[sarex] Re: Future ISS amateur radio modes

Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) sarex at wd9ewk.net
Mon Apr 30 09:16:06 PDT 2007


> I read rogers mail pushing for packet on ISS. I have a different
> opinion to express. For years, the ISS transmitted a very
> unchallenging Packet mode devoid of real communications with
> the crew.

Unchallenging?  Try getting a single packet to - or through - the ISS
packet station on a busy pass.

> After listening for many passes for years waiting to hear a
> crewmember call CQ the packet noise began to grow on me like
> chinese water torture. To me, without the capability to
> communicate with the crew, the aprs packet mode is frivolous
> robotic stuff. Sorry, But I'm not the military type. I realize the crew is
> busy, or otherwise uninterested, but I prefer to communicate with
> the crew or others directly. I'm thankful for the times the d700 was
> placed in cross-band repeat mode. It was the next best thing to
> talking to the crew. Please use it in the future.

Crew activity... that all depends on the crew and whether or not they
choose to spend their limited free time on the radio.  A few who have
gone to the ISS - Bill McArthur is the latest example of an active
ISS crewmember on the ham gear (excluding the tourists) - choose
to use the radio.  That's the bottom line.  Nobody is going to force an
ISS crewmember to spend lots of time on the ham radio, if that isn't
interesting to them.

As for the packet noise as a torture... just tune your VFO off 145.800 or
turn the radio off.  Or, if the radio has to stay on that frequency for some
reason, turn the volume down.

I'd prefer the cross-band repeater over the packet/APRS stuff from the
ISS if there isn't any crew activity, but at this point I'd prefer the
packet/APRS stuff over the relative silence on 145.800 MHz.  When
packet was operating, not all activity was APRS.  There were some
who would make quick QSOs with other stations, digipeating their
packet transmissions through the ISS radio.

Here's hoping someone can restore the TM-D700's settings so the radio
can be used for more than the scheduled contacts.



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