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FM satellite restrictions [Was: "Re: SUNSAT OVER EUROPE"]

    On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Randolph Kohlwey wrote:

    > At 12:14 AM 7/26/99 -0400, Bob Bruninga wrote:
    > >AMSAT intl should formalize two items throughout amateur radio:
    > >
=>  > >1)  Make sure that no Awards, nor certificates nor any other QSO
    > >recognition can be made for any two-way QSO's on the FM birds.


    No, the first line of my message said "for AO27 and SUNSAT..."  These
    single-user assets should be made off limits for contesting and or
    any awards.  *OR* permit "contacts" to include dis-joint RECEPTION REPORTS
    also.  If station A hears station B, and Station B hears station A via the
    same RF path (at any time), then let that count.  This should cut down on
    each station thinking he has to individually contact every other station
    individually and totally hogging every pass...
                                                    -- <bruninga@nadn.navy.mil>

Well, i found out recently that right now, AO-27 really is about the only
game in town at VHF and above, in terms of voice/CW, unless one has an
AO-10 class station which will cost thousands of dollars.  If one has HF
gear, then maybe RS-12/13 and possibly RS-15 (CW only?) may help.  But but
i was surprosed to find that during the times i've tried, it's rare for me
to hear more than one or two QSOs going on FO-20 and FO-29.  Often, there
was 'nobody home'.  Even once P3D goes up, we will still be talking about
expensive tranceivers and sophisticated antenna systems.  To get on AO-10, 
the az/el rotators alone are probably going to cost more than everything
one needs for a *good* handheld satellite setup.  Operating the linear
tranponder birds is difficult at best without az/el and/or a sophiscated
transceiver.  Some of you have heard me trying, thanks to a fine gentleman
locally loaning me such a transceiver so i can try out an antenna idea to
work on part of that cost problem.

So in terms of the kind of being discussed, i seems to me the proposal is
suggesting that that one can't participate on contests or awards without
investing at least a thousand dollars, or the equivalent in parts and labor.
For all intents and purposes, if what is being proposed is adopted, one can
not get Worked All States without being competent at CW (or being incredible 
proficient [and lucky] on 6 meters).  And that until P3D is launched, don't 
bother trying unless one is fairly affluent.   That is, unless someone is
trying to suggest that APRS is the only way one should be participating in
contesting or awards...

While it might be reasonable to suggest that approach on SUNSAT if it is
only being turned on selectively, i think AO-27 problems need to be handled
in a much less drastic way.  Please do note that those problems are mostly
on weekend and holiday passes directly over the States, and on certain
transcontinental passes.  Passes over oceans don't have that problem (i
spent enough time on the East Coast to find out for myself), and even on
weekends, more activity would suit the folks in Hawaii just fine.

While some fine-tuning of certain awards might be appropriate, this proposal
is far too drastic and i believe in the long run it will be determental to
the amateur satellite program.  This kind of operation is what is getting
people into satellites and into amateur radio.  We need this or we'll lose
our bands.

Randy is right, the way to solve to problem is to launch more J-FM birds.
And he has been working very hard to do just that.  Look for some major
improvements in the situation starting in early October.  We can do this
with 'picosats' and 'nanosats', which are *much* easier to find launches
for than our larger amateur satellites.  We need something to facilitate
APRS contacts, especially once MIR is de-comissioned, and this should
preferrably support both 1200 bps and 38.4 kbps operation.  We need to 
look forward rather than just backwards in the digital domain.

We need P3D, but we need more than that.  Let's think about the future 
rather than drastic measures.

			 -- KD6PAG  (who had automaticly generated street-
                                     level maps for APRS when everyone else
                                     in my area was using hand-tuned ones.)
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