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Re: AMSAT has a SECRET: why not 10m instead of V band

on 6/2/01 9:58 AM, Michael P. Olbrisch at kd9kc@elp.rr.com wrote:

> I have discovered that
> satellite opns  is just a reflection of regular amateur radio.
> No worse, but no better either.  Guess my expectations
> were too high.


I think your expectations are too high.  There really is no such thing as an
"easy" satellite.  AO-40 was supposed to be that.  Unfortunately, the
reality is that a human error caused a major problem that now makes AO-40
more difficult to work and less functional.  It is still a success and
incredibly useful.  The very thing that was going to help make this bird
very easy (the engine to get it into a good orbit) is not going to be used
in the future (at least for the forseeable future) because it is the most
dangerous and costly part of the bird.

> If the BOD and users want 1.2, 2.4, and even 10.5 GHz
> systems, you will get them.  And most likely you will
> cease to recruit new members.  Probably lose a few
> old operators too.  This is an old story.  Seen it on
> HF in my early days.  Seen it with VHF repeaters, and
> now on satellites.  Why is it that the mean age of a
> ham is so old now?

I doubt it.  Mike, ham radio is supposed to be an advancement of radio art.
Isn't that in our charter some where.  It is only in the last 20 years or so
that a ham could just go to their local ham store and buy a whole station
w/o so much as touching a soldering iron.  VHF and UHF frequencies were once
seen as "frontiers" of difficult communication.  This was not only the
opinion of hams but commercial and governmental users as well.  In fact, the
government once thought that anything above 2 MHz or so was too high in
frequency to be useful!

So I won't buy it that microwaves will scare people off.  Sure, it may scare
some, but those are the same ones who think satellites are too difficult
anyhow.  I once had that same opinion.  I fell into getting on satellites
quite by accident, literally.  It wasn't until I swallowed hard and tried
that I found out that my perceptions were completely incorrect.

Now, I know you'd like to see a satellite with 2m capability as well as UHF.
So would I.  However, there are a LOT of people who feel that 2m is just not
the band of choice for satellite today.  Their arguments are very good and
have a lot of valid points.  I don't feel that the extra cost of adding 2m
capability is that much compared to the total bird and that the more
transmitters on board the better (AO-40 has shown us that!).  But who knows
if my wants will necessarily get into the next bird.  I will support AMSAT
and the BOD decides regardless.

If people are scared by the words "GHz" then it is MY responsibility as a
ham, satellite user and elmer to educate them about their misconceptions.
Ham radio is not a something for nothing hobby.  Too many hams want that.



Jon Ogden
NA9D (ex: KE9NA)



"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."

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