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Dont want to work at it?

>I agree with you, Maggie, and the others who are fed up with all of the
>whiners.  There have been many good examples of how to assemble a low cost
>AO-40 station.  However, I doubt that the whiners would be satisfied unless
>someone gave them the equipment for free, set it up for them, and taught
>them how to operate it.  It sounds like they want everything NOW, do not
>want to have to pay for it, and do not think they should have to work for 
>or learn how to do something they have never done before.  The just want it
>handed to them on a silver platter.
>People who are not willing to make the commitment to learn new techniques
>and ideas, and do not possess the determination to work hard to reach the
>goals required,
>belong on the local 2 meter repeater with their "Shack-On-a-Belt" HT.

Thats an interesting attitude Woody.  So clearly you come down on why 
Amateur Satellite ops is a tiny tiny part of Amateur radio in general and 
Amateur Radio is a small part of the population in general on the "people 
arnt willing to work hard" line.

EAch his own.  I cranked up in ham radio when I was a boy of 12.  Have QSL 
cards on the birds dating back to Oscar 6.  Ham radio is sort of my 
engineering fix (MS about to be a PhD)but I fly airplanes for a living so 
its mainly a fun thing.

But the "fun" thing for me in ham radio (besides building stuff) is getting 
new folks involved in the hobby.  I dont have the same experiences you do I 
guess.  I find people are not really afraid of "learning" but three things 
in general seem to slow them down.  (and this goes into the birds to).

1.  Its hard to make mistakes in public.  Buy a computer and get on the net 
or start doing "something" with it and if you screw up you usually screw up 
either anonmously or you screw up all alone.  One person on this forum (and 
it includes one of the people who you congratulate on taking a stand against 
the whiners) as the packet thing started on ISS left a message once 
something like "I WISH PEOPLE WOULD GET A CLUE".  This person does not know 
the difference between experience and not caring or trying.  I teach people 
to fly really BIG JETS (the kindyou ride on...indeed you might have ridden 
on my airplane while I was teaching them) and you know the folks who I sign 
off as Captain on teh mighty Boeing dont do it as well as I do and for lots 
of hours I sit there and watch them make lots of mistakes but thats how you 
learn (and what teachers are for....actually I can see them making the same 
mistakes I did 10,000 flight hours ago)

2.  Most experienced people dont recognize that usually a "first" step in 
technical prowness is being able to cob together a commercial system in a 
non standard use.  The reason I think that there is a lot of longing on some 
for Mode A and Mode B is that well you can buy the parts and with a lot of 
effort glue them together and get results.  Have you replaced the front end 
in your Drake?  I  have and it works great.  But then again I've done this 
stuff for long time.  I also remember toasting 40673's a long time ago.  
More then Anyone else Steve Ford has tried to "demystify" satellites in the 
print medium AND more then anyone else in the print medium I think that he 
recongizes that important first step. (mine...An Alinco TX-62 on CW with my 
Drake Reciever...). Mode B was my first "real homebrew".  I wouldnt want to 
have tried the leap from Mode A directly to 2.4 ghz.  Would you? The leap 
between the "first sats" and AO-40 is going to be large.  There isnt a 
single "real" commercial manufactor who is going to crank up radios for 
AO-40 because of the weak state its in.  No one is going to make that 

3.  And that leads me into my final point.  The Phase III birds are 1 bird 
thick now (OK 1 and 1/4 with AO-10).  If AO-40 dies tomorrow (and while not 
likely thats possible) then where will we be?  5 years from the next phase 
3?  10?  What, you tell me?  Bet you dont know.  That slows down newcomers.

I dont think that most people are lazy or inept or whatever...I just think 
that if we want to attract a lot of people into the hobby (and the sub 
hobby) that we need to perhaps build birds along those lines.  I dont think 
that necessarily means small antennas or easy sats.  More then anything else 
I think it means a Lot of sats.

I am on VHF/microwaves till they toss dirt on me.  If AO-40 toasted tomorrow 
thats sad but I'll keep putting up bigger dishes and pulling sats out of the 
air (Have you heard IMP-8?).  But then again ham radio isnt a casual hobby 
with me (grin).

Robert Oler WB5MZO
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