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Re: FM satellites (was: Re: SUNSAT OVER EUROPE)

> This may sound really off the wall, but if single-channel
>  FM satellites work so poorly, why do people launch them?
>  Surely there is a better (not to mention less frustrating) way
>  to introduce newcomers?

Not a bad question, Laura.  Might I suggest that for the less than the cost 
of a new FT-51R (presumably to work AO-27), a new ham could purchase a used 2 
m all-mode rig ($200 - 250) and a venerable HTX-100 ($100 - 125) and could 
easily work RS-12/13 from home or car.   RS-13 offers dozens of QSO's at a 
time, both phone and CW (and an occasional SSTV), and allows for 
conversations up to 15-18 minutes in length.  That might make a far more 
"polite" introduction to the newcomer or non-ham than the cacophony on AO-27. 

Plus, she could still work all the local repeaters AND 10 meter DX.  Add a $ 
75 HTX-404 (yes, they go for that little on ebay.com and qth.com), and she 
could still try AO-27 during the weekdays.

BTW, please don't count me among the AO-27 bashers.  Because of it's 
"sometimes easy" access, there are some ops there that will never be heard on 
the other birds.  Nothing gets my adrenaline pumping more than hearing 
somebody portable in a grid square I don't have.  I enjoy lots of nice QSO's 
with the ladies and gentlemen on the analog SSB birds, but I also enjoy the 
challenge that is AO-27.

BTW, I noted several times this weekend that when a station would call the 
special event, W2N, there was actual noise on the transponder for 2 or 3 
seconds.  That happened because dozens of stations all over North and Central 
America stood by (at least for 2 seconds) and allowed the special event 
station their chance to get in.  

Jerry, K5OE
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