[amsat-bb] Re: Keep It Simple Silly
bob at evoria.net
Sun Sep 30 14:27:12 PDT 2007
Can I offer my viewpoint as a newcomer and a relative outsider?
>From my POV, AO-7 is the most successful amateur satellite
ever made. It's the energizer bunny of satellites, it has a large
footprint, and a long hang-time. To top it off, it's easy to access
for someone with few financial and technical resources.
I've seen a few comments about AO-40, but where is it? Again,
from my POV, it's a proof of concept that needs to be followed
up with a working model.
It's very nice that there is a satellite going to mars. But, will I
ever get any benefit from it, other than an warm fuzzy feeling that
some engineers with access to mega-equipment and big money to
pursue their hobby also happen to be hams? Not likely.
As far as digital stuff goes, well, yawn. I find it totally disinteresting,
but I'm happy that it's there for the people who enjoy it. When
digital communications gets to the reliability level of analog, then
someone please wake me. I don't mean to be insulting, but I just
don't see it happening because of the direction digital has taken.
When I was a programmer, we addressed something similar when
our customers wanted to go from UDP to TCP. We were just barely
able to convince them that UDP would serve their needs better.
It's all well and good that what you get is 100% what was sent,
but the bands are too crowded and the ether is too unpredictable
to make that 100% an actual 100%.
OTOH, I'd love to see Amsat put something on the moon, but I
don't think there's any free money available. If that $20 million
were within easy reach, someone else would already have plucked
it. But, I'd love to see a U/V transponder on the moon, because
I simply do not have the resources to put up an EME station, and
I probably never will.
To sum it up, I've spent most of my years in ham radio on HF. I
like the idea of being able to contact people in foreign countries. Two
of my most exciting contacts on satellite were with VO10R and our
own VE9QRP. Because of my QTH and finances, I'm not sure if I'll
ever be able to contact Hawaii or Alaska via satellite. Europe is
a dream that's probably way out reach. In any case, what
works for me are challenges that are just meetable with my resources.
IMHO, projects that are usable by an ever narrowing group of people
(microwaves, nanowaves, extremely weak signals, etc) are doomed to
an eventual failure of large-scale support.
Bob - AE6RV
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