[amsat-bb] AO-16 Insight ?
jah at ec.rr.com
Thu Jan 24 06:14:16 PST 2008
With the re-birth of A0-16, it is really wonderful to see the reaction of
all the folks who have worked the bird. Even with the odd configuration,
fading signals and tuning problems ,every message posted has reflected an
air of excitement and a sense of accomplishment.
Maybe, there are some things AMSAT leadership and us members can garner from
- LEOS aren't all bad
- Simple frequency plans are good
- No specialized amateur equipment is needed for a sat contact
- Push/advertise the use of your existing gear to a prospective
With all the talk and plans going on right now relative to new sats with
1.2g/2.4g and sophisticated modes ( I understand the technical advantages
from the satellite point of view) that require expensive equipment and
antenna setups, maybe what we need to excite the membership ( and attract
new members) is to re-think where we should be heading.
I am not suggesting HEO/GEO's are not needed because I want to work all
states myself and would love a larger footprint.
The major issue at hand is attracting ,building and retaining a membership
base that will allow us to financially move forward with such products. We
can't do that by requiring high dollar outlays by prospective members for
new gear and antenna setups. That said, there is an argument for HEO/GEO's
on that ground in that you don't need a lot more gear, etc. but you do need
down converters and uplink transmitters for the higher freqs not normally
found in the 2/70 rigs the majority of hams have in the shacks.
The need for increasing the membership base is critical, not only in AMSAT,
but in ham radio as a whole. We will not survive if ham radio in a broader
sense does not do well. We are but a small percentage of that decreasing
total. Ever wonder why Yaesu dropped the FT-847 and Icom hasn't built a
IC910H Pro version?
Maybe our number one priority, instead of human space missions and building
facilities at a college, should be growing our membership base with a keep
it simple approach in the near future.
Certainly, my view is limited as compared to AMSAT leadership. They have a
much broader and deeper view of the situation, but as an Area Coordinator
who goes to ham fests and schools in our area, what I always hear is " the
high cost of satellite setups". Once you get beyond the hand held they are
correct, particularly if we move away from technology present in most ham
I just re-read the Mission Statement on the AMSAT website and could not find
much about new members. I did find a lot about human space flight,
educational programs, HEO's and yes LEO's.
If the stated objectives and mission statement reflects our members wants
and desires, I must assume I am not in tune with the average AMSAT member
when I read these statements and scratch my head and wonder if this reflects
the correct direction. It all sounds very good, technically intriguing, and
challenging but it also sounds expensive.
Please understand this is not a condemnation of our officers and please do
not let this start a thread like we had a month a so ago, but if you chose
to reply be thoughtful and purposeful in your comments. I am willing to
John Henderson N4NAB
Area Coordinator- Eastern NC
212 Bayside Drive
Cape Carteret, NC 28584
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