[amsat-bb] Re: Curious Question About Satellite BBS

Gus 8p6sm at anjo.com
Sun Feb 24 21:44:55 PST 2013

Operating the microsats  was a completely hands-free procedure.  You 
told your groundstation what sort of files you were interested in, and 
went out to lunch.  While you were away, the bird came up over the hill, 
rotors rotated, frequencies dopplered, and by the time you got back, the 
pass was over, your outgoing files were gone, your inbox was full of 
interesting stuff, and your gear was idle.  Once you were all set up, it 
was brilliant.  No 'operating' in the conventional sense, but absolutely 
effortless transfer of files and messages.

But transfer rates were relatively low, passes were short, and it could 
take several passes for in/outbound files to complete.

And the birds had huge data capacities, like 4 megabytes total. Yes, 
meg.  So you had to keep your files small.  But they could be anything 
you like, text or binary.  Images, software, etc.

I met and became friends with a guy in England via the microsats, and 
when he was coming to 8P he sent me a JPEG so I would recognize him at 
the airport.

There were other types of BBS flying, too.  The Fuji birds were pretty 
much exactly like terrestrial packet boards.  Once you got ***CONNECTED 
you could ask for a menu and issue commands in the normal way.

On 02/25/2013 01:15 AM, Bryce Salmi wrote:
> Hey All,
>       I want to throw out a question about the Bulletin Board Systems that
> have flown on several amateur radio satellites in the past. A majority of
> these flew prior to my involvement in ham radio (licensed in 2004) and for
> many years I haven't had a great setup for satellite work, largely due to
> funds as a high school student back in the day and nowadays since I move
> around quite often from home to college. I would like this conversation to
> stay on-topic since I realize this could stray pretty easily!
>       What was it like to have an orbiting BBS? What types of
> files/information were sent and how convenient was it? Was it just text or
> could people send small images? I may not be aware of a currently working
> BBS, the last one I know of off-hand was on AO-51 if I am not mistaken. I
> am simply fascinated with the ability to send and receive data to and from
> an orbiting satellite in this fashion. I look forward to hearing any
> responses.
> Bryce
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73, de Gus 8P6SM
Barbados, the easternmost isle.

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