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Re: Mode-B vs Mode-J VERSUS Mode-S

I would recommend more smaller satellites and less "do-everything" birds.
For the obvious reasons:  Launch opportunity, cost, time to completion,
reliability.  Likewise diversity in organizations building ham sats...just
coordinate so they can all coexist!

Hello Ed...very thoughtful reply in a discussion that has been pretty 
thoughtfully done.  I've been thinking about this since the thread started 
and the thought came to mind.  My reply is to you and the rest of the board 
but its not directed or to rebute anything you wrote.

I wonder how many amateurs would put up "average" towers (50-65 feet) with 
average to large high hf bands on them, or go to the trouble to errect a 
"better then average" antenna on the lower bands if the reality was that the 
band could go away almost at anytime and the equipment would sit unused 
until some future date when the "bands" were reactivated?

We can all deal with propagation problems on teh HF bands just like we deal 
with satellite windows...but imagine that 20 closed for a couple of years 
just totally dead...who would go to the time and expense to put the "sticks" 

Thats what I think is keeping numbers small.  I dont want to rehash the 
AO-40 decision but a long time elapsed between AO-13 and 40 and thats when 
numbers fell off.  Now most non satellite hams I know are reluctant to make 
the effort (the cost is trivial to their income levels) and spend the time 
when the linear birds are essentially a one note Joann.

Within a 1 mile radius of my house there are 6 sticks between 50-65 feet 
tall.  All have better then average beams, three have good to excellent 6 
meters on them as well.  All have good to better then average low band gear, 
all have BUD's (7-14 feet), all are computer literate, all have gear that 
will transmit on 70cm SSB.  1 guy is a 144 weak signal nut.   1 (me) are 
into the birds.  All have heard or used the sats from my station, all have 
been offered converted brand new Drakes.

Three of the hams are over 60, 1 is 40ish (me), the rest are 30 something.  
All are very active.  And to  a person their line is sort of like "if AO-40 
dies tomorrow how long until its replaced."  I bet that feeling is pretty 
generic to the rest of the active ham population.

What I think that the sat community needs is a pretty good string of 
continuous operation of 1 or maybe 2 modes that are pretty "generic" read 
SSB/CW.  Then I bet you see the numbers come back up.  Thats why I think the 
FM birds are so popular...the gear is easy of course but their are a couple 
of them.

As for all this talk of new modulation methods...notice how busy PANAmsat 


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