[amsat-bb] Re: K5D Lessons

Sebastian w4as at bellsouth.net
Mon Feb 23 10:10:35 PST 2009

Patrick, I too am dismayed by the satellite K5D issue.  Being probably  
the most active satellite operator in the southernmost part of the US,  
there are many times the bird rises from the south, and I get a chance  
to chat with my friends in Spanish from Central, South America and  
Mexico.  More than once I have asked them to listen for K5D instead of  
just calling them endlessly.  During one pass, it seems that each  
station down south took their turn calling them one right after  
another, which means that even if they were on that pass, it would  
have been impossible to hear them coming back to anyone.  They did  
listen to me, for a while, but as the bird went further north to the  
states, many of the US stations did the same.

A few days ago, the entire scenario was played out except this time  
K5D was actually on the bird, and their operator repeated several  
calls he heard back in sequence (my call included), while offering no  
explanation of it's significance.  Naturally those stations who he  
recognized, started to call him, and I believe he was only able to  
complete 1 or 2 QSOs.  The rest of those stations have no idea if they  
are in the log or not.

I was finally able to work K5D yesterday.  The operators who wanted to  
work K5D were more orderly, and again I was blessed that the bird was  
rising from the south which means I had less competition.  However, I  
must say the satellite operation of K5D can't be compared to their HF  
operations.  Their audio on the satellite was extremely low, barely  
audible.  They were strong, yet the audio was really down.   
Unfortunately I had to ask for a repeat of my call because of that;  
and that may have prevented another ham from operating them. In  
addition, their web page is apparently setup to only display HF  
contacts, so we can't tell if we're in the log.

There are many lessons to be learned from this mess.  I quoted you  
below and I agree with them.  However there is one issue which you  
have left out:  not every ham who gets on the satellites reads this  
reflector, or goes on the Amsat web to read about what's going on the  

The reasons for this are simple.  Not everyone reads English so they  
don't monitor this reflector.  Some hams have axes to grind with Amsat  
and left this reflector a long time ago.  Some would rather operate  
than read these messages.  Some hams aren't computer savy enough to  
even install software (case in point, there is a small fix for Ham  
Radio Deluxe which needs to be unzipped to the installation directory;  
and many users aren't able to figure that out).  That doesn't make  
'us' more intelligent than others.  We simply need additional methods  
of getting the word out; and continue to get the word out; and to have  

However; pulling the plug on a problem, doesn't make the problem go  
away - in the long term.  It will simply create more axes to grind  
against Amsat.

73 de W4AS

On Feb 23, 2009, at 1:25 AM, Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:

> If AMSAT is going to make an effort to solicit equipment for use on
> DXpeditions like K5D, coach at least one of the DXpedition crew
> on how to use the gear, and then schedule AO-51 to be available
> for that purpose, there should not be any threats to shut down the
> repeater like the one KO4MA posted above.  Especially if whoever
> sent that e-mail to Drew says they are having fun.  Let it work like
> on any other band - if K5D is fed up with whatever has been happening
> on AO-51 while they are trying to work stations, they can go back to
> working other bands or doing other stuff.  Let them decide, and don't
> prematurely pull the plug on their satellite effort if they are  
> still trying
> to work stations on the birds.

> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK - back in Calexico, California, for tonight
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/

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