[eagle] Re: what is going on?, some technical content at last.

Bill Tynan btynan at beecreek.net
Tue Jul 15 19:19:28 PDT 2008

If technically feasible, I would shoot for 50 to 100 kHz. We shouldn't be 
aiming only at our current membership. A "fixed in space" satellite will 
gain many users that have not been interested in satellites in the past.

And, then there is the emergency communications capability we should 
consider. In fact, that needs to be our prime cause for doing this in the 
first place and our argument for raising money from government and other 


Bill, W3XO

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John B. Stephensen" <kd6ozh at comcast.net>
To: "Andrew Glasbrenner" <glasbrenner at mindspring.com>; "Bob McGwier" 
<rwmcgwier at gmail.com>; "'Bill Ress'" <bill at hsmicrowave.com>; "'David 
Goncalves'" <davegoncalves at gmail.com>
Cc: "'AMSAT BoD'" <bod at amsat.org>; <eagle at amsat.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2008 8:58 PM
Subject: [eagle] Re: what is going on?, some technical content at last.

> Assuming the average occupancy that I witnessed on AO-13, a 25 kHz wide
> linear transponder would work for the current membership, but I have no 
> idea
> whether they would provide enough donations to fund it.
> 73,
> John
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Andrew Glasbrenner" <glasbrenner at mindspring.com>
> To: "Bob McGwier" <rwmcgwier at gmail.com>; "'John B. Stephensen'"
> <kd6ozh at comcast.net>; "'Bill Ress'" <bill at hsmicrowave.com>; "'David
> Goncalves'" <davegoncalves at gmail.com>
> Cc: <eagle at amsat.org>; "'AMSAT BoD'" <bod at amsat.org>
> Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 11:20 UTC
> Subject: Re: [eagle] Re: what is going on?, some technical content at 
> last.
>> Bob wrote:
>>> There is an alternative to think about.  I would not wait forever for 
>>> the
>>> larger picture to come together, for the good of AMSAT and amateur 
>>> radio.
>>> A
>>> likelihood assessment needs to be made regularly about the "Vision 
>>> Thing"
>>> and the will power to change directions should be found if it needs to 
>>> be
>>> done.  We could put together a small, simple package and smaller than
>>> desirable antennas and give our users analog transponders on an Intelsat
>>> platform.   This would require large antennas on the ground and would
>>> serve
>>> to make our current user base quite happy I am sure.   If we do this, 
>>> it
>>> should be the absolute dumbest, most bullet proof, impossible to 
>>> destroy,
>>> dumber than rock, transponder without a single chance of failing in 300
>>> years unless the rocket blows up or it is hit by a meteor.  It would be 
>>> a
>>> box with two connectors and a power plug going to the smallest possible
>>> CREDIBLE antennas.  There has been an argument that this is very
>>> undesirable
>>> for the long term health of AMSAT, Inc.  I made the argument in the open
>>> and
>>> have suffered regular personal threats as a result since from one very
>>> angry
>>> disgruntled member.  I am sure it was the manner in which I presented 
>>> the
>>> argument that caused the reaction so I am 99% to blame.
>>> But this is clearly outside of the vision statement of AMSAT, but it
>>> would
>>> be a way forward.  If we come in with very low mass, with little
>>> footprint
>>> and 50-100 w peak power requirements,  and we look at the matrix of 
>>> costs
>>> Intelsat gave us,  I think we might be able to raise that amount from
>>> "amateur radio sources".
>> This idea has been floating around for some time now, but to see you
>> suggest it is a powerful example of convergent thinking. I do not believe
>> that it is an either/or situation. The ACP is a complex design, and
>> developing and implementing it is going to be a long road, that frankly 
>> we
>> may not have enough momentum to carry us down. A simple, SMALL linear
>> transponder as you describe would serve as an intermediate step, allowing
>> us to keep the organization alive, build the membership and hence the
>> donation base, and blaze the trail to launching ACP.
>> One point of disagreement is that this intermediate step is, to me at
>> least, clearly -inside- the mission statement, even moreso than the ACP.
>> For those that have forgotten, here is the mission statement:
>> "AMSAT is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and
>> operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. We work in
>> partnership with government, industry, educational institutions and 
>> fellow
>> amateur radio societies. We encourage technical and scientific 
>> innovation,
>> and promote the training and development of skilled satellite and ground
>> system designers and operators.
>> Our Vision is to deploy high earth orbit satellite systems that offer
>> daily coverage by 2009 and continuous coverage by 2012. AMSAT will
>> continue active participation in human space missions and support a 
>> stream
>> of LEO satellites developed in cooperation with the educational community
>> and other amateur satellite groups."
>> The intermediate step would immediately fulfill the continuous coverage
>> part of the vision statement, and I think it has a much better chance of
>> success by 2012, and certainly 2009, than does the ACP.
>> The decision to make this course correction certainly does have
>> considerable benefits and risks, but I think it is one the BOD -and- the
>> members should carefully consider, and if we go forward with it, the
>> infighting and Monday morning quarterbacking needs to be left behind and 
>> a
>> serious "get to the moon" effort be undertaken. We'll need 10 times the
>> people soliciting donations as actually building the thing, but I do
>> believe it's well within reason to be accomplished.
>> 73, Drew KO4MA
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