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Re: Amateur Satellites (definition?)

Hi, Bob!!

At 01:22 PM 02-02-02 -0500, Bob Bruninga wrote:
>The point I was trying to make was that just because an amateur satellite
>does not have a user transponder, does not then by definition make the
>satellite NON AMATEUR in the context of the ITU rules.  (see OSCAR 1).

Agree completely.

>As long as a licensed HAM, no matter how associated with the project,
>signs up to be responsible for the operation of the satellite within the
>rules of the ITU satellite service, then it is an amateur satellite no
>matter who builds it or who pays for it.

Disagree in part.  The issue boils down to who (and what) is a licensed ham.

By way of background, our amateur service is defined as:

         "A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training,
         intercommunication and technical investigations carried out
         by amateurs, that is, by duly authorised persons interested in
         radio technique solely with a personal aim and without
         pecuniary interest." [RR S1.56]

I think we all agree about most of this.  Where we tend to get stuck is on 
the meanings of the last two criteria: [1] personal aim and [2] without 
pecuniary interest.

Writers of this definition seem to have taken care that this service be 
limited to individuals functioning in their own interests.  I see no 
problem if an individual's interest coincide with those of a group, like a 
University or AMSAT, for that matter.  But, on what basis must the 
transmitter controlled?  So long as the individual retains control of the 
transmitters independently of the organization and the other basic 
requirements are met, the relationship seems workable.

So, now, what is pecuniary interest?  Most seem to agree that an amateur 
operator isn't allowed to receive compensation, either as money or in-kind, 
to operate a station.

What qualifies as compensation?  I'm not sure exactly.  Clearly, cash is 
out and a clear exchange of operating a transmitter in return for something 
of value, like a new radio, is out.

But, what happens when someone is pays for a program of study or is on 
scholarship or is paid by an employer to be a student?  Money and study are 
linked.  If this person then operates a transmitter to support part of the 
program of study, do any of these cases cross the line of pecuniary interest?

I think so.  But, one could make other arguments.  And, if you could, would 
that operation be in the long term best interests of amateur radio?

>Just because I put a commercially built, Profit motivated YeaComWOOD
>radio on the air each time I push my PTT button, does not make the radio
>and my operation NON AMATEUR and/or illegal.

Agree completely.  It's the OPERATION of the station that's important.

>If you want someone elses amateur satellite to do something else, then it
>will be more productive if you team up with what ever resources you can
>pull together, form a team and build your own...

Agree, within limits just mentioned.

>There is PLENTY of bandwidth in the amateur satellite service.  Why do we
>have to have such bloody fights over every HZ and new idea?

The worries are over the allocations.

Every one of us has seen wild bidding for licenses in the USA and other 
countries.  Domestically, some PCS licenses went in the billions of 
dollars.  Clearly, the frequency allocations we have are extraordinarily 
valuable public resources and folks with money have trying to gain access 
since the very beginning of radio.

With more money involved, pressure to reallocate our bands increases.  And, 
without our allocations, we have no amateur radio.

Seems like a good enough reason to be careful.

Should amateurs be seen as supporting non-amateur interests too closely, it 
could be argued at a WRC that we have so little need for our bands that we 
are operating our stations for those qualified in other services.  Then, if 
we don't need the bands anymore, they should be reallocated.

>Yes, I decry interlopers on any segment of the amateur spectum and will
>richeously and indignantly fight such interlopers... but I simply ask that
>we not trounce on everyone with an idea for an amateur satellite and so
>belligerantly demean their efforts that we loose resources that could be
>our alies...

Agree completely.

We have a delicate balancing act between what it takes to keep our 
frequency allocations versus what it takes to use them.

We should be looking for reasonable ways to make good things happen in our 
bands.  At the same time, we must be careful with those who say they would 
protect our interests from protecting us out of all we have.

What's the best way to strike a reasonable balance?  Well, that'll likely 
take someone smarter than I am to figure out.  But, clearly, we need to 
think about the long term consequences of different opportunities.

>Trust your fellow HAM to do the right thing..
>Or do it yourself and lead by example...

Feeling bruised?  No doubt.  Folks here could be more considerate and 
diplomatic and a lot less judgmental.

Nevertheless, Bob, please, keep on leading.  You do lots of good stuff, IMHO!!

73, art.....

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