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Re: Swatch sponsorship all bad?

Aloha - Just a few :-) SwatchSAT comments....

Paul Williamson <kb5mu@AMSAT.Org> said:
>Is it really so terrible that Swatch is sponsoring an amateur radio
>satellite?  We need innovative ways to pay for satellites, and direct
>commercial sponsorship is one we haven't used before (to my

Sponsorship itself isn't bad, after all, UoS, KIT, Weber and the like,
"sponsor" satellites.

However, in the case of SwatchSAT, it seems like unlicensed individuals
will be making comments from a satellite operating in the frequecies
allocated to the Amateur Satellite Service / Amateur Radio Service from a
country where there are no 3rd party agreements and these comments are in
support of a for-profit corporate entity.

Where are the Amateurs????

Is there is SWATCH ARC? Are they covered under the R0MIR club license? What
callsign will be attached to this transmitter? Both the Russians who seemed
to have scammed this and the Swatch Co. who has fallen for this need to
ponder the ramifications.

For the rest of us; here is an alternate scenario to contemplate:

"PizzaSat" - where PizzaHouse (If there IS a "PizzaHouse", I apologize)
sponsors a satellite in the 2M band and sends down messages about the joys
of eating pizza. Perhaps the satellite doesn't even mention PizzaHouse.
There will be a net-prescence about the satellite - on
www.pizzahousesat.com. Would this be a positive use of the amateur
satellite service as well as fulfill the purpose of Amateur Radio???
Remember, the people of PizzaHouse are not hams, they are just paying money
for a stunt that they see is good PR, makes them look Hi-Tech, and is not
all that expensive. And besides, the frequency is listened to by a bunch of
pizza-eating techies :-)

(How about RepublicanSAT/DemocratSAT/NRA/KKK/700Club/666/ group of your
choice/fear???  Hmmmm, CondomSAT, to promote birth control around the
world... Though it is hard to imagine the various American political
parties paying the Russians for a ride, and unlikely that it would get
lofted on an American rocket...)


How does this compare to the initial plan for DOVE - DO17??

DOVE was planned as an amateur radio satellite that would have digital
voice recordings of student comments about peace as well as telemetry about
spacecraft conditions for study by students and amateurs.

Launched on an Ariane, and, if my memory serves me well enough, "sponsored"
by AMSAT-LU (please correct me if I've got it wrong).

It never got to the voice recording stage, though a lot of data used by
students came down, and there were several times when the digitalker said
"This is DOVE in Space"

Note the difference, subtle to some, this was not commercial! No one is
selling peace....  (funny how they sell war though.... OK, back on track!)

For another Fiasco - Check out SARA - 145.987 (I think it was...) a French
Amateur Radio Astronomy group managed to get a lift....It would have been
pretty cool to collect the data and work with it, but the group just put
the satellite in the ham band, without talking with amateurs, though there
may have been an amateur in the group... and never published data on how to
use the telemetry.... (or it's encoding, though I think it is ASCII)

(BTW - if anyone Does Know anything about the telemetry, formats and data,
frequencies monitored etc., I am curious!)


>From - kf4fdj@AMSAT.Org ---

>Think about how much GOOD could come from such an alliance.  As long as
>the rules are followed, I see nothing wrong with commercial money
>helping to sponsor amateur satellite projects.  If Boeing hoists an
>amateur satellite into orbit, will you boycott them?

Sponsoring / Hoisting amateur radio service satellite - Fine...
All sorts of organizations have hoisted amateur radio service satellites
into orbit.

>Think through this now.  How bad could the messages really be?  "Launch
>a satellite, and the entire world will beat a swatch to your door."
>>From what I've read, the only qualifier they have for their messages is
>it has to have the word "beat" in the message.  So?  If I'm talking on
>FO-20, and I use the word Motorola, am I guilty of breaking the rules?

No, YOU are a licensed Amateur Radio Operator - legally transmitting to/via
a Amateur Space Station. Discussing just about anything with other amateurs
is allowed.

>  I don't think the word "beat" is even a Swatch

The new Swatch Watch is called Beat - I suspect they have trademarked it,
or perhaps ".beat" is the trademarked name. (see the web page...)


Possible Solutions -

1 - Swatch sponsors an Amateur radio satellite, allowing licensed amateurs
to uplink messages...

2 - Swatch quickly forms the Swatch ARC - gets a callsign - has one of the
messages include their amateur radio callsign - then, if Swiss/Russian
rules allow them, uploads third party messages.

3 - Swatch / Russia re-crystals the transmitter for a non-Amateur band -
I'd suggest between 88 and 108 MHz, as many people would be able to recieve
it, and it is in the FM commercial broadcast band. (What the ITU rules say
about it is another thing, but I'm not certain that those are being paid
attention to anyway)
Other bands may include 137 MHz (Meteorological satellite downlinks) -
143.625, the frequency that is used for official MIR comms - 148-150 MHz,
assorted military ground, MARS and geodetic satellites - .....

4 - Amateurs activly solicit new sponsors for amateur radio advertising
satellites. CasioSAT, RolexSAT, TimexSAT come to mind right off.

5 - We ignore it....
        a. MIR will be deorbited in the next few months anyway, no AMSAT
group is going to build another satellite for the Russians, and it is
unlikely that small sats will be hand launched from ISS.
        b. Hey, commercial interests aren't that bad, look what they did to
the Internet.... (remember when we called it spam when you posted the same
message to more than a couple of newsgroups? perish the thought that it
would come to your e-mail... if someone posted something that looked like
it was a "commercial for sale" rather than a personal belonging, they were
soundly berated :-) :-)  Oh well, nostalgia :-) :-) )

6 - we boycott Swatch.... yeah? how many of you already Have a Swatch???
are you likely to buy one anyway?

7 - we boycott Beatnik (SwatchSAT).... don't tell anyone, delete the keps,
keep it a secret...

8 - we boycott the Russians.... yeah, right.....


 - As for me, I don't think that unlicensed, non-amateur, commercial
communications belongs in the amateur bands.

Aloha - ted - nh6yk - nh4/nh6yk - kc6yk

PS - Hey, I've got it!! Why does it have to be on a satellite? Why not just
put it up as a recording on 2M transmitters on high mountains in Europe,
the Americas etc? Then it wouldn't run out of batteries or re-enter...
Would THAT be an OK use of the amateur bands??? PizzaBeacon(TM)

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