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inviting experimentation

Jonathan G4KLX wrote:

What strikes me is that the scheduling of AO-40 does not invite
experimentation. With AO-13 when mode S was operational, no other
mode was available so you gained greater usage of the satellite
by getting active on mode S. 

Wayne W9AE replies:

Neglecting the highly experimental 24 GHz transmitter, perhaps RUDAK is the "challenging" AO40 mode for many hams.

AO40 would have provided RF "upgrade" incentives if the omni antennas and V transmitter still worked.  The next high-orbit satellite (Project JJ, Eagle) could easily provide such an incentive if it doesn't have so many equipment failures.  What's going through my head is NOT original thinking - it's basically the AO13 and AO40 antenna configurations.  One side of the satellite would have omni V and U antennas to be used near perigee.  That would allow many satellite newcomers to have success with little or no satellite-specific equipment.  One could probably work low-elevation near-perigee passes with a high-gain dual-band mobile antenna or small linear yagis and no elevation rotor.  Newcomers could access the satellite, but with infrequent passes, limited access time, and modest DX coverage.

The other side of the satellite would have higher-gain U, L, and S antennas to be used near apogee.  To utilize these, earth stations would generally require more satellite-specific equipment, but would have considerably more access time and better DX opportunities.  It would be advisable to also have a high-gain V antenna to use at apogee in case the S transmitter fails.  But if the power budget only allows one transmitter to be on, the schedule could give preference to the S transmitter in order to offer an incentive for experimentation.

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA

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