[amsat-bb] Behavior on FM Satellites

R.T.Liddy k8bl at ameritech.net
Mon Dec 11 01:51:40 UTC 2017


Many operators that plan roving activity to rare/semi-rare Grids
post their plans on the AMSAT-BB and/or AMSAT on Twitter
and/or the STARCOM-BB. This as worked well for the dedicated
SAT Gridders over the past several years.

Seasoned SAT Ops are aware of these postings and lay in wait for
the announced Rovers to show up and work them. On Linear SATs,
many of the Rovers will post the downlink freq they will be listening
to (approximately) and it will usually be well away from the regular
casual QSO freqs. The Gridders easily work the Rovers and the folks
looking for regular conversation all share the bandpass with relatively
little conflict.

Doing Rover Operations on the FM SATs can be somewhat chaotic due
to their being only one freq available. In spite of posting plans for going
to rare Grids, there will be operators that aren't interested in Gridding
and merely want to have a QSO via Satellite with anyone anywhere just
for the thrill of it. On top of that, there will be new/inexperienced folks
that are trying SATs but have great difficulty hearing their downlink and
keep keying up or speaking and not aware they are QRMing others. The
experienced Rovers are used to this and have learned to deal with it and
still make QSOs while being careful to utter their expletives while unkeyed.

Given time, the new folks will figure things out and things will get better,
but there will continue to be more new folks that follow (hopefully). All
we can do is try to lead by example which is no different than what we
look for in the Real World.

GL & 73,      Bob  K8BL     (AMSAT #6593, since 1979)

From: Devin L. Ganger <devin at thecabal.org>
To: Bernie and Cheryl <hamdan at ix.netcom.com>; "amsat-bb at amsat.org" <amsat-bb at amsat.org> 
Sent: Sunday, December 10, 2017 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: [amsat-bb] Behavior on FM Satellites

I've not yet gotten on the birds, so I am only an interested observer at this point, but it seemed to me the original complaint (and reference to public shaming) was regarding those rare people who treat the FM birds as their own personal fiefdom on a ongoing basis.

I've not been a ham for a long time, but I know enough to know that sort of behavior is not accidental. It is the result of a willful choice to remain ignorant of good operational practice, or in knowing it, to not bother to use it.

Newbies like me will make our mistakes. But most of us want to learn from them and gladly accept feedback. We WANT to see things from another perspective.

Observing (and occasionally poking our noses out to participate) in these discussions is very educational, but occasionally frustrating because it seems like there is a well-established consensus on how to share these resources within the community, but occasionally we talk past each other on deciding how to approach those who aren't playing as nicely.

Finally, one thought -- just as the DX world has trackers, has anyone at AMSAT or anywhere else thought of putting  up a website specifically for satellite operators to notify others if they plan to activate a specific grid or perform some other non-standard activity? Such a website could be tied in with various social media channels to watch for specific hashtags/keywords (so folks already posting have to make one tiny change) and collate the information on the website, both in human-readable and machine readable feeds (so, for example, a pass predictor app could consume that feed and tell you "hey, WA7DLG is going to activate grid XXYZ on this next pass")? Such a setup would take a little bit of work to put together, but with some community user education, it could become a valuable resource *in addition* to the existing methods folks are using. Knowledge is one of the big pieces in combatting the "I didn't know" game and making it as easy to get to, in as many methods as possible, makes it more likely such a resource would be used.

I am certainly willing to volunteer time and resources to host and help develop such a resource if anyone else is interested.

Devin L. Ganger (WA7DLG)
email: devin at thecabal.org
web: Devin on Earth
cell: +1 425.239.2575

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