Archive for February, 2006

NA1SS QSL Card Arrives

As reported in a previous blog posting, I worked astronaut Bill McArthur (NA1SS) on the International Space Station (ISS). The QSL card just arrived in the mail from the ARRL. The back side of the card indicates K0NR, 5 Dec 2005, 1710 UTC on 145.80 MHz Voice.

Information on obtaining a QSL card for amateur radio contacts with the ISS is available here.

73, Bob K0NR

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Getting Ready for Another SuitSat

FOLLOWING SUIT: Engineers at Microchip in Chandler Plan Work on 2nd Satellite

By Ed Taylor, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

Feb. 18–A volunteer team of engineers at Microchip Technology in Chandler is already planning work on a second spacesuit satellite that they hope will be launched next year.

Two weeks after being released from the international space station, the world’s first orbiting spacesuit satellite — called SuitSat-1 — continues to transmit signals and offer new surprises for the Microchip engineers who built some of the makeshift satellite’s electronics.

Apparently, there are other space suits on the ISS that need to be tossed overboard, so planning is already starting how to do the next SuitSat. While it was disappointing to have such a weak signal from SuitSat-1, the project still created quite a stir in the ham community and the general public. This is rather interesting given that is was just a simple “transmit only” satellite, while we have a number of transponders on the air that are stronger and more consistent….but are not a discarded space suit.

I look forward to having SuitSat-2 orbiting the earth.

73, Bob K0NR

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SuitSat Not Dead Yet

“SuitSat-1″ Keeps on Ticking; Low Power Output Eyed as Cause for Weak Signal

NEWINGTON, CT, Feb 13, 2006–”SuitSat-1” remains operational more than a week after being deployed from the International Space Station, but its 145.990 MHz FM signal continues to be extremely weak copy on Earth. Speculation now is focusing on extremely low transmitter output power as one explanation for the faint signal. SuitSat-1′s sponsor–the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program–continues to seek voice telemetry reports as part of an effort to pin down what might have gone awry. [from ARRL web site ]

Well, it appears that SuitSat is “not dead yet”. Some hams around the world are still hearing the weak signal from SuitSat. I tried to hear it using my FT-817 and an Arrow dualband antenna but had no luck. AJ3U has a nice collection of information and audio recordings of SuitSat on his web site.

– Bob K0NR

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