[amsat-bb] A suggestion for Experimenter's Wednesdays on AO-91

Mac A. Cody maccody at att.net
Fri Dec 15 01:53:25 UTC 2017


This is certainly a fine idea, which may very well gain traction.  If
I may, though, I'd like to propose an alternative experiment. Given
the recent (and ongoing) disaster and recovery in Puerto Rico after
Hurricane Maria,I was wondering how amateur LEO satellites could be
used for emergency response (I know that the use case for the Phase IV
satellite terminal is emergency response.).  While DX and chasing grid
squares is great fun (I do both myself.), I am hoping that there might
be a way that LEO satellites could be used as a public service resource.

Traditionally, long-distance emergency response has relied upon shortwave
communications.  It takes a bit of infrastructure cost to set up and
operate a shortwave station.  Effective antenna deployment, available
transceiver equipment, and a sufficient power supply are considerations
to be addressed.  Perhaps, a pair of hand-held radios (or single full-
duplex), an Arrow antenna, and a computer (Raspberry Pi) could be used to
send and receive emergency messages via LEO satellites and might be a viable
alternative.  The messages could be sent digitally via, say, Narrow Band
Emergency Messaging System (NBEMS) to improve reliability of transcription.

I'm sure that you or someone else might say "Use the APRS birds for
emergency response messaging.".  That may be a fair statement, but my
idea might, at least, be an interesting experiment to try.  An experiment
is still valuable when it shows that an idea does not work!


Mac Cody / AE5PH

On 12/14/2017 04:26 PM, Patrick STODDARD (WD9EWK/VA7EWK) wrote:
> Hi!
> Now that AO-91 has been going strong for about 3 weeks, maybe it is
> time to come up with something for it on Experimenter's Wednesdays,
> like we have seen with SSTV on AO-85. Although I think the SSTV has
> run its course and maybe something else should be tried, I'm not
> suggesting any particular change to AO-85 on Wednesdays. This is
> only intended as a suggestion for AO-91.
> After Sean KX9X published his recent document with a list of good
> operating practices for FM satellites:
> https://www.amsat.org/fm-satellites-good-operating-practices-for-beginning-and-experienced-operators/
> my suggestion would be a way to encourage this, especially focusing
> on one item. I tweeted a little earlier this afternoon the following:
> "An AO-91 Experimenter's Wednesday suggestion: 5W or less, ideally
> using HTs or portable setups & handheld directional antennas or
> whips/duckies. Let's take full advantage of how well this satellite
> hears & can be heard on the ground."
> One comment I received on Twitter questioned having something for
> Experimenter's Wednesdays on both AO-85 and AO-91, suggesting that
> another day of the week should be used for AO-91. I disagreed with
> that, given that it is "Experimenter's Wednesday". Unlike with AO-85
> where the focus has been SSTV, my suggestion would still allow for
> FM voice QSOs on AO-91 - but with a focus on using less power and
> smaller stations. This would also go directly to the recommendations
> that were recently published.
> For those who may be concerned about doing something like this on
> 2 of the 3 FM satellites, there has been Experimenter's Wednesday
> SSTV activity for a while now. Most of the time, this has been done
> when we only had two working FM satellites (AO-85, SO-50). Maybe we
> could see some coast-to-coast QSOs on AO-91 where both stations are
> using power levels at 50mW or 100mW, for example.
> Thanks, and 73!
> Patrick WD9EWK/VA7EWK
> http://www.wd9ewk.net/
> Twitter: @WD9EWK or http://twitter.com/WD9EWK
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