[amsat-bb] Re: VO-52 FM Operation

James Duffey jamesduffey at comcast.net
Sat Dec 3 07:58:53 PST 2011

While I understand the motives of AMSAT-India in experimenting with FM on a linear transponder to provide an avenue for FM only equiped VU hams to get on the sats, I have significant concerns that it will be counterproductive to satellite operator growth in the long run. While the FM-sats are good intros to satellite operation, it has been hard to move the FM-sat ops on to linear or digital sats. As much fun as the FM-sats are, they only offer a glimpse of what amateur satellite operation is capable of.

Making a linear sat available for FM operation offers removes the incentive with that satellite to move up to linear birds and even fewer FM-sat operators will progress. It will also remove opportunities for the linear sats to show what they are capable of. It is unlikely that FM can coexist with CW and SSB on a satellite passband. Reallocating the available satellite transponders from linear to FM seems to me to redistribute bandwidth in the wrong direction, that is assigning a bandwidth that is available to many operators at a time to one that is only available to one at a time. This redistribution of bandwidth is counterproductive, contrary to the good spectrum management, and in some sense confiscatory. 

I guess that this is an OK temporary solution over VU, but I fear that if it moves worldwide, it will send a very negative message to those who effectively and efficiently use the linear sats. 

We need to seriously look at alternate entry methods to linear satellite operation. For years Mode A operation served this purpose. Perhaps we should reexamination that avenue for getting ops on linear sats as an alternate to putting more FM cross band repeaters in orbit.- Duffey KK6MC
James Duffey KK6MC
Cedar Crest NM
< jamesduffey at comcast.net >

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