[amsat-bb] Re: What a shame!

Sean Cavanaugh seanc at unixgeeks.ca
Sat Feb 21 15:03:14 PST 2009

Sebastian wrote:
> While I certainly agree with the intent of the QRP transponder on  
> AO-51; you might want to consider the possibility that the station  
> calling CQ may not be aware of it.  Not all the hams who work, or  
> attempt to work the satellites are active on this reflector, or even  
> read up on how to properly work a satellite.
> I always try to send an email to the person who can't hear anything,  
> and 9 times out of 10 I receive an email back thanking me for letting  
> them know they were heard, and asking me why they can't seem to hear  
> anything.  It then translates into a bit of Elmering to get them to  
> put up either better antennas or just send them towards some of the  
> articles on the Amsat web page.
> A number of those hams are now active 'new' hams on the birds.  If you  
> have his call, why not send them a nice email, saying they were heard,  
> and it's not proper etiquette to call CQ on an FM satellite  
> continuously; and point them to this reflector or the AMSAT web.
> Recently on this reflector there have been several posts about the  
> over abundance of activity, abuse and interference on AO-51; even one  
> that surprised the heck out of me from one of the AMSAT officers.   
> Seems to me that we might need another LEO or 2 to tied us over since  
> the loss of AO-27 and AO-16.   While it seems that most of the posts  
> on here eventually go on a tangent towards the lack of a HEO, the use  
> of the LEOS are exponentially going up.  Just my .02 worth.
> 73 de W4AS
> Sebastian

[resend, forgot to cc list]

Hi Sebastian,

Thanks for helping out with getting new people on the sats. I've only
recently started working the FM LEO sats myself and have been enjoying
it quite a lot. I tend to agree that a lot of the "bad" operating I've
been hearing on the recent passes can be attributed to lack of knowledge
on how to operate satellites.

It seems that in the last couple of weeks the contention for AO-51 has
gotten extremely high compared to what it was even earlier this month.
Perhaps the K5D expedition has sparked interest in a few more new people
to try using satellites, and this is a good thing IMO.  I hope that more
people take your example and try to help out the new people. The
majority of hams don't want to be LIDS, they just need guidance.

As for the HEO vs. LEO issue, I think that more LEO sats would be useful
as well. I've never used a HEO, and while I would love to be able to, I
also think that we should put our resources into things that will give
the greatest return. LEO sats are cheaper and easier to get into orbit
than HEO, no question. LEOs are also much more usable by those getting
started, or in areas where there are restrictions on antenna arrays
(both apply to me at the moment). I have been able to use AO-51 and
SO-50 with a vertical for the uplink and a small PVC pipe and copper
wire beam for the downlink. I don't think that setup would be very good
for HEOs.

I am not suggesting that the amateur satellite community should ignore
HEO opportunities, but rather than LEOs seem to be a better use of
resources at the moment, given the current state of things.

Anyways, enough ranting. I'm off to work on getting things set up so I
can start using my newly aquired FT-847 on the linear transponder birds.

Sean - VA5LF

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