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Message from Mir, Happy New year

Mir Amateur Radio Status:  Jan 1, 1998

Welcome to a new year, full of hope and cooperation.

by Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-NA (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)

The Mir crew celebrated part of the new year by taking to Amateur Radio
Stations around the
world  and by sending SSTV images of their celebration.
During the early morning hours the crew aimed the camera at their Christmas
tree for all
the world to see.
Then later when the crew had some spare time they talked to the general
public via Amateur
radio and beamed down a selection of SSTV images.
I was fortunate enough to talk with the crew for a few passes this morning.
Commander Sergei Avdeyev  said 

“I wish a happy new year to the whole world”

I asked Sergei a few questions about how they celebrated new years.  Sergei
by saying they ate some fine chocolate made in a Russian factory (in the
shape of a bear) .  Sergei then sent an SSTV image of the of the chocolate
Bear.  Sergei said, we have already eaten
his legs, it tasted good.
I told Sergei I had heard on the TV news that the crew was given permission
to have Vodka.
Sergei responded, No Vodka, we drank Apricot juice for new Years.
Then Sergei sent an SSTV image of Genady and Sergei holding a bag of
Apricot juice.

Next we ran a few SSTV uplink tests.
I sent 4 SSTV images to the Russian Space Station Mir.
1.  Yuri Gargairn Statue from Star City
2.  Picture of cosmonauts Alexander Polishchuk and Alexander Kaleri
3. Picture of Seveta Samburov
4.  Picture of my daughter Jennifer holding her dog Alf.

The crew thanked me for sending images of their friends on earth.

Current Schedule for Packet PMS and SSTV:
The crew will be keeping  both projects on 145.985 FM Simplex for the next
few months.
Only one project will be active at a time, either the Packet PMS or the
The crew will, as time permits, turn on one system then after a period of
time, switch
over to the other system.    These changes are only made during the crews
free time.
It is not possible to develop an exact schedule announcing the times for
each project.
The people wanting to use Packet and SSTV will just need to be a little
and patient.  The Mir crew and the team at Energia have put a great amount
of effort
into supporting our educational Amateur Radio projects.
And I know the world appreciates all of the hard work they have invested.

SSTV Schedule:
The tentative plan is to run one project at a time.
The PMS will run on weekdays and the SSTV will be active on Weekends and
This is a tentative schedule, subject to change.
The switching between the two projects is excepted to continue until for
several months.
Then the hardware situation and work load will be evaluated to see if we
can get access
to a different antenna and power source.

The SSTV system will be in Down link mode 99% of the time.  The uplink test
was just a limited
to a few tests to prove the Uplinking of images work, and it does seem to
work good..  We are going to formally schedule SSTV uplink days later in
February 99.  The reason for the delay is to continue the train the crew on
SSTV procedures and to develop
SSTV uplink rules for Ground stations around the world.
Specific uplink days will be chosen in advance so that most parts of the
world will be able to participate.  Example, one day may be set aside for
North America, another day for Europe and Australia, etc.

Mir Module:
The Russian space station is made up of 6 modules, Mir-module, Kavant-1,
Kavant-2, Kristall, Spektr and Priroda.  The SSTV and PMS stations are in
the Priroda module.  There is also an Amateur Radio antenna located in the
Mir module.  This antenna has not been tested since it was replaced
with a new antenna last summer.  The old antenna cracked from exposure to
space and was removed in December 1997.  The Mir-module antenna is a dual
band antenna, supporting 2 meters and 70 cm.  It is possible that if space
can be made available in the Mir module, then the PMS and SSTV projects
could be moved into the Mir module.  This options is being investigated.

RX Signal:
The strength of the down link signals has been much better than we had
The SSTV system was designed to be easy for beginners on earth to use.
A station with a zero gain antenna and a simple HT or Mobile radio, should
be able
to easily decode at least one image per 10 minute pass.  The signals have
been so good
that many people with zero gain antennas have been decoding 2-3 good images
per 10 minute pass.

SSTV Receiving Software:
There are several SSTV software and hardware decoders on the market.  Some
you can buy
while others are shareware.
If you are just starting, you may want to try a software version first.
I am currently using W95SSTV with good results.
I was pleased with the ease of use and quick setup.

Web pages:
The new MAREX-NA SSTV web is under construction.
In the mean time check out these webs for Mir SSTV images


MAREX-NA SSTV Images from Mir
Bob Bruninga



John W5HU

Al Emer N2YAC


gregwycoff@havilandtelco.com (gregwycoff)


David Cook - KB9OQL


Steve VA3SF
website....  http://www.interlog.com/~stevef/mirsstv.htm

John N0VSE AMSAT Regional Coordinator
Mir SSTV pix can be seen on the Colorado AMSAT Net page,

Andy Thomas G0SFJ




Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:

Current Crew
SOYUZ TM-28 arrived at Mir on August 16. Mir Soyuz TM-28 crew consisted of
Sergei Avdeyev, Gennadiy Padalko.  (Sergei and Gennadiy both received
training on the MAREX-NA SSTV system in Star City).

Web Page information:
For information about the MAREX-NA SSTV project, check the web page at:


For general information about some of the Mir Projects, check the web page

     http://www.ik1sld.org/mirex.htm  OR

SSTV in the new:
There is a good story about the MAREX-NA SSTV project on the MSNBC web.

Note: there is a minor typographical error in the article.  The total cost
of the MAREX-NA
SSTV project was less than $25,000 US dollars.
MAREX-NA is the most efficient Independent Amateur Satellite club in the

Tracking Mir

The best way to track satellites is to get access to a good satellite
tracking program.
There are numerous programs on the market, both for sale and share ware.

The best place for current satellite position date (Kep’) data is at the
CelesTrak web page http://celestrak.com/

Copyright 1998 Miles Mann, All Rights Reserved.  This document may be
freely distributed via the following means - Email (including listservers),
Usenet, and WorldWideWeb.  It may not be reproduced for profit including,
but not limited to, CD ROMs, books, and/or other commercial outlets without
prior written consent from the author.
Images received from the MAREX-NA SSTV system on the Russian Space Station
are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior

Miles WF1F