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Re: Organized Chaos



Dave Guimomt (WB6LLO) wrote:--------------------John, the operation of FM voice satellites is a travesty for ham radio... I've been licensed for 57 years, on amateur satellites for 33 years (Oscar 7) and the FM voice operation is the most ridiculous aberration I've witnessed in all of amateur radio...Pandemonium exists here also!! It is pretty obvious NO COMMUNICATION exists on AO51,all of their communication is on here.  Why do they bother to turn the radio on??? Many of us attended AMSAT a lot conventions in an attempt to discourage throwing that money "down the tubes" on FM voice, to no avail.  Someone had an "ax to grind", and several of the existing "powers that be" in AMSAT-NA told me to "mind my own business".  They were obviously the "ax grinders". FM voice on the amateur satellites is about equal to the same degree of difficulty as a cell phone operation! No wonder our membership is deteriorating. Ancient AO7 and present VO52 hopefully are keeping some interest, until Europe launches P3E.... That's where my donations go.....-----------Dave, As one of those who was present at the "birth" of AO-51(we called it "Echo" back then), I respectfully have todisagree with your assertions. I can assure you that nobody had an "ax to grind" in thatdecision.  To the contrary, if you will recall, at that time wehad all but lost most of P3-D's on-orbit capabilities.  Organizationally, our morale was very low.    What's more, the BOD and officers were presented with a unique cooperative venture that offered our membership a new LEO satellite, complete with launch, for a relatively small outlay of capital resources.   Naturally, we jumped at the chance. And, while FM operation may not be your particular "cup of tea" (and most of us operating there would MUCH prefer to have an HEO to play with), at least for the foreseeable future, an operational HEO on orbit is simply not in the cards. What's more, as Bob Bruninga has so eloquently pointed out, the FM birds DO serve a purpose in creating excitement among the general Ham 
population as well as serving as the entry point into more serious satellite operation for those who choose to engage in satellite conversations that offer something more than just a quick "hello and goodbye". As far as our declining AMSAT membership is concerned, while regrettable, I'm convinced this is simply just another reflection of the declining popularity of Amateur Radio in general.  In case you hadn't noticed it, Dave, our Amateur Service is now, quite literally, dying.  That's because our average age is approaching (and will soon surpass) age 60.   I learned long ago that it is far easier to tear a house down than it is to build one.  And sitting on the sidelines and passing judgment on decisions that have LONG since been made serves no purpose other than to create bad feelings all around.   I'm sure the current officers and BOD members of all of our AMSAT organizations are doing their level best to get an HEO bird into orbit just as soon as they possibly can.   However, we all must remember this is 2008, not 1968.  The "space biz" has fundamentally changed into a multi-billion dollar, multi-national, military-industrial grab-bag of commercial launch companies, complete with an ever more dizzying array of government-induced, bureaucratic restrictions and regulatory limits regarding who (and/or what) can put which payload into Earth orbit. The bottom line here is that the days of "free" (or nearly free) and unencumbered satellite launches into Earth orbit are long since over.  The sooner today's AMSAT members recognize and accept those fundamental changes that have occurred in a business that their  predecessors in AMSAT largely helped create, the better off everyone will be. And if operating on our FM birds continues to give you heartburn, then may I suggest you (and others so 'heartburned") simply not operate on them? 73, Keith BakerKB1SF / VA3KSFPast President and BOD MemberAMSAT-NA
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