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Re: AO-51 DX-by-mail

At 08:50 AM 12/6/2005 -0500, Andrew Glasbrenner wrote:
>I've tried this equipment loaner idea twice. One time it didn't work, and
the other time it worked great. I'll share a few thoughts on the process.
It's hard to find DX who is interested, has the time, and is trustworthy,
that isn't already operating on satellite. It's not easy to teach someone
how to work a satellite with an Arrow over email either. There is always
the risk of the equipment not finding it's way home, either due to
dishonorable intentions of the borrower, just plain apathy, or the ever
present customs and theft issues with many countries.
>While I realize the desire to work DX _today_, it might perhaps be better
to expend the energy into supporting a HEO with the goal of making
equipment for loan available for DX then. The pool of interested operators
is much larger on a HEO than a LEO. For some reasons many of the DX minded
ops don't care much for DX over LEOs...just my observations.
>I wish you luck if you pursue this and will gladly do what I can to help.
I'd suggest concentrating on the Caribbean area first, since most of the US
will be in range at some point and there are many, many DXCC entities
>73, Drew KO4MA

Drew points out some things to consider.  Even mailing QSL's is at risk
into some areas of the world.  Often mail is thieved by those looking for
anything of value.  I know that many use QSL bureaus outside their country
due to this.  So if you decide to proceed you should be prepared to lose
your loaned equipment.  In other words this is a private program by you and
your group not officially sanctioned by Amsat or with any guarantees.

I think that the DX operator is accustomed to HF SSB and may not work much
on VHF-FM which they may associate with repeaters, thus the reluctance or
disinterest in Leo satellites.  The Heo linear transponder more resembles
the HF SSB DX landscape...if that makes any sense.  

Also many areas of the world are unpopulated with hams in general and
satellite hams in particular, which leads to apathy toward what is an
activity with little potential for many stations to work.  Of course you
are suggesting DX areas on the fringe of NA or EU Leo footprint, so maybe
that last point is not applicable?  I am writing from experience in this
living where I do (getting interest or activity generated in certain
specialty types of hamming ... e.g. microwave or meteor scatter).  Alaska
(thankfully) is in range for good Leo activities with Canada and parts of
the lower-48 states...but not Europe.

So after considering all this, you want to proceed and can convince others
to participate then go ahead.  I have found the best way to generate
activity is to be active, myself.  How you generate activity in other parts
of the world may be with Dxpedition that show the locals the "fun", then
leaving them some equipment...that you may never get back.  Good Luck!


Ed - KL7UW 
BP40iq,  Nikiski, AK      http://www.qsl.net/al7eb
Amsat #3212
Modes: V - U - L - S
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