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On Mon, 26 Jul 1999, Ray Soifer made some good comments:

> 1)...  The grid squares that everybody keeps exchanging are for VUCC,
> which is offered by ARRL and not AMSAT.  The same is true of Satellite
> WAS, WAC and DXCC.  Any complaints or suggestions should be
> directed to the proper place, the ARRL BoD.

Thats what I meant.  AMSAT should "decide" what is appropriate for its
birds and if they decide that some operating practices are not in the
best interest of AMSAT users on a single channel FM bird, then they
should formally inform the ARRL and all other organizations of its

It's amazing that AMSAT does not publish operating "guidelines" for each
satellite.  Users don't know what form of operating practice is
"appropriate".  Yes, they can read 100's of opinions in the literature,
but you can never expect users to read and get the right answer.  

*** I dont blame the users ***.  Without the owner/operator of a satellite
clearly publishing any guidelines, then it will always be a free-for-all
in operating habits as well as *opinions* as to what everyone else thinks
everyone else should do.

> 2.  There is no such organization as "AMSAT-International."
> That name is used only for an Internet distribution list
> that goes to approximately 25 national AMSAT organizations...

Yep, and maybe discussion by these organizations about this issue might be
useful. AMSAT orgainzations need to be pro-active and "lead" users to
recommended operating practices, not just toss a bird in the sky and then
have Pi$$@#$NG contests amongst users as to who can use it for what.  No
other satelites on orbit that I know of are operating without any formally
published guidelines for its ground stations.

Sure, 10% of users will never get the word nor will follow the guidelines
anyway, but the builder of a satellite knows the design objective, the ERP
required and his power budget.  Each satellite operator should publish
these items *in all listings*

  * RECOMMENDED OPERATING PRACTICE:  One sentence (or so).

If the Mission and Recommended Operating Practice were published in this
manner, then most users would know what to expect from others.  BUT, of
course, there are exceptions to all rules.  I HATE RULES for this reason.
But recommended practices and ERP's are needed to establish baselines.

If the guidelines discouraged a certain practice, yet someone needed that
practice for a live demo or any other reason, he could just include the
word "OPERATING EXCEPTION" in his transmissinon.  This would let all the
self-appointed lawyers know that he does understand the recoemmended
practices but that he is operating under special circumstances.  We must
be flexible.  

So, I call on all Amateur Satellite owner/builder/operators to publish
AT LEAST the receommended ERP on the uplink and to consider a brief
statement (if possible) suggesting a best operating practice for their
design, objective and ERP rewuirement.

If my organization was able to get a single channel FM satellite in orbit,
I would publish the following guidelines.

FREQ:             145.xxx
REQUIRED ERP:     1W to 5W
OBEJECTIVE:       Demo HT/Mobile amateur Satcoms for max number of users
RECEOMMENDATIONS: Transmit name, location and comment.  Comment
                  on a few previous calls heard.

Then at least users would have an idea what might work the best.
Hopefully a round-robbin effect would evolve.  We almost have that as the
default practice on AO-27, why not formalize it.  By users commenting on
the previous call heard, then anyone that hears his call, can stop

Just an idea...


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