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Re: On leaving AMSAT

I find that I concur with John and Jeff, I guess I must be a "Gee-Whiz" 
junkie as well.

Yesterday, I had more fun than I can remember (recently) playing with 
satellites, and I wasn't even transmitting to one. I got a cheap dish 
and 2.4 GHz to 144 MHz downconverter, homebrewed an LHCP patch feed, 
and had the whole mess sitting on a lawn chair. I spent several hours 
investigating various parameters of the dish (beamwidth, gain, etc.) 
and environmental effects (I can copy the beacon through 1 layer of 
tree leaves, but not several). It was a hoot.
That said, I probably won't invest the time and effort to put up a 
permanent antenna installation unless I really get the bug to capture 
and study long term telemetry data. Phil Karn's new FEC datastream 
format is beginning whet my interest, and if decoding software for my 
computing platform of choice becomes available I will most assuredly 
reverse my decision and put up a permanent (at least a permanent as any 
antenna installation gets a my QTH) dish, tracking rotator, etc.

I was also involved with the pacsat technology in the early 90's, and 
while I never really had a reliable system, I whiled away many 
enjoyable hours mucking about with it. Most hams at the time were 
plodding along with 1200 baud terrestrial packet, 9k6 pacsat was 
lightning fast and uber-cool.

What would it take to really stoke me up? Molniya orbit, digital only, 
microwave only, high power tx, link speed >2 MB/Sec, IPv6 for VoIP, 
Video conferencing, and chat. I don't want much, do I ;-)

I'll keep renewing my AMSAT membership, because the organization is 
doing good work, even though it might not be the things that really 
excite me.


John AA2BN

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