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Re: Moon-based amateur radio transponder

Dear Dan,

Thanks a lot for a most clear explanation of the terms of the problem.

In my mind, there is no question about who we are (as AMSAT, and, in a broader
sense, as radio amateurs with an interest in space communications). I am
a ham  because I enjoy talking to other people, and the fact that my signal
travels some 120,000 km in order to do so and that I have to solve a few
more technical problems than just hanging a wire from a tree makes the whole
thing more intriguing.

I fully take your point about the 16 dB gap with respect to AO40. On the
other hand, I must say that the idea of a moon-based transponder had crossed
my mind a few times before by seeing how - relatively - popular EME has become
among the 144 and 432 communities. There are now at least a couple hundreds
of EME capable stations around the world (excluding those who enjoy the odd
qso with W5UN...). From what I read and hear, EME qso's between stations
equipped with two long yagis at both ends have become commonplace. 

My question is - what would happen (in terms of popularity) if we added 20
or 30 dB to the EME equation by using a transponder and gain antennas on
the moon? 

Finally, I see what you say about disseminating ham radio among the amateur
astronomers - somewhat disappointing. In fact, when I was thinking of broadening
the base for amateur radio I was thinking of the younger public, who - in
times of internet and cellular phones - may be more attracted by the idea
of reaching out to the moon with a radio signal than talking to the guy across
town on a FM repeater. It may well be that I am just dreaming...

Anyway, thanks again for the clarifications. I'll go an check the older posts
on the subject.

73, Piero HB9DSU

*** Music, ham radio and more - www.qsl.net/hb9dsu ***
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