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Reply from MAREX-NA

January 19, 1999

I would like to clarify why the MAREX-NA Mir SSTV system is still on
145.985 FM Simplex
It seems that there is still a little confusion about this issue.

The frequency problem stems from a memo written and published jointly by
Roy Neal and Frank Bauer
the VP of Amsat Manned flight division on June 3, 1998.
In this memo Amsat VP Frank Bauer, publicly denounced the MAREX-NA SSTV
system on June 3 1998.
The memo was completely inaccurate and distorted many facts.  The memo then
went on to say:

Whatever his reasons, we suggest that he not be allowed to go ahead with
his SSTV project at this time.

(a full copy of the Neil/Bauer memo with rebuttal is available upon

1) After the Neil/Bauer memo came out, the SAFEX club then canceled plans
on the power supply agreements
we were developing.  We did not have enough time to find a new club to
reliably make the supply  and
make our launch date.  So we went to a backup plan on sharing one power
supply and attempt to run two projects simultaneously.  The initial testing
indicated there was a sufficient safety
margin if both radios were kept on low power.  Unfortunately because there
is a possibility one of the radios
could be placed in High power, the plan was modified to only allow one
radio to be active at a time.
We respect the division of the engineers in Russia and will not suggest we
attempt to use both systems
in a transmit configuration at the same time, safety margins are more
important than two simultaneous

2) The MAREX-NA SSTV system is currently physically located in Mir module
called Priroda.
(We can not get access to the Mir-core module at this time, which has an
Un-tested dual band antenna port)
In the Priroda location, the only port accessible to the MAREX-NA SSTV
system is a Diplexer port built into
the SAFEX II Repeater.  This Diplexer port will only support 2-meter
signals, it will not support
70cm signals.
In our agreements with SAFEX and the IARU, we did not want to disconnect
the SAFEX II Repeater
from the existing two dual band Priorida antennas, if the SAFEX II repeater
had any chance of being restarted.
In keeping with this agreement, we have not made any suggestions or any
attempt to disconnect the SAFEX II Repeater.  Time has not allow further
testing of the SAFEX II Repeater to see if some of the problems can be
resolved.  If Roy Neal insists on moving to 70cm immediately, then Roy will
have to discuss the antenna configuration with SAFEX.  I am open to
suggestions.  I told SAFEX I would not unplug the SAFEX II Repeater.

The current frequency problems were actually caused by Frank Bauer and Roy
And their continued harassment of Independent Satellite clubs is giving
Amateur Radio a bad name
and causing manufactures to refrain from supporting future Amateur Radio
Satellite projects.

If ARISS is to be successful, the it will need to be restructured.



Excerpt from the memo by Roy Neal, K6DUE, Chairman SAREX Working Group
                Do not trade the future for a few slow scan images
today.  Enjoy the SSTV, but do not be misled. These people know what
ARISS has planned. They were even given a  seat at the table, as
consultants during the first ARISS meetings. Unfortunately, they
apparently have little appreciation for the complexity, level of detail,
and effort required to ensure a permanent Amateur Radio presence in
space.  In addition, they ignore the fact that frequencies are
coordinated on an international basis to minimize interference to other
operations and to onboard equipment.  These people have demonstrated
their willingness to flout the coordination program by announcing that
the SSTV system will continue to operate on 145.985 MHz instead of the
70-cm frequency coordinated for that purpose.

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