Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

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VK4KHZ
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Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Thu Jan 28, 2016 5:44 pm

Upcoming ARISS contact over Australia -

Christ The King School, Rutland, Vermont, USA - telebridge via VK4KHZ Glenden, Queensland Australia.
The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS
The scheduled astronaut is Tim Kopra KE5UDN
The downlink signal on 145.800 should be able to be received across a large portion of the East coast of Australia.

Contact is a go for: Thu 2016-02-04 18:28:16 UTC 88 deg. Yes, it is early for most in Australia but don't say you weren't notified.

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:53 pm

https://www.google.se/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... dqI2EXUxiw

Some nice media coverage for Amateur Radio which featured on the TV news last night in the USA.

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Tue Mar 29, 2016 6:23 pm

Pre-notification advice of upcoming scheduled ARISS link up over Australia with the crew of the ISS -

School - Kiilinik High School, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada, this contact will be via ARISS ground station VK4KHZ located in Queensland Australia.

The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS.
The scheduled astronaut is Jeff Williams KD5TVQ.
Contact is go for: Wed 2016-04-06 18:02:20 UTC 55 deg.

Scheduled time will convert to Thursday 7th April at 4:02am in QLD. The ISS will appear from the NW heading SE and the downlink radio signal will be on frequency 145.800FM and should be EASILY audible over most of the east coast of Australia.

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:08 pm

An International Space Station school contact has been planned with participants at Kiilinik High School, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada on 06 Apr. The event is scheduled to begin at approximately 18:02 UTC - Note: this will be 4:02am on Thursday morning (7th April) in Queensland. It is recommended that you start listening approximately 10 minutes before this time.The duration of the contact is approximately 9 minutes and 30 seconds. The contact will be a telebridge between NA1SS and VK4KHZ The contact should be audible over portions of Australia and adjacent areas. Interested parties are invited to listen in on the 145.80 MHz downlink. The contact is expected to be conducted in English.


Cambridge Bay is a hamlet located on Victoria Island in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut, Canada. It is named for Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge, while the Inuinnaqtun name for the area is Iqaluktuttiaq meaning "good fishing place".This ancestral region of Nunavut has been inhabited for 4,000 years. It is rich in archaeological history and blessed with abundant fish, seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. Kiilinik High School is one of two public schools located in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. The school has a population of approximately 200 students and provides education from grades 7 to 12. For this event the Primary School will pair up with the high school for the event.


Participants will ask as many of the following questions as time allows:

1. Can you change the orbit and speed of Space Station?
2. What is your favorite part of being an astronaut?
3. Is the passage of time on Space Station different than Earth?
4. What time zone do you follow on Space Station and Why?
5. What do you do in your spare time, do you have the internet?
6. What would happen if a crew member was sick while in space?
7. Do you think we will ever travel outside our solar system and is Space
Station helping to solve the issues?
8. How is sleep impacted on Space Station and zero Gravity?
9. You are 400 kms up, zero gravity, far away from family, friends, watching
the universe and earth go by, looking and pondering into the universe –
what is that like?
10. We understand fire burns differently in space, how do you deal with a
fire emergency?
11. Are you doing any research related to travel to other worlds like Mars?
12. Was being an astronaut a childhood dream or did you decide later?
13. What were your first impressions when you arrived on the space station
and what will you miss from space?
14. How many people can live on space station at one time and for how long
with no supply vessel?
15. How advanced or how far and where can we go during the next 100 years in
space and space research?

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Sun Aug 07, 2016 5:58 pm

Upcoming ARISS telebridge contact next Friday morning via Australia:

U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville AL, telebridge via VK4KHZ The ISS callsign is presently scheduled to be NA1SS The scheduled astronaut is Kate Rubins KG5FYJ Contact is a go for: Thu 2016-08-11 15:25:44 UTC 66 deg

The downlink signal should be able to be received across most of eastern Australia on 145.800Mhz - however the time will not suit most at 1:25am local QLD TIME.

VK4WDM
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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4WDM » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:46 pm

Thank you for the heads up Shane. I will have a listen.

What are the chances of getting a 2 way QSO with the ISS? Should I just listen and hope on all passes or is there a way of predicting what the chances might be?

73

Wayne VK4WDM

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:39 pm

Hi Wayne

Probably fairly slim at present given that none of the astronauts currently on-board are "keen" amateur radio operators, but you could still try as you will have AOS slightly before me.

