[amsat-bb] Re: a little perspective

Dale Hershberger daleh at alaska.net
Thu Aug 4 19:32:47 PDT 2011

On 8/4/2011 6:13 PM, Phil Karn wrote:
> On 8/3/11 8:21 PM, Jim Jerzycke wrote:
>> At least AO-40 had a usable life for some. This thing is just another
>> squawk box in space, like all the "student" satellites that are using
>> the Amateur Radio frequencies for a free downlink.
> Jim,
> With the successful transponder tests it would seem that you spoke too
> soon. Besides, I really like lemonade.
> As far as I'm concerned, educational satellites carrying student
> scientific experiments are a perfectly legitimate use of the amateur
> spectrum as long as licensed amateurs are centrally involved and the
> experimental data is in the clear and publicly documented.
> I certainly have no objection to two-way transponders for open ham use.
> I'm as delighted as anyone that the ARISSat-1 transponder seems to be
> working well despite its damaged 70cm antenna.
> But AMSAT has been flying linear transponders for over 40 years now, and
> you have to admit they're pretty old hat. When I became a ham in 1971,
> just hearing a satellite direct from space was pretty interesting.
> Actually talking through one was totally beyond cool. You just can't
> expect today's kids to feel that way when they already use the Internet,
> mobile phones, GPS, Sirius/XM and DirecTV every day.
> Ham radio can't possibly survive as a mere communications medium. We
> must emphasize all its other uses, some of which are still unique.
> At the top of that list is *EDUCATION*. Ham radio remains the only way
> for ordinary individuals to learn radio technology hands-on. If you just
> want to talk to people, mobile phones are great. But just try taking one
> apart to see how it works!
> Ordinary individuals can also advance radio technology through ham
> radio. And they can use it for other technical and scientific
> investigations. Although mobile phones and the Internet now provide
> inexpensive, near-ubiquitous communications between any two points on
> earth, they still don't go everywhere. Like near outer space, which ham
> radio reaches easily.
> So using a ham satellite just to link points on the earth that could
> communicate much more easily over the Internet doesn't interest me as
> much as using ham radio to communicate with the satellite itself. And
> satellites have much to "talk" about: camera images, information about
> the satellite itself (i.e., telemetry), scientific data from experiments
> and human-human communications from any astronauts or cosmonauts on
> board. Instead of trying to compete with the Internet, it can complement
> our radio links (e.g., KA2UPW's telemetry repository). This is
> especially handy for satellites in low orbits with short passes over any
> one location.
> Amateur satellites can be so much more than simple transponders; in
> fact, they'll have to be. And I think that's a good trend.
> --Phil
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Well put Phil!  I concur !!


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