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Re: Shit Happens and I need your help




Hi everyone

I have been hesitant to make any comments that may appear to be critical of
AMSAT-XX as I am so appreciative of what they have provided me over the
years in the way of a great learning experience and just plain enjoyment.
I have been on sats for 13 years. Have over 7500 sat QSO in log on all
analog birds and band modes. Have 2 times DXCC on sat confirmed.
CQ WAZ on sat.  All antennas and Lo Noise preamps home brew.

However looking at the bigger picture of the future of amateur radio and
satellite operation in particular I am rather pessimistic.  As a volunter
driven organization of a great many very independent individuals it is very
difficult to set priorities and goals.  It is one thing to have scientific
purposes. It is quite another to impliment them.

My perspective is that if amateur satellite operation is to grow to the
point that it becomes more than a very minor segment where only
about  0.5 percent of the amateurs of the world are actively involved it has
to -

PROVIDE RELIABLE CONTINUOUS YEAR AFTER YEAR REAL TIME
VOICE GLOBAL COMMUNICATION

This is necessary to permanently attract those from the vast pool of  2 m
and 70 cm HT operators

Equipment cost to individuals is not a major factor. Amateurs will find a
way to get on the birds if they can depend on them being there. However
antenna requirements should be modest so that operation can be
accomplished for at least part of the time from an apartment balconey
or small back yard.

This requires-

1) Two satellites with wide band transponders in molniya orbit so that when
    one fails there is still one in operation.  A third should be on the
    ground ready to go up when one of the two fails.

2) Rugged proven basic type systems such as I think AMSAT-NA is now
    proposing.

3) Operation on 70 cm, 1.2 and 2.4 GHz to keep antenna size down.

This does not mean that we should not progress to more advanced
systems and methods.  However we should proceed in small progressive
steps to provide time for amateurs to adapt.   Not in widely spaced big
leaps.

Problems which I am afraid may make these requirements unatainable?

1} Costs.  Funds difficult to obtain from few existing members who already
      have contributed a good deal to AO-40 as I have.  But you cannot get a
     lot of new members  without proving that continuous reliable service
     can be provided.

2) It will take several years of reliable operation before the majority of
    amateurs  will be convinced that satellite operation is a truly viable
    part of amateur radio before they put much effort and money into it.

3) Personnel and groups to do the construction.. Should consider having some
    full time paid professional engineering staff like ARRL,  RSGB etc.

4) Loss of use of 2.4 GHz for sat level signals due to interference from
    unlicensed so called low power devices such as gigarange cordless
    phones.

5) Requires coordination and cooperation of all world AMSAT organizations.

Clare VE3NPC

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