[amsat-bb] Re: Making ISS voice contacts, best practice

Roger Kolakowski rogerkola at aol.com
Sat Jun 4 07:48:09 PDT 2011

Fair questions...so I will try to answer...

If the Packet system is on, voice will not be on...either direct to the 
shuttle or the FM repeater.

If the Packet system is off...
     There could be a space walk
     They could be docking or undocking
     As was recently noted...they could be using/testing the 143 mhz system
     They could have shut the radio off for numerous other reasons
     ...and they could have forgotten to turn it back on (or chose not to)
     or they MAY be in one of the voice modes...

Juat a note...the Packet system is not just for APRS...there are may who 
two way communicate using UNPROTO

The repeater system is just that....split VHF and UHF...if it is up you 
should be able to hear yourself in the downlink...if you don't hear 
yourself, don't continue to talk...you might just be making a mess for 
someone who can get in...the repeater sounds like any other FM Satellite 

Direct to the ISS...there are two VHF uplink frequencies...occasionally 
the astronauts listen to the wrong one for the Zone you are in...not 
many "defined" Zone demarcations in space...the same with them listening 
on 145.800 and 145.825.  I have also talked with them 435 up / 2 meters 
down. I believe that sometime in the way past, they ended up listening 
on the 143 frequency...tempting but still out of band  ;-)

Calling "CQ" using many CQ's in the call as on the low bands is 
typically poor form on FM...you are either audible or not...so a simple 
"ISS this is W1XYZ" or "CQ ISS" or "Space Station this is W1XYZ in 
Colorado" will suffice (use one of their many callsigns if you 
like)....no answer...give it a minute or two, watch your pass 
predictions and begin and end accordingly.

Anyway...that's how I would do it...YMMV

BTW..."bad form" would probably be defined as irritating to 
others...unless you are making a spectical of yourself, the ones you 
should consider are are your fellow satellite hams close to home who 
have to listen to you direct.


On 6/3/2011 7:51 PM, Alexander Sack wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 7:39 PM, Alexander Sack<pisymbol at gmail.com>  wrote:
>> Is it bad form to call the NA1SS during a pass in a vain attempt to
>> make a contact?
>> Do folks call CQ NA1SS?  Its this bad form?
>> I also don't know how to tell if the FM repeater is on
>> So to verify, when the repeater is in APRS mode, its not in FM mode?
>> So if I AX.25 frames aren't flying by me, it means someone is
>> potentially operating the radio (minus technical difficulties)?
>> Is all of above correct?

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