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Michael P. Olbrisch <kd9kc@elp.rr.com> wrote:

> >You got your P3D, now you want to
> >cut out the beginners?  AO-40 is nothing more than a gross
> >disappointment to the majority of hams I know. The promise
> >of easy simple satellite communications went out the window
> >with the disaster.

Laura Halliday replied

> Reality check: if you can't afford a cheap MMDS downconverter,
> or one of the nice downconverter kits, how can you possibly
> afford to be on the Internet, with all the costs that
> involves?

There's something interesting happening here - having spoken to a number of
people at Dayton this year I discovered an extraordinary amount of
negativity and mis-information about AO-40.

Of course it's disappointing that _part_ of the satellite is currently not

One thing that was never a secret about P3D was that S-Band would be the
preferred downlink. Indeed, over a year ago I was asking peoples' opinions
on the BB about what IF's people were thinking of using for S-Band on P3D.

I'm sure that one reason that there is so much equipment on AO-40 ['all your
eggs in one basket'] is something called redundancy. Had we only had U & V
transponders up there we'd now have nothing to use. Nada. Zip.

I don't believe the issue is to do with cost either. I think that it's more
to do with the fact that people want stuff delivered to them on a plate
these days. After all, if you were at all motivated you could get QRV
listening on 2.4GHz with $50 of equipment in addition to your existing
satellite radio. Experience tells me, for example, that building a 2.4GHz
helix for AO-40 is cheaper and easier than a 2m satellite antenna.

Now if this stuff was delivered to me on a plate I'd get pretty bored rather
quickly. Maybe people have forgotten what it's like to _achieve_ something.

I don't think there's an elite group with S-band working AO-40 at all -
before AO-40 I had no experience of S-band. Indeed 18 months ago I'd never
even worked a satellite. _All_ of us are learning. Whether you think that
group is elitist or not, I would hardly say it's dwindling! Indeed, for the
often disenfranchised apartment dweller, suddenly we have an opportunity to
operate worldwide which we never had before.

I agree with Laura here - exactly how easy and cheap do you want it?

73 Howard G6LVB

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