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RE: Re: AO40 user population

>         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. 

I can only speak for myself, and in my case, it's purely money.  However,
the same argument applies, to a large extent for V/U, so it's not
aprcifically a microwave issue (in fact, I still consider 2.4 GHz to be a
much more practical option than V/U, due to antenna requirements).

My problem is a couple of minor debts that reduce the disposable income,
combined with too many technology interests (just upgraded the computer, and
I'm very active on IRLP and involved in building nodes ther as well).

I have a lot of bits, including a 2x3' offset fed dish and a couple of old
downconverters to play with.  The real problem area is actually the IF
radios.  I have a 2m SSB rig which will probably make a good IF for a 1.2
GHz uplink.  I have nothing for 70cm to follow the DC.  I would dearly love
a Yaesu FT-817 for the downlink side (or what the heck, go for an FT-847 :)
), but they are $1500 and $3000 respectively here - somewhat more than the
AMD 1600XP cost me. :-(  Computer hardware is cheap, and as I use it a lot
for self training, I can claim it as a tax deduction.  Radios are more
expensive and generally not claimable.  So guess what gets first pickings
from the funds... 

>         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!?!

Well, if I can solve my IF issue, count me in for AO-40...  :)  And if
anyone complains about the lack of operators, well I'd be happy to rustle a
few up off IRLP - did that last night and scored a contact on UO-14. :-)
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