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About AMSAT (was ....the next disaster?)



Hi Steve,

I'm reluctantly posting this to the AMSAT BB as well, but primarily I hope 
this is taken as a conversation with you, since we are both in North America.

At 09:50 PM 12/30/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>  Your right Emily, AMSAT-NA don't have any scheduled this coming year, 
> but we operate on many others from other places in the world and they do 
> have plans to launch if successful. I believe that working together with 
> the world, a system of LEO's, APRS, HEO's and others can make 
> communicating with our ham friends "world wide" easier and more fun for 
> the beginner and the expert alike. We need to have a goal and the one I'm 
> hearing about is on track. Do we or will we need more LEO satellites? Yes 
> we do! They don't live forever.

I see where you are coming from, but remember although this BB open to all 
without limits to nationality, it is run by the membership of AMSAT NA.  If 
one wanted to be a member of AMSAT-UK or AMSAT-DL I think they operate 
their own BBs and organizations (and fine organizations both, and I would 
encouage cross-membership by everyone here to support their 
projects.)  However, since this is the AMSAT-NA BB, when you say "We" I 
have only to think of the organization here, made up of many fine 
individuals who are working tirelessly behind the scene on Eagle or other 
infrastructure projects the membership rarely sees. I don't immediately 
think of projects under the direction of people outside North America.

>I watch several bb's and try to understand what todays "hams" want from 
>his/her hobby.

I tried that - drove me crazy.  I didn't have the bandwidth to filter all 
the fiction from fact. Perhaps you can do a better job of that than I, but 
if I tried to do that I would have very little time to get the work done 
that is on my plate most days.  So I only watch this BB these days.

>What I see is challenge. I to want a challenge. My first attempt at an 
>"easy sat" was a total failure! My first attempt at a SSB bird, failure. 
>Digital, well, I'm learning! And for AO-40, I worked way over my physical 
>limits to find and build a dish antenna that would work, just work on the 
>only HEO I knew about, eight days after completion and just a handful of 
>the proudest contacts I have ever made, I have a 8 foot yard ornament! Am 
>I stopped? Absolutely not. I will wait and help all I can to get another 
>HEO in operation, but until then I'm off to bigger and better things for 
>now. Check my web site for my projects.

I can totally appreciate this Steve. I was so jazzed getting on AO-40 with 
my BBQ dish antenna that a close friend spent a small fortune on a new 
transceiver, very nice dish and all the bells and whistles to go along with 
it.  He got it all put together in time to make 3 QSO's on AO-40. We are 
still talking - but I still feel bad about it.

>Question: Do all the chapters of "AMSAT" ever get together in the same 
>place at the same time and discuss a plan for all amateur radio satellite 
>operators?

Nope - not to my knowledge.  There are many international representatives 
who come to the symposium here in the US from other countries, and I know 
many AMSAT members and representatives go to the larger AMSAT conferences 
in the UK and DL, but to my knowledge there is no "International AMSAT" 
symposium. Maybe in the past, but I don't know that it has ever happened. 
Certainly not in my memory.  Still, quite a bit of international 
cooperation is spirited by all of the symposia here, in the UK, and DL.

On a personal note, I find much of how AMSAT is organized confusing. 
Working on the website becomes a challenge to try to discern "is this AMSAT 
the North American entity or AMSAT the international entity."  I've learned 
that as far as the BB, the Website and the Symposium it comes from North 
America and the small number of countries that do not have their own AMSAT 
organizations. For example, AMSAT-DL is separate - but the Area Coordinator 
in Guatemala is under the auspices of AMSAT-NA since there is no national 
AMSAT in Guatemala.   However when it comes to the website I have tried to 
get important documents translated into Spanish, Portugese and to a smaller 
degree technical Canadian French (still looking for more help there.) We 
didn't feel German was as big a priority since AMSAT-DL has such a good 
website.  I would like to have additional documents in double-byte 
character sets such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean, but I personally have 
some professional learning curves to overcome before we putting up web 
documents in those languages. But I have been working on it and will 
continue to do so.

It has taken almost six months to learn much of the protocol for all of 
this.  Rick Hambly has been a very big help, and without him I would have 
given up many months ago.  It's not 100% clear, and I'm sure IT will remain 
less than totally clear since the world is always changing.  On the other 
hand, I think that while there are many "AMSATs" in the world, we do have a 
common goal.  From what I've seen we all talk more than the average BB 
reader or even ANS reader may think.  We may not have big conventions and 
look like the UN, but we accomplish a lot.

73

de W0EEC

---------------------------------
W0EEC - CM87tm
AMSAT Area Coordinator - San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.projectoscar.net    http://www.PlanetEmily.com

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