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Re: Re: ARES and Satellites

<On Soapbox>

> Cell phones will probably be much more useful than the ubiquitous HT's in
any emergency...

Take it from someone who has worked on a cell system - it ain't worth squat
during a storm!  There are only a limited number of tcvrs in a cell-site and
each one of those only accomodates so many users (i.e. iDEN has 6 channels /
BR and most omni sites [in this area] only have 6 BR's).  During a storm,
when everyone (police, fire, EMA, paramedics, utilities, regular users) is
using their cell phone on whatever vendor (i.e. LINC, Nextel, Cingular,
AT&T, etc.) it's a hit-or-miss proposition whether or not you'll get through
to the party you're trying to contact.  There are ways to increase available
channels with out increasing radios, but it involves compression.
Businesses have to weigh increased capabilities with decreased audio
quality.  Most users would rather have the audio quality than channel

On top of that, a lot of cell companies do not utilize generators in their
cell sites.  Batteries are generally only good for about 8 hours (at the
most) and the more radios you add to a site (to increase subscribers) the
less time you've got on your batteries.  Believe me, I've been there, done
that, got the T-shirt so to speak.  I've seen radios added to cell sites
without increasing the number of batteries.  Each iDEN BR adds 10A to a site
load.  If your generator fails to start (at one of the sites that has a
generator) and you might have three hours of operation before the site dies.

<Off Soapbox>


Joel B. Black, W4JBB

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