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ISS HOAX Is HOAX is a little rude... or not?

Another nearmiss i was out the whole weekend. Did i really missed something?
If i read the following correctly:

The U.S. team have gotten word that Mike Foale is hoping to get on the 
radio sometime this weekend for a couple of passes.  He also stated that he 
is anticipating supporting about 2 passes per weekend through the month of 
December.  This, of course, is completely contingent upon his schedule and 
other duties or issues that might crop up on ISS.

We are just at the beginning of december. and as the following near 1 year period texts told us we should 
always keep the fate alive "the force should be with you" and US...

On Wed, 26 Feb 2003, Ron Patten wrote:

> Luc Leblanc VE2DWE, was simply expressing the frustration of APRS
> digipeater users who have been patiently waiting for nearly two months,
> to have a fellow ham aboard ISS reactivate the packet system. That
> system can be used for APRS digipeater activity, that does not normally
> need any crew involvement to function.
> Ron Patten, KG6HSQ


There was also this one from Frank Bauer, KA3HDO:

On 27 Feb 2003 at 20:56, Frank H. Bauer wrote:


I saw yesterday's e-mail traffic on the SAREX reflector and I thought I 
would clarify some items.

First, it is good to see that this reflector is still active.  For a while 
there, I only thought that Dave Larsen, Arthur Rowe and I were the only 
members of this reflector (hi hi).

Let's talk about the packet hardware.  I would not characterize the packet 
system as being "radiation fried."  It is true that the packet system has 
been down for a very long time.  If you all noticed, we did experience a 
similar, but not as lengthy packet down-period with another crew 
expedition.  That expedition, I believe, did not fully understand the APRS 
uses of the packet hardware and the system kept getting shut off.  It is my 
belief that this is the same problem we are experiencing with this 
crew.  What defends this theory is that we have made several requests to 
turn the packet system on through the Mission Control Center (not an easy 
thing to do for a secondary activity).  Each time, the packet system was 
reactivated and within an orbit, it was gone again.  If you haven't seen 
this packet resource, take a look at:  http://www.ariss.net/ and scroll 
down to the bottom to see the APRS packet ops.

We are working with the Mission ops folks to get the packet reactivated 
again and to make sure it stays on.  Stay tuned.

Those of you that know me pretty good know that I am an Aerospace Engineer 
that has also served on several failure investigation boards.  If you want 
my technical opinion of  the anomalies we have seen with the packet system, 
I really do not think they are radiation or Single Event Effects 
related.  A radiation issue would, most likely, cause the packet module to 
cease from operating when the susceptible part hits its radiation 
threshold.  If the packet system never turns on again, then radiation could 
be the issue.  But as you have probably deduced, I think it is an 
operations concern.  I do not think that the funnies many have you have 
seen with the packet messaging are single event effects (SEE/SEU) related 
either.  If that happened, the system would lock up or a bit flip (or many 
bit flips) would occur.  These would be random events.  But we see very 
consistent events (like the disappearing and reappearing of messages).  My 
conjecture is that this is a software bug, not an SEE/SEU.  Now that I have 
stated my conjecture, I am sure that many others will provide their own 
thoughts and ideas.  But these are my opinions based on my Aerospace 
experience and my experience with this set of hardware.

Regarding ARISS ops---as some have stated, some crews get excited about 
amateur radio and others don't.  Just like some people like amateur radio 
and others don't.  Just like some people like APRS, SSTV, Voice ops, CW, 
Contests, Field Day, and others don't.  Personally, I am grateful that the 
international space agencies are allowing us on-board.  We have gotten 
antenna feedthroughs, space on-board the crowded ISS, up-mass on Shuttles 
and Progress launch vehicles to fly our hardware and extremely valuable 
crew time.  These items clearly represent millions of dollars of space 
agency costs.  The ARISS-developed hardware complement costs pales in 
comparison to the space agency costs for allowing us on-board.  Every 
minute our equipment is on the air should be considered a blessing.

This past month has been a tough one due to the Columbia tragedy.  From an 
ops perspective, ARISS is just getting back on-line with a couple of school 
group contacts.  Please bear with us on the packet issue.  We will continue 
to work this as hard as possible while making sure we don't overstep our 
bounds with the space agencies and become thorns in their sides.

It is good to see that Don Petit is enjoying something that is inspiring to 
him while he is on ISS.  Just like amateur radio inspires all of us.


