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The GREAT DEBATE



Hello!
   I'm often not drawn into these divisive discussions on the
mail lists but I just couldn't let this one go by without
putting a word or two of mine in.

   To my mind, there are a few key words here: GOALS, INCLUSIVENESS,
REALISM. These should guide any kind of design for amateur
satellites.

1) Ask yourself: what are your goals within the project being
discussed? What should they be? I think a major factor in some
of the divisiveness of these debates is that people have not
thought through what their goals should be and how those goals
can relate to the amateur community in general.

2) Ham radio is suffering the great disease of the last qtr of
the 20th century: Me First. This disease fails to first look
at how what *we* know can be used to help *others*. Activities
like SAREX and JOTA are very notable exceptions in the satellite
community. I hold a PhD in a technical field and yet had my hands
full in dealing with all the operational issues on the Mode A
birds during my first passes. That gave me the INCENTIVE to
learn more about Microwaves, tracking Az/El arrays etc. With
others, I was able to assemble and operate a 9600 baud PACSAT
station from the ITU-98 convention here in Minneapolis. THAT
relied on many generous hams who were willing to answer the
same 'STUPID' question that they'd answered a hundred times
before. (Thanks, guys!)

3) I've heard it said more than once that some group or another
within the ham radio community doesn't have the brains, drive,
money, ... whatever to be involved in activity X. I'd ask
people who are saying, or thinking, this: What do you suggest
be done to engage them in the project? I offer this as an
evidently non-obvious alternative to the "Leave them on the
other side of the tracks." alternative I hear way too often.

Best 73's
--Paul


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Beckmann -- WA0RSE     1882 South Lane                  wa0rse@amsat.org
ARRL/NLRS                   Mendota Heights, MN             cell:612-414-0302
AMSAT #26957                55118-4328                       fax:651-452-4103

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