Mir Amateur Radio Status: March 24, 1998
by Miles Mann WF1F,
MAREX-MG (Manned Amateur Radio Experiment, North American Division)
During the Amateur Radio Station move last week the PMS was reset back to the factory default settings. Unfortunately the default settings are not compatible with normal Mir PMS operations.
This resulted in additional temporary down time for the PMS. Both the MIREX and MAREX-MG teams began to work on the problem. This is actually the third time we have had this problem and it is easy to fix. The only real problem is it does require the Mir to Manually change three parameters in the PMS, before the System Operators can then log-in and remotely fix the rest of the parameters.
After a Reset, the TNC Squelch control parameter defaults to the Internal or Squelch must be Set correct-value. Since the squelch on the Mir Kenwood TM-733 is normally OFF or Wide-open, this caused the Kantronics KPC-9612, to think the channel was constantly busy (the volume is usually all the way OFF).
I sent a fax off to my contact (Sergej) in Energia, with a detailed list of instructions on which parameters needed to be changed by the Mir crew. Sergej then contacted the Mir crew and told them to, put the TNC back to the normal settings. When I developed the Mir Upgrade project a few years back, I made sure the Mir crew got a full copy of the TNC manual. In the manual I marked in big RED letters the Mir settings which are different than the factory defaults. The Mir crew just compared the manual to the TNC settings and make them match.
After the Mir crew made the basic setting changes, the MIREX team then took over the finished making the final settings. The settings can be changed remotely by the System Operators, but only after the first three key settings are corrected.
Thanks to everyone for a quick job well done.
RS-19 Ready for Launch
RS-19 is another in the line of successful mini sputnik type satellites.
Sputnik RS-19 is on its way to Balkanor to be installed in the next Progress cargo ship.
The tentative date for the Progress launch is April 2,1999. I do not have a confirmed date for the hand launching of the RS-19 sputnik from Mir at this time.
The new Sputnik can be heard on 145.812/815 (Adjust for Doppler). Listen closely and you will hear the up to 10 messages, repeated in multiple different languages.
I was informed that each message will be 7 seconds long, with a 7 second pause.
There is the ability to change the message every 24 hours.Anyone with a simple 2-meter receiver or scanner should be able to hear the voice recordings being played by Sputnik.
Listening for Sputnik:
Sputnik is operating close to the frequency 145.815. Of course the frequency will appear to drift due to normal Doppler effects. Because of Doppler shift, the signal may appear anywhere between 145.811 - 145.818 (I rounded a little). When Sputnik first comes in range for its 10 minute pass, the initial frequency plus Doppler will be approximately 145.818 (145.815 TX freq., plus 3.5k Doppler shift).
When Sputnik is directly over head, the frequency will be approximately 145.815 Then as Sputnik passes away and nears the horizon, the frequency will be approximately 145.812 (145.815, minus Doppler 3.5k).
If you have an FM receiver which can tune only in 5k Channels, try to listen for Sputnik on 145.820 at the beginning of the pass, then step down to 145.815 and 145.810 towards the end of the pass. Sputnik can be heard with most receivers, FM, CW or SSB.
For more information about this project, please check out the Amsat-France Web page and follow the links to the Sputnik http://www.ccr.jussieu.fr/physio/f6bvp/
The 200 mw beacon can be heard in either FM, CW or SSB modes. Give it a try and if you hear the Beep Beep Beep of the Sputnik satellite, you can send away for a special Short Wave Listener SQL card.
Reminder, RS-19 has not been launched at this time.
Please use one of the following QSL managers and follow the directions for that Manager.
All Mir contacts, SWL, Two-way voice or Packet connections (R0MIR), including the new Sputnik Satellite RS-19
Envelopes should be well sealed and do not include cash.
Send a SAE (Self Addressed Envelope ) and one or two IRC coupons
(which can be purchased at major US post offices).
Do not make any notes on the out side of the envelope with Amateur Radio Call signs visible.
QSL Information for SWL (Short Wave Listener)
PO Box 73
Moscow Area, 141070, Russia
For Two-way contacts with Mir ONLY. Just for the call sign R0MIR and R0MIR-1
No SWL (Short Wave Listener) cards will be issued at this address.
Dr. Dave Larsen - N6CO/K6MIR
PO Box 311
Pine Grove, California
Please include a SASE (Business Size Envelope) and one IRC > for international.
If you are sending a IRC , please make sure it is dated 1998 , as my post office will not accept IRC dated over 1 yr. old.
Note: Dave Larsen MIREX / N6CO is not handling SWL cards for Sputnik, please use the other addresses
Mir's Random Radio Schedule:
The Mir crew is in the process of moving the Personal Message System (PMS) and the MAREX-MG SSTV Amateur Radio equipment from the Priroda Module to the Mir-Core or Base-Block module.
This move will give the crew better access to the Amateur Radio equipment. And it will give us access to the Mir-Core Antenna. The Mir-Core antenna is a Larsen-Dual band mobile antenna, mounted out side of Mir. The dual band antenna will give us access to 2-meters and 70 cm.
In the Priroda module, we only had access to the 2-meter antenna. The Priroda Module 2-meter access limitations and the power supply limitations caused a little confusion to the a few hams, who did not understand the hardware limitations of the project. I still expect all operations, SSTV and Packet to stay on 145.985 FM simplex, until we are able to run both projects simultaneously. Since we only have enough power to run one project at a time, there is no
reason to use the 70cm band at this time.
The Mir Core module is where the crew spends most of their time, this means there will be more opportunity to see and hear the Mir crew from the new location.
During the move, we can expect some down time for the Amateur Radio Station.
New Mir Crew Members:
The current crew consists of:
SOYUZ TM-29 arrived at Mir on February 20, 1999. Mir Soyuz TM-29 crew consisted of French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere, Viktor Afanasyev and Slovakian Cosmonaut Ivan Bella
On February 28, some of the crew returned to earth, they were:
Slovak Ivan Bella and Gennadiy Paldalko.
Gennadiys mission lasted approximately 6 months (August 16 1998 - February 28 1999)
The remaining crew consists of:
The French cosmonaut Jean-Pierre Heignere
Cosmonaut Viktor Afanasyev
Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev. Sergei mission began August 16, and is expected to last a total of 9-11 months.
This will make the Mir crew 27 a three man crew. Energia informed me that the French Cosmonaut Jean-Pierre did receive training on the MAREX-MG SSTV project, and he has already sent a few SSTV images of him self and the rest of the Mir crew.
Current Schedule for Packet PMS and SSTV:
No activity last weekend due to the hardware move.
The crew will do their best to keep the SSTV system active on weekends and packet PMS operational on weekdays.
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 1999 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-MG SSTV system on the Russian Space Station Mir are considered public domain and may be freely distributed, without prior permission.
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