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Re: AO40 user population

At 10:48 PM 12/1/2001 , you wrote:
>The ARRL reported:
>Command station team member Stacey Mills, W4SM, says, however, that he's 
>puzzled and disappointed by the relatively low numbers of users on AO-40 
>during the last month or so.
>Wayne replies:
>Here are a few of my thoughts on this matter.
>1. There would be far more users if AO40 had a working 144 MHz downlink 
>because there are far more hams in the world with 144 MHz equipment than 
>with 2400 MHz equipment.
>2. Most hams live in areas where buildings and/or trees obstruct a large 
>portion of the horizon.  A major problem when the only downlink is 2400 MHz.
>3. 2400 Mhz equipment is extremely difficult to obtain in many parts of 
>the world.
>4. The above factors lead to a "negative momentum" that is 
>self-reinforcing.  People get on AO40 less often because there isn't much 
>5. The overall success rate of AO40 systems makes a LOT of hams reluctant 
>to spend ANY money on equipment that can ONLY be used with AO40.
>Obviously we didn't plan for this outcome, but that's the way it is.  My 
>opinion doesn't count for much, but I think that adding 144 MHz capability 
>to the next satellite would greatly increase its appeal to the general ham 
>population.  And in my opinion, "mass appeal" should be one objective of 
>the next satellite.

I don't think that a 2m downlink would be a good idea. 2m is too crowded 
now. But a 70cm downlink would be a good idea. Plenty of equipment 
available now. Less of a problem for the signal to go thru trees. I had to 
cut down 9 pine trees (on my neighbor) to get a view for a few hrs in the 
late afternoon.
Still waiting for cables to arrive before I can use the system.

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