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ECHO's for Africa (and Hawaii) etc

> ..in deepest... Africa! The LEO sats are an utter dead loss for us
> ...Our only outlet is the "serious" satellites. ... ... hopefully
> AMSAT-NA will get this mickey mouse ECHO out of the way soon so they can
> concentrate on a real satellite!

Ah, a half glass.  Is it nearly empty or nearly full?

One way to look at the total lack of users on the LEO's on the African
continent is to look at it as an opportunity.  Yes, the obvious solution
is waiting for someone else to put up an ideal HEO satellite.  That is one

But someone with a little ingenuity could use their creative energies to
connect a LEO satellite rig in South Africa to the internet (ECHOlink or
IRLP?) and then, via the LEO's, anyone on the continent would have someone
to talk to.  All you would need are a few of these internet gateways.

No, it isnt the same thing at all, but it is something that -could-be-
done as an interim thing, using local resources without waiting for your
ideal satellite... and anyone in Africa with an FM mobile rig could play..

We cannot do things like that in Europe and USA or just about anywhere
else because of extreme loading making such a concept useless.  But
placing ECHOlinks (or IRLP) ground stations in South Africa, Antarctica,
Hawaii, and other remote areas would be a very practical extension of the
utility of the LEO's to global communications via Amateur Satellites.

I would imagine that not everyone in Africa is within range of the few
linked repeater systems and would relish the availablity of FM voice
connectivity from the wilderness a few times a day.  The LEO's over such
areas are just HIGH repeaters with coverages of over 3 million square

Yes, HEO satellites are ideal, but this is just a thought of what
can be done in the mean time..  In fact, linking "ECHO" to ECHOlinks kinda
makes sense (but ONLY in areas that are 1000 miles away from any other HAM
population density...) <wink>

Just a thought.

de WB4APR, Bob

P.S.  If you are still reading, LEO's like SUNSAT, ISS, PCsat, fly over
Africa several times a day and give live worldwide connectivity to anyone
anywhere within 1000 miles of South Africa to be able to use packet to
communicate with any Ham anywhere else on the planet via APRS (Live).
This is becasue there is a full time APRS sategate in South Africa that
links every packet heard in to the global APRS internet system so that it
can pop out anywhere else on the planet.

This ECHO idea is simply extending this global connectivity to VOICE the
same as we have been doing with packet for the last several years...


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