The scheduled contact on Friday will be with astronaut Kate Rubins - this will only be Kate's second ARISS contact so she is still learning the operating protocols.

Regards

Shane

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Tue Aug 09, 2016 5:19 am

Please be advised of a late operational change. This will mean that the downlink signal will no longer be audible over Australia for this pass -

Week 24
School: U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL (Rubins ONLY) Note change in ground station and time.

Thu 2016-08-11 14:48:24 UTC 83 deg via IK1SLD
Ground station – IK1SLD - CLAUDIO

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK2XTC » Tue Aug 09, 2016 6:22 pm

Will they be activating ISS TV ?

Brian

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:17 pm

Hi Brian

I assume you are referring to the 2.4Ghz HAMTV and not the SSTV?
In answer to your question there are no plans to activate the HAMTV during this contact however, as you may be aware the HAMTV transmitter is still transmitting away on 2395Mhz / 2000 SR. Just blank screen (no camera attached).

Regards

Shane

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK2XTC » Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:15 pm

Shane,

Do you have any pictures of your setup ?
From memory there was one of you standing in front of a small rack of equipment.

Can you share any pictures ? I'm interested in how you have developed your solution and how it hangs together.





Brian

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:08 pm

Brian
I will try and get some photos together in the coming days if the interest is there.

In the interim period, please have a look at the short youtube clip below;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZJRH17x0FI

Regards

Shane

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:11 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e346VrmuG5o

And a short clip of the first live video received as the ISS passed over QLD

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:22 pm

And the portable dish which is a 1.6m prime focus dish with helix feed and Kuhne TM23 down converter.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwKrLAx5FNg

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Re: Upcoming ARISS scheduled contact

Post by VK4KHZ » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:29 pm

Brian, apology for the delay but hopefully this info will assist you -

Below is a summary of the HAMTV equipment and any relevant findings observed or experienced during set-up at VK4KHZ in Queensland Australia.
I have assembled two HAMTV stations at VK4KHZ, one is fixed and the other is a portable unit. I will start by providing a brief summary of each key component of each of the stations, the equipment in use and some of the learning's to date so that hopefully anyone intending to assemble a HAMTV ground station from scratch, utilising similar components, may avoid some costly and time consuming errors.

Sincere thanks to Jean Pierre F6DZP for assistance in providing the fantastic software and for assisting in initial fault finding.

Station 1 – Fixed Station.
Antenna: RFHAMDESIGN 1.2m prime focus mesh kit dish. This kit is easy to assemble providing you are patient with the assembly and are methodical with your assembly techniques. I did make a minor engineering change to the rim of the dish after placement of the mesh by riveting a section of 30 mm flat strap around the outside of the frame which makes the finish much neater, holds the mesh more securely in place and I believe improves the overall aesthetics of the design. This dish works very well and has provided consistent and reliable reception results.

Antenna Mount: The dish is mounted on a roof mounted ex pay-tv dish mount which is mounted just above the guttering line of the house roof. The vertical pole is 50mm diameter, approximately 1.0m in length and is braced with two 20mm stays. In all quite a rigid and serviceable mount.
Feed: The feed used is an RFHAMDESIGN helix feed designed specifically for HAMTV. This feed comes as a sealed PVC cylinder, however I did carefully remove the end cap by cutting it off with a hacksaw and replacing the original cap with a replacement push-on cap. I did this so that I could accurately measure the dish focal point distance as it was difficult to determine exactly where in the enclosure the helix started.

Cable: The feeder cable used is commercial grade quad shield 75 ohm coaxial cable with sealed crimp F type connectors fitted.

Converter: I have tried two (2) different brands of LNC in this installation. Initially I used the Spectra Developments SPDC 2400 LNC. This LNC works with HAMTV however at my location this unit seems to suffer slightly from an unknown interference source on 2395Mhz. It should be noted that the IF of the Spectra LNC is 1000Mhz for easy conversion. I am currently using the Kuhne MKU23TM in this installation as it seems to work much better for me and I do not get the interference issues previously noted.
Rotator & Controller: I am using the Yaesu G5500 (I could not find a supplier of SPID rotators in Australia otherwise I would have purchased one for comparison). I have three of the Yaesu (Kenpro) units and the standard controllers and they all behave with slight (and sometimes frustrating) differences. If you have one of the earlier models I would recommend that you perform a minor modification to the power supply unit in order to provide better voltage stability (addition of a capacitor), I have soldered a 1uf, 25v tantalum capacitor under the board between the voltage regulator’s output lead (+) and ground (-). I note that the latest model of the G5500 has this modification completed. The thing that I have learned about these rotators is that they can be used successfully for HAMTV use however some patience and persistence may be required during the initial calibration process to make sure that you get it right before installing. I have one unit which calibrated very easily using the process described in the Yaesu operations manual however the other two units took some time and patience to calibrate accurately. I would recommend that you calibrate the rotators on the ground rather than mount them on your mast/tower and then try and do the calibration from the roof or ground. The dish mount I use is a custom built unit C/W adjustable sliding counterweight arms which are adjusted to find the balance point of the dish when mounted on the rotator – I consider this to be critical as using this method can greatly reduce the amount of “play” between the rotor gears during high elevation passes. The counterweights which I used are weightlifting barbells as they are heavy, cheap and easily available.

