People sometimes post time-sensitive messages to AMSAT-BB and SAREX. Examples are last minute grid
activations, unexpected satellite mode commands, requests for critical telemetry after a launch, etc.
These normally go through promptly, but occasionally get held for two primary reasons:
While AMSAT-BB and SAREX are both open lists, that means they are open for membership. 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 easily create a filter to pass the second address, but that is not
automatically done on the first posting, and does require moderator action.
Both mailing lists receive literally dozens of pieces of spam for each legitimate message. As part of
the filtering process, emails larger than 40-50kB are blocked. This usually happens to legitimate
email when someone attempts to attach a large file, or replies to a long message without trimming.
These also require moderator intervention, and are normally not approved but bounced back to the
originator for adjustment. 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 20+ 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 10-12 hours before being released.
So, if it absolutely, positively needs to be distributed promptly:
1. Post from the same account you registered for, or one which from past experience you know has been
flagged as acceptable.
2. Post a message less than 40 kB, with no attachments which will always be stopped. (Pictures should
be included by a link.)
3. Send it to AMSAT-BB, SAREX, and a few other addresses a most. If you must send to a large
distribution list, send to them, and another copy to the AMSAT lists.
4. Consider also posting to the AMSAT Twitter and Facebook accounts. There is overlap in membership,
though at present it is far from 100%.