[amsat-bb] Re: [Fwd: S-band on Eagle]

Jim Sanford wb4gcs at amsat.org
Fri Sep 8 21:02:48 PDT 2006

Thanks for your interest.

Over the last year or so, we've had several numbers thrown around about 
cost of the ground station.  It's way too early for me to be comfortable 
with any of them.

Here's how Jim Sanford looks at it:
I spent nearly $500 for my first APRS-included handheld.  I spent nearly 
$600 for my first mobile APRS-included rig.  A year later I spend nearly 
as much on a mobile for the wife's car.

Were I not involved in Eagle, and presented with the opportunity to 
purchase or build this digital voice ground segment for similar costs, 
I'd do it in a heartbeat -- and I am NOT an "early adopter" that 
industry loves so dearly.

The Eagle team is very well aware of the "they built it, how do I use 
it?" syndrome.  That's why we're looking at the whole system.  We're 
avere aware of  the need to keep costs low.  I can not yet project what 
the costs will be, but I have  a sense that the above numbers will be 
acceptable to many.  If we get there I'm happy, but will press to do all 
we can to lower it.  Remember, we're building 3 space segments, and 
hopefully thousands of gorund elements.  If the cost comes in higher 
than that, I'll be pushing hard for redesign or other options, to drive 
cost down. 

In my reading of the industry, and in my day job, I see where technology 
is headed.  This gives me confidence in predicting that we'll deliver at 
a cost that many hams have already accepted for new equipment of lesser 
capability.  It will not be a $19.95 widget.  But it won't be a $5999.95 
CIA device, either.

It is too early to lay out projections.  At this point all I can say is 
what I think, listed above, and Jim Sanford's promise to do everything 
possible to make it affordable to the average ham.  If it isn't, I won't 
have anyone to talk to.  I geet it.

Thank you for your support and interest.

wb4gcs at amsat.org

Michael Tondee wrote:

> Jim Sanford wrote
>> You will not be left on your own to develop ground equipment.  You 
>> will not be asked to mortgage your house; affordability by the masses 
>> is a key component of the design for the entire system.
> At this point in time, is there anyway you can elaborate on the above 
> statement? We may well not have to mortgage our homes but  
> 'affordability" is a somewhat relative term. What AMSAT considers 
> affordable and what  I consider affordable may be two completely 
> different things. Are we too early in the design process for you to 
> reveal what you have in mind along the lines of ground station 
> equipment?  Possibly some type of surplus downconverter again? etc. etc.
> Thank you for your hard work on the project,
> Michael, W4HIJ
> AMSAT #  36017

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