Amateur Radio Packet via the International Space Station (update 2)

On yesterday’s pass I realized too late that the AGWTerminal software doesn’t send unproto packets needed to send packets via the ISS. I’ve now downloaded UISS, got it sent up and checked into the Sacramento Valley Sunday evening packet net, so looks like everything is good to go.

On this evening’s pass, I started sending my cq unproto packets, but looks like I wasn’t heard. I’m wondering after reading around that my ‘via’ value should be ARISS and not RS0ISS that I was using. Apparently your via should be ARISS, but the packets recevied from the digipeater on the ISS will come from RS0ISS. So, will give it another try on the next pass at a good time.

Here’s the packets I received this evening:

Fm K7LWV-6 To APRS Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=47 >[21:08:50]
=4454.96N/12319.98W`Dallas, OR Via ISS {UISS53}
Fm K7LWV-6 To APRS Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=33 >[21:08:59]
:NWS      :Hello from Dallas, OR!
Fm N7HQB To CQ Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=45 >[21:09:04]
=40.637569n/111.931580w/Hello From SLC Utah!

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Amateur Radio Packet via the International Space Station (ISS)

I’ve been meaning to try out packet radio via the ISS packet digipeater for a while. My first attempt the pass was less that 50degrees and I didn’t hear anything during the pass. Tonight there was a 76degree elevation pass – for this try I had my Icom 880 set to 145.825MHz, connected via a Rigblaster to a laptop running AGW Packet Engine. My antenna is just a homegrown 1/4wave vertical in my attic.

All set and ready to go, I started to hear some activity just before the peak elevation. I tried sending my unproto packet, but found out the hard way that AGWTerminal only does connected mode, and won’t send unproto packets. Found a discussion here as well, so I guess this is a limitation of AGWTerminal.

Apparently UISS is the app of choice for working packet via the ISS, but there wasn’t enough time to download it and get it installed in time for this pass.

I did receive some packets though, so although I didn’t get a chance to transmit, here’s what I received on this pass:

1:Fm K6PKL To CQ Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=42 >[21:58:00]
 =3748.51N/12112.44W-Solar Power
 1:Fm K6PKL To CQ Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=24 >[21:58:19]
 >142032zUI-View32 V2.03
 1:Fm K7LWV-6 To APRS Via RS0ISS* <UI pid=F0 Len=47 >[21:58:52]
 =4454.96N/12319.98W`Dallas, OR Via ISS {UISS53}

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Microsoft .NET now Open Source?

This is a turn up for the books. Who would have thought this would even have been a option a few years back. Microsoft is open sourcing .NET, making the source available on GitHub, and even plans to make the framework cross platform to run on Linux and Mac – more here.

One can only speculate that they feel pressured to do this for .NET to stay relevant, and/or to expand it’s usage to other platforms outside of Windows? Given the accelerating trend to deploy to the cloud on virtualized platforms (in most cases on OSes almost certainly not to be Microsoft Windows), maybe Microsoft sees this as a strategic move for them to keep their development framework an option in this changing landscape?

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Mac OS X Yosemite

Ars Technica has a fantastically detailed review (25 pages) of the latest OS X release, Yosemite. I’m browsing though the article as my 5.1GB download is slowly coming across the tubes. Maybe sometime tonight it will have completed and I’ll be ready to install :-)

In the meantime, I’m wondering whether I like the ‘flat’ UI look, and prefer the 3d style icons and shadows in my dock, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

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Kantronics All Mode TNC – useful commands and tips

I’m still learning what the different commands are, but here’s what I’ve worked out so far (some of this might be wrong, if so leave me a comment!)

  • c callsign : connect to callsign
  • c callsign1 via callsign2 : connect via some other station you can hear
  • unproto name via call1, call2, etc : sets the routing list of stations where your want your packets to be sent when in conv mode (?)
  • when you connect (c) direct to another station, you enter conv mode with that station
  • conv: enter conv mode when not directly connected to another station (packets are broadcast to the stations in your unproto string)
  • Ctrl-C : to exit conv mode, and get back to cmd: mode
  • perm : write settings to eprom

Useful commands when connected to someone’s bbs:

  • l : list all messages
  • lm : list messages to me
  • b : list broadcast messages
  • s callsign : send message to callsign
  • r # : read msg #
  • b (bye) : exit

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Mounting Atari ST floppies on Ubuntu

I’m transferring some apps downloaded for my Atari ST (don’t ask) to floppies that are formatted with 80 tracks and 8 or 9 sectors, on double density disks (formatted on the ST). From what I understand these are MS-DOS readable but not exactly FAT format. Anyway, they don’t seem to mount by default on Ubuntu as it doesn’t know what format they are, but forcing a mount with this seems to work:

sudo udisks --mount /dev/fd0

seems to do the job (tip from here)

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