Category : Science and Education
Archive   : FREQTEXT.ZIP

Output of file : SPACELAB.TXT contained in archive : FREQTEXT.ZIP

How to Listen to the Soviet MIR Spacelab

I have received a number of inquiries lately asking how one can
receive radio transmissions from the Soviet MIR Spacelab. While
most people believe that a big monetary expenditure is needed and
a huge dish must be constructed, such is not the case. Listeners
using very simple receivers and antennas can accomplish this task
with a very modest capital outlay and a little research. A basic
system consists of a receiver, an antenna and some good software
for tracking. Put them all together and its wow time.

a. Receivers: Look for a good programmable scanner, available from
a variety of sources, e.g. Radio Shack, mail order,
discount stores or "used", prices range $100 and up.
b. Antennas: The better the antenna the better the signal. While the
work with high and close passes it isn't the greatest.
Externally mounted antennas are best and fall into two
basic categories: directional and omni-directional.
The directional antennas work best, but they require a
small rotor. Omni-Directional antennas e.g. the discone
and vertical units are most popular. A good quality
coax (antenna lead-in) to get the signal to the receiver
should not be overlooked. Signal pre-amplifiers may
also be used. Antennas and related supplies are
available from: Radio Shack (locally) and from Grove
Electronics in Brasstown, NC. (1-704-837-9200) Antenna
prices range upward from $30 plus hardware.
c. Tracking programs: Once the equipment is set-up, you may enhance
your quality listening times by actually knowing when
the MIR is scheduled to pass by your area. To do this a
number of software programs are available from AMSAT,
tel: (301) 589-6062. AMSAT offers a wide range of soft-
ware for most computers. To use them, you must program
in your position coordinates: e.g. longitude, latitude
and height. Once you set-up the program, then you will
have to program in the latest Keplerian elements into the
system. These Keplerian elements are variables used to
calculate the orbit passes. They are available from a
variety of telephone BBSs (Ham and Shortwave Echo areas,
Compuserve [go HOM-11]) and are updated at least weekly.
Potential listeners may listen to AMSAT Nets on shortwave
amateur bands for voice updates. (3.855 Wed 0200/0300/
0400 UTC 14.282 Sun 1900 UTC and 21.280 Sun 1800).
Frequencies: The MIR is currently conducting amateur radio operations
on 145.55, 145.525, 145.575 and reports out of Europe say
that 145.400 is also being used. Contacts on these
frequencies are in English. The MIR also uses 143.62
for ground relay work in Russian.

  3 Responses to “Category : Science and Education
Archive   : FREQTEXT.ZIP

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: