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Re:Linear Trasnponders

William's points are well taken, linear transponders are not easy to make and
require actual RF design talent to produce. US universities do not teach Radio
Frequency design techniques, it is not considered "sexy" compared to computer
science and the internet. Student groups building satellites in the US take
the plastic shells off of commercial FM handitalkies, or they look for simple
one chip RF designs that they copy from the manufacturer's application notes,
using circuits that were intended for use in cheap cordless telephones and
baby monitors. 

The radio circuits are treated as "black boxes", they don't understand how
radios work or how to design one from scratch. Everything is directed at
adapting commercial off the shelf radios. Since there are no commercial off
the shelf linear transponders and no knowledge of how to build one from
scratch, there are no linear transponders on the current crop of LEO birds. 

Dan Schultz N8FGV  

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