[amsat-bb] The chicken and the egg.syndrome.

Tom Gentry t.gentry at verizon.net
Thu Sep 20 22:08:46 PDT 2012

My name is Tom and my call is K5VOU. I am a life-member of AMSAT and the 
ARRL as well as an Extra Class license holder. I have observed both 
organizations at work from the inside both as a volunteer and a vendor.  
My satellite ground station is an old Yaesu FT-726 and the antennas are 
circularly polarized versions of Kent Britain's 'controlled impedance' 
VHF and UHF on a back yard tripod with the original KR-5400 prototype 
AZ-El rotor and the AMSAT tracker box connected to an X machine.  I am 
adding an SDR receiver/panadpter asap.

BTW: The opinions expressed in this email are mine alone and you are not 
required to agree with them or condemn them. They are just my opinions 
and observations.

Here are a few observations in brief;

1) AMSAT is a meaningful organization filled with talented and well 
intentioned people interested in building, operating and communicating 
through space based radio systems via amateur radio.

2) AMSAT is composed of two special interest groups, the creators of the 
radio/satellites and the communicators using the satellites.

3) The creators depend on funding from the communicators.

4) The communicators depend on the creators for space based radios 
through which to communicate.

5) There is 'no free ride' to HEO and the communicators can not raise 
enough money to purchase a launch at market price.

6) There is no government funding available to AMSAT.

7) The regulatory climate is hostile to amateur radio satellites (ITAR).


The AMSAT paradigm needs to change to allow the creators to get more 
radios into space for the communicators.  Well funded organizations are 
building satellites with radios for telemetry and perhaps communication. 
One possible solution to the observations is to get out of the launch 
business completely and for the creators to build radios for other 
organizations creating satellites. These radios would include the 
capabilities desired by the organization and also include the desired 
functionality for the communicators in order to get a ride to space.  In 
essence trade radios for rides.  This would allow AMSAT to use their 
knowledge and resources for building space based radios.

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list