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ISS/PCsat joint-operations test



To all ISS Packet operators:

The ARISS team has agreed to a limited test of the ISS packet system as a
dual-hop constellation with PCsat.  This means that the ISS packet system
will be temporarily QSY'ed to the 145.825 MHz simplex frequency of the
PCsat digipeater so that the two satellites can operate together.  The
objective is to see if the satellites can be used to relay packets from
each other to extend the range via a dual-digipeat hop.  THe duration of
the test  will be about a week or more depending on the needs of the ARISS
radio.  If the crew wants to operate voice, they will QSY back to 145.800.

The precise scheduling of this test is hard to predict but it could be any
day now (8 Oct).  SO if ISS users do not hear ISS on 145.800 as usual,
they should check to see if it is on 145.825.  If so, QSY and operate
normally there.  That means, UI digipeating of very brief user packets is
welcome.  But use your tracking program to also look for DUAL-HOP
possibilities with PCsat.

IF you are in range of ISS, and ISS can see PCsat, then set your unproto
path to UNPROTO CQ VIA RS0ISS,W3ADO-1.

IF you are in range of PCsat and PCsat can see ISS, then set your unproto
path to UNPROTO CQ VIA W3ADO-1,RS0ISS

If you are not 100% knowledgible about how UNPROTO path works, please do
not transmit, but just see if you can capture one of the successful
packets from someone else.

Please do not XMIT too much.  The probabilities of success are very very
limited by QRM, so it would be best if each person only transmitted a few
packets a minute and let others have a chance.  And if you live in a good
REMOTE location, far from the USA and Europe, then your best contribution
will be to LISTEN to see if you receive any dual-hop packets.  If too
many people begin transmitting more often, then the test will fail.

SUCCESSFUL packets will be received like this:

>From ISS to PCSAT:   SENDER>CQ,RS0ISS,W3ADO-1*:....
>From PCsat to ISS:   SENDER>CQ,W3ADO-1,RS0ISS*:....

If anyone captures such a packet, then please report it.  You can also
look for potential successful packets on the ISS and PCSAT web pages:

  http://www.ariss.net
  http://pcsat.aprs.org

BUT REMEMBER, that PCsat has now entered eclipse season and ONLY works in
full sunshine, so do not attempt any transmissions via PCsat in the DARK
or even in the first sunshine.  Give it 10 minutes after entering the
sun to charge up enough to be able to digipeat.  Originally this test was
to have both ISS and PCsat using the generic APRS digipeater aliases of
WIDE so  that users could use UNPROTO CQ VIA WIDE,WIDE.  But since PCsat
cannot remember its settings orbit-by-orbit due to nearly dead batteries,
it is best if you use the exact callsigns noted above.

For today and tomorrow, PCsat and ISS are mutually in view during these
times:

Oct 8           0555z - 0613z, 0633z - 1015z
Oct 9           0017z - 0400z, 0417z - 0435z

If ISS or PCsat passes over your location during any of these time frames,
there is the SMALL possibility that you might be able to do a dual-hop
packet from one to the other spacecraft.

Enjoy the test.  Limit your transmissions.   Concentrate on what you
can capture...

de WB4APR@amsat.org, Bob

PCsat WEB  page     http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/pcsat.html
ISS-APRS FAQ:       http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/iss-faq.html
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