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Re: Ham Sats

Hi Ken:

Many thanks for comments and views on the Journal. I think you hit the
nail on the head. For what it is worth, let me use your e-mail post to
add my two cents:

Kenneth J. Ernandes wrote:

> Thank you for reading my article in CQ-VHF.  This was in many cases a
> consolidation of information from The AMSAT Journal, the AMSAT weekly
> bulletins, and the AMSAT-BB mailing list.  None of it was really new
> other than what I got from surfing the web or communicating directly
> with those designing the spacecraft.

We have been discussing running a table in the Journal every few issues
that provides the status of various satellite projects. I have been
considering dividing these projects into conceptual, design, and
construction phases with points of contacts and other info.  As you
know, the problem is keeping current on each satellite projects as their
status may quickly change or go static. Also, some projects start out
quick but for lots of good reasons never get out of the conceptual
stage.  As a result, when do you withdraw a project from the table?

> One thing that I think *is* important about CQ-VHF is that one of the
> intents is to present material at a layperson's level.  The AMSAT
> Journal needs to accommodate the interests at all levels.  If you
> compare what I've written in CQ-VHF with article's I've written in
> The AMSAT Journal I think you'll see a definite difference in technical
> level.

Your are certainly right, CQ-VHF and the Journal each have different
purposes.  After much continual (years) discussion within the editing
team and other folks, we've determined the purpose of the Journal is to
chronicle AMSAT's accomplishments.  We don't want to devote the Journal
to current event news as it takes lots of time to get an issue out (I
spend over 40 hours just laying out each issue ~ ask my wife!) and the
postal mail is too slow. (I still haven't received my copy of the
Jan/Feb issue..hi). However the news and current events niche is
effectively provided by the weekly AMSAT News Service.  We do however,
want the Journal to be a record of AMSAT's dreams and accomplishments. 
As a result, sometimes this can get very technical (or even scientific)
like the Jan/Feb's MOST and Faraday articles, other times it doesn't.
The point is that you can use past issues of the Journal as reference on
a host of topics. And, hopefully folks that use the Journal's repository
of information in helping them go do their bit and will write articles
that will result in further expanding AMSAT's body of knowledge and
state-of-the-art. Inasmuch, I hope the value of the Journal is in
self-promotion or advancement of AMSAT. Or stated another way, the
ability to better build or work satellites is part of the glue that
holds us together.

> This doesn't mean that The AMSAT Journal should discourage non-
> technical articles.  (Anybody can submit an article at any level.)
> Somebody just needs to write them and send them in.

Amen!  We have lots of folks out there doing interesting things that
ARTICLES! Also, don't worry about having to be an accomplished writer to
submit articles.  We have great editing team that will make you look
good..hi.  If necessary we will ghostwrite your article.

In fact, we have more articles than we can fit in the Mar/Apr issue
including (a couple of yours):

- A Candidate Orbit for Future AMSAT Spacecraft, Ken Ernandes, N2WWD 
- A New EZ-Sat Proposal, Fred Winter, N2XOU and Ken Ernandes, N2WWD 
- Earth/Sat Project, Gary Memory 
- A Simple Dish for Mode-L (Reprint)
- Elevation Rotator Construction Article, Ib Christoffersen 
- Sputnik 40 (RS-17) Recording and Analysis, Farrell Winder and Richard
- Sputnik Special Events Station Summary 
- Delaware Rockets for School Projects, Sam Guccione 
- Observations from Norway, John Hackett, LA2QAA

We also just received a fantastic article from Ron Ross about his use of
KO-24 during his recent trip to Antartica.  Hopefully I can squeeze this
one into the issue as it is a timely article.  However we are also
pressed to include important stuff such as Apogee View, the latest Phase
3D photos, Field Ops Update, AJ Telemetry, Keplerian elements, etc.  As
a sidebar, a year ago, many members candidly reminded me by telephone
and mail when I left the Keplerian elements out of an issue to save
space.  We on AMSAT-BB take for granted that every member has Internet
access to Keplerian elements.  They don't; we're the minority.

Russ Tillman, KC5JVB
AMSAT Journal Editor