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Re: A launch prep - coverage campaigne...

on 9/14/00 4:58 PM, hmose@sover.net at hmose@sover.net wrote:

> That's for sure. Like the two bills Clinton recently
> vetoed (with no over-ride) the events in French
> Guiana are going to be seen, from a GEO orbit, as to
> only benefit the wealthy. How can anyone perceive any
> public benefit when there is none?? As I have said on
> this reflector before, there should be a public service
> aspect to everything we do. In the coming days, when we
> make public announcements about P3D, we should
> demonstrate that we will DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE with
> this expensive toy.

No we don't need to fill the satellite up with public service.  The
worthwhile something is the fact that hams, who have this hobby as a hobby,
spent their time and money and efforts to design this bird.  Sure it's
elitist.  I've done microwave radio design and I'd love to someday help
build a bird, but I know NOTHING of orbital mechanics and how to put a
satellite in space.  Do you?

Putting P3D up really IS rocket science.  It IS done by eggheads (no insult
intended) and unless the general ham community puts up the $$ I think those
of us who are in Amsat can do whatever we want with the bird.

The public benefit and the benefit to our hobby is that this satellite has
some really cutting edge technology.  For example, with the laser
experiment, we will try to communicate into space with a laser beam.  Or at
least receive a signal.  Has it been done before?  I don't know and if so,
not often.

There does not need to be a public service benefit to everything we do.  We
PAID for the satellite.  Those of us who joined Amsat are part of that.  We
bought it.  We put our time into it.  Public service is a great aspect and
necessary one in our hobby.  However, other charters also include the
fostering of international good will.  Our birds sure do that.  Not
everything in ham radio involves public service.  If I rag chew with a
buddy, there is no public service aspect in that.  So I guess in your view
it's useless.

Would I favor using P3D to help in a disaster if it was the BEST means of
communication?  ABSOLUTELY.  But to specifically dedicate P3D with the theme
of public service is ludicrous.
> It could watch marine digital emergency channel 70
> (156.525 Mhz) for example and transpond onto a downlink
> any data received. Perfectly legal as this is an
> emergency only channel. There is a miriad of things our
> satellites could do for the amateur community in
> general. 

Why?  I am sure there are tons of other services and satellites already
doing this.  What more can we bring to the party than someone like the Navy
or Coast Guard???

Yes, I will agree there is a perception about Amsat that we are a bunch of
elitists.  I know because I used to think that way.  Then I discovered the
birds and decided to check out Amsat.  I couldn't have been more wrong!
This group is not at all elitist.  However, having pictures of the P3D
campaign on the website won't help that.  People who think we are elitist
won't go and visit it any how.  We would need to have the pictures on some
place like the ARRL site where a larger percentage of the ham population
visits.  But still given that we have far more ham radio ops in the USA then
ARRL members, only a small portion is still reached.

Pictures of the launch campaign, live video, etc. are nice.  They help us
who are waiting on pins and needles.  However, they do little for the
average Joe ham who wears his shack on his belt.  The best way for Amsat to
appear non-elitist is at the local level.  By those of us who are members
elmering other people about the birds.  By "evangelizing" the ham community
about what we do, we will be far more effective than just having pictures
coming out of Kouru.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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