Big Shanty Repeater Group's Sjhuttle Rebroadcast Page

NASA Space Shuttle Audio Information Page

Sponsored by The Big Shanty Repeater Group

Last Updated 3/15/13

Beginning in 1990, the BSRG retransmitted almost every Space Shuttle mission 24x7 from pre-launch to post-landing. Our Shuttle audio transmissions (as well as the video feed that we later added on our Amateur Television Repeater) were a memorial to Tim Mallory, AI4B. Tim and Ralph (N4NEQ) had an idea years ago to provide this service to the Amateur community. Unfortunately, Tim passed away from Juvenile Diabetes before our dream was realized. Now we proudly present it as a tribute to Tim and his love of radio! Later we added the memory of "Kip" Turner, W4KIP, a long time force in Atlanta area ATV. He's the one who got many of us interested and was a mentor to all. Had he not relentlessly (and we mean RELENTLESSLY!)promoted ATV, many of us would never be in this hobby!

 

 

How did we get away with this? Was it Legal??

It sure is !! Part 97 of the FCC rules for Amateur Radio make our Space Shuttle Audio one of the few things that are legal to "broadcast. Normally all Amateur Radio transmissions must be made to a particular station, but not in this case. Even the music in the broadcast is allowed. One thing, though, the broadcast MUST have been approved by NASA. I have never heard of any other Amateur Shuttle Rebroadcaster having really gotten permission- but WE DID! We are proud of our letter from NASA authorizing us to do this. Our Official permission document was granted on October 26, 1990.

How did we do it?

The Audio/Video feed began at NASA. It was collected from various sources and then produced in Houston Texas at the Johnson Space Center. From there, it was beamed to a satellite 23,000 miles over the equator. The BSRG sold surplus gear as well as collected various donations in 1989/1990 and was finally able to buy a 3.5 GHz earth station to downlink the audio and video to our repeater site on Sweat Mountain. The mountain is located North of Atlanta where Cobb, Fulton, and Cherokee Counties meet. NOTE- The C-band Earth Station we got way back in 1991 bit the dust in the late 1990's. A family of squirrels helped do in the LNB and its wiring. We patched it back together and from then on then onl used it for the 146.655 audio signal. We began taking the video directly from a KU band dish and bypassing an extra 2.4 GHz video hop up to the transmitter.  We would like to thank KD4DKW for this new feature..

After reception by our earth station, we fed the audio portion of the program through a VOX (Voice Operated Relay) circuit and into an audio link input on the 146.655 repeater. This is the repeater that hosted the Shuttle audio since during the entire project. The audio was carried on the repeater whenever the Shuttle was on an active mission and had a secondary priority to normal repeater traffic. If a radio user transmitted on the repeater, the Shuttle audio would automatically be muted until the radio traffic was finished.

What about this video you mentioned?

The same audio, plus the NASA video programming was also connected to our own microwave link system. Using an Amateur Radio microwave band, we also beamed this signal from the BSRG  Amateur Television Repeater at the peak of Sweat Mountain. Transmitting from approximately 1,800 feet, the repeater can be seen on an ordinary television receiver out to a distance of about 40 miles. There's another link that tells you how to receive the video on an analog TV.

I think this is great. How can I help support you?

We're glad you listened to our 24 hour Shuttle retransmissions. If you'd like to help support the Group that makes this possible, then click below to find out about the BSRG!


Big Shanty Repeater Group

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