[amsat-bb] ARISS

JoAnne Maenpaa k9jkm at comcast.net
Sun Jun 8 14:21:34 UTC 2014

Hi Kelley,

If you are able to copy stations on the 145.825 MHz downlink you have
your packet setup working. If you add "more antenna" you'll find you
can copy a pass starting sooner and lasting longer. Otherwise, if you
hear with the vertical antenna it is working OK.

I use the USA 144.390 MHz APRS beacon frequency for testing my packet
receive setups. I'm near Chicago so there is always an APRS
brap-brap-brappity-brap around. In rural areas you may need to wait a
while. But, if your packet setup works on terrestrial signals it is
ready for the ISS. You can do testing without waiting for an ISS pass
if you use 144.390. Then tune back up 145.825 and it should be ready.

But (there is always a but) ...

1. Getting on the list and/or map at www.ariss.net depends on the
downlink also being heard by an earth station setup to SATGATE its
received packets. There seem to be fewer SATGATE stations around than
in years previously. You don't have to do anything special to get
SATGATE'd. Your UNPROTO CQ VIA ARISS (CQ VIA RS0ISS works also) is all
you need to do. But there has to be a SATGATE station in range.

2. ARISS has a weaker signal than before. It is still a good signal
but in the past their higher power used to make the packet bursts able
to be copied on an HT and rubber duck. Nowadays an external antenna is
necessary (which you have). The ARISS downlink signal experiences
shadowing from the ISS structure. Sometimes this contributes to the
weaker downlink which means fewer stations hearing you ... or,
SATGATES hearing you.

3. Setting PASSALL to ON helps you copy packets that don't complete
the checksum. Many times there is enough information in there for
human eyes to pick out. Still, the SATGATES will need to receive the
entire packet with checksum to relay you. This is just another
technique for troubleshooting. PASSALL is available on the hardware
TNC configurations but I haven't found a soundcard packet program
which supports it.

4. PCSAT NO-44 can digipeat on 145.825 if it has a good charge from
its solar panels. Set your unproto to CQ VIA W3ADO-1. The signal from
NO-44 is definitely weaker than the ISS. It often shuts down after a
few packets because of power issues. On a good day it is another
satellite to add to your list. The packet log and map for NO-44 is at
http://www.findu.com/cgi-bin/pcsat.cgi  The same lack of SATGATE
stations issue also applies here. Sometimes it may be a couple of days
until someone makes it through and on rare passes several stations are

73 de JoAnne K9JKM
k9jkm at amsat.org 
Editor, AMSAT Journal

-----Original Message-----
From: amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org]
On Behalf Of Kelley
Sent: Saturday, June 07, 2014 21:08
Subject: [amsat-bb] ARISS

Hi all,

I've been trying to work stations on ARISS as it goes over the USA,
don't seem to be getting anywhere. I hear the ARISS exactly when my 
tracking software says I should. I switch to converse mode and send a 
"Hi". I see a number of stations sending packets, I attempt to contact

them without results.

I used K9JKM's PDF to help set things up (very helpful). My unproto is

CQ VIA ARISS. I looked at the bottom of www.ariss.net to see if the 
ARISS was hearing me, I didn't see my call, nor did I see the other 
calls I heard. Perhaps it takes a while to appear.

Is there another way to see if things are setup okay on my end?

I'm using Winpack on Windows 7 to a MFJ-1278T to a IC-706MKIIG
to a vertical antenna mounted at 50' (working on a better antenna,
to have it up soon).


Kelley - WØRK

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