[amsat-bb] Yin and Yang

Clint Bradford clintbradford at mac.com
Sun Sep 11 11:15:54 PDT 2011

I stayed up all night Friday preparing printouts and stuff for the ARRL SW Division Convention. Left the house at 6:30am - to get there for our first of five sat passes at 7:47am. Worked five passes in front of folks. Performed my sat show for 90 minutes in front of a standing-room-only group of eighty-two. It was a non-stop flurry of activity. Had a GREAT time. Voice gone ... "convention legs" (you know, those muscles behind your shins get really sore - muscles that you usually never know are there ... (grin)).

Got home about 10pm. Checked email. Six messages from show attendees, thanking me for everything. I quickly scanned the AMSAT-BB, QRZ.com, and eHam.net - and found a reply to a message I had written in a thread last week that really set me off. Someone mentioned that ARISSat-1 was "crippled" and of no use ... I replied by listing its intended modes, and the fact that all is working pretty darned as expected. We've even taxed a battery that was only rated at 5 discharge-charge cycles ... "But it is all working," I wrote.

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Not really...it has become a piece of space junk very quickly. Deploying without the correct antenna and a crappy battery is an example of where our space program has gone. A sat that is in faliure mode only days after deployment. Donate more to AMSAT, we might get another piece or two of space junk in orbit before the ISS falls out of orbit. 

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Well, I THOUGHT I was going to bed quickly. No way was I going to let that go unanswered overnight:

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>> ... it has become a piece of space junk very quickly ...

I'll tell that to the 45 folks who witnessed/heard it this afternoon at the ARRL SW Division Convention in Torrance, CA. They will be so glad to be enlightened by your comment. They THOUGHT it was exciting hearing that 250mW signal and getting amped up about amateur sat comms this morning. But according to you, they are all wrong ...

>> ... Deploying without the correct antenna ...

Yet working marvelously - a true testament to those  who built the satellite.

>> ... and a crappy battery ...

The battery is exactly what was planned for - and anyone knowledgeable with the project knew its limitations. It was subjected to a very different charging regimen - as opposed to its expected rating of "five" discharge-charge cycles. If anyone calls the battery aspect of this project a "failure" then they have no clue as to what they are talking about. The battery was designed for Russian spacesuits and EVAs - seemed OK for that type of work to those who are responsible for the lives of their Cosmonauts.

>> ... is an example of where our space program has gone ...

Uh, this is an amateur radio project - with a Russian educational project on board. Where does NASA - "our space program" fail?

We deployed an experiment over a month ago that is to this hour working well. This was never meant to be a long-term project.

I am responsible for AMSAT receiving $1175 so far for this project. I do not remember seeing your name on the list of donors. Please correct me if I am wrong. And if you are truly interested n the future of amateur satellites, I'd like to see you include AMSAT in your will next week, and donate a little toward the future projects that are in the works. OR, of course, you can just moan and complain mindlessly in public forums like this one. It's your choice.

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I wasn't livid ... just irritated at the ignorance. Yes, I know that the battery started to deteriorate a little sooner than expected. But no one had subjected such a battery to what ARISSat-1 engineers were doing to it: MANY shallow charges daily. Just couple the YIN of excitedly working ARISSat-1 in front of a live audience and hearing people applaud the project - versus the YANG of this moronic post ... It was quite a day.

And so it goes ...

Clint Bradford, K6LCS

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