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[jamsat-news:576] * SpaceNews 23-Jun-97 *

* SpaceNews 23-Jun-97 *

BID: $SPC0623


              MONDAY JUNE 23, 1997

SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

A frequency change experiment took place the weekend of June 15th starting
at 1200 UTC with the 2-meter station on board the Mir space station.  The
duration of the experiment has not been finalized.  Your input on the
results are welcomed.

The MIREX team has received numerous complaints from around the world
stating the existing Mir 2-meter channels are not usable.  In November
1996, Mir changed from the successful channel 145.550 simplex to a
145.200/800 split frequency.  This combination of channels (145.200/800)
does not work very well for most parts of the world.  In many countries,
the 145.200 MHz frequency is used for repeater outputs or inputs.  The
145.790 MHz frequency is in use by many semi-permanent packet operations.
The new temporary frequency which MIREX has requested is 145.985 simplex.
All operations, voice and packet, will be on 145.985 simplex.  This
frequency was chosen for three primary reasons.  First, it complies
with the ITU International bandplan for Satellite operations.  Second,
it gets Mir away from most of the terrestrial based interference.
Third, it moves the Mir 2-meter station away from desense caused by
commercial VHF activities on board Mir (in the 143 MHz range).

Stations are encouraged to listen to the Mir activities on the new
frequency and send signal and interference reports to the CEO of MIREX,
Dave Larsen, N6CO. It is very important that all participate and send
in reports.  This is YOUR opportunity to provide useful input.  Dave
may be reached via any of the following addresses:

    Internet: doc@volcano.net
    Postal: N6CO, PO Box 1501, Pine Grove, CA 95665 USA

Please do not send signals reports via the Mir mailbox, and DO NOT
bother the Mir crew members about the frequency change.  This frequency
experiment is solely the responsibility of the MIREX Working Group.
The MIREX Working Group would like to thank all of the people involved
with assisting in this information gathering experiment, including the
Mir 23 crew members and the Chief of Cosmonaut Amateur Radio Department

Suggested report format: (preamps turned off, state antenna style, then 
describe interference if any).  For example:

Elevation   S-Units
 5        5
10            9
30          +10
50          +20
30            8
10            6
 5            2

[Info via Dave Larsen, N6CO/K6MIR]

The German Amateur Radio Club DARC (the national amateur radio organization
within the IARU) has been informed by AMSAT-DL, that the recent QSY of MIR
to 145.985 MHz is regarded by AMSAT-DL as an unfriendly act and an intrusion
of QRM into the OSCAR sub-band.

The DARC feels the frequency change has been forced by the American MIREX
group without consultation or even notification of the international AMSAT
groups.  In a recent ARRL bulletin the frequency chosen has been named a
"compromise".  The DARC feels this is a very inappropriate view.  Using
145.985 MHz is no compromise, but a total usage of OSCAR frequencies for
MIR FM traffic without paying any attention to OSCARs.  It affects the
uplink channel of UO-22 on 145.975 MHz +/- Doppler shift, many other
OSCARs (like the Fujis), and it is right within the passband of Phase-3D.

AMSAT-DL made very clear in 1995 at the international AMSAT Meeting at
Surrey, that they would not accept any MIR activity in the OSCAR segment
(145.800-146.000 MHz) because users of MIR are in general unexperienced
operators causing a lot of QRM (e.g. by using bad Kepler elements and
trying to get through in Packet Radio making one connect request after
the other).

As one of the international groups who signed the "Memorandum of
Understanding" regarding the ISS project, the DARC wants to point
out very clearly, that they endorse the point of view of AMSAT-DL
and they do not accept the way the MIREX group acted in this matter,
and the result.  They definitely want to respect the interests of
AMSAT, and especially of AMSAT-DL.

The DARC also cannot confirm the "numerous complaints" from around 
the world when using 145.800 MHz.  In Europe, the situation improved
considerably after the QSY to 145.800 MHz.  European repeater owners
also worked together to clear two widely used repeater channels
throughout the whole continent of Europe to reduce interference
with Mir on the 145.200 MHz / 145.800 MHz frequency pair.

[Info via Norbert Notthoff, DF5DP - DARC Staff Satellites and Space Projects]

It took a lot of work, but the Mir PMS is back on the air.  Please do
not abuse the system.  For more details on how to correctly use the Mir
PMS, please review the How-to articles in the March/April issues of
"CQVHF" magazine.

