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Re: Re: Dont want to work at it?

The antennas for AO-40 aren't very hard to make. The ARRL and AMSAT have
published designs that can be duplicated without test equipment. Surplus
MMDS converters and converter kits are available. Used 70 cm and 2 m gear is
available. A 2 m receiver kit is even available from TAPR. From what those
in their 60's tell me, this is not any harder than getting on HF from



----- Original Message -----
From: "Robert Oler" <cvn65vf94@msn.com>
To: <kj4so@bellsouth.net>
Cc: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Sunday, 10 June 2001 18:45 UTC
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Re: Dont want to work at it?

> >The bottom line is, AO-40 is NOT a "Hard Satellite", and there are a lot
> >people
> >who did not listen to all the whiners, and have assembled very good mode
> >U/S
> >stations for less than $500.<<
> Wheather or not a viable startup station CAN be assembled for 500 dollars
> less is a bottom line (actually I bet the dollar value can be much much
> less) but I dont agree that it is the precise one that should be at issue.
> Ihave no doubt that you with your technical expertise could assemble such
> station. The issue is NOT wheather or not someone with decades of
> in the amateur radio satellite business can assemble such a station...i
> THE ISSUE strikes me is can a reasonalbe number of people who have little
> "mode B" experience and mostly "mode VHF FM" experience assemble such a
> station for any amount of money much less 500$.
> So I guess I look at it a little different, I use three questions.
> 1.  Could I have assembled a 2.4 ghz station after a year or so of OSCAR
> mode A experience and being a teenager or even an adult with a non
> engineering background from what is available today?  Maybe but then again
> look back at the FM exciter strip that I used to transvert to 70cm many
> decades ago and see the soldering and the clumsy wiring and remember the
> little tweaks that my elmer (who was a TI engineer) had to help with to
> it work and I dont come to the same conclusions you do so fast...and thats
> just the exciter.  The antennas were a lot easier then gluing together a
> GHZ setup (witness the traffic on this bulliten board), tracking was Oscar
> locaters (until I learned to program the Burroughs 6700) and computers
> made it easier but not a trivial task given beamwidths.  AO-40 is going to
> be no where near the SUPERSAT it was billed at so more complicated
> are going to be needed for consistent results.  My first practical
> experience was rebuilding an STL link at the college TV station and it was
> learnign experience (and I had some good helpers).  AO-40 would have been
> breeze after that but 'that' was not trivial.
> 2.  Could the folks I know today who do the easy sats easily glue together
> 2.4ghz station with no real test equipement etc.  The answer is that a
> smaller percentage of folks will try then if there was a reasonable Mode B
> satellite.  Witness the traffic on this bulliten board and you realize its
> not that "trivial" for that level of skill.  It is a natural starter
> excersize to glue together an AO-27 station and the RS birds follow.  BUT
> AO-10 is a lot of work for a bird that could croak anyday now (wouldnt it
> funny if it outlives AO-40?).
> 3.  How many folks have glued together your under 500 dollar stations have
> come straight from the FM sats (or no satellite experience at all)?  How
> many didnt have AO-10 or 13 or even other Mode B experience. I bet its not
> large number adn if we want large numbers then the step is to hard.  I
> of exactly 1 and this is the home of JSC NASA and most of the hams here
> "work" at NASA in a technical mode.
> In the end Woody if one is going to go up the learning scale then one has
> do so in "leaps" that are doable by most of the student norm.  Now the
> numbers who go up the scale "thin" as you get higher, but they drop off
> very quickly the instant the step is so far that discouragement becomes a
> constant.
> I think that the folks who designed and built AO-40 KNEW THIS and thats
> in the bird that there was the capability for Mode B.  All the published
> literature that I have read (and its all of it in the US ham magazine
> list...I even subscribe to Wayne Green's rag)on AO-40 talked about the
> satellite offering an entry platform to try and entice folks from the
> ground to higher bands.
> Its to bad that part is junk now...but it does make my point that at least
> the thought was there that S band ops without some serious commercial
> equipment is going to be a tough run.
> OK so what we have now is a bird that DOES SUBSTANTIALLY LESS Then was
> promised (if all we wanted was what we have the bird should have been lots
> cheaper and many years ago) and one cant go back in time.  But having said
> that trying to make a sows ear into a silk purse by simply saying it is so
> seems to me pretty lame...particularly when it is done in such terms as
> "whiners" etc.
> AS I pointed out in the part of my post that you did not reply to...its
> to mistake lack of experience for whining if one has forgotten what it was
> like to lack experience.  What amazes me is the folks who build the
> sats understand this.  If you look at how they did it its a pretty "nice"
> progression from 1.2 to 36Kb.  In my profession it would be about like
> from a Cardinal little airplane to a 757.  Want to know how many Cardinal
> pilots would make that transition?  Almost none in thetime that its
> done in.
> Actually I think the crowd that is fooling themselves is the one who talks
> about "advancing the state of the art" with this satellite.  Have you
> at commercial satellite operations?  It may be advancing tthe amateur
> of the art but the reality is that commercial satellite ops are so far
> of what we do that we are not even really inthe same universe.  Thats OK
> this is ham radio which is after all a "hobby" (flame comes out...ITS  A
> SERVICE...sure) but wheather or not it is a hobby or a service it should
> one that is enjoyed/used (hobby/service) by reasonable numbers of people
> if we keep limiting it to people who are already proficient technically or
> those few who can make the ever increasing leaps without any attendent
> then before long folks like you and I are going to be all alone on the
> and in financially supporting AMSAT..
> Robert
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