Antenna Tracker: I currently use an LVB Tracker (available from AMSAT) at my fixed station, however before calibrating the LVB Tracker I did calibrate the rotator controller using my Yaesu GS232B antenna tracker – (I simply found that by using the GS-232 to calibrate the rotator controllers before installation was the easiest approach) and then calibrate the LVB tracker to match the rotator.

Computer: Dell 990 Desktop, 3.1Ghz, 8 Gb, 250 GB, Windows 7 32 Bit system dedicated for HAMTV use

Satellite Receiver: TechnoTrend TT S2-1600 PCI Card. It is worth noting that the initial card which I purchased and installed into the PC, I spent literally weeks trying to get it to work, and without success. It was only after I contacted Jean-Pierre F6DZP (just in case I was doing something wrong with the software) and a series of tests were performed in which we determined that the receiver card was in fact faulty. I purchased a replacement card and it worked first up. I must say that without Jean-Pierre’s support and Martin (VK6MJ) persistence in convincing me not to give up I would most likely have shelved the project.

Tracking Software: I use SatPC32 on all three (3) of my tracking stations for no other reason than the fact that I like it, and it has never let me down. The set up process is pretty much self-explanatory however if anyone is experiencing difficulty please feel free to contact me and I should be able to assist, having tried most of the settings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZJRH17x0FI


Station 2 – Portable Station
Antenna: Initially a 1.6m steel petal dish however I am now experimenting with an Ex commercial 1.6m solid aluminium prime focus dish with a custom built light weight mount.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwKrLAx5FNg

Antenna Mount: 1.2m section of aluminium lighting tower mounted on an aluminium tilt over base with hinge and fitted with heavy duty locking trolley wheels. This unit fits easily into the tray of my vehicle (Toyota Hilux).

Feed: Home-made 2.4G patch feed made from 100mm sewer pipe (un-used!) aluminium sheet and single sided PCB board.

Cable: The feeder cable used is commercial grade quad shield 75 ohm coaxial cable with sealed crimp F type connectors fitted

Converter: Currently using a Kuhne MKU23 (not the TM model) built into a home-made weatherproof enclosure. This particular model comes without a weatherproof enclosure.

Rotator & Controller: Yaesu G5500 with custom built mounting frame for the dish C/W adjustable counterweight arms. Counterweights are weightlifting barbells and the counterweight assists in reducing backlash from rotator as gears mesh particularly at high elevation.

Antenna tracker: Yaesu GS-232B rotator controller

Computer: Dell 990, 3.4Ghz, 500Gb, Windows 64 Bit system

Satellite Receiver: TechnoTrend TT S2-3200 PCI Card. (The S2-1600 is no longer available)

Alignment: Alignment is completed using a spirit level and a Garmin GPS each time the system is moved. To date it has proved to be a relatively simple process.

Other Notes worth mentioning:
The mounting clamps on the elevation rotator should be replaced with better quality heavy duty clamps (available at local TV antenna retailer) the mounts that come with the rotator are light duty.
The LNC should be mounted as close as practicable to the input of the dish feed.
If the length of control cable feeding the AZ/EL rotators is changed it would be wise to recalibrate the rotators as I changed from 15m control cables to 25m control cables and found that this change caused a minor discrepancy in the accuracy of the rotators.
Getting the focal length correct (within 5 mm) can and does make a difference. My view is the RFHAMDESIGN helix feed should not have the end cap glued in place.
Try and mount your dish as clear as possible from any obscuration – especially trees and foliage.
The Kuhne MKU23TM is NOT waterproof, only weatherproof. Be aware of this especially when it is raining and the dish is operated in flip mode.

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