- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!

Richard J. Smith (KC2HOQ) on July 9, 2001
View comments about this article!

Susan J. Helms (Colonel, USAF) and NASA Astronaut on Expedition 2 in the ISS yesterday remarked to three hams that'd contacted her on a pervious pass. She suggested that they shouldn't keep contacting the ISS since they'd already made contact with her.

This is a welcome suggestion on the part of Ms. Helms. Hopefully these hams, for some reason unknown, who constantly try and contact the ISS on every pass, even though they'd made contact before, will listen to Ms. Helms suggestion and give other first time hams a chance to contact her or others in the ISS.

I can't understand why these hams, would constantly bottle up the only uplink frequency to the ISS, continuously try and make multiple daily contacts with the ISS when there are many hundreds or thousands of hams who've tried and can't get through.

It would be the gentlemanly thing to do since they have already made contact not to try again. I finally made contact on 05/09 with Ms. Helms and have not tried to "call her back".

I have tried to help other first time callers with flight information, frequencies and times of best possible contact with the ISS. Why don't these other hams, who have made these contacts, help other first time hams attempting to contact the ISS with usefully suggestions?

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by W8OTR on July 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!

im glad susan did this i heard a few brag about there second contacts on a BB

i usaly keep my self to 1 contact a year but i might consider 1 contact per expadition and i hope that wont be to much

greg N8TDL
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by N9XGZ on July 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I'd like to thank Susan, if I could get through. I've heard several hams, with multiple contacts, bragging about the amps they are using to boom through.

It is really surprising how difficult it has been to contact ISS, considering I could contact MIR crews almost anytime I (or they) wanted. I guess since the Shuttle is the method of taking a crew up, US hams (not american, since that would include Canadians) must think they own ISS. They even try to make voice calls during passes the packet is obviously being used.

Hopefully I will reach Expedition 2 before they come home. I do agree with a one contact per expedition rule would give more North American hams an opportunity to make their contacts.
Build a station with ERP & not a rubber ducky  
Anonymous post on July 9, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Look up capture effect as defined in FM radio phenomena! Learn what capture does before bitching!

Build a damn station that emits some ERP or sit back & shut up! Little whiney brats who get their pud knocked in the dirt by stations who put out some power, got some antennas & know how to track the ISS.

Applauding Mommy for telling Johnny to play nice in the sandbox & share his pail & shovel. How "fair" this sad world is becoming. If you can't work the station passing line of sight, miles above the earth, hang it up! You ain't able to play with the real dogs, stay on the porch & out of the way!

Strap the crap or sit back!
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by W0JLR on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Boy! With an attitude like yours, I'm glad Astronaut Helms is limiting her contacts. You're a lid, old man. You've forgotten what Amateur Radio is all about, cooperation and goodwill; amazingly the same thing the ISS is all about. Why don't you go back to your playpen and live your life like the toddler you profess to be. My 22 month old son acts more intelligently than you do!
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by KB9VSQ on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe if clowns weren't spouting off on how to be a Ham is to be spend money we would not have alot of the hobbies problems. I was present for a contact with the ISS at field day, mobile rig, egg beater antenna. 12 volts. You think your spending big bucks makes you a better ham? I doubt it, you are totally dependent on others to get it up. Err, I meant your radio.
Personally I would rather say I did it myself and not my suppliers, installers and distributers?
Does spending money exempt you from having a little courtesy? I have seen this attitude drive numerous people out of the hobby.

Good job Susan...and I don't think this is the first time she has done this, I hope she keeps it up
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
Anonymous post on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunately, amateur radio space communications is being taken over by the same kind of big gun mentality that ruined HF DXing. One can only hope that when these mental midgets begin to operate in the microwave regions of the spectrum that they use lots of power and sterilize themselves so they won't reproduce in the future.
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by K7LA on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
My gratitude to the NASA crewperson for handing out a deserved lesson in operating ethics and courtesy.
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by KQ2V on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
A few months ago Riley Hollingsworth offered 10 personal suggestions for amateur radio operators.
I saved them thinking that some day they would come in handy. His suggestion number #8 is appropriate:

Stay away from arrogant,negative operators who know all the answers. They just haven't thought of all the questions. Encourage them to take their anger and hate to the Internet. Every minute they are on the Internet is a minute they aren't on Amateur Radio.

Upon reflection, I think his suggestion 7 also applies:

Enjoy ham radio. Celebrate it. But realize it comes with a responsibility. Every gift of lasting value always does.

RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by N3HKN on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
This person is pityful. He/she obvioisly needs attention for their problem. It is too bad in this day and age that people continue to recluse themselves and lash out at others. If anyone knows who this is perhaps they can get the person professional help before they do harm to themself or others.
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by KF3CC on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Wonder if the Anonymous Post is the one who got his hand slapped by mommy and daddy for being in cookie jar to much. Didn't know that if I can only afford a moderate station I wasn't allowed contacts. I think it was great that the ISS is trying to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to contact them, not a few the opportunity for the most contacts. I quess I still have gotten the fact that I must run 1500 watts to talk to my neighbor or I am not a ham. Or maybe others forget that unless you are wealthy a "Big Gun" station takes a while to build when someone is also supporting a family. Well, a ham or not, I guess I'll still run my modest station and be patient during the pile ups till my call gets through, but at least I know I was respectful to others on the band.
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by NA2AA on July 10, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I suggested on the AMSAT reflector, and will suggest here, that this behavior is VERY consistent with what is demonstrated on the UO14 and AO27 satellites everyday!

The W4AMI award is offered to ops who make 1000 or more QSOs via satellite and endorsements for increments of 1000 up to 5000 QSOS! That's total QSOs, not UNIQUE QSOs (which would make more sense in today's environment).

Unfortunately this leads to the SAME PEOPLE, OVER AND OVER, working each other. Just listen! You'll hear "Hi Sandy it's Dandy" "Hi Dandy, Sandy, it's Mandy" "Mandy, Dandy, good morning from Sandy" and so on and so on. No callsigns. No reports.

I love the satellite community and all the challenges that go with it - but be clear: working Susan over and over and over again would be, from my view, EXACTLY the way this minority of operators operate every pass of every day. And guess what - despite the posts, the emails, and the on air comments - they'll never change.

But don't take my word for it - jump on UO14 and AO27 and listen... then come over to FO20 or FO29 for a QSO!
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by KD5KIZ on July 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Anonymous? Shure are proud aren't you. You must be a cber turned ham. The cb still shows.
RE: Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by K4YZ on July 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
AGREED! These people are no different than the selfish scum who are heard every day on 20M...You know the ones..."Hello, Ahmed...Worked you twice last week, just thought I'd say hello and tell you you are still 40/S9 here in Podunk Hollow...Still using the stacked monobanders and Alpha here...Thought I heard some other callers in there so I will say 73 until tomorrow...Hope to catch you before the DXpedition closes tomorrow..." Twerps. Gives valid argument to setting ERP limits, NOT DC power or PEP...Let's HOPE not! 73 de K4YZ
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by KD6HIW on July 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
You know, what got me really interested in radio a long time ago (OK, back in the '70's... but for me it was a long time! <grin>) was a friend's flypower homebrew rig... the thought that you could DX QSO with a half watt or less, either CW *or* phone? **That** intriuged me... plus the fact that Jeff spent maybe $5.00 or $10.00 on his rig, scrounged wire for a 1/2 wave dipole (and later aluminum for a homebuilt quad), and ran from a 12 V. car battery... the only "pro" gear in the rig was an old western electric Straight Key... Rusty and a killer super-heavy-duty spring that I swore did duty under someone's
car first... but it worked . (whaddya expect for free, tho??...)

You don't see much, if any, of that anymore... Gotta have that Yaescomwoodco 2262 XVi 12 bander with an Outbackpacker Plus self tuning vertical and a Cushmond 16 element superbeam and a 200' tower in the backyard to be a *real* ham... What happened to the excitement of achieving something really difficult... taking pride in QSO's in Mongolia with 1 watt... Putting up yout own rig?

Or am I outdated or something? Maybe... I still like the glow of "hollow-state" stuff, I get a kick out of building my own arials out of what-have you... Reworking trashed commercial gear to work ham bands... Sure, I have a "Super-modern-micro-mini-multiband" HT that I can kerchunk repeaters with (usually), but to me, the fun is what I can do with my 2 hands, my mind, and a little (or lot) of ingenuity... And the thrill of the chase of finding a rare one on the cw band of 6m. (or even 2m!)

Oh, did I happen to mention... I'm not some "old geezer" either... try a 39 (and holding <grin>) YL. Surprise!

This hobby is all about - should be about - fun. Whatever's fun for you. I can't see the fun of condemning someone because they don't have $10K to spend on their shack... or because they don't plow their neighbors with 1500 watts on every key-up across town.

