[amsat-bb] Re: -={Echo Madness}=-

Zachary Beougher zack.kd8ksn at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 29 10:37:09 PDT 2011

Hello Kevin and group,

>Back to the point, please let me know if you think I
>need any correcting, I would rather help not hinder.
>I really enjoy this HOBBY, but I dont know if there is
>a solution...

At this stage in the game, there really is no solution per say.  When there 
is 30-40
guys on ONE frequency trying to make QSOs, what else can we expect?  Yes,
there are some rude practices going on, but is that any different than what
happens when we get in our car and jump on the freeway
at rush hour?  Or how about the grocery store?  All you can do is to 1) make
sure you are not part of the issue, 2) adapt to the situation, even if it
means not making any QSOs and just listening, and 3) run full duplex if
you can.  I understand that there are some that might not be able to afford
a second
radio, and I am by no means slamming you for that.  I would, however, put a
second HT/full duplex rig on your list for future purchases.  You will be 
amazed at the difference it makes - trust me!  I thought full duplex sounded 
dumb until I tried it, now I don't know if I could do a pass without it.

Most of all, don't complain about that situation (not that you were, Kevin).
What happens on the road when you "complain" to the other driver about
cutting you off?  It usually ends up in something pretty ugly.  No different
here - it just fuels the fire.  If you don't like it, do what you can to
work around the situation and keep your expectations low, and if you really
hate it, don't get on.  Not all passes are bad - I was on a great afternoon
pass of AO27 yesterday that covered all of the US, and it was great!  We are
talking of 1-2 crazy passes in the evening, and then the weekends
obviously - not all passes.  And I am referring to the FM sats - the SSB/CW
birds are wide open.

Regarding discussion of switching the uplinks randomly, and
only notifying a select group...  While this may be the easy way out of the
issue (until everyone catches on), it definitely does not correspond with
what Ham radio has at its roots - hams helping and mentoring other hams.  I
can only imagine how I would feel if I found out that us new hams were being
shut out so the regulars could carry on a QSO without interference.  The new
guys and new guys to come have as much right to transmit as anyone else that
uses them.  Just keep in mind that pretty much everyone here that reads this
was a newbie at one time, made their first QSO, stepped on someone for the
first time and probably frustrated someone for the first time.

There has been much discussion about the issue of operator rudeness/busy
passes on the QRZ forums, here at the BB, and even during busy satellite
passes comments have been made, but I am not seeing a big difference in
operating practices - things are still crazy at certain times.  As Clint
stated, this does seem to be blown out of proportion a bit.  Look at it
mathematically:  On a typical weekend AO51 pass there can be as many as 30
stations x 2 QSOs each (not many) = 60 QSOs during a 12 minute pass. That is
5 QSOs/minute - 1 QSO every *12* seconds.  These are rough estimates, but
when you think about all these stations on ONE frequency, it should not
surprise anyone that is gets crazy.

Just try to enjoy it for what it is - it is a really neat and challenging
aspect of the hobby.  If we have to put up with a bit of craziness on 
certain passes, I hate to say it, but that is just part of this aspect of 
the hobby.  Again, we are talking about one satellite (mainly AO51) on a 
select few passes.  This is not an issue spread across the board.  There are 
still many quiet birds and passes, just take the time to find which ones 
work best for you.



-----Original Message----- 
From: Kevin Deane
Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:26 AM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: [amsat-bb] -={Echo Madness}=-

I was hoping to get some feedback from you guys. I have only been operating
for a short time and had some hicup's along the way. I found some recordings
of when I first started...There were some I could not hear the bird, and the
very first ones were pretty funny. I got some schooling on my form pretty
quick from you guy's. I wish I would have listened to passes before I
started, at the time I did not know they existed...

I saw a post about making one contact per pass, well I am guilty. However, I
have been listening to my passes and I dont think I am too intrusive, and I
get stepped on all the time. My brother say's that I am terribly addicted
when I was upset when I could not get in on the maddness when they changed
the uplink, pretty funny really. I was all checkin the equipment from top to

Anyway, I try to call the new guys, because I remember how excited I was,
hearing someone calling me. I still enjoy it, wether it be on VHF/UHF or HF.
Is not that the reason we do this is to have fun? Sure there are times I get
frustrated, cant get in or what not. Maybe that is what this is all about.
Should I just not jump in there and free up the bird that much more, I
suppose so.

There are plenty of times when the 51 is not all jammed up, maybe the people
who are all upset about the Echo Madness should just get up early, I can
hear the east coast pass in the morning, not bad at all as far as traffic
goes. There are lot's of times I am talking to myself on all the FM Birds.

In the future, on the weekends when it is REALLY busy, are you guys saying I
should just step aside and not operate because it is too busy? Get Real,
there is always gonna be pile up's on the weekends. That is why these BIG
GUNS are big guns, because they want to be heard. You can not tell me they
are not running all kinds of power equipment and what have you.

That sucks for us little guys, but oh well I am not crying, thats just the
way it is and always will be.

Back to the point, please let me know if you think I need any correcting, I
would rather help not hinder. I really enjoy this HOBBY, but I dont know if
there is a solution...

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