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Re: AO40 user population


     Thanks for saying this so well!  Look at what crops up on AO-10
whenever it decides to work.

     I think our (AO-40's) higher orbit has dampened the easy mode S efforts
as well.  In the July/August 1993, AMSAT Journal G3RUH published an article
about how a 16 turn helix worked out okay for SSB at apogee on AO-13.  Is
this not better performance than we are seeing on AO-40?  I am not trying to
be mean towards anyone, but I am trying to point out that mode S may not be
as easy as we like to claim.

     We have learned many lessons from AO-40 (and I'm sure we will learn
more).  We had some bad luck, but still wound up with a bird that is fun to
work.  I know I've enjoyed my contacts.  Maybe one of those lessons is if we
want to attract users we need mode B.  We have great coverage, just a
shortage of users.  I believe the original 'get them hooked' (start people
on mode B and they will migrate to mode S) idea of AO-40 was very sound.  I
also believe the mode B hook should be kept in place for future satellites
as well.

    In hind sight I also believe setting the beacon  to be 10dB above maxium
desired passband signal was a mistake.  This lead many to believe they heard
the bird well enough, only to frustrate them when they attempted to make

Just My Two Cents,

P.S. My P.S. is the same as Wayne's.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Estes Wayne-W10191" <W10191@motorola.com>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 9:48 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] AO40 user population

<Stuff clipped>

> 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.
> Wayne Estes W9AE
> P.S. I plan to financially support Project JJ no matter what its
capabilities are.
> ----
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