[amsat-bb] Re: The future of AMSAT is NOW . . .

Tim Goodrich tim at timgoodrich.net
Sat Feb 7 19:53:12 PST 2009

I couldn't have said it better myself!


-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Sieg WB5RMG [mailto:wb5rmg at somenet.net] 
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 2:01 PM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] The future of AMSAT is NOW . . .

Topic Was :HEO naivete

Michael said:
> I usually tend to keep quiet during arguements such as this . . .

But - this is not an argument .?.  Hardly even a debate on specific points.

What is happening here is genuine concern for our future, and well founded.
Not only is AMSAT and ham radio facing uncertain times, the entire fabric
of modern culture seems wobbling around like it may ALL come tumbling down.
Stimulus, bailouts, layoffs, foreclosures - everything is connected to most
everything else - always has been, always will be.    So much of all this
churn has been brewing for years, but no one really wanted to acknowlege,
or take the gumption to creatively start solving the problems.

Now we have to. None of us are ready to just lay down and say "I quit".

But - the bright side is that humanity solves its' toughest problems when
times get hardest. That can work to our advantage, not only for AMSAT,
but for everything else that is connected to all this 'other stuff'.

The early hamsats got built and launched because a handful of hams had
a blistering passion, and didn't stop until they had accomplished what
had been previously un-done. At the time I think a popular 2m rig was
the ol 'Benton Harbor LunchBox'.    The biggest thing I see missing today
is this 'blistering passion' - not just in AMSAT, not just ham radio, but
most everything that the masses do. The general public has been so numbed
by 500 channels of nothing on TV, fast food on every corner, convenience
in every WalMard - no one gets excited about 'stuff' anymore. It is easy
(for me at least) to spot those who have some passion. They get stuff done,
they promote worthwhile things, they teach and encourage others, etc, etc...

I recognize many many folks on AMSAT-BB that exhibit passion - Great !!!

I've always felt that the AMSAT community is one of the most passionate
groups I've ever worked with. Unfortunately, victims of our own success,
we now find a lot of folks who have gotten on the satellite bandwagon
because it IS fun, and it HAS ignited some long lost passion - but not
enough of these folks recognize the need to support the effort, not only
with money - but with volunteer talent and recruitment. I really like Tim's
challenge to rapidly ramp-up our membership. Talk it up ! Get em joined-up !
This IS actually rocket-science, and is hardly an arm-chair sport yet.
This IS still a bleeding-edge of technology, and we need a few more folks
willing to take an arrow or two 'for the team' ...

Not that we should have to pay-as-you-go, but I'd suspect that each of us
knows at least one satellite operator that has never paid a red cent, or
contributed anything towards this incredibly fascinating, outrageously
expensive, blatently addicting passion of operating with satellites.
(Well, unless you include the purchase price of some personal radio gear.)
In years past I shelled out plenty of cash, and had sweat equity in big
antenna arrays, and I do miss them. But I'm looking forward to learning
more about S-band, and X-band, and beyond if necessary - by building some
Tx/Rx converters to front-end existing equipment. Just like long ago
when I learned so much by building some Tx/Rx converters to work 2m with
my FT-101... the future is coming - again - still . . .
And these tiny antennas are so much easier to build and aim - wow.

As usual, I had not intended to go off on such a rant, but sometimes my
passion boils over, and quite often it becomes infectious, and someone
else picks up on that passion, and passes it on.    We need more collective
passion - as THAT is what drives these discussions, fleshes out
gets through the chaff and cuts into the kernel. By participating in these
discussions, WE are helping drive the future of AMSAT, and in the same
sense - ALL of ham radio.   Who knows - maybe the future of all humanity !

   73 for now, and Thanks for listening  ...   /;^)
  <- Licensed in 1976, WB5RMG = Alan Sieg * AMSAT#20554 ->
  <- http://www.somenet.net * http://wb5rmg.somenet.net ->
  <- http://www.linkedin.com/in/alansieg * My 'Day Job' ->

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