[amsat-bb] FM Satellites: Good Operating Practices for Beginning and Experienced Operators

Devin L. Ganger devin at thecabal.org
Mon Dec 11 23:35:42 UTC 2017


I see the point you're trying to make. However, I have a couple of thoughts:

1) Dismissing others' interests in amateur radio only leads to them to dismiss yours.
2) Asking people to recognize others' interests and *consider* adjusting their *current* operational practices accordingly is simply the basis of good situational awareness. Indeed, it is simply an expansion of "listen before you transmit" -- you are listening to see if there is an unusual amount of operational activity on a given pass.
3) I qualify as a "new satellite operator" and while I can only speak for myself, I do not fit your characterization. While I do not know if I will pursue the grid-based awards, I know that it is a strong and attractive component to satellite ops, and sooner or later I suspect I'll end up both hunting them and going to activate the out-of-the-way grids in my area.
4) We newbies also need to learn one very, very important aspect about this hobby that is not emphasized enough -- PATIENCE. Things are always changing. Things are always cycling. Problems take time to chase down. New skills take time to acquire and perfect. There is always another pass. Teaching the fundamentals of "your neighbor isn't going to operate the way you do and that's okay, so learn how to co-exist" is one of the most basic skills amateur radios operators CAN and SHOULD be modeling and learning. 

However, perhaps the community can come up with some appropriate verbiage and guidelines with which to amend Sean's guide around selecting appropriate satellites for the kind of operation you're doing. Ease of use is one factor to consider, but ubiquity is another. With a Baofeng and a cheap antenna, I can hit the FM birds AND start chasing grid squares. If we force the grid chasers off FM, that makes it a much more expensive proposition and means it's less likely the newbies are going to find it and get involved. Are certain satellites considered the same as simplex calling frequencies (and should they be)? Are the first X minutes of a pass reserved for new operators (and how do you determine when the first X minutes are, a non-trivial problem)?

Devin L. Ganger (WA7DLG)
email: devin at thecabal.org
web: Devin on Earth
cell: +1 425.239.2575

-----Original Message-----
From: AMSAT-BB [mailto:amsat-bb-bounces at amsat.org] On Behalf Of Zach Metzinger
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2017 1:48 PM
To: amsat-bb at amsat.org
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] FM Satellites: Good Operating Practices for Beginning and Experienced Operators

On 12/11/17 14:55, Paul Stoetzer wrote:
> Sean Kutzko, KX9X, has written a helpful document explaining good 
> operating practices for working FM satellites. It's been posted to the 
> AMSAT website at 
> https://www.amsat.org/fm-satellites-good-operating-practices-for-begin
> ning-and-experienced-operators/

While I think that _most_ of these guidelines are good, I disagree with #6.

6. Rare/Portable Stations Take Priority

This prioritizes the chase-a-grid-square game players, which not everyone cares about.

If you want to play that game, go use a linear bird with more available bandwidth. The easy sats should be reserved for new satellite operators, which, buy definition, will be less experienced and not care much about your fancy grid squares.


--- Zach

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