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Re: No More Mode "A" Please.

Brook, as I read your comments below, two of your points stand out that are
of significance in this discussion...  You mention that "Like many new
hams, I had limited resources..."
You also mention that HF operators are attracted to the RS birds... OK, you
didn't put it quite that nicely, but that's the substance of it.  Both are
excellent reasons to continue supporting Mode A's and the like.  We need
the support that these types of operations generate.  

I too enjoy satellite operation due in part to the calibre of ham that can
be found on the birds.  This because a certain amount of expertise is
required to operate via satellite.  But to support the more "exotic" forms
of satellite communication, we need to keep the "rank and file" interested.

73 de Joel, W0JDJ
AMSAT #1795

At 10:38 PM 2/24/98 -0600, >Brook Smith N8OCX AMSAT-NA #24166 n8ocx@amsat.org
>Dear Richard,
>  I'm writing to cast my opinion about using AMSAT money to build
>new Mode "A" satellites.
>  About six years ago I began to become interested in amateur 
>satellite operation.  In fact, it was amateur satellites that peaked
>my interest in amateur radio.  The codeless technician license had 
>just been introduced and I passed my test, got my ticket and started
>to build my satellite station.  I bought a Uniden 2510 from a friend
>and started to listen for the down-links on Mode "A" satellites.  I
>found the signals to be poor, many in CW and voice QSO's to be mostly
>for the paper chase.  This was not anywhere near as interesting, for me,
>as the convesations I had heard on another friends Mode "B" station,
>then on AO-10 and AO-13.
>  Like many new hams, I had limited resources and when considering the
>purchase of a new primary base rig, I needed to decide whether to invest
>in a HF rig, or multi-mode VHF/UHF rig.  I didn't have the money, or
>antenna space, for both.  I purchased a Kenwood TS-790A.  My very first
>satellite contact was with Shannon Lucid on STS-74.  Her signal was 5/9+
>and I was thrilled with the entire experience.  I was instantly
>I had made the right choice.  This was certainly more exciting than
>listening to some nasty sounding CW signal on 10 meter.
>  I continued to improve my station until I had a pretty decent Mode "B"
>and Mode "J" station.  I worked MIR on both voice and packet, many
>Nearly worked all states, just on AO-21. I have moved twice since
>but now have WAS via satellite, worked about 400 grids and about 60 DXCC
>countries from this QTH.  On occasion I would think about Mode "A" or
>and then quickly turn back to what is really important in amateur radio,
>to move up-ward, adding 1200 MHz and 2400 MHz to my station, support 
>Phase III D and experiment in the higher frequency bands.  
>  Sometimes I am having a pleasant conversation on AO-10 when a Mode
>bird comes into the footprint.  The conversation I'm having is trashed
>QRM from the RS satellite.  As I listen, it becomes evident that the
>"A" down link is barely heard by the RS operators (4/3 signal reports).
>The 2 meter down-link is beautiful, but few of these HF operators have
>2 meter multi-mode rigs to take advantage of the great down-link signal.
>Some may argue that because the RS satellites are so busy, they are most
>popular.  I would disagree with this.  It just shows that there are a
>of HF operators that are Satellite operator Wanna-Be's.  They have
>most of their ham dollars in HF equipment, and choose not to build
>satellite stations.  All of these operators are at least General class 
>license, yet most seem to be ignorant to the fact that their signals are
>causing interference to another satellite service.  This type of
>is consistant with HF operations I have listened to in the past, and I 
>disapprove of any mode plans that helps make it convienent to import
>behaviour into the other satellite modes.
>  As you may have guessed by now, I am not interested in supporting the
>building of additional Mode "A" satellites with money I have donated to
>AMSAT-NA.  I feel that building more Mode "A" satellites would depleate
>funds that would be better used to promote the use of higher
>I also feel that Mode "A" satellites do not promote amateurs to advance
>to different modes, it just gives poor HF operators another place to act
>like poor satellite operators.  I do, however, feel that Mode "K"
>do provide a platform for HF operators, interested in satellite
>to be encouraged to up-grade their station and advance in satellite 
>communication skills.
>Brook Smith N8OCX
>AMSAT-NA #24166