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Mode A birds

Had to throw my 2 cents in:

I've only operated on Mode A (RS-10 before its demise). I'm gearing up
for P3D and learning a lot in the process. I strongly support continued
Mode A (or, more precisely, LEO analog) birds in operation for a number
of reasons. As has been pointed out, they require less specialized 
equipment for results than the HEO birds. This is good for all the
reasons already mentioned. But there is more to these birds than a
'playground' for those who 'wanna grow up to be HEO operators'. Think
of it in the framework of QRP or microwave operation. Are these hams
going to be able to nail DX every time they show up on the air? No.
Does that stop them? No. It makes the game more difficult, and more fun.
And more instructive. Trying to make WAS on  a LEO bird, even from 
Minnesota takes some planning (I'm not there yet!) Trying to figure
out how the sunspot cycle may or may not affect HF/VHF signals on the
up/down link sure is just as difficult as some of the other problems
facing HEO operators.

Finally, these little guys are less expensive to build and launch and
can be done without an international effort. All the more reason to keep
their design and development in the mix.

Best 73's to all.

Paul Beckmann

P.S. If you want to see a great series of experiments with OSCAR and
non-OSCAR LEO and HEO satellites, look into the RSGB Space Radio Handbook.
Definite food for thought!