[amsat-bb] Re: Montagues & Capulets (was: FM vs SSB, HEO vs LEO, etc)

tosca005 at umn.edu tosca005 at umn.edu
Sun Oct 21 21:29:15 PDT 2012

On Oct 21 2012, R Oler wrote:

 The gear for the linear birds is not all that much more expensive then FM 
equipment. BUT if you dont use it for the birds and dont have really good 
antenna arrays it is more or less not of a lot of use. The same could be 
said in spades for some gear that will do C to X band or the other way.
 Without some sort of HEO (or even a reasonable MEO) any "band" that comes 
from the linear birds is always going to be more "short ranged"...and while 
a lot of people like building things etc the prime object in amateur radio 
still is "communication" and working DX...one doesnt have to do a lot of 
"footprint" work to see that AO-7 and VU-52 great birds that they are, are 
still not terribly "dx" birds.
Spoken like someone who is not active on the 10 GHz band. If you look at 
the records of the ARRL 10 GHz and Up Cumulative Contest (the only ARRL 
contest that reports the distances between stations in QSO's), you will 
find a large number of 300 Km and longer contacts. And I'm not talking 
about the spectacular distances covered by rare and exotic band openings. 
I'm talking about repeated contacts between stations running 2 to 8 watts 
into a small offset feed dishes. Microwave bands are NOT just for contacts 
in the 20-50 Km range.

And not just for contests either. I admit that a lot of the hams in the 
area where I lived for 33 years and now live during the summertime (where 
the Northern Lights Radio Society plays) turn off the microwave equipment 
and put it into storage between contests, but not all of them. In fact, 
there are a couple of operators that ragchew on 10 GHz between Minneapolis 
MN (EN34lx) and Grand Rapids, MN (EN37ed) nearly every day. No monstrous 
band opening required.

The more often that people hear hams say that the microwave bands are only 
good for contesting over very short distances, the greater is the chance 
that the "brainwashing" will be successful. This is known as a 
self-fulfilling prophecy.

Note that I am firmly in the camp of wishing for linear transponders on any 
bird that we manage to fly. The accomplishments of PE1RAH prove that even a 
tiny cubesat can physically support a linear transponder, not just an FM 
single-channel transponder. (See 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/59006469/le005-r2 ) And I am firmly in the camp 
of wishing for HEO satellites if we can ever manage to get one launched 
again. Too bad that Bill Gates (or someone with almost as much money as 
him) isn't a ham interested in satellite communication.

Just want to set the record straight about the utility of the higher bands.

73 de W0JT
EN34js June-September
EL09ro October-May
AMSAT-NA Life Member #2292

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