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Re: RE: more cubesats




----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Keith N6ORS" <k2@pe.net>
To: "amsat" <amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org>
Sent: Sunday, June 29, 2003 12:07 PM
Subject: [amsat-bb] RE: more cubesats


> Fellow Hams,
> I made that post to incite this thread,  For a long time we have allowed
or encouraged
> educational instuitions and others to use our bands in the hope of
launching satellites
> that contained amateur transponders.
............................................... Bob has been
> doing a heck of a job putting up sats with aprs but how many hams actually
use it? ....
> 73
>
> Keith N6ORS

Actually, quite a lot of folks used PCSAT regularly!  I didn't get active on
PCSAT until it had been up for quite a while, but when I did get on I had a
ball!

I think it's interesting that back in 1990 the AMSAT experts were insistent
that "normal packet" radio was not practical and would never work on
satellites because of the doppler shift, etc.  I never got on Pacsat because
it required uhf SSB, vhf  FM, a TNC and a special modem.  My budget then
allowed me to get on terrestial packet (vhf FM HT and a TNC),  but the total
cost for a Pacsat station put the digital satellites out of reach.

Now Bob puts up PCSAT, and I pull out my ten year old modem, my ten year old
Icom HT, a 486 computer with Bob's DOS terminal program and made a LOT of
contacts.  I worked some new grid squares and had better QSO's than on
UO-14.  QSO's were one line at a time, and interleaved with other folks
chatter, but it worked really well.   If one of the Pacsat cluster had been
configured like PCSAT, we would probably now have a large group of amateurs
with on-the air digital experience and perhaps the enthusiam needed to
support the newer digital modes.

I call it the "one box too many" problem.  A lot of amateurs can justify
"one more box" to the XYL and the family budget.  Two boxes is a stretch and
three is just not going to happen (at least for most folks).  Pacsat was a
"four box" project; PCSAT was a "zero box" project.  It was quite popular
and will be (is already) missed.

Grant Zehr AA9LC

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