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Where'd all the satellite DX go?

I posted a query a few weeks ago about getting back on the satellites after
a long ham radio hiatus and said "where'd all the DX go?"  Got several
replies -- thanks!

It seems that the people who fund and build satellites have moved on from
the simple HEO mode B type birds due to the "been there, done that" factor
(my speculation).  Most of the recent satellites have been either quite
complex and microwave-oriented (AO40) or little FM LEO repeaters/
digipeaters with tiny footprints.  To wit, the next AMSAT project is another
LEO bird, Echo, with one FM voice channel.  Not too exciting for people like

Unfortunately, by my reckoning, most of the people who use(d) amateur
satellites had mode B gear and enjoyed working the world, particularly on
AO10 and AO13.  With these birds gone, most of this crowd has moved on from
satellite Dxing to something else.  Doing DX cluster searches for sat DX
turns up virtually nothing.  This is shocking as the DX clusters used to be
full of AO10 (and AO10) DX.  (I now run across a lot of people on 6m that I
used to work on AO13.)

So there appears to be a disconnect between the people who build satellites
and the people who use 'em.  C'est la vie, since this is a hobby not a
business and we should be thankful anyone contributes money, time and
resources to put amateur satellites of any type in the sky.

Several people pointed out that I may find some DX on FO-29 and AO-7, and DX
does show up on the LEO birds from time-to-time.  So I'll work on getting my
satellite station QRV this summer.  I learned the Germans are putting up a
HEO satellite with mode B capabilities -- P3E -- that is supposed to launch
by 2006.  This satellite, however, seems quite complex with capability all
the way up to 47-GHz, so I am worried it may become another AO40.  Trying to
be all things to all hams and ending up...  AMSAT's Eagle looks interesting
from what I can tell (there's not a lot of info online, at least that I can
find), but is also a few years away.  So it seems satellite widespread
satellite Dxing will be in hibernation for several more years, at least.

Bill NT1Y (ex-AA6TT)
Topsham VT
AMSAT Life Member

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