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President's Letter October 2003

My apologies for writing this so late in the month, but I wanted to 
include some information from the AMSAT
Annual Meeting, Board of Directors Meetings, and Space Symposium that 
took place in Toronto October 17
through October 20. My other excuse is that with three computer crashes 
I am now typing it for the forth time!
When the AGM etc. is held it is natural for those who worked to put it 
on to feel  apprehensive until the reviews
start coming in. Well I am pleased to tell you that we had a great time 
and I must thank the Toronto Airport Marriott
Hotel together with  Barry Delong  VA3BJD, and the crew of Hams who 
worked hard to put the show on.
I was able to sit in on all the presentations at the Space Symposium and 
found them to be both stimulating and inventive.
A copy of the majority of the papers can be obtained from the AMSAT 
office, just ask Martha. Cost $20+ mailing
and worth every penny. If AMSAT were an profit making organization we 
 would be charging at least $400 US
 to attend such a symposium. due to the quality of the papers and the 
work in putting the organization together.
What a bargain for $30.!  Next year we will visit Washington DC, the 
original home of AMSAT, on our 35th Birthday
and I look forward to being there with you.
Our recent membership competition ended up in a tie, both people having 
10 new AMSAT members. the two winners
 were Steve Diggs and Drew Glasbrenner . With only one prize, the toss 
of a coin settled the matter and Steve
won the VX7R which was kindly donated by Standard Vertex/Yaesu. However 
Drew did not go away empty handed
as he was awarded 3 years membership in AMSAT.
My congratulations go to both Steve and Drew, and to the many others who 
brought in a total of 64 new members to our
During the meeting s in Toronto, I announced the start of the "ECHO 
Launch Fund Campaign" . ECHO will be launched
around the end of March 2004 (scheduled March 31) and the total launch 
cost will be $110,000 US.
We have to raise that amount before we can think of any further activity 
on EAGLE or other satellites.
Every member of AMSAT-NA will be receiving a letter from me in the next 
few weeks requesting participation in the Launch
With AO-27 and UO-14 no longer in service  ECHO will be fulfilling that 
operation as a Low Earth Satellite.
In addition there are a number of other things that ECHO can do, and we 
will be developing a schedule of initial operations
 for ECHO in November. Remember there are three transmitters on ECHO and 
we have the opportunity to possibly run two
 of them at any one time.
I look forward to trying to work ECHO with my Handheld and a whip 
antenna - it should be possible under the right conditions,
 perhaps even with a rubber duck!

One request from me, for your benefit lets encourage the use and 
exchange of AMSAT membership numbers in satellite communications,
this will, I hope get more people to join AMSAT  and  thus produce more 
revenue for more satellites.

One final thought , the "new"  Board of Directors met in Toronto (for 
details see minutes)  and the three new member
of the Board were present. I was delighted to see the skills that they 
brought to the board and I am sure that Rick Hambly
W2GPS,  Gunther Miesse W8GSM and Lou McFadin W5DID will serve you well 
over their Term(s) on the Board.
The Board did re-elect me as President, however this will be my last 
term as your President  after serving in this role for four
years and previously as Executive Vice-President for two more years I 
feel that next October will be the right time to retire,
 and let others with new ideas take over the leadership of the organization.

Robin Haighton VE3FRH
President AMSAT

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