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Re: AO40 user population

Hi, All:
        OK, 2 more cents worth. Why aren't there more new people on AO40? I
don't think it's money... I bought a whole Transystem for less than $100 a
few months ago. My wife and I spend more than that on an evening out. That
Transystem setup was far easier to implement than my first 2-meter downlink
for AO-10. 
        How about "fear".... fear of failure, fear of the unknown (which is
only unknown until you go looking for it), fear of getting your feet wet,
fear of getting in over your head, fear of not knowing what to do if (OK,
when) that happens... just exactly the same thing we ALL went through on
OSCAR 8 or 10 or 12 or 13 or whatever. I had a helluva time with a balky
2-meter receiving converter getting on AO-10. On OSCAR 8, there was a "Mode
J Club" for those who made 8 contacts on mode J. 70cm was "high frequency".
Today we consider that trivial. How about Mode J-Digital on FO-12 (the
first digi bird, February 1987), back when we didn't have hairy PC's and
friendly software, and it just hadn't been done at all before. 
        That said, maybe those of us kinda active in AMSAT haven't done
enough to help allay that "fear". Ah, but we have! We have books... pages
and pages, from the simplest to pretty deep. The beginner's guides. For a
little more detail, and everything you need (or want) to know and them
some, try "Mode S: The Book" , newly updated (with Transystem and DEMI and
Drake and SSB) last April. And this reflector. And the AMSAT-NA and
AMSAT-DL web sites. And Stacey and Bob and James and Peter and Robin and
some of the others who regularly bust their butts to disseminate info to
the rest of us.
        What about the pure pleasure of slaying a dragon; of mastering a
new skill? Turns me on.
        You know, maybe the packaged converters and dishes have had the
opposite effect... made it too easy!?!

Drive on!


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