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Re: FM Satellite Etiquette question....

> long as fixed stations keep their power to a resaonable level and share
> frequency, low power stations have a chance to use the satellites.  I can
> verify this is true, as I run 5 watts into an Arrow crossed yagis.

I have made several contacts on these LEO FM satellites like others
using only a handheld with a rubber duck.  Is it the best or optimum
system? I don't think so, but it works under ideal conditions. Even with
an Arrow antenna operating from a rare grid square it can be difficult
to use these birds. I would never expect this same setup to work on
Field Day with a single channel FM satellite.

> When we start "one upping" each other, chaos will result.  Field Day 2000
> was a prime example.  Two clubs - one in Alabama and one in Texas ran 100
> plus watts into large antennas and dominated the FM satellites -
> many satellite operators from amking even one contact.

Shame on you and your exageration here.  I feel compelled to clear
the record since this is about the third instance that you have made the
attack on the 2 clubs. When you attack a club you are attacking the
members of that club and I am not in the land of Zen.

I took personal exception to your attack on the Alabama club since your
comments are somewhat distorted.

This is not the first time you have made these comments.  When you
asked me what we used for our station, I cordially complied with that
request. The politician response is I did not tell you we ran 100 plus
watts.  We only used a single antenna for each band and they were
not stacked.

I did not reply to your earlier attacks since I expected you to let it
go, but I can see that has not ocurred since it is still troubling you. We
will not dominate the satellite next year. In fact, I am not sure I will be
involved with Field Day or many other related activities due to the
hate that have been spread over this event.  Technically speaking,
we complied with the rules. It only takes a few people to spread a
little hate in any group to crippled it from growing.  We should stop
here and move forward on how we make it better. If not, we chase
curious newcomers or elmers away.

Yes, this was our club in Huntsville. I encourage you to read the
AMSAT Field Day Competition rules, especially the very first line
that defines the title of the event.  Domination is a very strong word
in such an event as Field Day. The situation on Field Day is like no
other day of the year and there is no comparison to the number of
stations and the noise floor that is created. If all stations used the
same level of ERP on the FM satellites there would be very few
contacts made except those that capture the satellite during near
approaches and lower path loss. Nonetheless, chaos would still
reign. With a couple high power stations controlling the situation,
the level of chaos still remains, but more contacts are acheived
since this gives a very clearly defined target for other stations to
call. Please think about it in terms of the numbers and the noise
floor. No mater how  you look at the situation, it is not a good
situation. Maybe that is what they call it Field Day.

Think about it this way. When there is a Net operating on a single
frequency, the purpose of the net control station is to maintain
order. Without that order, then you have an uncontrollable situation.
Operation on a single channel FM satellite can be viewed in the
same light.

I have heard the argument that you are supposed to use minimal
power or ERP. Using minimal power takes on a new meaning for
a single channel satellite on Field Day. Minimal power must be
elevated on single channel FM satellites in order to make a
contact on Field Day. It is purely physics.

My assertion is that the few stations that rose above the noise floor
allowed for more contacts to be made. Yes, it is a debatable
subject, but I think the reality of operation on Field Day supports
my point.

The single channel FM satellites on Field Day create an enormous
amout of tension for all involved trying to make a contact. It is
impossible for everybody to make a contact on these birds even if
the conditions were ideal. There is simply not enough bandwidth or
time available with these resources. This is the reality I accept.

It is no different than attempting to work the Space Shuttle or MIR in
the early stages when they get on the air. Although, I think the latter 2
are an extreme because nobody can hear the downlink.  The FM
satellites on Field Day probably give us a taste of what the
Astronauts and Cosmonauts expereince  when they operate on
2 meters.

If I understand your complaint, it is that you did not make a single
satellite contact for the 100 ARRL Satellite Bonus Points. Keep in
mind there are 2 events taking place on Field Day.  One is the
"ARRL Field Day" and the other is the "AMSAT Field Day
Competition". They both have very different rules.

> I know these clubs aren't modifying their habits - so my club is planning
> run 200 watts and stacked yagis into the FM birds for Field Day.

Did you personally ask these clubs if they were going to modify their
habits?  If so, we missed it.  I just want to set the record straight since
some of your stated facts are incorrect. The habits of our Field Day
station will certainly be altered next year as I am sure the rules will also
be altered.

In cased you missed it, the AMSAT event was titled "2000 AMSAT
Field Day Competition". Some dictionaries define competition as
a contest or rivalry. If you have ever been to a big college football
game (that's American football where they seldom use their foot to
kick it unless they are doing poorly), you can understand the term
rivalry. It is fun, but also taken seriously until after the event. After
event we start talking about the next game, since we cannot change
the past.

We cannot change the past, but we can make an impact on
the future.

> Moderate power and good operating tactics go a long way.

I trust you learned that Field Day is not a normal day. Field Day is an
extreme in operating conditions. We deal with issues and roll with the
flow. If we were only using an Arrow antenna on Field Day, we would
quickly learn that the FM satellites are not the ideal place to be. Instead,
the Fuji-Oscars provide an ideal place for such an antenna on Field
Day. These are 2 resources that would provide very good results on
Field Day with a small antenna, because there is more bandwidth
availble for the given time. This is a far easier solution than setting
yourself up for failure by putting all the eggs in one basket.

I am all in favor of 1 contact per FM satellite on Field Day, but if you
read my earlier comments, I believe the number of contacts go down
on the available bandwidth and time when there is no controlling
station or target for others to focus. I am not advocating this is the
way it should be done, I am simply stating the facts about the mode
of operation in question.  You can change the rules but you cannot
change the physics about the operation.

I have said enough and all I am going to say about the subject and I
am moving on to more encouraging activities to promote Amateur
Radio as a hobby, a learning experience, and to utilize its benefits
in our community.

You can only learn from past mistakes.


Tim - N8DEU
Huntsville, Alabama

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