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here is my friend's response to satellite email i forwarded to him

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  • RStone1221@aol.com
    This guy is an expert with ISS contacts. He knows astronauts and worked MIR tons. ... ================================================= (You have my permission
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2003
      This guy is an expert with ISS contacts. He knows astronauts and worked MIR tons.
      ---------------------------------------------------------------------
      =================================================

      (You have my permission to republish the following
      information)
      *********************************************
      The status of HAMSATs and their prospective modes of
      operation can be viewed at:

      http://www.amsat.org

      AMSAT (Amateur Satellite Corporation) controls most
      HAMSAT functions, but, unfortunately it is sometimes
      necessary to be a AMSAT member to have direct access
      to current mode status, including FM mode, for any
      HAMSAT. The question above makes little sense since
      there are many HAMSATs that have FM function, although
      most are limited to packet 1200 or 2800 baud data, but
      no voice function. You can go to ...

      http://www.dransom.com

      ... and download "STSPLUS" where most HAMSAT
      frequencies will be included once you update the
      keplerian elements, and use the orthographic mode to
      watch the satellite of your choice. Some of these will
      have FM mode, and any scanner with a good antenna
      (indoor or outdoor) can receive the downlink signals
      for whatever satellite you choose.

      If the question was asking about voice on FM, there is
      only one possibility that I know of ... the ISS.
      However, the ISS has not been making voice contacts
      except on their days off, Saturday and Sunday, after
      their limited work schedule on those days. Although
      occasionally they will make a voice contact after
      their weekday 12 hour schedule which ends at 19:00
      UTC. The Following might help for weekend contacts ...

      They usually work 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday,
      respectively. Predicting if they will pass you is
      another challange. A HAM must understand their work
      schedule which begins at 07:00 UTC daily. A weekend
      pass for possible contact would therefor be after
      11:00 UTC, which is after 06:00 CDT Dallas time. HAMs
      must all understand their respective distance to UTC
      in order to predict this. If a pass of the ISS
      occurres on the weekend, over the HAM, at around 06:00
      A.M. (in Texas), you might be able to make a FM voice
      contact. You will most likely have to think in UTC
      time to predict a good ISS contact time. The
      tranceiver will have to be programmed for a 144.390
      MHz uplink, and a 145.800 MHz downlink. That is a
      weird offset, but can be done with most modern rigs.
      Additionally, all HAMs should listen for the astronaut
      or cosmonaut (both speak english) before calling up.
      If they are talking, they will be obvious! You will
      hear them as they approach your location, and as they
      talk to other HAMs in areas thousands of miles from
      you. Understand that there might be several other
      ground stations attempting the same as you ... wait
      your turn or for the ISS contact to clear with whoever
      they are talking with. Speeding over us at 17,500 MPH
      at 240 miles high can actually create a "bees nest"
      for ISS HAMs. You can also monitor 143.625 MHz to
      listen for downlinks from ISS to CAPCOM (Houston
      Communications ... hundreds of ground relays all over
      the globe). Other than that, FM traffic via HAMSATs
      are rare today.

      Douglas E. Trapp
      KC6ZOF
      Irving, Texas
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