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Re: Mode A: final

Laura -

At 12:01 2/28/98 -0800, you wrote:
>Don't get me wrong: I am not opposed to Mode A per se. I
>just don't buy the Mode A For Beginners argument.

I started out in Mode A because the equipment was within
my financial reach -- I had a very limited budget at the time.
I was able to get a used 2 meter all-mode (IC-211) for $275
and a used HTX-100 for $100.  Because of the LEO (RS-10) I
could work the satellite very effectively with fixed 
antennas.  Because of the relatively low frequencies I could 
manually compensate for Doppler without undue frustration
and also didn't need very fancy coax.

I don't think my story is very unique.  Most of my friends
who are active satellite operators started in Mode A (and
most of us still use it).  Mode A is a good beginners mode
mainly because of low Doppler shift.  LEO birds are also
good for beginners because you don't need to invest in
beam antennas and fancy tracking rotors (that also add extra
operator workload or require additional automation equipment).

Today I have a big-gun type satellite station with all the
automation (and even now some microwave equipment).  But it 
took me a few years to build that up.  Mode A let me enjoy 
satellite operation within the first year.

Will Mode A always be what many think is the "mode of choice"
for entry-level operators?  Probably not.  But I do think we
need better ways of dealing with the higher Doppler shift
that naturally goes along with higher frequencies.  There
are some great ideas out there, but until they're flight-

>In the meantime, I feel it is a much better use of our time
>and resources to concentrate on getting Phase 3D in orbit,
>and evangelizing satellite hamming. I still feel that P3D
>is in fact the easy to use beginner's satellite people are
>looking for, and posted a note to that effect on amsat-bb
>last summer...

I fully support Phase 3D and continue to make donations
to support this program.  However, if RSGB does decide to
build a Mode A satellite, I'll reach a little deeper into
my pocket and give them some financial support too.  The
beauty of this system is that we can each vote with our

Just my opinions on the subject...

73, Ken

Ken Ernandes