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Re: Vanishing Hams



Simon,

Notice I said "Visible".  I will not argue on who is most 
active.  When you attend a hamfest there is almost always a Satellite 
Booth or demo.  Amsat has become a very large and "visible" group 
both for hams and for the public.  Certainly the Emcomm activity of 
ham radio gets the most press (and perhaps it should).  But within 
the bounds of the technical side of ham radio satellite still ranks 
with high numbers of visibility (at lot due to ARISS).

Other areas of interest probably are more active right now...that 
ought to be a wake up to the satellite segment.  When I say satellite 
"should" rank that is also commenting that perhaps it isn't curently 
measuring up (most of the innovation is being done at the 
organizational level and not in the shacks of the average satellite 
operator - oh boy!
  now I have probably steps on alot folks pride - but think about how 
much construction is done? - other than hooking up cables and installing sw).

I am into microwave, eme, sdr's, radio astronomy...and lately into 
500-KHz.  All these activites require basic building and testing, as 
that is (about) the only way you will get stuff for these areas of 
interest.  The Leo sats (FM voice) does not require much more than 
the HT or mobile radio to get on.  Satellite tracking hardware 
abounds and is pretty easy to install.  Digital satellite is probably 
much more technical and requires a bit more in the manner of putting 
together a system.

Now I am not saying that this is a bad thing, but as an area of 
"technical" advance in ham radio it is left to the satellite builders 
,in the main.  The technical contributions are coming from other 
technical areas of interest and being applied to satellites (e.g. GPS 
diciplined local oscillators and SDX).  The computer control system 
is largely not an activity that the average satellite user is active 
in (its a few specialist on the satellite developer's team and draw 
from areas like TAPR, etc.).

So I don't think we are in disagreement (significantly) ;-)

73 Ed - KL7UW

At 11:40 PM 7/17/2008, Simon Brown \(HB9DRV\) wrote:
>--------------------------------------------------
>From: "Edward Cole" <kl7uw@acsalaska.net>
> >
> > Satellite should rank right in with the digital, dsp, psk-31, aprs,
> > innovators.  Please add microwavers, eme'ers and qrpers to the active
> > technical group.  The reason that it appears that there is no
> > innovation going on in ham radio is more due to lack of advertising
> > by those special groups...they are having too much fun doing.
> >
> > Satellites are probably the most visible technical group in ham
> > radio!  Its important that it continues to excite!
> >
>
>I would argue that digital mode developers / users and digital emergency
>comms groups are more active. As for advertising - I see more 'noise' from
>digital groups than satellite groups, but at the moment there's not an
>enormous amount of original development going on in the Ham satellite arena
>although there is more than enough to spark interest.
>
>Add in the fans of weather satellites and similar who use David Taylor's
>programs and you're probably talking similar levels of interest.
>
>On the other hand you can get going with almost all digital most for $100 or
>less (as long as you have a computer). Satellite operation to the same level
>is more expensive. FWIW over 50,000 distinct calls have been seen on digital
>modes over the last six months, see
>http://psk.gladstonefamily.net/cgi-bin/pskstats.pl .
>
>Now back to the coding...
>
>Simon HB9DRV
>
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