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Re: S.O.S from SO-35

Good morning Steve and fellow ops,

Here are just a few thoughts in reply to your recent post Steve.

... snip
> I've said it before but here it comes again.
> How about we drop the contest style of making
> a contact and instead actually convey a thought
> with someone,  not at someone and to a maximum
> of two some ones, or I guess you could generalize
> a thought to several some ones.  But then kick back
> and let others do the same.  Self control can be
> a good thing.  Maybe its just me, but one or two
> contacts per pass is all it takes to blow my skirt up.

In my honest opinion, taking into consideration the air time available
for operators on "easy sats," anything other than quick "contest style"
QSOs will be met by still more QRM from other anxious operators.  I
listen a lot to traffic on AO27, and the threshold seems to be about 15
seconds per contact before other stations attempt to "capture" the
bird.  Most QSOs last less than the threshold time.

I liken AO-27 to driving to the mall at Christmas time.  You drive
around looking for a parking spot until you find one.  Sometimes you
even follow a shopper back to their car in order to "snag" their spot as
they pull out.  A certain etiquette exists in the parking lot, as does a
certain etiquette on Oscar 27.

We all know that it is much easier to capture AO-27 than it is to hear
the bird.  Much of the QRM I hear is from operators with marginal
downlink capabilities attempting to be heard.  By-in-large, the
"regulars" I hear on the bird are a conscientious and considerate lot. 
However, it is a very crowded parking lot.  If 30 operators are trying,
there WILL be some chaos on the bird.

There is a solution to the overcrowding on the easy sats however.  Allow
me to borrow from the intent of your subject header.  Why settle for the
same old dodo?  Let's begin planning now to loft a fleet of easy sats
into orbit.  

Start by having a competition between interested universities for design
of a "millennium" microsat.  The sat would contain a mode J transponder,
as well as a 2 meter APRS/unproto digipeater.  The winning think tank
would take home a cash award, and would blueprint the design for the
other competitors to build.

If we built 20 or 30 such devices, they could be sitting in every
country with launch capabilities, ready to hitch a ride into space. 
Within a few years, there would be a constellation of satellites
available which would be usable from handheld devices world wide.  

They could all operate on the same frequency, by using tone access. 
Also, a universal tone would be programmed for use by wilderness and
emergency users, who may need the capability to "key" ANY available bird
in the fleet.

I feel the dawn of the new millennium is the perfect time for world
amateurs to put a fleet of such satellites in orbit.  Let's take our
place as the true innovators we are, and bring amateur satellite
technology to the masses.  Not only would the Millenium project boost
the numbers of satellite operating hams, but may well be the salvation
of amateur radio in general by supplying the catalyst which brings
technically sophisticated young people into the ham ranks.

73, Mike in Fort Myers, FL

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   |||   | |   * Mike Gilchrist - KF4FDJ ..... AMSAT Area Coordinator *
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