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Re: Mode A vs. Mode J-FM [Was: Ok, so what's available in Mode A]



At 07:10 PM 1/10/99 -0800, you wrote:

>As a regular on AO-27, i want to emphasize the need to get more birds up
>in Mode A.  Mode A has simply had a very bad couple of years.  RS-10 died
>and we've had two Mode A birds go up which so far could not be activated

Indeed.  While I much prefer the high-orbit birds (c'mon P3D!), I'll use
and enjoy virtually any mode. Mode A or Mode KT is fun, too.  

>While clearly on weekends, AO-27 is crowded well beyond capacity, it looks
>like we have two Mode J-FM birds manifested in September.  

The problem with FM birds is the capture effect.  Only two can talk at a
time, and the biggest muscle wins. I understand their value--almost
everybody has FM.  Personally, I prefer a wider transponder with room for
more people. 

>I feel we really need a next step for people who either have no interest
>and/or ability with CW [i'm in the latter category] to progress, that
>would permit non-contest style QSOs and, for us in the 'States, to work
>other countries besides Canada and occasionally Mexico.  Mode A allows
>for that.  But so far, it's mostly done either with HF gear, which is of
>little or no use to anyone unable to copy CW by ear.  

I don't know about "little use."  As a lifelong shortwave listener
(particularly of the BBC), I would have use for an HF receiver even if I
wasn't a ham.  But I understand your point.  What about those
ten-meter-only transceivers--didn't Uniden used to make one?  Or a decent
used shortwave radio with BFO?

I don't want to get into the code/no-code thing.  But at the risk of
stepping into that mud puddle, I do believe that some CW, no matter how
slow, is a useful part of any weak-signal operator's skill set.  I have had
several near-contacts where the contact could have been made if both sides
knew CW. 

>P.S.  Personal question:  Are there Mode A operators out there willing to
>copy CW and respond via SSB?  

Absolutely.  I've done it several times on both high and low orbit birds.
I've also replied in CW to people on SSB who had better uplinks than
downlinks.  Whatever works.

73 from KD7MW,
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