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Re: Amateur radio module on commercial Geo Sat?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Phil Karn" <karn@ka9q.net>

> Then there's a consideration unique to AMSAT. Because our spacecraft
> are funded by donations and grants, not by airtime charges, they are
> vulnerable to the economic tragedy of the commons. Anyone who has ever
> pumped another ham to contribute to AMSAT knows that most hams are far
> more willing to spend, say, $1,000 on a HF linear amplifier they
> really don't need and will hardly ever use than to donate the same
> amount toward a shared spacecraft that would do far more for his
> communications capability. This argues for minimizing satellite costs
> even if that were to *increase* the total system (satellite + ground
> station) cost.

However, in the TVRO industry, the opposite was the case.  Digital, more
complex satellites and simpler ground stations have increased sales (users)
by a large margin.  In my opinion, the difference with an AMSAT related
satellite is that it has the potiential to provide a technical platform for
with the *desire to experiment* with spacecraft fundamentals and various
communications systems and methods.  I suppose it is a tough decision
when using private funds to create a space relay that ends up making
every user (contributor?) happy.  It would appear to me that whether we
make the space platform or the user more complex depends on what we
as amateurs want.  Is the act of passing a message the important factor or
is how the message got passed more of a thrill?  I personally get a kick
out of making small, remotely controlled packages just to see if I can do
it knowing full well that I could go purchase a similar device from a store.
I think Phil is correct with the idea of a more complex ground station as it
offers much more latitude for an Amateur Operator to experiment and
learn rather than simply connecting our terminals or microphones to a
black box.

Gary Memory, N7BRJ/DA1BRJ

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