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VA3LK SK but written text and ideas still alive.

Here is a copy of one of Larry texts issued on august 13 2004. I exchanged few personnal E-Mails with him and 
i found we shared many ideas about AMSAT. and on other subjects. 

Probably some participants in the AMSAT 2004 symposium who is currently being held will take a moment to 
consider and remember his ideas!

Larry's ideas are not dead keeping them alive will be the best way to express our grief of his passing to his 


To Luc Leblanc, VE2DWE, AMSAT Member 33583

>From Larry Kayser, VA3LK, AMSAT Life Member #3

Re: the battery in OSCAR 11, UOSAT 2

Greetings Luc:

You will have to tell everyone on the AMSAT reflector that I did NOT put you up to asking a question about 
the battery in OSCAR 11!

Yes it is 20 years ago on March 1st that a battery assembled and tested in Ottawa, Ontario just a few hundred 
miles west of your home, was flown on

The battery was the result of almost 10 years of work done in Ottawa.  During the 5 year life of OSCAR VI, 
while I methodically sent over 5 million
commands to that satellite I watched that little satellite die from a frankly lousy battery.  I became 
interested in batteries and specifically in how
to make a good battery for a satellite.  You can read about the work, just Google “VA3LK battery” 
and you can read the story from a web
site in New Zealand and also from an .edu site on the US west coast.  It will tell you how I was so lucky to 
finally develop a hypothesis that solved
the problem.  There is now no justification for flying a lousy battery in a small spacecraft – even if 
the cells are made, as they are, with the
mixing of components by a front-end loader.

The real achievement was however only made possible by finding someone who would let us build them a battery 
to fly in space.  That battery has now
lasted a very long time - over 80,000 charge and discharge cycles, try that with modern batteries you find on 
electric tools!  The real success was
only made possible when Dr. Martin Sweeting, G3YJO had enough faith, and he needed a battery pretty badly hi, 
to let myself and some friends in Ottawa
build a battery for OSCAR 11.  It was he who let us have enough cells from which we invoked the hypothesis 
and sent him after many months of testing
the best cells we could make from a starting set of some 200 cells.  Without his acceptance of the risk, 
really a very huge risk in that time, the
work would have gone without a real demonstration.  Later the same process of battery development was used 
for the OSCARs 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 19. 

So now you know the story about the battery in OSCAR 11.

I recently heard OSCAR 11 on a handheld while I was a passenger on a car trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.  
Hearing the signal as we rolled along
Interstate 81 brought back memories of sending email through that satellite and a trip to the beach in Hawaii 
to show that such things could be done
with the DCE box in the satellite.  But that is another story for another time..

My best to you and yours Luc - Good Luck in your AMSAT activities.

Larry Kayser

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Written by late Larry Kaiser VA3LK on august 13 2004

Bob, WB4APR wrote…..

The hard part is getting the Satellite Builders to want to offer this 
ride to AMSAT. I think it needs to be an "inside job". I have no ideas. 
But if we just keep Amaetur Radio Alive, and interesting, and in the 
public eye, eventually someone in the right place at the right time 
might be able to make it happen. I think we need a good design of a 
"strap-on" transponder on the shelf ready to go, so that at least we 
have the "egg" if the right chicken comes along to hatch it...


Haven’t we as amateur radio operators been looking for the “inside job” 
long enough?

“If we just keep Amateur Radio Alive” – have we not been in that mode 
for the whole life of AMSAT over the last 35 years or so?

How about if AMSAT was proactive in being a full member of the space 
community and senior management saw AMSAT as an attractive participant 
that they wanted to be a part of their operation. What does AMSAT have 
to do to become an attractive participant for space launches?

We can stand with our thumb out hoping to hitch a ride with some 
benevolent senior management support OR we can find a niche in the space 
business, build a base of specialized knowledge and become an active 
participant that brings tangible benefits to the space business community.

As I read Bob’s email, we are standing on the side of the road of 
opportunity with our thumb out. I contend that this position after 35 
years of existence is not good enough. We need to move to the next 
level, we do that by having a strategy to become a full participant in 
the space community, we make contributions to the community, we are 
recognized by those in the community as being a significant contributor 
to the good of the space community.

Having a “transponder on the shelf” is I suggest hardly the answer, the 
answer is in the reinvention of AMSAT, the turning of AMSAT from what we 
have become into what we could be – is it enough to have our thumb out? 
If it is not enough just to have our thumb out then what needs to be 
done to build AMSAT into an organization that has “options” instead of 
just “hopes”. Has the time come for a new direction for AMSAT?

Have you spoken to AMSAT leadership? Have you spoken to your AMSAT 
director? Do you have a vision for AMSAT? Do your friends share a vision 
for AMSAT?

Is what AMSAT is today what you want AMSAT to be in five years, ten years?

Bob suggests we need a “good design”, lets have a “good design” for a 
new AMSAT.

AMSAT Live Member #3

Luc Leblanc VE2DWE
Coordonnateur AMSAT pour le Québec
Quebec AMSAT coordinator
Sites web sites: www.qsl.net/ve2dwe

P.O. Box 341
Sorel-Tracy  QC.
J3P 5N6
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