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Re: AO40 user population

Hi Wayne,

Very well said.

I am one of those hams who decided to begin satellite operations after
reading about AO-40. I made several inquiries and did all my research to be
sure I bought the best equipment I could to work AO-40. I invested several
thousand dollars in the equipment, but never anticipated there might be
problems with the satellite. I set up a beautiful 9600/38400 station for
VHF/UHF operation. I went into this knowing that I would be able to work
just a few other digital satellites at 9k6/38k4 and needless to say was very
disappointed to learn I would be unable to work AO-40 with my existing
equipment. I am reluctant to purchase anymore equipment (as you mention)
just to enable use of AO-40. I can now only hope that my hardware will be
fully useable on the next satellite. As you mention in your closing below, I
also hope that 144mhz capability will be included, as I am one of those
'mass appeal' guys who would benefit from it. I am not crying the blues
here, and will also support future plans. It's just my situation at present,
that with what I have already invested, it will be difficult to purchase
anymore additional equipment. Last January when I took the 'big step' I
thought I was building a station that would carry me into the future of
digital satellites. Hopefully this may still prove true.

Paul Delaney
kb2shu.ampr.org []
AMSAT # 33558

----- Original Message -----
From: "Estes Wayne-W10191" <W10191@motorola.com>
To: <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Saturday, December 01, 2001 7:48 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] AO40 user population

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