[amsat-bb] Re: Radio amateur calling protocol

James Whitfield n5gui at cox.net
Wed Feb 27 13:01:09 PST 2008

I respect the opinions each of you have voiced.  With some, I disagree.

It seems to me that the problem is not that there are too many FM satellites, or perhaps as some have suggested that they exist at all, but rather there are not enough FM satellites, and the ones that exist have too few channels.

The situation is similar to terrestrial repeaters: 

When too many users try to access the limited resource, more repeaters get built.  

When you run out of bandwidth, new repeaters get built on other bands.  Usually accompanied by lots of grumbling about the cost of additional equipment, but it shifts the load from over-used spectrum to under-used spectrum.  Newcomers adapt, frequently in spite of insults and other forms of "un-welcome".  If a system does not attract enough newcomers activity will eventually die off, which is fortunate.

When bad operating practice and bad manners get mixed with heavy use, the control elements slap access limiters on the systems, knowing that if they don't, regulating agencies will shut them down completely.

If someone doesn't like the way a system is operated, he or she is entitled to form another group of like minded people to establish and run another system as they see fit within the same regulatory, financial, and technical environment.  Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don't.

As far as I am personally concerned, I don't operate satellite.  But given the opportunity to help a someone or some group put on a satellite demonstration to a Scout activity or a school, I would do so.  I have the professional background to know how aerospace vehicles are made; I understand some of the physics of launch vehicles, orbital mechanics, and attitude control systems; and I have an archaic romantic notion that it is possible to have fun while you are learning something important.

This thread would take a lot of editing before I could use it to encourage youth.


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