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On Easter, regarding negativity and renewal...



Hi all...

As I awoke on this Easter Sunday, I was scanning my email (I subscribe  
to lots of groups
and get lots of daily summaries) and once again found myself reading  
amsat-bb.  Amidst the
normal, pleasurable messages, I was again (as it seems to happen  
weekly) faced with a
message of disappointment in AMSAT, this time by Brian Beckius.  It  
seems that whatever
he was searching for, he didn't find it in AMSAT, and thus proclaimed  
to all that he wouldn't
be renewing his membership.

He's not alone of course.  Lots of people aren't very satisfied with  
the current state of
AMSAT-NA or amateur satellites.  It's not very hard to understand why:  
launching satellites
actually _is_ rocket science.  It's difficult, and even more difficult  
with limited funds
and relying solely on the efforts of volunteers.  But the simple fact  
that it can be done
at _all_ should give everyone in amateur radio a sense of justified  
pride.

I'm a total newbie when it comes to satellites.  I've worked mostly  
the FM birds for less
than six months.  I don't have L or S band equipment.  I've never  
worked AO-40 or any of the
RS birds.  I am still trying to perfect my setup to work the linear  
birds.   But I have had
fun, and I've tried to pass on that spirit of fun to others, to let  
them know just how much
enjoyment you can get, even with modest equipment, even by just  
listening to what goes on.

If you can't find a reason to renew your membership, don't.   We are  
all free to take our
dollars elsewhere, and to spend them how we see fit.  If that $40  
makes you happier when
spent elsewhere, then I think you should spend it elsewhere.  If that  
donation of $100 or
whatever to a different organization makes you feel a greater sense of  
altruism or
achievement, then by all means, send your money there.

Me?  I'm happy to be a member.  I'm getting way more out my membership  
than I put in, even
when the organization itself doesn't exactly meet my own personal  
expectations of what they
can and should be doing.   I'd like to see firm plans about where  
AMSAT-NA is going, and
when launches will happen just like everyone else, but in the mean  
time, I'll be happy doing
what I'm doing, and stretching what I can do with new projects as time  
and money in my
rather hectic life allows.  And I'll be looking to help new satellite  
projects with donations
when I can.

Maybe you aren't so happy.  Maybe the loss of AO-40 and the slow  
progress toward another
Phase 3 or Phase 4 makes you grumpy.  Maybe you see the money spent on  
a single channel
FM bird as a complete waste of time.  There are lots of you out  
there.  I hear you on this
mailing list every few days.  But here's the thing: no amount of  
growsing about the state
of the amateur satellite service gets any hardware even a foot closer  
to orbit.   It doesn't
make even one more person smile.  It doesn't help get even $1 donated  
to the creation of
new amateur satellites.

It's Easter.  It's a time of renewal and rebirth.  Cast aside some of  
your bitter skepticism,
and rededicate yourself to trying to actually help make amateur  
satellites a fun and rewarding
endeavor for all.

Catch you on the birds...

	Mark KF6KYI

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