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SUNSAT parrot repeater



Hopefully, by the time many of you read this, SUNSAT should be in orbit and
perhaps the 'parrot' repeater already activated.  Being a 2 meter simplex
repeater, it may well be accessible to ALOT of people who haven't been able
to work AO-27 or any of the transponder birds.  (n.b.  There will also be
two channels of store-and-forward packet transponders available as well,
one, each, at 1200 and 9600 bps.)

But as such, i see a couple of problems with the simplex repeater. Being
half-duplex, we can't tell if two people are transmitting at once.  On
AO-27, even when i can't hear my own downlink, i can usually tell when
someone else has captured the receiver and i back off immediately.  This 
is not possible on SUNSAT.  If there is a 'double', whoever talks longer 
will determine the length of the transmission and that station's call will 
be the one most likely to be heard.  So long CQs may become a temptation. 
Finally, effectively there will only be half as much operating time as 
on AO-27.  This is in addition to be a more accessible bird.

In general, we want to encourage satellite operations, and there are at 
least two award programs which facilitate this:

      http://www.amsat.org/amsat/awards/amilist.html  (1000 or more contacts)

      http://www.amsat.org/amsat/awards/salist.html  (25 or more LEO contacts)

Now, if the SUNSAT 'parrot' proves to be very successful, shouldn't its
primary purpose be to provide satellite communications for those stations
who are unable to use the transponder birds or, hopefully by the end of the
year, any of the three J-FM birds which should hopefully be active by then.
Given the recent discussions about very brief QSOs amongst the regulars on
AO-27 (which i don't feel are much of a problem except on weekends and 
selected transcontinental passes), are we going to run into the same kind
of situation on SUNSAT?

Really, there is no way to predict at this point whether or not that will
be an issue.  But rather than drop 'activity points' (e.g. credits for the
above awards and their like) for certain birds, maybe we should consider a
modification of the rules for simplex repeaters?  

Suppose we were to use the rover rules that we currently have for the VHF
QSO Parties, etc., for SUNSAT.  Roughly, that would mean more than one
contact between two stations would only count for activity awards if one or
both contacts were made from different grid squares.  Hopefully, this would
encourage regulars (like myself) to look for newcomers and seek out new
grid squares to activate.  (Which is already happening to a large degree on
AO-27.)  It would also discourage duplicative contacts and brief hellos.
These are great on the linear transponders, but may be becoming a little
problematic during weekends on AO-27.  It could be an even bigger problem 
on SUNSAT if it attracts a larger user community than AO-27, given SUNSAT'S
less stringent equipment requirements.

Voluntary co-operation may be sufficient here, as it seems to be most of
the time elsewhere.  But we might want to consider something like this for
SUNSAT if it becomes especially popular.

			      Respectfully submitted,

			         -- KD6PAG

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