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



Diane,

You make some very interesting and valid points.  I would like to comment a
bit:
------------------------------------------------------
At 06:43 PM 3/13/2005 -0500, Diane Bruce wrote:
>On Sun, Mar 13, 2005 at 12:52:38AM -0600, Patrick Green wrote:
>> This is interesting.  Echo is the reason I got interested in Sats.  I
>
>This may be so, but AO-40 is the reason I got interested in Sats.
>I was not at all interested in LEOs. So there is at least one counter
>claim.
--------------------------------------------------------
Well, I go back a bit further.  I recently ran across my original Amsat
membership certificate (dated Jan. 21, 1976) while looking for something
else.  Reminds me that my involvement with Amsat goes back to early 70's
when Oscar-6 was being built.

I didn't really have a satellite station until the mid-80's when I was
working AO-10, so I guess that was my entry satelllite.  I've always liked
the ssb HEO sats.  I have not been on Echo much more than to copy some
telemetry, but am looking forward to some of the experimental Wednesdays.
My station is down until spring wx returns when I can get on my roof to
reinstall my convertors and cables. 
-------------------------------------------------------- 
>
>Anectodal evidence is no evidence at all. There are a number of amateurs
>who got interested in sats because of the HEOs and who got discouraged
>when the HEOs died without being replaced. Where are the hard numbers showing
>how many amateurs AO-51 has brought into sats? Or even of any of the other
>FM LEO birds? (Why was this not asked on the questionnaire?) Conversely,
>lets see the hard numbers for amateurs brought into the hobby by HEOs.
>It may be true that LEO FM birds do bring new blood into the hobby but
>show me the proof. It may also be true that the numbers for amateurs
>being brought into the hobby are roughly equal for both types of sats
>but where is the proof? This needs to be asked in a proper scientific
>questionnaire.
---------------------------------------------------------
I suppose this data is not captured by membership records...too bad.  But I
would imagine that there should be some statistics for number of new
members per year and memberships not renewed (in otherwords lost members).
Many of the organizations that I belong to, do ask for activity by
freq-band or mode or type in their membership forms.  It does provide good
info for the leadership to determine where interest lies.

I do know that LEO demos show many non-satellite hams how simple it is for
them to get started.  In that I think it is correct to make the statement
that LEO's are the logical beginners satellite, though the 10m/2m sats can
hold a similar role (esp. in the past).

Once one has a taste of the FM-LEO's, then progression to HEO's would be a
natural development.  Microwaves were considered "impossible" for the
average ham before AO-40 forced a lot of us to go to 2.4 GHz if we wanted
to operate.  I think many had a surprizing discover that it was not that
bad, after all.  Certainly a challenge but not impossible.  Mode-L/S is the
"meat&potatoes" satellite band for the future...and I would maintain not
really expensive or hard to achieve, once on has a basic mode-B station.

I suspect that concepts like CC-Rider will be surprizing to many in how
easyit will be to achieve when it becomes available.  Certainly  mw bands
do offer compactness as an attraction.
----------------------------------------------------------
>
>> think that was the aim.  The hobby is shrinking and we need to expand
>> the user base.  Now as a result I'm interested in a HEO.  Before I
>
>Expanding the user base should be done by bringing younger people into
>the hobby. We have been failing to demonstrate to the younger "geeks" that
sats
>are "cool." Perhaps the younger set are not attracted to 10 minute FM
>hello/goodbye birds but might be attracted to 24/7 birds. Lets have
>the proof not mere claims.
----------------------------------------------------------
Exposing ham radio and especially satellite operation to young prospects
will most likely find fertile ground with the digital satellite technology
that Amsat is incorporating.  I know that the existing HEO community may
not particularly find this attractive, preferring ssb voice.  If you want
to know what younger hams are interested in that survey needs to be
done...bad form to guess!
----------------------------------------------------------
>
>Any other bleating on here about LEO vs. HEO is pure speculation with no
basis
>in fact and only serves to make people angry for no reason. Lets see those
>hard numbers. As far as whether the BoD made the right decision about AO-51,
>that's water under the bridge. There is nothing any of us can do to bring
>back that spent money and undo that decision. The key thing now is whether
>AMSAT-NA is listening to the membership. I believe they are.
-----------------------------------------------------------
Yes, Diane, I agree that the new board has insituted many changes in
response to membership desires.  I would give them time to work on more of
them.  I see a huge improvement in communication to members and users
(great new website, much improved response by satellite managers to user
desires).  More is wanted but keep up the good work!

P3E is on the horizon so now is the time to prepare one's station for being
ready.  Eagle is further off, so we should try to support it as we are able.

73's Ed - AL7EB
Amsat #3212
Alaska Field op (vol.)
http://www.qsl.net/al7eb
----
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