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The Value of AMSAT-BB

Hi Dave:

Many thanks for yours and other notes regarding my comments on Phase 3D
amsat-bb discussions.  For what it's worth, let me try and clarify my
position and concerns regarding all in this in one message.

>I've donated (so far) $700 to the P3D effort.  I could have donated more,
>but I stopped.  Why?  I got tired, not ot waiting, but of being told not to
>discuss anything!  I got tired of the secrecy and being kept in the dark
>about the status of the program.

I really don't see the secrecy. Over the past few years all significant
events associated with Phase 3D and it's launch development have been
reported in The AMSAT Journal, AMSAT News Service, AMSAT symposium
proceedings, AMSAT.ORG, and Orlando Integration Lab and other AMSAT-world
WWW sites.  Specifically these activities were:

- Structural modificiations per post A-501
- Thermal vacuum prep and tests
- Post vacuum/thermal test modifications and vibration test prep
- Technical developments, designs, and tests - i.e. sun sensors, YAHU,
JAMSAT, and etc.

Also, note that the folks who performed this work also went the extra mile
to write these articles for the member's benefit; and given their hectic
work schedule to get the job done, they really didn't have to do that.
Perhaps it was their pride in their work and conscienous dedication to the
membership?  (However, note that most of these folks no longer hangout on
amsat-bb. Perhaps they don't want the instant freedom of speech associated
with their work?)

>Look, this is not Europe.  This is not some dictatorship where we have
>to whisper in dark corners.  The people writing the "questioning" messages
>are Americans who have lived their entire lives in our democratic system.
>Some of us (right or wrong) resent being told what we can talk about on
>a public forum.  This is after all our organization and our organization's

Because of my earlier post suggesting the need to use discression regarding
comments on Phase 3D, I have received a host of written e-mail comments
suggesting that I do not cherish freedom and free speech.  I hope this is
far from the truth; only my soul and actions can tell whether I honor
freedom to the degree that most past and current American's do. Pray that I

However, with freedom comes responsibility. Anyone, AMSAT member or not,
American or European can post any free speech opinion about Phase 3D on
amsat-bb.  Yet, how many will take responsibility for their comments if they
play a signifcant role in Phase 3D not getting a launch slot? Perhaps not
all free speech is of good value? In my amsat-bb post, I was only asking for

In reality, we are an amateur organization that deals with a host of complex
professional organizations in order to get our satellites' launched.
Certainly this is what make AMSAT unique and fun and may be why most of us
are members. And, to obtain these launches we rely on strong AMSAT assets
such as our track record and our ability as amateurs to repeatively do
professional-level things very well and innovatively. However, to keep and
maintain our integrity and productive relations with these professionals we
must demonstrate or competence in and out of AMSAT forums; especially in the
current delicate stage of Phase 3D negotiations. Consider that the world is

While folks are certainly free to do so, I don't see too much value in
throwing out "what-if" scenarios on amsat-bb.  Rather, a better directed
message to one of the folks who are responsibile for Phase 3D may get better
answers and results that can then be posted on amsat-bb.  (I will also be
glad to publish these investigations in the Journal too.) This type of
communication can also prevent much-ado-about-nothing threads on amsat-bb
about some topic that has already been resolved and addressed or provides no
value to AMSAT.

>Perhaps our good friends in Europe need to have this explained to them.
>Their positions and titles no matter how important, do not place them above
>the rest of us.  They have to answer to the people paying the bills (yes I
>aware of just how little we are paying).
>Lets try something new.  Lets try respecting the membership and telling us
>what's going on.  No more of this "secret talks are being held with
>agencies!"  We're not idiots out here in the general membership.  Some of
>us are responsable adults who understand these things.

While I don't think you are giving our European partners a fair shake, let
me try and give you an analogy regarding my opinon of an AMSAT member's
role. I own stock in Southwest Airlines.  However (fortunately?), SWA
President Herb Koheler doesn't notify me up or ask my opinion everytime they
plan to expand their route or fleet.  Rather to maintain competitive
advantage, some things must be done in delegated confidence. So as
shareholder I can express my concerns about the firm via my vote for Board
of Directors and other actions that may come to the vote of shareholders.
And if I am upset about their route expansion, I can always write a letter
to Herb to express my concern. As a shareholder, I am sure I would get a
response. However I don't think there is a swa-bb forum...hi.

>Please do not take offense at this message.  Take it as a warning that some
>good people are concerned about the way things are going.

Certainly no offense taken. Please let the strategy committee know your
concerns on how we can improve the communications about satellite projects
so we can enhance the value of the project.  I only hope that I was trying
to help keep things calm on amsat-bb so we can successfully get another
satellite in orbit to play with.  Certainly with this post, I am sure kick
the fire ant bed and there will be a host of responses for which I
apoligize. I won't respond again on this issue via amsat-bb.

>BTW, I would love to see some technical discussion on the reflector to!
>I've tried to get some talk going about 1.2Ghz uplink transverters with
>success.  Like everything else, the technical details seem to be "secret"
>as well.

Me too!

73 and stay in touch,

Russ Tillman, K5NRK

"Everyone is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without it being
extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what
they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage!" Sir
Winston S. Churchill in a speech to the House of Commons, 13OCT43.

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