Maybe someday I'll even tag that bird up there! <grin>

Susanne... KD6HIW
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by W6QE on July 11, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Dear Sir or Madam,

By the tone of your post and your option to post anonymously you have once again proven that all bullies are essentially cowards. Moreover you have set a new record for the number of blustering cliches used in the same post.

Though it's proven best in dealing with intentionally provocative bozos on the amateur bands simply to ignore their rantings, I was pleased to see the mature sentiments expressed by those who chose to respond to you here, where you are unable to "capture" the channel.

I have a hunch the reason you posted anonymously is that you are not a ham in actuality any more than you are one in spirit. The last time I saw that kind of trash talk on a ham bulletin board I checked up on the purported call sign and found that it had been "borrowed" by a ham wannabe whose hobby was troublemaking, not amateur radio.

I suspect also that your post may have been a joke and that we have all been had. No one not overdosed on steroids or in a testosterone-hazed delerium could have offered that, "mine is bigger than yours" excrement for serious consideration.

To put the focus back where it belongs. I, too, would like to thank Colonel Helms for her courtesy.

This discussion recalls to mind the most important lesson ham radio has had for me, which is that in the use of any shared resource of the earth it only takes a few belligerants to poison the well for everyone. On the other hand formality, mutual respect and courtesy, now so much out of fashion, can preserve and maximize the use of a shared resource for all. I thank you, Mr. or Miss Anonymous, for reminding me of that.

73 to all the true hams out there,

RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
Anonymous post on July 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Youch?! Take it easy OM. For a moment there you sounded like an irate CBer. Remember... the minimum power necessary to carry on communications.

RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
Anonymous post on July 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Who said amplifier, big station or lots of money?

Simple fact is a 1 watt handheld with a handheld 10dB yagi pointed at the station can easily give you a 10 watt ERP signal & may very well strap a 100 watt station using a tower mounted vertical! Again, look up capture on & read about space communications!

The art of radio, forever lost as that "CBer mentality" errodes our once great service!
RE: Build a station with ERP & not a rubber du  
by AB2MH on July 12, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think mr. anonymous is probably killing his neighbours with TVI with the over driven "leenyer" he's using.... LOL
Thank You Colonel Susan Helms!  
by VE7SDX on July 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I agree and that should be they way on all bands on earth to!

We had some LOSER here in VE7 land on six meters that would rag chew DX contacts he has worked many many times before (I heard he work them) and anyone that works six Dx "knows work'em then move over" for some new to make a contact and a new grid.

I guess he wanted to make every one belive (himself to) that he was a big time DXer on six that knew everyone.

In closing Yes "Thanks Susan Helms!"
Please! Stop the Whining!  
by FU2OM on July 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
What's wrong with making multiple contacts with a DX or space station?? I often blast through a pileup to thank a rare DX station for the QSL. That's just common courtesy. Didn't your mommies teach you to say "please" and "thank you??"

And what's wrong with busting a pileup full of "weak sisters" to tell a DX station you've worked before that he has a good signal that evening? I do it all the time! After all, I'm in a better position to evaluate the DX's signal than some dweeb with a TS-570 and a dipole. DX stations really want to know how they are doing, and they need QUALIFIED opinions from those of us with top notch antennas and radios. Even if I've worked him before, I'm doing him a favor by giving him a good signal report.

But I DO have a heart. Sometimes, I'll bust into a pileup for a guy I've worked so that I can have him listen for some of my friends (no more than 3 or 4 at a time) who have inferior stations. See, I really am unselfish. And don't bark at ME when I ask the DX to follow me to another band... and he DOES. That was HIS decision, so stop bellyaching about it already!! He doesn't wanna strain to listen for your fluttery little signal anyway.

As far as the space stations go, YES, I work them multiple times, and YES, I always get through. It's my damn RIGHT to work them as often as I please BECAUSE IT WAS MY TAX DOLLARS THAT PUT THEM UP IN SPACE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!! Just getting my money's worth.

Anybody got a problem with that??

Haywood Jablowmi, FU2OM
RE: Please! Stop the Whining!  
by VE7SDX on July 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Yup real winner! and to quote him from his profile "When I'm not on the radio, you can normally find me... Behind the couch."

Yup that sounds about right.

Now don't get mad "We" don't, We just enjoy the radio and making Friends not meaning less contacts.

