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Re: New satellites for beginners / new members????



Paul KG4RUW wrote:

My idea is to increase membership by providing a
simple solution, ease of use. 
If you use common equipment, have simple antennas and
simple to follow instructions, membership should follow.

Wayne W9AE replies:

FM satellites can make a fairly impressive demo if you manage to make at least one contact and the observing group isn't turned off by the chaos that prevails on evenings and weekends.

But the question in my mind is, "what will they do after the novelty wears off?"

Will they join AMSAT?  Will they renew?  Will they contribute to an AMSAT fund raising campaign?  If so, for how long?  Will the FM satellite experience motivate them to pursue other satellites that don't have the chronic congestion and rudeness that prevails on FM satellites?  I don't claim to know the answers, but I don't think it's obvious that new FM satellite users are (or will be) major contributors to AMSAT projects.  A scientific member survey is needed to help the BOD understand: 1. what attracts new members, 2. what attracts new big contributors, and 3. what attracts existing members and contributors.  It doesn't matter to AMSAT what kind of satellite attracts the most operators if those operators don't JOIN AMSAT and CONTRIBUTE to the project funds.

<rant>
Far more successful FM satellite contacts would be made if a few idiots had the basic knowledge and courtesy to NOT transmit when a QSO is in process.  That is, after W1ABC successfully calls W5XYZ, NOBODY except W5XYZ should transmit for the next 3 seconds.  The typical evening/weekend FM satellite pass has far more successive one-way calls than successful two-way contacts.
</rant>

Wayne Estes W9AE
Mundelein, IL, USA
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