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President's Leter August 2003

At the end of July I visited the AMSAT-UK  18th Colloquium, held at the 
University of Surrey in the City of Guilford near London.
I am pleased to report that as Usual the Colloquium was a great success 
and provided me to talk with the Presidents and leaders of
other AMSATs.  In general most AMSATs have much the same concerns as we 
do in North America, and revolve around frequency
loss and intrusion into the Amateur Frequencies of  services that 
probably should be elsewhere.
AMSAT - UK provided many good papers for thought, and two in particular 
that I would like to bring to your attention. These are
a paper by Jerry Brown  K50E on his working portable with AO-40 , and a 
paper given by Peter Guelzow DB2OS on working
FEC telemetry with AO-40.
Jerry is becoming a fixture at AMSAT-UK, his papers are  amusing, 
Practical and technical in nature. I have asked Jerry to repeat
 his paper in Toronto - If for any reason he cannot do so then we will 
find a person to read it for him.
Peter's paper on the use of Forward Error Correction (FEC) with AO-40 
telemetry was another paper that I had great pleasure
 in listening to for  Peter went out of his was to thank Phil Karn  K9AQ 
for his persistence in "pushing" FEC as the right system to
 ensure better copy of the AO-40 telemetry under very adverse 
conditions. To quote Peter "It is one of the best things, for Amateur
satellites, to be developed in the past 20 years.  My congratulations to 
Phil, Peter and the whole implementation team that helped
 bring this about  and another thank you to AMSAT VP of Operations 
 Stacey Mills W4SM for modifying his telemetry program,
 so that we all may use the FEC operation.

Now is the time for selection of four members of the Board of Directors 
or just over half of the BoD.
 Please do Vote and use only the Yellow voting card, the Black and White 
one is not Valid and if sent in will not be counted.
However it is important that you do vote and carefully select the people 
who you want to be your representatives on the BoD.
I am looking for a record turn-out this year in ballots cast, - but 
please do not vote for more than four or your ballot
would again be invalid.

Tom Clark W3IWI, has put out an E-mail with his observations concerning 
ECHO, Tom explains the status of the Satellite
and advises that it is anticipated that it will be launched on March 31 
2004 some 6 weeks earlier than I had expected.
So if you wish to fly your call sign on the satellite you had better get 
in touch with Martha asap (301-589-6062) and advise her
of the details as well as paying the modest fee.

You, the members, had requested a membership competition and we are 
providing one, but so far very few of you are participating.
Remember it is to get New Members into AMSAT not old ones who are 
returning. If there is a sudden upsurge in interest then I will
donate an additional prize of an Arrow antenna  in addition to the First 
Prize of a tri-band Hand-held ...... All equipment to use on ECHO.
Can you resist the offer?.  See the July /August issue of the AMSAT 
Journal for details.

I am pleased to advise that Barry Delong (VA3BJD) and his crew are in 
the final stages of  developing the AMSAT -NA annual meeting and
Space Symposium (the 21st). Details of the Hotel and Registration can be 
found both on the AMSAT web site and in the latest AMSAT Journal.
Toronto is now effectively SARS free as was demonstrated on July 30 when 
over 400,000 people attended an out door Concert in Toronto with many
attendees from the USA. We are all looking forward to seeing you in 
Toronto on October 17, 18, and 19.
In addition to the normal papers etc. that are expected at AMSAT meeting 
there is a great program for spouses.
On the Sunday Morning there is a visit to the Hammond Radio Museum, one 
of the top rated museums of it's type in the World.
Please refer to the Journal and the web site for details  - Book early 
to get the best prices.

In closing , I once more ask you to VOTE for your BoD representatives, 
 The more people that vote the more sure we are, that the
 elected people are your representatives.


Robin Haighton VE3FRH


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