[amsat-bb] Re: K5D an embarrassment

Edward Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Mon Feb 23 23:07:23 PST 2009

Just a comment about comparing HF DX pile ups with Leo satellite operation:
Quite a few SSB or CW signals can coexist on nearly the same 
frequency.  FM the strongest signal wins and the rest are buried.  If 
two or more FM stations transmit simultaneously at nearly the same 
intensity, the result is garbled noise.

HF DX pile ups can spread out in frequency or work spit 
frequency.  On a single FM channel, off freq operation results in 
poor distorted audio with no info being passed.  The solution to a 
single simplex FM operation is some sense of cooperation.

So the similarity between HF and satellite are not a very good 
comparison.  The existence of huge noise and not much effective 
communications is probably the only thing in common.  I haven't been 
QRV on satellites since the demise of AO-40, except a couple times on 
UO-14 and copying AO-51 telemetry.

I am lucky that over the pole the satellite is pretty quiet since its 
footprint does not include the lower-48 for a good part of a pass.
But then I do not chase DX on HF much, either!

Just my two cents!
73, Ed - KL7UW
celebrated 50-years as a ham Nov. 11, 2008
Involved with Amsat since AO-6

PS:  having just gotten a Triband antenna up on a tower last 
November, kind of enjoying working some 20m!

At 05:25 PM 2/23/2009, Angelo Glorioso \(n5uxt\) wrote:

