[amsat-bb] ISS Unattended Beacon Theory (UBT) - PROVE ME WRONG!

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Fri Apr 22 20:17:46 UTC 2016

The APRS space channel was designed to support user applications that need
satellite connectivity. All of them use UI packets since they are the most
efficient (all data in one packet):

1)      APRS user message contacts (texting and QSOs)

2)      Remote position and status reporting of ham travelers beyond range
of the terrestrial network

3)      Remote sensor data experiments (ocean buoys or WX data  projects)

Generally, I have learned that trying to criticize how others use ham radio
is a dead end.  So instead we try to nudge them towards proper operating
practice such as the guidelines on how to use the ISS digipeater:

The recommendations have always been:

* live operators use a beacon rate of 1 beacon per minute and live QSO
packets as required.

* Remote travelers (live) should set one packet every 2 minutes (live and

* For non-moving travelers and unattended data sources, we recommend one
packet every 5 minutes.

These rates can show good success for a dozen live users, a half dozen live
mobiles and nearly 2 dozen unattended beacons per pass and this is about
the average load.  Though people would see higher suggess if we could get
those dead-woods to cut back their rates.

Yes, it is sad that some people transmit unattended beacons via the ISS at
1 minute rates.  So what we need to encourage those unattended stations to
cut back to one packet every 5 minutes.  At that rate, their load  is
insignificant but they have a good chance of showing up on the heard log (
http://ariss.net) once a day and they exercise and demonstrate the utility
of the channel for remote Amateur Radio Applications.

So It would seem OK for a few policeman to look for 1 minute unattended
beacons and contact them to read the above FAQ page as their responsibility
for using the channel.

Bob Bruninga,wb4apr

*From:* Robert McGwier [mailto:rwmcgwier at gmail.com]
*Sent:* Thursday, April 21, 2016 12:11 PM
*Subject:* Re: [amsat-bb] ISS Unattended Beacon Theory (UBT) - PROVE ME

That is what it is now Bob.  It is people on the ground doing the bleeping
and they are using it as a pseudo bent pipe transponder doing demod/remod
constantly unattended.  is that how it was intended to be used?

Tell me how to stop this behavior without turning off UI?  Or maybe you
feel this is not a real impediment to comms.  The originator of this thread
seems to feel it is.



On Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:

Do you mean turn it into another BLEEPsat of our own making?..

-----Original Message-----
> Subject:  ISS Unattended Beacon Theory (UBT) - PROVE ME WRONG!
> We should turn off digipeating of UI frames.  One bit flip and it ends.
> The ISS can beacon but this activity will end.
> Bob

On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:52 PM, <skristof at etczone.com> wrote:

> A short exchange of name, QTH (Grid Square &/or state), then a QSL to
> acknowledge. Kind of like JT65 except faster than growing grass.
> I use... macros that can be set up with all the info, then sent with the

> push of a button. It can be done if you're paying attention and catch
> the breaks between beacons.
> Steve AI9IN

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Bob McGwier

Founder, Federated Wireless, Inc

Founder and Technical Advisor, HawkEye 360, Inc

Research Professor Virginia Tech

Dir. Research:  The Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and

Senior Member IEEE, Facebook: N4HYBob, ARS: N4HY

Faculty Advisor Virginia Tech Amateur Radio Assn. (K4KDJ)

Director of AMSAT

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