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Re: Re: commutating antennas (was snip)

I see there have been some other good, and if I may say so, heartfelt, responses by Bob,WD4APR, (different subject line) and Joe,KA0YOS, to this thread.

>>Phil, KA9Q said
>>Why do you think these are two "sides" here, somehow in conflict?  Do
>>Just *who* is being elitist here, anyway?

If nothing else I guess I was a foil for you to re-present your ideas in a nice consise statement :-)  In this context, your original statement makes a lot more sense to me.  I am not yet on AO-40, or any other of the sats at the moment.  But like many others, I am finally putting together the bits and pieces from here and there.  I've made the full G0MRF mods to a Drake converter which will feed an ancient 2M allmode for downlink and a Radio Shack 10M xcvr and an old MMT 432 xvtr for the uplink.  Like a a lot of people, making time for it all is the hardest part.  Seeing what others on this BB have done with patio set-ups, portable antennas leaning against chairs and modified MMDS converters made me decide to give this a try.  These types of set-ups and equipment hardly seem elitist to me.  In fact just the oposite.  It made me think that if others could do it, so could I and so could nearly anyone else.

My guess is that many of the people on this BB like to be able to build, modify and tinker with the equipment.  As I believe Bob said, they like to be able to play with their toys.  Since getting on the sats is not necesarily plug and play, this may well be true for much of the AMSAT membership.  I don't know if your ideas for a microwave, digital modulation sat have gone beyond just a concepual stage.  If they have, then I am not aware of it.  But if the end result is a plug and play, connect to a network, no user intervention required system, then you may be playing to the wrong audience.  But there are still good reasons for AMSAT to support your ideas.  With the cost to build and launch satellites so high, AMSAT probably needs to attract more members.  Your ideas may well appeal to a different base of people than are presently AMSAT members.  As Joe,  , said, AMSAT needs to build satellites that the members support.  If it it is a plug and play proposition, then you need to appeal to those people who would see this system as a useful tool to further some other aspect of ham radio.  You need applications for this system.  Does this system offer something to the emergency or PS groups so they would support it?  IRLP has gotten very popular for linking FM repeaters.  But I bet there are some repeater owners who don't like the idea of using a landline to connect amateur radio repeaters.  Could this system offer them something?  Are there microwave weak signal operators who would like to do something more with their equipment?  Could it be something for ham radio Linux hackers to write useful code?  People aren't going to build sats for users that don't exist.  And there will only be users if the ground station component is available.  Kind of a chicken and egg thing, which is why the present sats use the modes they do, I guess.  Can you get space on one of the upcoming sats to try some of your experiments out to prove they work so this is more of an evolutionary process rather than a step change.  That could go along ways to building support.  Maybe an article in QEX or other HR tech magazine would help get the word out.  Even within the more traditional HR activities you may find unexpected support.  There are alot of hams who feel that we do need to make greater use of our microwave allocations if we have any hope at all of keeping them.  If you pitched your ideas with that slant in something like QST or CQ, it couldn't hurt.  If you put your ideas before a wider group, one of them might come up with the compelling reason to pursue your sat ideas.

With some support from beyond the traditional AMSAT membership, it could be a win/win situation for everyone.  You get to try out your ideas, Ham Radio looks good to the FCC for trying new ideas, AMSAT gets more money, members and broader support and AMSAT can afford to do enough satellites and modes to make everyone happy.  With that solved, on to the Mid-East peace situation :-)

73- Rick, KY0Q    

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