[amsat-bb] Re: Why do hamsats?

Jonathan Guthrie ka8kpn at brokersys.com
Fri Oct 16 11:55:33 PDT 2009

On Fri, 2009-10-16 at 17:57 +0000, Nigel Gunn G8IFF/W8IFF wrote:
> According to my license, the primary reason for it's issuance is education.
> Below are the first three sentences of BR68.

> Conditions of use

> Purpose

> 1(1) The Licensee shall use the Station for the purpose of self-training in communication by radio telecommunications, 
> which use (without limiting the generality of the foregoing) includes technical investigations.

That appears to be about you training yourself to use your radios, not
about the more general capacity for which amateur radio can be used to
further the education of third parties.  Which leads one to a question:
How does a satellite that you cannot hear provide you an opportunity to
self-train in communication by radio telecommunications?

There is a similar section in part 97 of the FCC rules that form the
"basis and purpose" of amateur radio.  However, I point out that those
are words used by the government to justify allocating precious spectrum
to ham radio, but they are not what radio amateurs use to justify their
commitment of time and treasure to their hobby.

The fact is that while radio amateurs tend to self-educate to gain those
skills necessary to actually, you know, communicate, and those skills
are beneficial in a wide variety of circumstances, it is also true that
that education is beside the point.  We talk on our radios because we
gain enjoyment from the process of communicating with each other, and we
challenge ourselves to gain more and more skills to accomplish things
that are more and more difficult.

Now, I hope that amateur radio can be used to educate the greater
population to the fullest extent that it can, but without the radio
payload "suitsat1" was just an old space suit that someone chucked out
an airlock.  The whole point of the exercise was that communications
facility, and saying that the suitsat1 wasn't a success because that
part of the satellite did not work as well as hoped is not in any way an
unreasonable thing to do no matter what other benefits might have been


More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list