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ARRL Satellite Bulletin ARLS003 (2002)

ARLS003 ARISS packet system to be upgraded soon

QST de W1AW  
Space Bulletin 003  ARLS003
From ARRL Headquarters  
Newington, CT  February 21, 2002
To all radio amateurs

ARLS003 ARISS packet system to be upgraded soon

Normal packet activity with a real call sign should resume soon on
the International Space Station. Amateur Radio on the International
Space Station (ARISS) Board Chairman Frank Bauer, KA3HDO, says a new
packet module sent up to the ISS last August will be installed by
February 25.

Since Amateur Radio gear was installed on the ISS in 2000, the
packet system--crippled with a dead RAM (random access memory)
backup battery--has been operating in digipeat mode using the NOCALL
call sign and other ROM (read-only memory) defaults. Earthbound
users have been able to access the system nonetheless, but the lack
of a call sign has been an annoyance.

Bauer said the new module, using the call sign RS0ISS, will employ a
specially developed ROM programmed with standard ISS defaults, a new
battery and an extended memory--up to one megabyte. The TNC also has
eight-bit capability to support Russian Cyrillic typesets, and a
one-minute timeout disconnect from the PMS if no pertinent packets
are heard.

Although the mailbox function will be activated, hams are
discouraged from using it. ''Currently there is no computer hooked up
to the packet module,'' Bauer explained. ''In addition, the crew will
be much too busy to respond to messages posted there.''

ARISS packet radio frequencies will remain the same. The uplink is
145.99 MHz, the downlink is 145.80 MHz.

For more information on the new packet hardware and the ARISS
equipment, visit the ARISS Web site at, .


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