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Re: the question will always be there, LEO or HEO

My wife says I should stay out of debates (but she wouldn't argue with me on
the subject!).  Surveys are great when they are measure a real sample of the
population involved and the questions do not lead the participants.  We had
a survey like that and the results were published in the Journal.

Here are my thoughts added to the beating of the grease spot where the dead
horse used to be.  I will preface them by saying I have been active on the
following sats AO-10, FO-12, AO-13, UO-14, FO-20, AO-21, RS-10/11, RS-12/13,
RS-15, AO-27, FO-29, SO-35, AO-40 and a couple more.

I like phone and CW satellite operation.  I am especially fond of LEO FM
operation for the following reasons.

1.  I can find time to work and FM LEO.  Passes are short exchanges are
short.  I can find 15 minutes every once and a while to work the bird.  I
can listen to the whole pass and catch any new one that comes on or just
listen.  I can quickly say "Hi" to my friends.  I worked guys on HEOs that
gave speeches about their illnesses that were longer than an entire pass on

2.  FM LEOs allow for wonderful demonstrations.  Nothing busts the "it's too
complicated and expensive" myth at a Ham club meeting like working Mexico to
Alaska in a 15 minute span from the parking lot with the Arrow and a
handheld.  I have done this and it works.  I know it has resulted in several
new sat-ops/amsat members.  I have also demonstrated AO-10, AO-13 and AO-40
at Field Day, most guys walk away firmly believing it is too
complicated/expensive for them.

3.  The ability to rag chew a new way does not seem to excite most rag
chewing ops.  They usually respond "I haven't worked everyone on HF yet".
Most of the folks who seem to get excited by satellite are more into the
technical challenge than shooting the breeze.

4.  Simple and low cost are good things.  Building a station to work mode S
on a HEO bird requires building a station that can work mode J or B on a LEO
first.  That S band downconverter has to feed a signal into some kind of
radio.  Odds are good that radio would be good for an FM LEO on its own.
Let's provide the stepping stone to the higher bands instead of requiring a
great leap for satellite operation.  Can't put an Arrow size antenna on you
balcony?  Take it for a walk!

Building AO-51 was the right decision.  It got us another bird in a short
time frame.  It is helping build a bigger user base of those us looking
forward to P3E (yes, I' looking forward to it as well, because the more
birds I can work the better!).  It's kind of like saying if I can't drive a
Lexus, I'm not going to drive at all.  We decided to orbit a Chevy (a very
nice Chevy I might add) before the Lexus and I'm glad we did.  If we would
have not flown ECHO, Eagle and P3E would still be on the ground!  How many
QSOs would that have produced?

Flames Suit On! RATIONAL Replies are always welcome!

AMSAT #21357
Sent via amsat-bb@amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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