[amsat-bb] Tips for posting to AMSAT-BB

Alan wa4sca at gmail.com
Sun Jan 1 06:46:35 UTC 2017

People sometimes post time-sensitive messages to AMSAT-BB. Examples are last minute grid activities,
unexpected satellite mode changes, requests for critically important telemetry, etc. These normally go
through promptly, but occasionally get held for two primary reasons:

While AMSAT-BB is an open list, that means it is open for membership, not posting. In order to post to
the list, it normally must be from the same account you originally registered. For instance, if you
registered from your home account, and post from your office account, it will normally be held for
release by a moderator. Likewise, some people have all their email forwarded to a single account from
which they reply. We can create a filter to pass the second address, but that is not automatically
done on the first instance, and does require moderator action.

AMSAT-BB receives many pieces of spam for each legitimate message. As part of the filtering process,
emails larger than 50 kB are blocked. This usually happens to legitimate email when someone attempts
to attach a large file. Also, there is a limit to the number of addresses before an email is held as
potential spam. I have seen legitimate email sent to 30+ addresses.

We have a team of volunteer moderators, but they are not available 24/7. The result is that a message
sent in the evening or on a holiday, US time, may well be held for several hours before being
released. So, if it absolutely, positively needs to be distributed promptly:

1. Post from the same account you registered, or one which from past experience you know has been
flagged as acceptable.

2. Do not use attachments. (Pictures and other files should be included by a link.) They will be
blocked to the list, and if the total size of the message plus attachments exceeds 50 kB, the mail
will be held.

3. Send it to AMSAT-BB and a few other addresses at most. If you must send to a large distribution
list, send to them, and another copy to AMSAT-BB. (A trick which seems to work well is to place most
of the addresses in the BCC rather than CC line.)

4. Consider also posting to the AMSAT Twitter and Facebook accounts. There is overlap in membership,
though at present it is far from 100%.

5. Do not send large commercial press releases, or things which look like them. They will be caught by
heuristic spam filters. A simple posting of an event or activity will normally go through. Note that
there are existing exemptions for official channels such as ANS, ARISS, other AMSAT organizations,

6. New accounts are automatically flagged for moderation. This flag will normally be cleared on the
first or second posting, but do allow for and expect an initial delay if you establish a dedicated
account for your satellite organization.

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