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PACSAT Live QSO's?



I'm trying to ponder where we are, where we have been, and where we are
going with small satellites.  Please note that this is only from what 
I see in the USA, it does not necessarily apply anywhere else).  There
are a few facts:

* Since 94 the internet has exploded.  Everyone (USA) has unlimited access
* Activity on the PACSATS over the USA is way, way down.
* Activity on AO27 is up and growing!
* Digipeating via MIR with UI frames was growing very well
* Digipeating UI frames is starting to gather interest on AO16 and LO19

So here is the thought.  Are we seeing a trend away from store-n-forward
message systems (The internet does this well!) and seeing a trend back to
LIVE amateur radio satellite contacts just because they are fun?

For two years I have been pushing this idea of UI digipeating via AO16 and
LO19, but I have been pushing for automatic un attended gateways to the
rest of the APRS infrastructure.  Now that I am playing a few days on
these birds, and seeing others doing the same, maybe there is enough
interest to just have fun LIVE station-to-station...?

If so, then demand for PSK modems would remain high, and SOMONE should
write a SOUND-CARD PSK modem just like ROger did for PSK31!  ANd then
everyone with a PC and an all mode radio could QSO via these virtually
abandoned birds... without having to buy a $700 PSK TNC...

Bob, WB4APR



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