I believe that, "if you build it they will come". From the movie. Right now we're playing "small ball". If there were a HEO on the horizon there would be an incredible scramble for whatever it takes. I recall the initial days of AO-40 (sobsob). We became S band experts almost overnight! I still have my "flame thrower" antennas in mothballs. One interesting "tweek" would be to throw out a "Suitsat" type satellite every time they have a crew change. LIke a L/S LEO for few months to break up the garden variety. Maybe a MEO like RS-15. Back to my corner now. I am still rebuilding ALL my damn antennas, like rebuilding a NASA facility with the xyl in charge. I'll be on soon. 73 Bob W7LRD
I am afraid you're right, Tom, and it pains me to admit it. I am not sure why activity has dropped off.. but I can say in my own case I lost interest in satellite operating after AO-40 died and have gone on to other things ( EME ) to use the existing equipment I had.
From northern Vermont I can work pretty much all the active satellite
ops on the FM birds ( within my potential mutual footprint at least ) in a weekend's worth of passes, so there was little incentive for me to continue. I _have_ gotten back into sat operating recently, if only to work the cobwebs out of my station.
I wonder how many satellite operators still have AO-10 or AO-13-class stations any more. I get the impression that many aspire to have a Yaesu FT-847, Icom 910, or TS-2000 and an Arrow antenna. If that much. I hope I am wrong.
We as a community need to revitalize things.. the future does NOT lie with more Cubesats.. or if it does, then I want no part of it. We need to restore the legacy and primacy of AMSAT in space. I think if we could get another LEO bird in the air we would see activity increase dramatically.
I've been an AMSAT member since 1980, albeit on and off, and been on the birds since 1987 give or take. Some of my most fun moments were working the Russian RS birds, believe it or not. I was also an AMSAT Area Coordinator for some years. I would love to participate in a dialogue of how to get folks interested in satellite operating again, and/or representing AMSAT at the local hamfests. But it might just echo the general lack of interest in ham radio in general that I have observed.
Guess I need to make a point of getting back on FO-29 and VO-52 more often...
73 de W1ICW
On 8/27/2012 7:09 PM, Thomas Doyle wrote:
The activity level on the linear sats is very low and does not seem to be getting any better. Not sure why. Perhaps it is cost or complexity or problems putting up outside antennas. It is rather sad working linear sat passes with no one else on them. At least I can hear my own downlink signal and the beacon :-)
Unfortunately this sums it up.
AMSAT Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
"Satellite Operations Report by Drew Glasbrenner, KO4MA
" ... The other FM satellites, AO-27 and SO-50, continue to be heavily used. FO-29 when operative, and VO-52 work well, but have very little use."
Hope to see you on FO-29.
73 W9KE Tom Doyle
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