>  Hello Jim! I have to agree with you and disagree with you. It never seizes
>to amaze me how we use the lens of how it was in the old days all so often.
>have been around amateur radio all my life. Dad is a ham,. mother is a ham,
>brother is a ham, my yl is a ham. By no means does this mean I am an expert,
>but feel that the culture is what makes the difference.
>  Before the use of split RX and TX, what is being experience on AO-51 was
>considered the norm when it came to rare dx on HF.  If you listen longer
>enough on HF , you will witness it yourself even today. On 80 meters for
>  Over the years experience dxers realized the need for control of the pile
>up. Many different means were used to control this poor operating practices
>stations calling over each other
>over the years. Dx control person, calling cq by the numbers, zones, and
>even times were given
>out at one time. All which accomplished  somewhat of a solution to the
>   I have to admire the fact that Amsat and member took the time to offer
>operation when it came to this expedition to the K5D team, but failed to
>realized that these
>operators really had no clue what they were about to experience on the air
>on a flying
>repeater, being the main focus of attention ( rare grid), be stuck to one
>frequency and with the task of making as many contact as possible in a 12
>minutes window.
>Also lets not forget the issue with the real low low audio adding to the
>  Dxing in itself is competitive in nature. Sometime the excitement of
>a rare station overcomes the come sense of good operating practices, even on
>HF as well.  By no means am I saying it is right, but this is where the
>experience operators
>come to play.  Many of us often forget what an experience portable satellite
>operator has to do
>during a pass. Now try and add a rate grid and a non-experience operator can
>lead to
>a formula for what we are experiencing today on AO-51.
>  I admire the K5D team for sticking it out and for KO4MA showing restraint
>for not turning off
>the repeater.
>  All in all, revisiting of this issue reminded me of fact that satellite
>operators should
>only make one out going call to give others an opportunity to use the bird.
>So, I want to thank you for
>helping me realign myself again and hope I add to good leadership for my
>fellow amateur  satellite
>  Jim, am sorry you have left this part of the hobby but hope that maybe some
>day you will return to help be a Elmer to some of the new satellite
>operators that need it.
>I heard a statement on AO-51 tonight from an operator I admire and look up
>to. In so many words he said, I would rather not put my 2 cents in and get
>at for his views. I hope that if I do get flames I can put then out in
>time.. HI HI
>  Remember, we all can learn and we need experience operators like yourself
>help grow the hobby in the right direction. People can change! :-)
>73 de Angelo N5UXT
>From: "Jim Danehy" <jdanehy at cinci.rr.com>
>Sent: Monday, February 23, 2009 2:04 PM
>To: <AMSAT-BB at amsat.org>
>Subject: [amsat-bb]  K5D an embarrassment
> > I no longer read the AMSAT bulletin board. I have intentionally not
> > operated the satellites for several months. I have some local friends who
> > still do read AMSAT BB and attempt to operate the satellites. They
> > forwarded to me W4AS and WD9EWK's emails concerning the (quite
> > predictable) debacle with K5D.
> >
> > My two local friends who continue to read AMSAT BB and operate AO 51 are
> > very disgusted with the operating on AO 51. It got to the point with me
> > that any attempts to show leadership by example or the written word
> > received a substantial amount of push back. So I put my ham radio
> > operating in a different mode.
> >
> > I have been a licensed amateur since October 1952 and I have worked every
> > DX entity except North Korea. My total on the ARRL  DXCC Honor Roll is 364
> > entities. I only cite my background in order to show some sense of
> > credibility and knowledge. I worked the satellites back in circa 1974 (
> > Oscar 6 ) when it took some technical savvy to adjust for the Doppler
> > effect. It was fun and working some DX was a thrill that still lingers.
> >
> > Upon my recent retirement I decided to equip my station with a satellite
> > setup. I have a substantial amount of money invested ( $3500 ) in antennas
> > and transceiver. I can work just about anything that I can hear. Since
> > August 2008 until December I made more than 800 QSOs in 200 grids and 15
> > countries. I met a lot of fine people who gave me good advice.
> >
> > Unfortunately the operation of AO 51 is a large embarrassment. I have
> > never in 56 years of operating ever seen demonstrated such poor operating
> > procedures. I am not writing this note to trash AMSAT. I could continue to
> > operate, experiment and enjoy HF and VHF radio and ignore the Satellite
> > operation. However, I have always thought when you see something that is
> > terribly wrong you have an obligation for the ( Ham  and AMSAT ) community
> > to speak out. That is the spirit in which I write.
> >
> > Operating an FM repeater on a satellite is asking for trouble. To attempt
> > to work DX on an FM repeater is a guarantee for trouble. Some operators
> > have very little operating experience of any kind. They take the lead of
> > others they hear operating. I read the AMSAT Journal in a matter of
> > minutes and never look at it again. The articles remind me of an IEEE
> > Journal. Most ( not all ) of the authors are not currently active on the
> > satellites based upon my constant use of the birds for four months. Very
> > little is written  about how to operate. There is a need for such
> > articles. Sebastian, W4AS is correct in stating that there are a
> > substantial number of users who never read or are even aware of the AMSAT
> > BB. Fewer yet are AMSAT members who get the Journal.
> >
> > If you think that AO 51 represents the normal operating ability of the
> > average ham  you are dreaming. AO 51 represents the VERY  WORST  operating
> > I have every witnessed. It is an embarrassment. I could list dozens of
> > examples but that would be a waste of time.
> >
> > AO 51 is not the only satellite. I had to give up on AO 7 because of a K3
> > station who continues to use high power and trashes the transponder for
> > others who would like to use it. I have had numerous people write me about
> > that station. You can copy him in 5 or 6 spots when he transmits. That is
> > an embarrassment too. Yet nobody speaks out. It reminds me of the fable
> > about the Emperor and his new clothes.
> >
> > I have heard some licensed operators turn the microphone over to their kid
> > who then CQs after CQs. . . .I list that of the many infractions because
> > it is easy to cure. Tell the operator to take the microphone back.
> >
> > The satellites with transponders go relatively unused. Why ? If you do not
> > know the answer then you do not understand the question.
> >
> > To those that continue to use and hopefully enjoy AO 51 jump in and speak
> > out when you see somebody doing something that is not helpful to the
> > satellite community. I think Sebastian did. I know that Patrick also has
> > his heart in the right place.
> >
> > I recently travelled to the Turks & Caicos Islands for a vacation and some
> > radio operating. I got to use a rare prefix  VQ5 rather than VP5. A couple
> > of my local friends asked if I was going to operate the satellites. I just
> > looked at them and smiled. They did too. I worked HF and it was enjoyable.
> >
> > 73  Jim W9VNE
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
>Sent via AMSAT-BB at amsat.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
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