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RE: Right-sizing a sat [was: Antennas on the bird]

Hi Rip

I think we're underestimating the fact that no-code ticket holders will be
unable to operate modes V & I.

The whole point of me taking up satellite operation about a year or so ago
was that I could work that DX without having to bother with the code.

I've been licensed since 1982 - and I've never taken the CW test, although
at one stage ten years ago I was pretty close to taking it.

I don't want to bring up the CW debate on the BB - that one's been flogged
to death elsewhere! Suffice to say that at the end of the day it's nowhere
near the top of my priority list, and I'm getting an enormous amount of
satisfaction out of the hobby without it.

I'm just concerned that in promoting the idea of 'easy-sats' for everyone
using modes V or I, we're already closing the door on a very significant
number of potential newcomers. I have trouble trying to justify telling a
no-code licensee that s/he'd have to upgrade the license. After all, after
upgrading the licence you can work all that HF DX easily without a

I'm certainly not against Bob's suggestions - far from it, I think it's the
sort of think that might get me to finally take the code. Not to mention the
fact that I can't think of a cheaper ground station scenario.

73 Howard G6LVB

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Rip Smith
Sent: 13 January 2001 14:36
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Right-sizing a sat [was: Antennas on the bird]

>Robert Oler WB5MZO wrote:
>Let me be clear.  In the end I really dont care what sort of "skills" are
>left by building the satellite.  AO-40 contributed to the state of the art
>in terms of sat ops not a twit.  OK it has some neat momentuem wheels but
>they would have been tested in other ways and thats true of every component
>on the bird.  We are not creating either an industry or a company.  We
>should figure out how UHF/VHF/microwave comm is improved...not how to build
>better birds.

Without intending to belittle the huge achievement of the AO-40 team in any
way, I think Robert has made a couple of important points.

Ham radio is not only electronics and technology. Ham radio is also about

Yes, the technology is a tool, but the proof of a tool is the job it will
do. In communications, high technology is only as good as the quality of
communications it provides. Otherwise it is a purely academic exercise.

I am always willing to admire a technological achievement - and the AO-40
team deserves a real congratulations for an amazing achievement even if the
bird does not end up to be perfect.

However, even a perfect AO-40 would really serve only an tiny fraction of
the total world-wide Amateur community, because to my mind, it is simply
too expensive and too difficult for most of us to set up a ground station
that would work with it efficiently.

For the rest of us, satellites that can be accessed with more modest ground
stations will keep us interested and bring in new people who will build and
pay for new Phase 3 and the Phase 4 satellites and beyond.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is a need for balance.

Those who agree with me should look at Bob Bruninga's write-up on "Mode V".

The url is:


73 de K3XO

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