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Re: RE: Beginner Birds

> I agree with you here.  My solution would be several fold.  First 
> AMSAT/NASA really need to admit that the FM radio up there has little 
> to do with amateur radio and almost 100 percent to do with NASA PR.  I 
> would be surprised given the problems with the shuttle that we in the 
> foreseable future see the packet station back on or the SSTV thing 
> become a reality.  SEcond.  If they materialze then a way is still 
> possible.  The Astronauts (strows) could turn the transponder off when 
> it either became time to do a school thing or they wanted to relieve 
> the boredom.  Now the trick might be to remind them to turn the 
> transponder back on  If the SSTV shows up then the station could 
> operate in various modes at various times.

I'm not sure that designing anything that requres crew intervention to 
operate it is a good idea.  As hard as it is to get crew time even to 
flip one switch at a certain time, much less take time away from other 
station operations to do something with the ham station for a few 
minutes or more, and as many volunteer control ops as there are on the 
ground .. I still think any new equipment that goes up on ISS should be 
designed to be operated primarily from the ground, either by a control 
uplink from the ground or as part of the TDRSS data stream.  Give the 
crew access to it, by all means, but don't set it up so we depend on 
them to be the primary station ops.  It's just not practical.

Ideally, what I'd like to see happen on ISS is a set of stand-alone 
ground operated or automated transponder and/or digipeater modules 
mounted outside the crew cabin, with uplink/downlink configurations 
designed around each other and the existing station equipment.  It's 
quite possible to design a system that allows for the school contacts 
and other PR opportunities -- which definitely have their place -- 
without sacrificing other less crew-oriented activities, and more 
importantly, doesn't make them mutually exclusive the way the current 
system does.  The concept is just so appealing, to me at least, that 
it's hard not to be vocal about it ..

           --... ...-- -.. . -. ..... ...- -...
                   Bruce Bostwick N5VB

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