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Here is and example of the very first International Space Station Contact ever done using UHF linked repeaters and IRLP (VoIP System) and it was done in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Amateur Radio International Space Station Contact
November 9, 2001   11:28 AM Eastern Time   1628 UTC

Barbara Pedersen KE4JZM's science class at
Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina USA
Download MP3 Audio of the contact
(actual contact over the IRLP linking network) 
2M - 16 min.

Download MP3 Audio of Contact - Direct Feed
(recording made from the classroom - better audio)
2M - 16 min.

Broadcast Live on IRLP East Coast Reflector 921 in Raleigh, North Carolina through the KD4RAA-K4JDR Repeater Group linking system and Internet Radio Linking Project.  IRLP Node 427 link to the East Coast Reflector 921 with Node 426 Raleigh link, monitoring on 146.775 MHz  Raleigh, N.C.


Barbara Pedersen KE4JZM's science class at Phillips Middle School in Chapel Hill reached new heights on November 9th, with a scheduled contact to the International Space Station. The contact, part of ARISS (Amateur Radio on the ISS), was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was just postponed by NASA until November 9, at 11:28 AM.

This pass lasted just over 10 minutes, and reached an elevation of 60° over Chapel Hill at 11:33 AM, traveling from northwest to southeast.
Students from throughout the school submitted questions to ask, and a panel of teachers selected the "winning" questions. The prize for the students who wrote the questions was getting to step up to the microphone and ask the questions live during the ISS pass.
KE4JZM's classroom features a permanent amateur radio station for HF, VHF/UHF and satellite operation. The former SAREX (Shuttle Amateur Radio Experiment) program transferred to the Space Station after a permanent Amateur Radio station was installed earlier this year. For several years, the ham station aboard the MIR space station was also used to make school contacts, supplementing the SAREX program.  Pedersen applied for a shuttle or MIR contact nearly five years ago.

The KD4RAA - K4JDR Repeater Group in Raleigh learned of the ISS contact a week prior to the scheduled contact date.  Danny Musten KD4RAA consulted with Gary Pearce KN4AQ and Buddy Furr K4UNC  (two of the facilitators for airing  the contact over the W4UNC UHF repeater in Chapel Hill),  to explore the possibilities of "broadcasting" the scheduled ISS contact over the IRLP  network of worldwide linked repeaters. After shared enthusiasm for doing the  link, Danny, Ron and Jack Thorpe WA0ERX, on short notice, went to work to set up the link on local IRLP nodes 426 and 427 with connections to the East Coast IRLP Reflector 921.  General announcements were made over the IRLP node owners and users lists with invitations to link their local repeaters to Reflector 921 to hear the contact. Raleigh Node 4270 was linked via a UHF remote base to the Chapel Hill 442.150 repeater and we were able to monitor the feed on our VHF 426 node (146.775  in Raleigh). The UHF link to 427 had an approximate 30 mile trip to Chapel Hill from Raleigh. On the morning of the contact Ron Casey K4JDR reset the remote base on the Repeater Group's UHF link system allowing us to have coverage on our local network of linked UHF repeaters as well. Ron and Dan monitored the contact from the Hub at Musten Communications, while Jack closely monitored Ref 921 at Inflow.  Jim Price had a host of folks around his office desk also monitoring this historic event.

After the local students finished their contact, several participating IRLP nodes checked into Reflector 921.
Many of repeaters around the world had local school classes monitoring in on the ISS contact and after
the contact expressed their appreciation for making the IRLP link possible. You can hear several
check-ins from participating IRLP nodes around the world at the end of the IRLP audio MP3.


In Addition to the Carolina 440 UHF Link System RF Linked Repeaters, During the contact Jim Price WW4M, administrator for Raleigh node 426 reported 38 participating IRLP nodes connected to Reflector 921 including:
102 VE7RNA Chemainus BC
105 VE7RVN Vernon BC
124 VE6SBR Edmonton AB
131 VE6RJZ Canmore AB
135 VE5SKN Saskatoon SK
140 VA7RDX Vanderhoof BC
165 VE4UMR Winnipeg MB
170 VE4SRR Swan River MB
209 VE3BIP Belleville ON
241 VE3RBM Kitchener ON
242 VE3SY Petersburg ON
290 VA3RVU Brampton ON
315 WA6RQD Oceanside CA
321 W7AOR Las Vegas NV
322 KH6GMP Kailua Kona HI
333 NV7RM Reno NV
335 NOPSR Denver CO
350 K6JSI San Diego CA
363 KG6EVO Tahoe City CA
378 WR6HMB Half Moon Bay CA
385 W7FDF Tucson AZ
400 WA3KOK Washington DC
403 N2LKV Stony Point NY
408 W2CNY Syracuse NY
415 N5IUF Dallas/Ft.Worth TX
425 WR2ROC Rochester NY
426 KD4RAA Raleigh NC
427 K4JDR Raleigh NC
428 W9ADS Champaign-Urbana IL
432 W1QWT Scituate MA
439 KC7ZWG West Tacoma WA
476 N3IO Philadelphia PA
478 KA3VMA Drexel Hill PA
512 M1ERS Sheffield SY
601 VK2RMP Wollongong NSW
610 VK6RNC Perth W.A.
632 VK3WRM Merbien VIC
648 VK4RCA Cairns QLD
650 VK5UJ Adelaide SA

Jack Thorpe WA0ERX, our node administrator for Reflector 921 reported that with 38 nodes connected, the bandwidth at the Raleigh Inflow office peaked at 3.7 Meg.

IRLP link of the ISS Chapel Hill contact was made possible through the efforts of:
INFLOW Raleigh Division (our host for Reflector 921) Jack Thorpe WA0ERX, Jim Price WW4M, Ronnie J. Casey K4JDR, Gary Pearce KN4AQ, Buddy Furr K4UNC and Danny Musten KD4RAA


Check out these web sites for ham radio-ISS related information:

©2001-2018 Carolina 440 UHF Link System, A Non-Profit Division of Southeastern Emergency Communications Network, Corp. All rights reserved.
Ronnie J. Casey • K4JDR at juno.com • 84 Angie Road Raleigh, NC 27603-7336
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