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RE: FO-20



Jon Ogden - NA9D said (in part):
----------

> The problem with the SSB birds is that

> a.) Most of the SSB ops mothballed their stations after the
> demise of AO-13.

Certainly some did, but I'm sure that lots of "not operational" stations
would require only a little effort to become "operational".  Thinks like
some antenna / feed / rotor maintenance, taking equipment off the garage
shelf and putting back in service, etc.

> b.) The rest of the ham community thinks their too hard to
> work (I did).

I guess that means that anything more than "Order a dual band handheld from
HRO and start talking" is too hard to do.  I certainly didn't think so.
With the greatly increased number of HF radios coming out with 2M and 430
all-mode capability, it's just not that hard to do.

>c.) FM is the fashionable and politically correct mode to
> promote right now.

As to FM being PC, I think that's just a bunch of $%&*.  I think the better
term might be LAZY.  It seems no one actually wants to put any effort into
anything.  Regardless of the resultant gain (pleasure, satisfaction, etc),
any amount of effort required is too much bother.  It's really disgusting
IMHO.
I think using the FM satellites as an intro to satellites is fine and
wonderful.  They are easy to get into.  Unfortunately not enough effort is
made to tell prospective new users that it's not like operating your local
repeater - IT IS A WEAK SIGNAL operation.  That part not withstanding, I
still think that the FM satellites should be only the intro.  Now that you
have seen that you really can use a satellite, move up to the LEO SSB birds.
They are not that much harder, but you will have to learn a few more things,
and you will likely need to spend some money at it, but the ability to
ACTUALLY TALK to people for more than 10 seconds is worth something, isn't
it?

I think the biggest handicap right now is that the timing of the passes.
Both FO-29 and FO-20 are making the nighttime passes in the middle of the
night and daytime passes are in the middle of the work day (when many of us
are working).  Both those birds do drift around the day so give it a year or
so and they will be back to better pass times.  Both those birds work very
well and it is too bad that they are not used more.

73
-------------------------
Jim Walls - K6CCC
k6ccc@amsat.org
http://home.earthlink.net/~k6ccc/
Ofc:  626-302-8515    FAX:  626-302-9999
AMSAT member 32537 / WSWSS member 395

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