[amsat-bb] Re: Field Day AO-51 configuration - another option

Andrew Glasbrenner glasbrenner at mindspring.com
Wed May 5 04:19:13 PDT 2010

> It is interesting that an organization like AMSAT, one that is trying
> to increase membership and raise funds for a new satellite, would
> try to limit the usefulness of its prime satellite to a few dozen
> stations (number based on WA4SCA's message from earlier today
> regarding L/U activity during Field Day last year) during the busiest
> on-air activity for hams across North America.  Yes, V/U may
> be chaotic, no matter if the uplink mode is FM or SSB for Field Day.
> Work 20m SSB during Field Day, and that is also chaotic.  We don't
> try to have ARRL rule out using SSB or CW on 20m during that
> weekend.  Even V/U FM on AO-51 is a "good mode when everyone
> behaves",  ;-)
No one is trying to limit the the usefulness. Exactly the opposite, the 
idea is to pick the mode that is the MOST useful. It's a quantity versus 
quality problem. On a typical V/U FM Field Day pass, very few contacts 
actually get made, and most of the pass (at least on the east coast) is 
nothing but a fragmented dogpile of pieces of calls, whistles, blowing 
in the mike, etc. Some people enjoy that, others walk away in disgust, 
and think "why would I want to be part of that mess".

It's my contention that we pick a mode on AO-51 that provides a more 
challenging goal for the technically inclined portion of the hobby, 
encourages clubs to actively seek help from their local AMSAT types, and 
provides a more civilized environment on just one of the eight LEOs 
likely to be active that weekend. Think of it as showcasing what amateur 
satellites can be like on days other than Field Day. By limiting the 
accessibility, we improve the quality of the experience for those 
actively participating, and just listening. Again, AO-51 is one of many 
satellites. If it were just AO-51, we wouldn't even be having this 

One option that hasn't been floated is trying a mode switch on the early 
AM Sunday pass. We could go from L/U to V/U very easily. If we do this, 
I'd like to work with Bruce and actually count the number of QSOs 
reported per mode.

73, Drew KO4MA

73, Drew KO4MA

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