employee of PictureTel.  PictureTel helped sponsor the
successful Slow Scan TV project on Mir.
I still keep in touch with Diana and she sometimes helps me with my
Russian translations.
Dave Larsen is still keeping the cosmonauts and ISS current on Kep data.
I am still trying to find a way to get into space.

And a Female voice in the native language is 6db stronger than a man's
voice, it may not be logical, but its true.

Take care all and good luck and please be courteous.

73 Miles WF1F MAREX-NA


Until we meet again

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