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AMSAT-NA did announce the following:

"Third, the Board approved design, construction and demonstration of a new
mode using digital modulation techniques. This would improve communications
under very poor conditions or, alternatively, permit the use of lower power
and/or simple antennas. It is anticipated that both the second and third
projects would be ready to be a part of the main satellite project, with
both a digital modulation system along with traditional SSB/CW modulation

Allowing simpler, especially smaller, antennas would be a major advantage
for hams that can't afford the $70 per square foot price of real estate in
Los Angeles. The project may also help amateur radio in the long term. The
FCC made the following statement recently:

"Cross said that before the FCC initiates any rulemaking proceedings in the
Amateur Service to change privileges it wants to see proposals involving the
implementation of "new and more modern communications technologies," such as



----- Original Message -----
From: "Larry Kayser" <kayser@sympatico.ca>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Friday, 01 June 2001 01:16 UTC
Subject: [amsat-bb] AMSAT has a SECRET!

> Greetings:
> You heard it here first, AMSAT has a SECRET!  Without fanfare or really
> saying it very loud, the end of an era has finally happened.  The AMSAT
> has approved the development of a new satellite, and unlike the creative
> wording used by the ARRL for this BOD decision, this new satellite will
> be "AO-40 Lite".  The new satellite will return to the basics finally
> nearly 20 years of the other approach.  I say it again, FINALLY the
> minimalist approach to amateur satellites returns.
> Go quickly and read the AMSAT announcement.  Then reread it, study what is
> says and what it does not say.
> What the announcement says to me is that there will not be any techno
> stuff, just linear RF repeaters operating from a synchronous transfer
> All the rest of the gee wiz stuff is gone.  Hopefully the things that go
> bump in the night are gone as well.
> A Satellite for amateur radio is a basic device that provides signal gain
> for amateur signals using the system as a repeater.  The use of multiple
> bands on an amateur satellite always works to the economic disadvantage of
> those who might invest in one band mode combination and are
> when the satellite is operated in other band modes.  The membership needs
> help the AMSAT BOD keep the new satellite as simple as possible.  To help
> the BOD along I suggest that the 2M and 5.6 GHz bands need to be
> The new goal is the result of a rethink of the concept model for the next
> satellite.  The issue is maybe just maybe, and this is were the membership
> needs to start singing a loud chorus, that AMSAT will focus on the users
> create a maximum life cycle for value satellite system.  I offer that the
> best way to achieve maximum participation in AMSAT is to focus on the
> economics and keep the satellite a very simple device that has great
> reliability for the users.  Workers in the builder group need to have a
> better understanding of the works of W Edwards Deming and graduate level
> Economics on an equal footing with the latest radiation hardened
> microprocessor.
> AMSAT's challenge is to show the amateur community and the satellite users
> that AMSAT can deliver service reliability and consistent functionality to
> the user community.  The AMSAT board has put is toe in the waters of
> they need strong support to provide the leadership to bring a
> new service delivery model to the AMSAT community.
> We badly need more satellites that achieve their 20th anniversary
> full functionality to the user community.
> I urge the AMSAT membership to support the board, to push hard for the
> concept of minimalism for amateur satellites.  To focus on reliability and
> serviceability.  What we must NOT get  is an "AO-40 Lite".
> Larry
> AMSAT Life Member #3
> ----
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