Frank Bauer, KA3HDO


If a take only this part from the previous text:"We are working with the Mission ops folks to get the packet 
reactivated again and to make sure it stays on.  Stay tuned."

On august 20 2003 Frank Bauer wrote:


You have all be extremely patient regarding the problems with the packet 
system.  Thank you for your patience.  I know I have not been to 
communicative about the packet system lately, but the ARISS-International 
team has been working *very hard* to get this issue debugged and back on 

I don't want to raise expectations too high, but it appears that there 
might be an opportunity as early as 13:00 UTC tomorrow where the packet may 
get re-activated.  The initial operations, when they occur, will be on the 
downlink frequency of 145.80.  This may or may not happen tomorrow, but we 
would rather give you this heads up so that we all can be better prepared.

Please stay tuned and let us know if you hear anything, world-wide.

We will keep you informed as things unfold over the next couple of 
days.  As I promised weeks ago, I hope to give you all a full briefing on 
what it has taken to get packet up and running as soon as we get more 
information from the crew.


Frank, KA3HDO 




As I stated yesterday, We will continue to keep you informed on the 
on-going, drawn-out saga on the packet system.

  Well, it should be obvious at this point that the packet is still not 
working.  The procedure we (US and Russian teams) generated did not get 
uplinked to the crew.  Our plans were to have a one-on-one discussion with 
Ed Lu around 13:00 UTC today as he debugged the packet module issue.  We 
got word right before the pass that the radiogram did not get 
uplinked.  Despite this, several U.S. ground stations still attempted to 
contact ISS with no success.

The ARISS team plans to have another international teleconference tomorrow 
with NASA in attendance to scope out our recovery plan.  Tentatively, we 
are going to ask (again) for the crew to turn on and re-configure the 
packet module.  To ensure this gets done before Expedition 8 (yes...before 
November) we are asking that the crew perform the procedures without an 
audio debug session.  This may occur as early as this weekend.

Over the past few months I have had numerous discussions with NASA senior 
management about our inability to get our packet procedures uplinked to ISS 
and performed by the crew.  Many of these individuals are painfully aware 
of our problem and have agreed to work with us to resolve this 
problem.  FYI, we had a similar problem with school group operations at one 
point and we resolved these problems similarly.

What complicates the non-school group operations process is that both the 
US and Russian operations teams need to be fully cognizant of our plans and 
agree to them in a timely fashion.  Crew members on both sides are involved 
since the equipment is in the Russian segment and a US crew member is 
usually doing the debugging.  Unfortunately, something seems to go wrong 
along the way and we end up having to start over.

I know many of you are frustrated.  We are too.  Please do me a favor and 
do not compare our ISS ops to the Shuttle operations or Mir 
operations.  The ISS is a relatively new vehicle and international 
operations is definitely not simpler than US-only or Russian-only operations.

Please remember too that there are only 2 crew members on ISS when there 
are usually 3 members.  So the level of work that this expedition is 
experiencing is much higher than normal.  Thus, our ability to request crew 
member's time on the Russian or US side is very difficult.

When you look at operations and realize that hardware development has had 
nearly the same hurdles to overcome, I think you can imagine the 
substantial challenges and near miracles that were required by the ARISS 
team to bring the ISS amateur radio hardware to fruition.  I am proud of 
this international team.  Further, I am convinced we will resolve this 
process problem and move on to other challenges...including the 
installation of the Phase 2 hardware in a couple of months.

Please keep the faith.  We promise to continue to keep you informed as 
events unfold on the packet issue.

73,  Frank Bauer, KA3HDO

On the 23hd of august 2003


As I mentioned in my previous e-mail on this subject, yesterday (Friday) we 
had a teleconference between the ARISS teams in the US and Russia and 
NASA.  It is our understanding that sometime on Sunday (tomorrow) Yuri will 
be reconnecting the 2 meter equipment, turning power back on and 
configuring the system for packet operation on the standard packet 
channel.  This will probably be early in the day for those in North America.

As part of the procedure we generated, we had asked for Yuri to report to 
the Mission Control Center in Moscow when the procedures were completed and 
provide confirmation that the packet is operating properly.  We have 
another teleconference scheduled for tomorrow with Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, 
(ARISS-Russia) to determine status after these procedures are completed.

Now comes the interesting part.  A member of our NASA team obtained a copy 
of the Radiogram that was uplinked to the crew and forwarded this radiogram 
to us.  The last line in the radiogram, after Yuri reports the results to 
the MCC (Mission Control Center) is:

"NOTE: system shutdown will be performed on MCC GO"

It is not clear how or why this line was added.  It was not part of the 
procedures we provided.  We will have to learn how this was added over the 
next few days.  What it could mean is that the system may be turned off 
minutes after it is reconfigured.

