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

> Thank you thank you thank you.
> In the past, whenever the notion of an FM satellite came up,
> it would be immediately dismissed as A Bad Idea. Why it
> was a bad idea seemed to be well understood. Until now.

Well, FM does have its limitations, granted, and the FM birds aren't ever
likely to be of serious use in high traffic areas (though on this side of
the world, we are getting some good ragchews on FM :) ).

But is SSB the be all to end all?  SSB also has a number of inherent
problems, such as extreme sensitivity to Doppler, transponder power sharing
arrangements, and more mundane issues such as the cost and type of equipment
available for this mode.

Surely there are other modes that can be tried.  Granted, none of them will
use readily available gear (more likely to involve home brew or add-ons),
but they may address some of the other shortcomings of SSB.  Spread spectrum
may be interesting to play with, if low cost hardware can be developed. 

The beef I have with the SSB camp is the attitude "If you're not on SSB,
you're not serious", or "You should setup an all singing and dancing
station".  Not everyone is able to setup such a station.  As I said before,
if someone wants to contribute a few hundred grand to a suitable property
for me to live in, I'll setup that AO-10 capable station, complete with long
Yagis and Az/El rotators.  

In the meantime, I will make do with portable beams, a couple of multimode
radios and a pile of transverters, and continue working FM when I need to be
_really_ portable.

VK/ZL/P29/etc hams may be able to try me out on RS-13 and the Fujis in a
couple of weeks, once I've had time to interface the  2m transverter to the
HF box. :)  The 10m downlink issues are still something I haven't resolved.
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