Another Maunder Minimum - The case for more satellites.

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by KC9SGV, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not really a technical challange. If we had access to QO-100, there would be thousands of operators working it or building stations for it from NA and SA.

    Because the Qataris paid for it. You don't seem to understand that the only thing stopping us from having a commercial sat maker putting an amateur transponder up there for us is MONEY. The GEO sat that the Germans and Qataris have isn't built or launched by amateurs. It's a commercial transponder, and the only thing WE need to get one is MONEY.

    Because nobody (including you, I think) used the first one.... Remember LilacSat-1????
     
    KB1PVH, WD9EWK and WA4SCA like this.
  2. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I tried to work Lilacsat-1 a few times.
    I was not ready to receive the DV downlink then, but thought that I might at least hear something on USB.
    Let’s try Taurus-1 now with a USB receiver and FreeDV, or even CrazyScan.
    Point is, some home brew building will have to be done...
    Computer/radio interfaces.
    Maybe the radios or SDR solutions themselves.
    Antennas, etc.
    Waving a bought antenna and pressing a PTT on a bought radio, will not be sufficient.
    To get back on topic...
    We need more satellites, and we need more expertise to work them.
    HF might be gone for decades.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  3. WE4B

    WE4B Ham Member QRZ Page

    So... for the sake of the discussion... I'm probably one of the most critical members (yes, paid member so I have the right to complain) of what has happened to AMSAT over the past few years and I would like to share some of my observations/comments:

    • FM satellites WILL always be needed as they ARE easy to utilize and do attract new members to AMSAT. IMHO, we need more of them.
    • Linear transponder satellites are woefully underused even though the cost to entry of using them has greatly diminished.
    • Yes, people do want a technical challenge, but I'm not convinced that enough people want this and, as such, AMSAT has to balance what will be used versus pushing technology forward.
    • I do like the idea of open source things but admit that I'm not technologically advanced yet to use such satellites.
    • Did I mention that the most popular satellites seem to still be FM technology and AMSAT membership seems to have increased each time they have launched such a satellite?
    • I have mixed feelings about using a commercial transponder although I am going to be open minded about it until I learn more about it.
    Yes, we should push boundaries. Yes, we need to let the next generation start to have some input into the modes that we use for our amateur satellites but we also don't need to forget that the next generation cuts their teeth on FM satellites. AO-85 is fun because its orbit is higher than AO-91/92 and provides more coverage. It's no AO-7 but it's still a fun satellite. AO-7 and FO-29 are cool because of the DX they can provide but, let's face it, their days are numbered.

    Maybe we do need to look at commercial transponders for an uplink. Maybe we don't. Maybe the new folks that won spots on the AMSAT BOD will lead us into the future.

    I ran for a spot on the BOD. I lost. I will, however, continue to support AMSAT. I will also support any other organization that keeps radio in space.

    I will also continue to speak my mind and to call-out any AMSAT BOD member that makes newcomers feel unwelcome to the niche. I will also continue to push for satellites that are popular with the masses, even if it's just LEO FM satellites.

    I hope that others will bring forth their ideas and also their membership dollars as AMSAT is in a precarious situation. It's no longer 1980 and everybody and their brother is launching satellites. We have two, new, board members at AMSAT. The future looks bright. Let's support the organization and those that are controlling it.

    We may not always agree with what the BOD of AMSAT does, but they way to change what they are doing is to become a dues paying member and to vote your conscience. I truly feel that if you pay your dues and vote, it does give you the right to complain. If you aren't a member, and you complain, nobody will take you seriously. I feel that the election cycle that just ended was truly a mandate of what AMSAT member want. Those that thought they were the most popular didn't get the votes they probably felt they deserved. If you truly want AMSAT to go in a different direction, become a member; become active; don't let the those that like to bully and try to push you around and vote for what you want. Don't let the haters win. This past election proved that the membership doesn't appreciate playground bullies and it cost a board member their spot and left a couple of them wondering why they didn't get more votes. I know this because I got the emails and private messages from people that felt disenfranchised.

    So... until we have replacements for AO-7 and FO-29, let's make the most of what we have :) Cheers!
     
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  4. N0JY

    N0JY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bernard,
    It seems that history is quickly erased by election propaganda.
    I pushed AMSAT in supporting Virginia Tech and P4B. That's me in the photo below, with the rest.
    I supported and voted for the $100,000 P4B payload study that AMSAT paid for, to get things moving when fundraising was not yet in place.
    I secured an agreement for SDRs to fly on P4B and CQC, for cost savings.
    I put Michelle in charge of the Ground Station.
    I supported and voted for Tom Clark's skunk works idea (ASCENT).
    I tasked ASCENT with their first project, CQC. AMSAT's first lunar orbiting satellite. AMSAT's first Phase 5 satellite.
    I took some of ASCENT's CQC technology ideas as well as some of ASCENT's other ideas, to fly on GOLF.
    I mandated the use of microwave bands on GOLF and the path to bringing more hams and activity to the use of microwaves on our satellites.
    I have discussed opportunities for the introduction and use of digital techniques on GOLF satellites with those who are strong proponents of all-digital satellites.
    I do not understand how you could come to the conclusion that I do not support any of these, or any other "great ideas". I do not understand how you could consider that those choices were something that the new board members would not have supported. What help are you suggesting that they would have given? Are you implying that they would not have supported those board decisions, that they would have had better ideas? Seems like the photo below indicates otherwise.
    Nobody is against discussing new ideas. But these ideas are not new.
    Your claim about my conduct is without substance. You are misleading others. And you are, simply, just annoying me. Go away and annoy someone else. SK

    Millennium_AMSAT_VT Group Photo.jpg
     
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  5. KC9SGV

    KC9SGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Jerry,
    My official and humble and public apology to you.
    I did not mean to offend you or anybody else.
    I was acutely aware of your excellent engineering contributions to the AMSAT-NA effort.
    I just feel that the amateur radio public at large, now has an opportunity to change the direction of future amateur radio satellite efforts going forward.
    My interest and enthusiasm is in a GEO satellite transponder solution for the Americas.
    It seems that we are lagging behind Europe, and now it seems, China as well.
    While FM LEO satellites are the bread and butter of this aspect of our hobby, a GEO (or HEO), or rented commercial GEO bandwidth in the interim, would be the peanut butter and jelly on top.
     
  6. K9JKM

    K9JKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here is the caption to Jerry's photo that I published in the May/June 2015 AMSAT Journal
    (L-R) Sonya Rowe, KK4NLO; Jerry Buxton, N0JY; Bob McGwier, N4HY; Franklin Antonio, N6NKF;
    Tom Clark, K3IO; Michelle Thompson, W5NYV; and Phil Karn, KA9Q standing next to the Aquila
    M8 Bus flight article.
     
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  7. KD0KZE

    KD0KZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    That collaboration (https://amsat-dl.org/en/eshail-2-amsat-phase-4-a/) was brought to fruition with something we may lack -- important connections at the top. The chairman of the Qatar Amateur Radio Society was also former Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Energy, and other official capacities. In their case it took a highly-placed official who took a personal interest in the hobby & science/technology.

    73, KD0KZE / Paul
     
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