I would ask all to please keep your packet stations on and report any 
packet activity, if any, on this reflector.  If the system gets shut off, 
we will work with the US and Russian control centers to have it turned back 
on.  There is a school group contact scheduled for August 28 in 
Houston.  We would expect that the crew would follow the procedures 
provided with each school group contact to configure the system for 
continuous packet operations.

As we get more details, we will share them with you.

73,  Frank Bauer, KA3HDO 

On september 1 2003


Arthur Rowe posted the ISS Status report which included:

"An unmanned Russian Progress vehicle successfully blasted off from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan tonight to deliver almost three tons
of food, fuel, water, and supplies to the residents of the International
Space Station.

The Progress 12 craft lifted off right on time from its Central Asian
launch pad at 8:48 p.m. CDT (148 GMT Aug. 29) as the ISS sailed over the
south Atlantic Ocean east of South America at an altitude of 240 statute

Progress 12 is loaded with supplies...."

The docking of the 12P Progress vehicle to the ISS, as described in:
means that the latest ARISS hardware is now on-board the ISS!  In a joint 
Russian, US, Japan effort, a new radio system for the Amateur Radio on the 
International Space Station was developed, qualified, and flown on this 
Progress vehicle.  The first installment of the Phase 2 hardware---a 
Kenwood radio, specially built ISS Ham radio power supplies and antenna 
switches were delivered on this Progress flight.  The Russian team, led by 
Sergej Samburov, RV3DR, certified the hardware for flight and provided the 
ride, the Japanese team provided (donated) the Kenwood radio to the ARISS 
team and the US team, in conjunction with the Japan and Russian team, 
developed the software to provide a powerful system with a very 
user-friendly interface for crew.  We expect that Mike Foale and Alexander 
Kaleri will install and checkout this system on the next ISS Expedition.

In addition to the Kenwood radio system that we launched on this flight, we 
have a second radio system, a Yaesu FT-100, that will be launched on the 
14P Progress flight in January.  Also on 14P, we expect to fly the 
Spacecam-1 SSTV system.  Developed cooperatively between the MAREX-NA and 
ARISS teams, the system is being certified for flight at NASA GSFC at this 
time.  Once on-orbit, it will allow pictures to be sent up and down to ISS 
between ground-based hams and the crew.

The Kenwood radio system will support 2 meter and 70 cm operations (uplink 
and downlink) and L-band uplink with up to 25 watts of output power.  FM 
voice, APRS and packet capabilities are included.

Frank Bauer, KA3HDO
ARISS International Chairman


I now needed your help in understanding?

1- Is the SAREX 1 is dead?
2- Is the present packet operation will be ever resume or not in any tangible futur?
3-Is it realistic to continue to send equipment in space to hope and i quoted "is completely contingent upon 
his schedule and other duties or issues that might crop up on ISS."
4- It is respecfull to sustained an outcome over 1 year period without any results?
5-Should we SUSPEND packet and phone activities until further notice aboard ISS instead of giving false 

We are all aware of the "contengencies" and i know sometimes it is better to don't ask any questions if we 
don't want to get any lies. But without blaming any one can we demonstrate a bit of respect in giving CRISTAL 
CLEAR answers.

As an AMSAT coordinator i fell as i have badbreath when i'm trying to explain why there is no more packet 
activities on ISS when on the other lists folks are loosing their satellites one after the other and they are 
struggling to reactivate others.

Some folks here are too polite to throw stones at me when their only one and first satellite activities rely 
on an ISS 10 minutes packet pass, and they are not able to enjoy it since one year?.

My badbreath is also not helping me in convincing theses RARE folks to donate amateur radio space supporting 

I manage to found one over our last week end ham club christmas party a 100% succes ratio over last year.

I will try to use scope and used more tooth paste but i'm not shure this alone wil help me a lot.

Thank's to helping me to degug my personnal confuser.



Luc Leblanc VE2DWE
Coordonnateur AMSAT pour le Québec
Quebec AMSAT coordinator
Sites web sites: www.qsl.net/ve2dwe

Echolink node 115340 VE2DWE-L
Echolink node 101810 VE2DWE

P.O. Box 341
Sorel-Tracy  QC.
J3P 5T6

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