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Re: Re: Thoughts on future "FM birds"




>
>Laura, as I see it the fundamental point is to sell lots of 2m FM radios, 
>not to enable communications, or further satellite development.  The same 
>stupid thing is being done on ISS, and I for one, think that is a bad 
>idea.  SSB all the way!
>
>            73, Dave wb6llo@amsat.org

I don't think this really has to do with selling radios, Dave, though I 
could be wrong.  Most folks buy FM radios for reasons completely apart from 
satellite operation and then want to know how to use them on 
satellites.  Instead, I think it is a misguided attempt to convince people 
that satellite operation is not inherently difficult or challenging.  I 
think that this is a mistake.  Frankly, if satellite operation didn't 
involve learning a lot of new things, I for one (and I suspect you too) 
would never have become interested in it.

Laura's right, and its about time someone said so.  It does seem a bit odd 
that people select a technology that is wholly inappropriate to satellite 
communication and then appear surprised to find that it doesn't work 
well.  But there may be some method in this madness.  I think the basic 
theory behind FM satellites is: 1. It costs a lot of money to launch a 
satellite.  2. If you can convince people that handheld to handheld 
satellite communication over hundreds of miles is possible (maybe easy) via 
these satellites, lots of new people will join AMSAT and help finance them, 
and 3. After a few weeks (months)  they'll get tired of this and graduate 
to satellites that work better.

You can pick apart the logical flaws in the above as easily as I can, but I 
don't know that this theory has been proven incorrect.  However, even it it 
works, there does seem to be something sort of sneaky and misleading about 
it.

As for ISS, I found reading the book Dragonfly to be quite an eye opener.

John W2FS

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