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New satellites for beginners / new members????

There have been alot of great ideas here on the BB. If
its all about money, wouldn't you build satellites to
increase the membership? Most of the current
membership already has the specialty equipment needed,
the the new members don't. If this is the case, then
the design should have something to do with the

1. Easy to operate

2. Use equipment most people already have (dual band
50 watt mobiles?)

3. Provide detailed instructions for beginners to
operate, even simple equipment lists.

4. Provide long pass times (more stations = more

5. Add simple digital modes (using cheap equipment or
better yet, soundcard software) maybe APRS or PSK-31?

The military has multi-user FM geo sats that allow
voice and digital modes (we used 1200bd bpsk). With a
manpack radio running on batteries at 20-25 watts, I
made contacts with a very simple manpack turnstile
antenna during Desert Storm. These sats were in the
225-400 mhz range if I remember right.



What about figuring the link budgets based on a simple
dual-band mobile rig with a simple (cheap to buy or
simple to build) turnstile or whatever type antenna.
Then use as much COTS (keeping the cost down)
equipment and design a satellite that is equipment
friendly for the new user.

My idea is to increase membership by providing a
simple solution, ease of use. I gave a talk recently
to a club in Jacksonville, FL about using what you
have, HT's and simple antennas. I handed out a single
piece of paper with the channels (doppler) for UO-14,
AO-27, SO-50, and ISS. We went outside during a good
UO-14 pass and made a few contacts using my VX-5R and
ArrowII. To my surprise, many were looking at the
paper and tuning their HT's to the downlink. This is
whats its all about, getting people jazzed up about
operating sats.

If you use common equipment, have simple antennas and
simple to follow instructions, membership should

Just my thoughts,

73's Paul KG4RUW
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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