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RE: Thoughts on future "FM birds" (was: proposal for,maximizing fm le o contacts)

> One observation:
> I would hope in the next five or so years, with the advent of 
> DSP IFs and 
> filters, and DDS referenced synths, that it will not cost 
> anymore to build 
> an all mode VHF/UHF rig than an FM one.

That would be great!  Actually, I'd _love_ an all mode equivalent to my Icom
IC-T81A.  With the rapid improvement in DSP technology (which, fortunately,
is governed by the same Moore's Law as computer technology), this could be
feasible soon.

> So I think that someday when the Japanese manufacturers 
> realize this you'll 
> find SSB rigs could be (depending on "marketing") as cheap as FM rigs.

The biggest problem I see here is the amateur community, which has a large
number of operators who will continue using conventional technologies, so
that would keep the demand for all mode boxes down a little.  However, a bit
of amateur ingenuity in developing modes and the continuing trend towards
low cost DSP may help here. 

It would be even more interesting is we can develop satellites which are
capable of communicating with the ground stations such information as
Doppler shift and/or position, so Doppler can be compensated for
automatically, _without_ the need for an external PC.  Add a little nifty
DSP on the ground, and we could have linear birds with the simplicity of
today's FM birds, but the bandwidth and spectral efficiency of SSB.

> Either way it makes more sense to use SSB (in amateur radio 
> service) for 
> satellite uplinks and downlinks.  A good scrounger can have a
> LEO station for a couple of hundred dollars *IF* they can stand not
> to be 100% "appliance operators".

That's what I'm doing. :-)  My biggest issue is portability, which will
translate to "luggability"! :-)
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