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



Hi All

>From my perspective , sadly, LEO's are a non-starter. Since the demise of
AO-40 I have tried to get excited by the LEO's and have made a few contacts
via FO-29 and AO-51 (even managed 3B9C Rodriguez Island via FO-29) but now
the satellite antennas are down, awaiting another LEO.

The sad fact is that trying to get anyone in South Africa excited about
satellites is like barking at the moon; we have a linked repeater system
covering most of our coastline (from Cape Town to East London) and inland as
far as Bloemfontein. By the time the next LEO goes up the repeater network
will probably have linked up Johannesburg and Durban as well - so who needs
to bother with a satellite that is overhead for 10 minutes when you can
access the whole country via repeater? No gee-whiz factor there!! LEO's are
generally viewed here as nothing but orbiting repeaters, and as such are not
exciting. Not "cool" at all!

A LEO is another ballgame altogether. During my time operating AO-40 I had a
regular stream of visitors to my shack, and all left buzzing about the
wonders of this satellite. The thrill of SSTV over satellite, and the YACER
camera project as well as the plethora of foreign voices generated
excitement second to none. Sadly equipment for 13cm is very hard to get hold
of in South Africa - no local supply at all, and purchasing from the United
States or other countries was very difficult, as well as prohibitively
expensive (currency traded at 13 SA Rand to 1 US Dollar at the time). Things
have improved somewhat now - our currency now trades at 6:1 and internet
trading has developed significantly, allowing purchases via credit card from
many more vendors. P3E with it's 2m/70cm options should see a lot more ZS
operators than the handful that came up on AO-40, with an increased number
going the 23cm/13cm route too.

Sorry LEO fans, it just doesn't do it for me; from my QTH on the southeast
coast of South Africa there are only a handful of grids with amateur
activity, and pretty much no countries to work either. There is NO satellite
activity in the neighbouring states at all. In this neck of the woods HEO
rules supreme!!

73 de Barry ZR2DX
(EX ZR6DXB)
KF26TA - Port Elizabeth,South Africa
Member : SARL, ARRL, SA AMSAT
Secretary, Port Elizabeth Amateur Radio Society
SARL Councillor : Digital Modes & Satellites


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@amsat.org] On Behalf
Of Diane Bruce
Sent: 14 March 2005 01:44 AM
To: Patrick Green
Cc: Amsat-BB
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] the question will always be there, LEO or HEO

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.

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.

> 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.

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.

- 73 Diane VA3DB
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