Mir Packet "Do" List:

* Do be courteous
* Do set "MCON ON"
* Monitor packet traffic before you transmit
* Do use Unproto when mailbox is not being used

Mir Packet "Do Not" list:

* Do not attempt two-way contacts with other groundstations using Mir as
  a digipeater.  If this practice continues, the MIREX support team will
  be forced to turn the digipeat function of the Mir TNC OFF.
* Do not attempt to connect to the single user mailbox while someone
  else is connected (R0MIR-1).
* Do not use the DEAD port called R0MIR.  (Sorry, no QSL for this port.)

Please let the MIREX support team (WF1F and N6CO) go first.  They still
have a lot of work to do in keeping the MIR mailbox up and running.  The
Mir crew does not have a lot of time to spend cleaning out the mailbox,
which can take an hour per day.  The Support Team needs daily access for
QSL logs, other amateur radio projects, messages to the crew, school
schedules, etc.)  Without QSL logs, no QSL cards can be issued by Dave
Larsen, N6CO.  This is harder for groundstations on the east coast of
the US than it is for stations on the west.  Please hang in there and
things will smooth out ASAP.  The MIREX support team will try to keep
their contacts with Mir as BRIEF as possible to allow others access
to the Mir PMS.

[Info via Miles Mann, WF1F and Dave Larsen, N6CO]

AMSAT-OSCAR-16 reached a milestone on 14-Jun-97 at 05:25 UTC when 1000
days had passed since its last software reload or IHU reset.  AO-16
continues to perform flawlessly providing store-and-forward file
transfers between groundstations around the world.  Congratulations
to AMSAT-OSCAR-16 and her command team: WJ9F, WD0E, VK7ZBX, and KB5MU.

It is with deep regret that the passing of Dan Henderson, VA3DH, is reported.
Dan, a department head at T.L. Kenndey High School had integrated Ham radio
and Satellites into his department's courses, and as a result had produced
many young hams.  In addition Dan had run courses for adults in the evenings
on behalf of his club.  Dan was a born teacher.  As a part of the school
operations he had a satellite station running 24 hours a day under the call
sign VE3TLK.  His student operators had contact with other schools around
the world.  Dan was also a member of the team responsible for organizing
this years AMSAT-NA annual meeting and symposium.
As you read this, please remember Dan and those like him whose interest
in teaching ham radio helps keep our hobby alive and well with new members.
[Info via Robin Haighton, VE3FRH]

AMSAT Phase 3D officials remain optimistic despite another delay in the
launch of the Ariane 502 that is scheduled to carry Phase 3D aloft in
mid-September.  The European Space Agency, ESA, announced last week that
the Ariane 502 launch will be delayed a couple of weeks until September
30 at the earliest while the rocket gets another engine.  It's the
second delay announced this year for the Phase 3D vehicle.  In March,
the launch date was moved from early July to mid-September.  AMSAT-NA
President Bill Tynan, W3XO, remains philosophical about the schedule
changes.  "It's more of the same," he said.  "We're trying to use all
the time they give us productively."

Orbital Report On-Line said last week that a faulty component was
detected in the liquid oxygen turbopump of the Vulcain engine due to
fly on Ariane 504.  Since the origin of the flaw was identified as a
possible production defect and a similar element is known to be in
the pump of the engine already mounted on the Ariane 502 rocket that
recently arrived in Kourou, French Guyana, the European Space Agency
and the launch consortium (CNES) have decided to remove the engine
and replace it with the one originally scheduled for Ariane 503,
which features a component from an older production batch.

Any delay increases the overall cost of the project, but Tynan
characterized the additional cost factor of the most recent delay
as "noise level".  He did not have a precise cost estimate.  Tynan,
who was at the Phase 3D Integration Lab in Orlando, Florida, said
everything is going along well in the process.  "The RF equipment
integrated fine," he noted.

For more information on Phase 3D, including pictures of the assembly
and integration process, refer to the following URL:


[Info via ARRL Space Bulletin #018]

A reminder to those entering SpaceNews reports into the amateur packet
radio network that the bulletin identifier (BID) unique to each issue
should be preserved to avoid article duplication on packet radio BBSs.
The BID is clearly indicated in the header of SpaceNews bulletins, and
is repeated at the start of the text of the bulletin (ie: $SPC0623).

Thanks to all who sent messages of appreciation for SpaceNews, especially:

        KE6JTS      VK6BIK      ZS6BMN

Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor (John,
KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW       : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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