Cheers Glen, Having more fun than a guy sitting behind his mommy's couch!
RE: Please! Stop the Whining!  
by FU2OM on July 13, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Do you speak English in Canada??? Just what does the following mean:

"Now don't get mad 'We' don't, We just enjoy the radio and making Friends not meaning less contacts."

Please, VE7-whoever... If you want to take a verbal swipe at someone, have your keeper help you write it. You don't make any damn sense.

EH????? heh heh

Haywood Jablowmi FU2OM

p.s. Thanks for taking the time to read my profile. Bet you have a mild CRUSH on me, EH??? heh heh
Right on FU2OM  
Anonymous post on July 14, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
I think you are the first person to understand that fluttery little rubber ducky stations make it as hard on the "DX station" as it does on themselves to be successful. Go back to the club repeater & stay there!

Why bitch about "fairness" when you haven't mastered the radio art? Next it will be "tolerance"?

The dumbing down, fast-food mentality. "I want mine & I want it now. Even if I have a teeny weeny signal using my HT rubber ducky at -120dBm ERP. How unfair that you step on me!"

Everyone then thinks you mean amps & towers. If they only educated themselves on antennas & their proper use for space communications. It is the cheapest enhancement to working space stations or earth stations alike!

Strap the crap or sit back! Wahhhh Wahhhh Wahhhh
RE: Please! Stop the Whining!  
Anonymous post on July 14, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Nice going,jerk. You are really putting the best light on ham radio. Why do you think Susan asked the boomers to cut it out?

Do you really think YOUR tax dollars give you any more right than all other American tax-paying hams? And don't forget, it is the International Space Station, with many of the components coming from other countries, notably Europe and Russia. They are just lucky they don't have to listen to you hog the ISS!

Oh, and good going on insulting our neighbors to the north. Who will you be putting down next, you moron!

Two can play at that anonymous game! I don't think I want your flames coming back at me!

I would say 73 but I can't really give you my Best Regards, dingleberry!

Will U. Shaddup, UR1SOB
RE: Please! Stop the Whining!  
Anonymous post on July 15, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Troll Alert or is that loser - FU2OM is W5BOOB

This loser is one in the same.

I do belive he has licence envey and is a true ten 4 CB Rubber Duck up the butt good buddy.
Warning ! Warning !  
Anonymous post on July 15, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Don't waste your time replying to FU2OM or his ilk on this or any other forum. He is a troll in internet parlance i.e. one who enjoys annoying others via his postings to internet newsgroups. I doubt that he's a current ham and even if he is, obviously prefers causing trouble on the internet to hamming. Ignore him and he'll go away !
Puh-LEASE stop whining.  
by FU2OM on July 15, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Hello, crybabies. Awww, did I hurt your iddy-biddy widdle feelings? Get a grip. I expressed an opinion. SOME of you have a contrary opinion. That's just fine! Sorry to say this, but I have as much right to express my opinion (unpopular as it may be) as you do to express yours. Live with it. Do the letters "TS" mean anything to you, Junior? Haw.

As far as insulting Canadians goes, so what? It's THEIR choice to be Canadians, isn't it? They could be REAL Americans if they wanted to be -- Our immigration policies are quite (ugh) liberal. By CHOOSING to be Canadian, you set yourself up for ridicule. That's how *I* see it. So lighten up.

Back to the topic (unless you Sob Sisters wanna bellyache about ME some more): If Susie Q What's-her-name wants to play hardball with the REAL MEN who have REAL stations and REAL antennas, who cares? We'll still get our contacts. If she won't work us 15 times, I don't give a rat's behind. That'll leave me even more time to go grab some OTHER Grade-A Choice DX Meat out of the mouths of you peanut whistles with the dummy-load antennas. <thumping chest with great pride>

Or perhaps the REAL dummy load is sitting behind the mic of your station. HOOOHAAA!!!
RE: Puh-LEASE stop whining. (cont)  
by FU2OM on July 15, 2001 Mail this to a friend!
Whooops! I forgot to sign the above --

73 and 88,

Haywood Jablowmi FU2OM
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to discussions on this article.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

Other Recent Articles
WIA: Amateur Licensee Numbers Remain Stagnant, Sustained by Churn:
Scouts Participate in World's Largest Scouting Event:
Propagation Forecast Bulletin #46 de K7RA:
MSU Club Fosters World-Wide Communication with Century Old Hobby:
Amateur Radio Association Seeking Broadcasters: