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Re: Right-sizing a sat [was: Antennas on the bird]




>Robert Oler WB5MZO wrote:
>
>Let me be clear.  In the end I really dont care what sort of "skills" are
>left by building the satellite.  AO-40 contributed to the state of the art
>in terms of sat ops not a twit.  OK it has some neat momentuem wheels but
>they would have been tested in other ways and thats true of every component
>on the bird.  We are not creating either an industry or a company.  We
>should figure out how UHF/VHF/microwave comm is improved...not how to build
>better birds.

Without intending to belittle the huge achievement of the AO-40 team in any 
way, I think Robert has made a couple of important points.

Ham radio is not only electronics and technology. Ham radio is also about 
communicating.

Yes, the technology is a tool, but the proof of a tool is the job it will 
do. In communications, high technology is only as good as the quality of 
communications it provides. Otherwise it is a purely academic exercise.

I am always willing to admire a technological achievement - and the AO-40 
team deserves a real congratulations for an amazing achievement even if the 
bird does not end up to be perfect.

However, even a perfect AO-40 would really serve only an tiny fraction of 
the total world-wide Amateur community, because to my mind, it is simply 
too expensive and too difficult for most of us to set up a ground station 
that would work with it efficiently.

For the rest of us, satellites that can be accessed with more modest ground 
stations will keep us interested and bring in new people who will build and 
pay for new Phase 3 and the Phase 4 satellites and beyond.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is a need for balance.

Those who agree with me should look at Bob Bruninga's write-up on "Mode V".

The url is:

http://web.usna.navy.mil/~bruninga/mode-v.html

73 de K3XO
Rip




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