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RE: Re: Dont want to work at it?

> 1.  Is Mode B a useful step in attracting large(r) numbers of 
> amateurs into 
> the satellite part of ham radio?

For some people, it is, as they have existing mode B capabilities, or can
setup relatively easily.  For me, B is a non starter, the 2m antenna
requirements are getting a bit tricky.  That's why the S band downlink looks
more interesting.

> 2.  or perhaps the larger question is "do we want to attract 
> large numbers 
> of amateurs into the amateur service".

On this side the world, the answer is a resounding "yes".  Newcomers to the
hobby need to know they will achieve something.  In days gone by, that was
done through Elmers, who got new hams up on their feet and helped them with
projects and general operation.

Nowadays, some things have changed.  Radio per se doesn'r stand out as
clearly amongst all the other technological offerings, but there are some
technologies that can grab the newcomer's attention.  LEOs are one that
aren't too difficult, as is repeater linking (which in testing down here has
attracted more people to the simplex channel I'm testing on that on any of
the repeaters at the time!).

But to progress from the simple to AO-40, digital sats or whatever else we
would like to see people using still requires our old friends, the Elmers.
That's the greatest thing that those who are up on AO-40 can offer to the
newcomers.  It will lead to more AO-40 operators in the end and a closer
knit satellite community.

> AO-40 was one approach to attraccting large numbers of amateurs...a 
> satellite for "EVERYONE" was one article about it AND its to 
> bad its not 
> going to do that.  What that argues for is less supersats and 
> more sats 
> period.

Agreed.  What will bring people to the sats?  Supersats aren't the answer,
as we have seen.  A fleet of reliable sats - a mixture of LEOs and high
orbiting sats (we need more of the latter) is a good start.  What really
makes the satellites something special though is the close knit user
community behind them.  A bit of good Elmering will go a long way to getting
people on the birds.  Know any people who might have an interest in your

As long as there are some reasonably good birds up there (AO-40 is
definitely in that class) that people can use, we have a real chance.

One other comment is that we need a balance of voice (was going to say
analog, but future voice birds could well be digital) and data sats up
there.  I much prefer talking to people and using the Internet and
terrestrial packet for data, others have different preferences.
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