[amsat-bb] Amateur communication satellites

rsoifer1 at aol.com rsoifer1 at aol.com
Tue Jun 28 20:28:36 UTC 2016

This past weekend, I made three ARRL/AMSAT Field Day QSOs via FO-29 (JAS-2). Nothing noteworthy about that, except that FO-29 will be 20 years old on August 17th.  We're very fortunate that its linear transponder still works.  The CW beacon and digital transponders are no longer functioning.

Two more of the satellites carrying the bulk of amateur satellite communication are well beyond their design lifetimes.  SO-50, our main FM transponder satellite, will be 14 years old in December.  Then, of course, there is AO-7, whose linear transponders miraculously are still functioning some of the time.  In November it will be 42 years young.

Educational and research satellites are well and good, but amateur satellite communication is still overly dependent on aging space hardware. To those who are building new amateur communication transponders, especially linear transponders in the UHF and VHF bands, best wishes for success.  I wish there were more of you.  Maybe there will be.
73 Ray W2RS

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