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Re: P3D information



Well once again I stirred up some controversy. Let's go over today's
feedback:

>Yes, I lived in an apartment once too. But you know, I worked my ass
off, saved money and bought a home WHERE I MADE SURE I COULD PUT UP
ANTENNAS. Anyone who doesn't think they can do the same thing is fooling
themselves. I've worked hard and worked my butt off to be able to have
what I have today and for anyone to call me an elitist because of what I
have insults me.


No insult was intended. I was only answering back at the people who
proclaim Zero Tolerance for "technology bigots".

I could probably buy a house also, if I didn't think I might be moving
to another job in a year or two. I am happy  that you were able to
choose a house in a neighborhood where you can put up antennas. Some
hams don't have that luxury no matter how hard they work their ass off.
Once the XYL falls in love with some house that's close to a good school
and a good shopping mall and the kids soccer field, no amount of arguing
about ham radio is going to change her mind. I can just imagine how the
conversation goes: "But sweetheart, we can't buy this house, they don't
allow antennas here...." Nope. Your ass is toast in that scenario. For
most of us ham radio is only a hobby and our choices about where we live
are driven by more serious considerations. Do you really believe that
only homeowners should operate satellites? Why shouldn't a lowly college
student be able to operate from his dorm room, if we can make it
possible for him to do so?



>So let's drop this whine of "I can't operate this mode because... " bit
and figure out a way to do it if it really is important.

I did figure out a way, and I'm not whining. Just working on my S band
helix for my camera tripod.


>Second, C band TVRO dishes are not at all rusting away

Look on Ebay, C band TVRO dishes can be had almost for free if you are
willing to haul them away. I know you and other techies still use them,
and when I do buy a house I'm going to get one too so that I can watch
NASA TV without interruption and without having to pay for it. But the
rest of the non-techie world has gone to DSS.


>That same $1500 needs to be spent on the FT-847 for mode B must be
spent for your digital microwave modes too.

Where do we get the idea that the only way we can get on the air is by
buying a $1500 radio from Japan? Yes I know that many hams don't like to
solder kits together for one reason or another, but in a few years you
won't have to.

>Perhaps. But there are a lot about the microwave bands that we do not
know  yet since we've never had a bird with greater than an S band
downlink. What will doppler shift or antenna pointing be like on 10 GHz?
Will we have rain scatter problems, etc, etc. All cool and fun stuff to
find out, but these bands are a question as to their "ease." There is
also the cost. Not only do you have to buy the "IF rig" but all the
transverters as well. Microwaves are much more costly.

Today they are, because they have not been accepted by the mainstream of
users. There is no inherent reason why they need to be. After P3D is
successfully in orbit, once the market is there, there will be
inexpensive microwave gear on the market and you won't need an RF lab to
get it up and running.

Yes, the microwave and digital modes on P3D will be experimental for a
few years after launch while the techies work out the unknowns. But a
few years from now MFJ and TenTec and other similar companies will have
microwave and/or digital satellite appliances that you can use right out
of the box, for no more than the cost of a good GPS receiver or a DSS TV
receiver. Look at the little QRP rigs that are available for the HF
bands, or the KK7B radios in QST over the past decade. They will cover
any band including the microwaves. For wideband digital modes, you could
buy the IF module from Symek, add a local oscillator for the band of
your choice, and there you go. No need to pay $300 to modify your FT-847
for wideband.

If you find a good deal on Mode B equipment at a hamfest, go ahead and
buy it. It will be around for the lifetime of Phase 3D, 10 years or
more. The debate will happen when we build the next satellite, smaller
and cheaper than P3D and no room for multiple bands and antennas. Will
we build another Mode B satellite, or will we decide to leave Mode B
behind?



>   Anyone who has worked >100 countries via satellite on VHF, UHF and
Microwave bands knows that <10% of DX operations were active on
microwave satellite bands during the 90's...

This only reflects the fact that <10% of all satellite operators in any
country were active on microwave bands in the 90's. It might not be much
different next year.
But the year after that?

It is silly to argue about these things. Time will tell which is best.

Dan Schultz N8FGV

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