[amsat-bb] Re: status/rant

Gus gus at 8p6sm.net
Sun Jan 26 16:52:36 PST 2014


I also miss the HEO days, and have no interest in juggling multiple 
radios and antennas in the dark in the rain, simply to scream my 
callsign and gridsquare into the pileup and consider it an achievement 
if I can copy someone else doing the same.  I don't suppose we will ever 
see another HEO hamsat, unless someone with real money gets bitten by 
the bug.  I assure you, if I had a spare 10 megabux laying around, I'd 
pay for a launch... but I don't and so I can't.

I like to ragchew.  Even on HF, I like to talk to people around the 
world, to find out what type of car they drive, what their dog is 
called, what is their favourite beer, etc.  I've been ridiculed for 
saying that I want to ragchew rather than simply exchange grids.

Now, some people actually like waving a broomstick beam around, and some 
people are thrilled to have worked X-hundred gridsquares with people who 
they know nothing about.  More power to them!  But for me, these things 
are not exciting nor fulfilling.  I want to sit in the comfort of my 
shack, and ragchew.  And I certainly think I deserve as much 
consideration as the grid-chaser with the handheld beam.

Fortunately, we seem to be getting more SSB capable equipment going 
aloft, with more useable bandwidth.  So I'm even considering the 
expenditure of some hard-earned gelt to put a satellite station  on the 
air.  As soon as I am comfortable spending the money.

As for hamfest demos, I have no problem with a show of operating with 
absolute basic gear, like the HTs and handheld beams.  It seems to me, 
however, that a demo of a PRACTICAL minimalist station might also be in 
order.  (I don't consider all that juggling to be practical, other than 
for proving a point.)  A modest multiband radio of some sort, a small, 
affordable rotator perhaps controlled via bluetooth, from an android 
phone or tablet (which also does orbit prediction/tracking), and an 
antenna designed for satellite work, but with less than 22 elements on V 
and 40 on U. Some of this equipment may still be awaiting development.

And if we are never again going to get a HEO satellite in space with a 
visible window of several hours, then we need a lot of LEOs instead, so 
I can switch from bird to bird and continue ragchewing!

I'll probably get slagged off for making some of these remarks, so I may 
as well get hung for a sheep as for a lamb:  I don't know why people 
refer to certain satellites as amateur satellites when all they do is 
send telemetry in the ham band(s).  As far as I'm concerned, if you 
can't have a QSO through it, it isn't an amateur satellite.   If you 
don't require a ham license to use it, then it isn't one of ours!

Regards to all,

On 01/26/2014 07:32 PM, Michael wrote:
> I think we should be striving for something more than trying to show
> everyone how "easy" it is to operate sats.   Again, if you actually
> enjoy juggling an antenna , HT and a speaker mic with only two hands
> then more power to you.  I think that's too much like work and would
> much rather operate from the comfort of my shack but even if I were
> going to operate out on my back deck, I'd rather do it with a small
> table and a laptop and a tripod with a small motorized tracking system
> controlling the antenna.

Gus 8P6SM
The Easternmost Isle

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