[amsat-bb] going digital

Gus gus at 8p6sm.net
Mon Jul 21 03:00:09 UTC 2014

I'm all in favour of new modes and new technology.  Pushing the 
boundaries should be a primary goal.  But before any new bird is put in 
the sky, surely the target audience must be considered?

I'd hazard to guess that the 'average' shack has multi-mode HF 
capability, along with VHF/UHF FM.  Some lesser number of 'average' 
shacks will have multi-mode VHF/UHF, or could readily acquire that 
capability without too much expenditure in resources (time, effort, money).

Accept that we want to launch boundary-expanding, technologically 
advanced satellites if possible.  What sort of equipment should we 
expect to find in the shacks of those hams who are the target audience 
for these new satellites?  How big is this suitably equipped target 
audience?  Big enough to justify having their own satellite?  How much 
time, effort and money will it take to upgrade an 'average' shack (like 
mine) to meet the requirements of being a part of the target audience?

I'm really pro- and not anti- here.  But it may be that any new, digital 
satellite will have to be developed in parallel with readily available 
ground station modules (Funcube Dongle Deluxe?) that provide the 
'average' ham a path to participation.

Again:  Interested to hear roughly what capabilities would be needed to 
join the gang working the new digital birds, when they fly.

Gus 8P6SM
The Easternmost Isle

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