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RE: Mobile/Portable Satellite Operations



> I remember when I first found a simplex linked repeater in Austin  
> that got me into Abilene and a bunch of other places.  Very  
> interesting feeling to be able to stand outside in the parking lot  
> where I worked and chat with folks all over the state.  That 
> was some  
> time before IRLP really got going though, nowadays most of our  
> machines have IRLP feeds and it's not quite as interesting as 
> it used  
> to be .. although IRLP has a lot of very useful features to it that  
> statically linked repeater systems don't even approach ..

Well, my first experience with long haul links was back around 1989-1990
when there were repeaters in major cities linked via a commercial satellite
specifically for JOTA.  One morning, I had a bunch of ZLs queueing to work
me.  I was mobile on a train at the time... ;)

> Wholeheartedly agreed that the fun most of the time isn't the  
> reliability, it's the freedom to play with the technology and really  
> get the full use out of it.  Most people using cellphones don't have  
> the opportunity to even scratch the surface of what the wireless  
> network is truly capable of, whereas most hams exploit just about  
> every possible capability of their equipment on a regular 
> basis .. we  

I agree.  Mobile phones are interesting from a technology standpoint, but
from a usage standpoint, they're quite dull really.  You just make it do its
thing.  No need to get under the hood.  I'd rather be tinkering under the
hood. ;)  

> get a lot done with even relatively primitive hardware, and our  
> advantage is that we tend to have a much more complete understanding  
> of what we're doing and how it works.  To me, there's a real 
> value in  
> that.  ;-)

Indeed, both for us (mmmm, tinkering), and the community (we're more likely
to know how to get a message out if part of our system goes belly up in a
hurricane).
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