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RE: where does our money go?

Let me do some simple math.

There are 4000 members in AMSAT-NA and some of them are
life members and pay no further dues.  But let's assume
that they are sustaining life members and give the dues.
So that is $36*4000 = $144,000 to pay for salary and benefits,
and other expenses of having a person and an office. I
would say that and expenses for board members to travel to
board meetings are in the mix,  and the costs of publishing
the journal are there but they may be offset somewhat by
advertising but maybe not, I don't know.  Overseas and other
members pay more but they also cost more to ship them the

I would think there is about ZERO of your dues money going
to satellites and that all satellite funds come from
earmarked donations.  You can and you should if you so
desire earmark your donations to only go for the project(s)
of your choice.

Is it silly to assume a single dime of your dues money is left
for satellites?  I would say yes.

Eagle was projected to cost $3,000,000 a while ago (AMSAT-NA web
site), and I would guess it is nearly at $4,000,000 by the time
we launch it.  Eagle is the "KISS" HEO.  That is $1,000 per
member.  It is time to sharpen that pencil and light a candle in
prayer.  Eagle will need a motor and we will have to purchase a cheap
launch if we are to carry fuels.  I would guess that building,
launching Echo will be 1/4 million.  You need 2-3 years dues if we
close the office (in which case we won't be able to collect the dues)
to pay for that.  The officers of this corporation cannot
choose to follow the cheapsat approach.  You are already
angry enough about the cadillac approach that turned out to
be a bit complex for our collective ability to manage a project.

It is clear to me that the fine art of estimation is a lost and
dying skill.  Unfortunately, another dying skill in AMSAT-NA is
the art of making transponders.  If you want Mode B or Mode L or
whatever, someone has to design the transponders on paper and then
make them happen.  I would hazard a guess having been in the
technical side of this house a while ago that I am not far
wrong when I say that we are now at ZERO in terms of people
available to do this work anywhere in AMSAT-NA that we can
count on to deliver you what Werner Haas and his comrades
or Matjaz Vidmar delivered or the Finns or . . . .  I am
certain that if you are a well seasoned RF designer and wish
to work on Eagle, that you will be more than welcome at the
table of the equal opportunity exploiters in AMSAT-NA
technical circles.  Come make yourself a pain in the rear
and someone will listen if you have something to offer
beyond the "you get zero points for the obvious" criticisms.

Art, how far off am I on my guesstimations?  This part of
the hobby is expensive and no one with fiduciary responsibility
for this corporation is ever going to say "We will now
vacuum test in ball jars after you empty out the canned tomatoes
and we are going to shake by driving over a rough road" so
please, get real.  You have seen the last day when we potted
a module and baked it in somebody's oven.  If I were a
launch authority, I would be a fool if I let you fly on
my launcher without some very expensive tests.  We can't
get to HEO with a launch from Kodiak on a rocket with
parts from the junk box.  NASA launches will cost us a fortune
and are for the most part outside of our ability to get to
a Molniya orbit (Florida and Vandenberg latitudes and the
complex burns needed even if we could afford the motor/fuel).


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Greg Wycoff
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2003 01:59
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: [amsat-bb] where does our money go?

I have seen alot of emails lately with people amazed at where their money
(membership dues) is going. maybe it is silly to think that our money is to
go towards building amateur radio satellites for communicating through, Like
in the old days of AMSAT as that was there only goal.

just how is our money spent? maybe this would explain why we are asked to
donate more money and more money into a empty well.

AMSAT member 27994
Greg Wycoff
Conway Springs, Ks.
Grid EM17ej

worked the following satellites
AO-13, AO-10, AO-40, AO-27, FO-20, FO-29
RS-10, RS15, RS-12/13,  SO-35, UO-14, SO-41
SO-50, KO-23, KO25, TO-31, UO-22

Home web page:

email: n0zhe@amsat.org
also email me at: GREGWYCOFF@havilandtelco.com

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Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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