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Re: Satellite user "communities"

At 06:28 AM 12/13/2007, Bob Stewart wrote:

>With the "range war" that's going on right now, it
>seems like there are at least two communities of
>satellites users: one that wants simple, easy to
>use transponders and doesn't mind the windows
>of availability (and perhaps enjoys it for the added
>simple technical challenge), and another that wants an
>HF band type of experience with perfect propagation.
>There may be other subsets that I haven't noticed, yet,
>but these seem to be the two main groups.  Both have
>their merits.

Agreed.  For us in the Southern Hemisphere, there's also the issue of 
having someone to work.  FM sats attract a few, but once you get 
outside of the major countries (i.e. VK, ZL), finding anyone with 
70cm gear gets very difficult.  On the linear birds, I did have some 
success on FO-29 once at a hamfest satellite demo (I don't have the 
gear to do U band myself, unfortunately, as I know there are some 
locals on VO-52).  On RS-12/13, the only QSOs I had were pre-arranged 
with locals on 2m before the pass.  Obviously, a HEO is of more 
interest in these parts, given that it's thousands of miles to any 
other country with significant satellite activity.  Excercise, grab a 
globe of the Earth, draw a circle 6000km radius, centred on Melbourne 
and note the countries inside the circle.  For satellites with 2m 
uplinks, exclude anywhere that can only be reached when Indonesia is 
in the footprint.  And note that very few of the Pacific island 
nations have any 70cm gear on them, so they'd be relying on satellite 
DXpeditions to activate them.  Count the remainder... ;)  (Note, the 
problem with Indonesia is a population in the hundreds of millions 
and a high level of long range cordless phone usage - UO-14 was a 
dogpile of phone calls whenever Indonesia was in the footprint).

Back in the early 90's, I did have a bit of fun on RS-10/11 using a 
jury rigged setup. :)

So far, my experiences have been:

RS-10/11 - Some VK activity, I miss this bird, it was a lot of fun.

RS-12/13 - Some pre-arranged QSOs, didn't seem quite as sensitive as 
10/11.  Some Asian QRM noted in latter years, but could fit QSOs in between.

SO-35 - a LOT of VK/ZL activity, with some P29.  Another bird I 
really miss, this was a very fun one to work, and could be reached by 
a HT in unusual situations (Sat QSO from a train anyone? - Yes, I've 
done that MANY time! ;) ).

UO-14 - some VK/ZL/P29 activity, 3D2 reported by others.  Performance 
limited by Asian QRM on the uplink and lack of receive sensitivity of 
new stations.

AO-51 - Some VK/ZL activity, issues similar to UO-14

SO-50 - I haven't worked anyone on it, though have tried a few passes.

FO-20/29 - One or two VK QSOs at hamfest demos.

VO-52 - Haven't worked, due to lack of U band SSB gear (and no 
hamfest demos in recent years).  U/V operation holds promise, and I 
know of several regular users in this region.

AO-7 - Another one I haven't tried, since its resurrection.

73 de VK3JED

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