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Re: Mode A: wanted?



Hi, Richard,

I too am interested in a Mode A satellite.  I currently have a few Mode 
K contacts, and am planning to buy a 2 meter converter or transceiver in 
the near future, as soon as my tax refund comes in, so that I can get on 
Mode A.

I am not currently an AMSAT member, although I was last year.  I wasn't 
impressed with the magazine, it had very few articles concerning Modes K 
and A.  And I was tired of hearing the ads for P3D, and all the "please 
send money", since I don't plan to have the higher band capability to 
take advantage of it.  It seems to me that AMSAT has put all their eggs 
in the P3D basket, to the detriment of the LEO modes.  Maybe I didn't 
give them a long enough chance.

And I am on the internet, I just don't have email through amsat.org.

73, 
Ron N4WYR


>Date: Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:39:46 -0500
>From: Ray Soifer <71331.1337@compuserve.com>
>Subject: Re: Mode A: wanted?
>To: AMSAT-INTERNATIONAL <amsat-international@AMSAT.org>
>Cc: amsat-bb <amsat-bb@AMSAT.org>, BoD <bod@AMSAT.org>
>
>Hi Richard,
>
>When evaluating the responses you will be receiving, I believe it would
>be well to bear in mind that, to the best of my knowledge at any rate,
>a majority of existing Mode A users are not on the Internet, or at
>least are not registered with <amsat.org> and hence have no
>access to <amsat-bb>..
>
>"How do you know this," you may ask.
>
>As you know, I've been having fun for the last couple of years with my
>Mode A "micro-station," which consists of a hand-held 2m transmitter
>(actually an FM transceiver) and half-wavelength whip antenna for the
>uplink, and a pocket-sized Sony ICF-SW100E receiver for the downlink,
>generally with a wire antenna thrown out the window for 10m .  When I
>work someone on RS-12 (or RS-10, when that was active), I normally
>check the <amsat.org> list to see if he is listed; if so, I then send 
him=
>
>a "Tnx QSO" message informing him about the station he has worked.
>=46rom experience, I can tell you that at least two-thirds of the 
station=
>s I
>have worked on Mode A are not registered with <amsat.org>.
>
>I have no easy way of determining how many of them are actually
>members of an AMSAT organisation, but would be willing to wager
>that many are not.  Indeed, Mode A operators who are not AMSAT
>members have a persuasive argument on their side: to date, AMSAT
>has done very little for them.  Except for the Russians, no AMSAT
>organisation has built a Mode A satellite since 1978 (AO-8), and
>even that was funded by ARRL (and built by AMSAT-NA under
>contract to them).  In all of history there has been only one Mode A
>satellite built and paid for by AMSAT (again, apart from the Russians),
>AO-6 in 1972.  Twenty-six years is a long time to wait!
>
>So, were AMSAT-UK to take the lead in building a new one, I
>believe that there would be a significant new base of potential members
>which may become available.  To find out how large it is, however,
>one would have to ask them, and most of them are not on the Internet.
>To try to reach this wider audience, perhaps articles might be written 
fo=
>r
>RadCom, Practical Wireless, etc, describing the proposition and asking
>readers to respond.  =
>
>
>Turning now to my own personal opinions, I have two thoughts on this.
>
>1.  Gerard, F6FAO, makes an excellent point.  The attractiveness of any
>analogue bird is very much related to its orbit.  Specifically, much of 
t=
>he
>attraction of the old Mode A satellites of the 1970s and early 1980s
>derived directly from their DX potentialities.  Working DX on AO-6,
>RS-6, RS-8 etc was challenging and, therefore, fun, something which
>has largely gone out the window with the later Molniya-orbit 
spacecraft.
>But, before something can be fun, it's got to be possible.  To be 
capable=
>
>of providing serious opportunities for DXers, the orbital altitude 
should=
>
>be higher than that of RS-12 today -- at least 1500 km (the altitude of
>AO-6
>and AO-7) and preferably even higher than that.  RS-15, for example,
>is in an excellent orbit for DX operation.  Would that it had enough 
sola=
>r
>power to permit consistent operation at reasonable output levels.
>
>2.  When thinking about a bird with a 10m downlink, we should also =
>
>consider the eventual need to replace RS-12 when it goes to the happy
>hunting ground in the sky.  In addition to a Mode A uplink, I would 
like
>to see the new bird have Mode K capability as well.  For the operator
>who already owns an HF transceiver, Mode K has the advantage of
>requiring him to purchase no new equipment at all.  In fact, due to the
>extremely limited Doppler shift, his equipment need not even be =
>
>capable of monitoring his downlink while transmitting.  The only
>requirement would be for relatively easy bandswitching between
>the transmit and receive frequencies, each of which would be stored
>in memory with the added use of RIT.  For the DXer, Mode K provides
>a combination of satellite and ionospheric propagation leading to =
>
>fascinating opportunities, e.g., antipodal paths such as G-ZL which
>are virtually impossible on AO-10.  Also, as John, GM4IHJ, has so
>ably demonstrated, Mode K offers unique opportunities for serious
>research into ionospheric phenomena.
>
>I hope these comments prove helpful.
>
>73, Ray
>w2rs@amsat.org =
>
>


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