Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: So where does the satellite hobby stand now?  (Read 18524 times)
W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« on: January 25, 2013, 01:29:53 PM »

I used to support AMSAT but I haven't been a member in a few years. Those of you who have seen some of my post in the past know that I don't think the satellite hobby has been very healthy in awhile. That is not why I'm not a member anymore, I just can't afford to be at present. I don't have any equipment for sats right now either, not even an HT. I still find myself curious as to what's going on from time to time and this is one of those instances so I thought I'd check in. I tried the AMSAT website but it appears to be having issues. So what's the latest new on Fox? Better, yet is there any news on P3-E at all? It has to be completed by now so I'm wondering if it's just languishing in storage somewhere waiting for some miracle to get it that elusive launch or if maybe there is some more positive news out there I'm not aware of. You never seem to hear anything about it anymore and all the web info I can find seems to be years old. I'm not meaning to be a downer here, I'm just hoping for some sliver of good news and the promise of better days to come.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
Logged
KO4MA
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 05:34:46 PM »

AMSAT website got hacked last week, and is down until the volunteers build a new one.

Fox-1a has a launch via the NASA ELANA program, no date yet.

We've applied for a 2nd launch for another Fox-based satellite.

P3E is 90% done, but no launch. Full fare quotes are around 10 million. AMSAT-DL is still looking for a ride, and in non-conventional places and ways.

Join back up when you can...

73, Drew KO4MA
Logged
N6JSX
Member

Posts: 216




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 06:20:14 PM »

When AO-40 FM flopped it took a lot of wind out of HAMdoms SAT sails. Recently, AO-51 FM SAT gave up the ghost but had a decent life span. AO-27 FM is still hanging in there but on a reduced usage schedule and failing batteries. ISS repeater never got put on the air and talking to the crew is a very hit-n-miss. But the old work horse AO-7 (not-FM) is still plodding along nearing 40yrs operation. Cheesy 

SO-50 is the only reliable FM bird flying, today. Angry  FOX-1 is in test and hopes to fly the end of 2013. Cool

FOX-1 will have the new Zombie Mode providing the solar cells keep going when/if battery/IHU go down. Zombie Mode will keep the FM comms going providing solar energy is present and RX/TX remain operational - this is a significant new mode giving us the most life out of a failing bird with minimum of circuits. FOX-1 orbit has about a 10-12yr life span.  Something new to FM SATs --- FOX-1 will be 430 up to the bird and 2m down to earth.  Shocked

FOX-2 and FOX-3 are proceeding with a goal of getting a bird a year into orbit. I personally applaud AMSAT in creating this new Zombie Mode as it insures we get the most bang for our buck$!  Grin
Logged

W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 08:34:55 PM »

Appreciate the update guys. Drew I don't know if you remember me but we had a few contacts on AO-51 back when she was healthy.
 Years ago, I worked at HRO Atlanta as a shipping clerk, I could not afford satellite gear back then but I knew about AMSAT because of co-workers and customers that were enthusiast. This was back in the days when the Yaesu FT-736 and Kenwood TS-790 were current rigs. I always wanted to be involved but couldn't. By the time I was able to get into the hobby AO-40 was already gone.  As mentioned, I did get to work AO-51, also AO-27 and SO-50 plus linear birds like FO-29, VO-52 and even AO-7. AO-7 was quite a thrill because I can remember back when I was teenager and before I was even a ham picking up one of my Dads QST's and seeing an artist depiction of AO-7 on the cover and reading about it inside. When I got into things P3-E was still the hot subject to talk about and AMSAT Eagle was still considered a viable project.  Then it just seemed like the air went out of everything, all at once.  I had ended up selling my sat capable base rigs anyway but I kept an HT based station for awhile and then got bored with it all. Once AO-51 died, that just seemed like the end to me. I only have HF capability now, in the form of a Flex 1500 but the fire still is there for sats which was kind of the point of this thread. Nice to hear about FOX, I just wish the news was a bit more encouraging about P3-E. To bad we can't count on AO-40 miraculously coming back to life like the old girl AO-7 did!
Tnx and 73,
Michael
Logged
K0JEG
Member

Posts: 639




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 02:25:53 PM »

One area that I'm interested in is Earth station automation. With short passes and cheap computing power it seems like we should be doing everything we can to optimize use by automating as much as possible. It's not as simple as waving an antenna around in the backyard, but it can be far more reliable without spending a lot of money.
Logged
KO4MA
Member

Posts: 119




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 05:35:02 PM »

One area that I'm interested in is Earth station automation. With short passes and cheap computing power it seems like we should be doing everything we can to optimize use by automating as much as possible. It's not as simple as waving an antenna around in the backyard, but it can be far more reliable without spending a lot of money.

My home station is 100% automated, and I link to it through my smartphone to make qsos remotely when I'm away.
Logged
KG4NEL
Member

Posts: 373




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 01:08:17 PM »

Kind of sad, I was looking through an ARRL Handbook from 2000, back then you had your choice of modes from HF to microwaves Sad
Logged
ZL2ET
Member

Posts: 1




Ignore
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 06:36:04 PM »

Having been away from the sat scene for 15 years, I came back to discover, to my horror, that the sat scene was in a dismal state. Where were the equivalents of AO-10, AO-13, RS-10/11, RS-12/13 etc.

The problem for many hams in NZ and other countries like South Africa, cubesats and the other low flyers hold very little appeal as you can never work DX on them.

And to be honest packet is now boring for many hams, so why even bother with those data sats? A lot of people want voice communication and want to try working towards a DXCC, something which is currently impossible!

The AMSAT website, until it got hacked, was so very out-of-date too. This is meant to be the website that showcases what amateur sat  is about. It says something when that site is not kept current!

So the only thing left is the only reliable high flyer available - the moon! EME seems to be the only 'space' side of the hobby that is growing. Probably because it is challenging, you can work towards a DXCC and is rewarding.

Until decent high flyers are launched, I don't see a lot of interest from many new and existing hams. The sat scene will remain static at best and lose people at worst.

I hope for the best, but....
Logged
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1735




Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 09:14:48 PM »

Having been away from the sat scene for 15 years, I came back to discover, to my horror, that the sat scene was in a dismal state. Where were the equivalents of AO-10, AO-13, RS-10/11, RS-12/13 etc.

The problem for many hams in NZ and other countries like South Africa, cubesats and the other low flyers hold very little appeal as you can never work DX on them.

And to be honest packet is now boring for many hams, so why even bother with those data sats? A lot of people want voice communication and want to try working towards a DXCC, something which is currently impossible!

The AMSAT website, until it got hacked, was so very out-of-date too. This is meant to be the website that showcases what amateur sat  is about. It says something when that site is not kept current!

So the only thing left is the only reliable high flyer available - the moon! EME seems to be the only 'space' side of the hobby that is growing. Probably because it is challenging, you can work towards a DXCC and is rewarding.

Until decent high flyers are launched, I don't see a lot of interest from many new and existing hams. The sat scene will remain static at best and lose people at worst.

I hope for the best, but....

   Let's hope that with the increasing number of companies getting involved in the space business, we will see some new birds going up.  Is putting a ham repeater on the moon someday, just too much to wish for?   
Logged
N6JSX
Member

Posts: 216




Ignore
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 09:47:15 AM »

Hmmmm, repeater on the moon....

Interesting idea (sure do not need full duplex with a ~15sec delay in RX-TX). Would like it to be FM but the power required for the full carrier would require some serious solar energy to support any normal repeater duty-cycle. However, there is plenty of solar energy for a large array of solar panels. 

Need to do some math to determine how much ERP/Watts to get a usable signal to the moon and then the ERP/Watts it will require for the moon-based repeater to send back a reasonable signal to Earth.

There needs to be some serious technical earth staton requirments to keep the number of users low/under control or it will become a serious world wide jam-athon, with only the big guns (1KW EME arrays) dominating the moon station until earth's rotation takes them out of moon LOS. 
Logged

W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 02:21:17 PM »

Good old "Oscar Zero"  Don't think the moon will be failing us anytime soon, it was designed by one fine engineer. Cheesy As far as EME, I've had thoughts of acquiring an Elecraft 2 meter transverter to go with my Flex 1500. You don't necessarily have to have huge antennas anymore but you still have to have amps and preamps and good coax so the cost can get up there quick.
 I will be glad to see Fox 1 get airborne but in the end, it's yet another flying repeater and I just don't think that's going to get it done. One thing we need in the sat hobby again is manufacturer involvement and I don't see that happening if FOX becomes the only reliable bird up there. What I would love to see and I wish had the talent to design is an SDR 2m/70cm all mode rig. Something much like the Flex 1500, except VHF/UHF. In my mind that would be the "cats meow".  Too bad AMSAT can't get someone to design one and then maybe put together a PCB/parts kit and use the proceeds to further satellite development. If only I knew how, I'd design it and donate my work.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
Logged
ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1735




Ignore
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2013, 07:57:12 PM »

Hmmmm, repeater on the moon....

Interesting idea (sure do not need full duplex with a ~15sec delay in RX-TX). Would like it to be FM but the power required for the full carrier would require some serious solar energy to support any normal repeater duty-cycle. However, there is plenty of solar energy for a large array of solar panels. 

Need to do some math to determine how much ERP/Watts to get a usable signal to the moon and then the ERP/Watts it will require for the moon-based repeater to send back a reasonable signal to Earth.

There needs to be some serious technical earth staton requirments to keep the number of users low/under control or it will become a serious world wide jam-athon, with only the big guns (1KW EME arrays) dominating the moon station until earth's rotation takes them out of moon LOS. 

   I'm sure we will have one up there "someday"!  Digital?  SSB?  What frequencies?  Where on the lunar surface?  It sure is interesting to contemplate.  Could bring a significant change to ham radio as we know it.
Logged
W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 10:27:44 AM »

Hmmmm, repeater on the moon....

Interesting idea (sure do not need full duplex with a ~15sec delay in RX-TX). Would like it to be FM but the power required for the full carrier would require some serious solar energy to support any normal repeater duty-cycle. However, there is plenty of solar energy for a large array of solar panels. 

Need to do some math to determine how much ERP/Watts to get a usable signal to the moon and then the ERP/Watts it will require for the moon-based repeater to send back a reasonable signal to Earth.

There needs to be some serious technical earth staton requirments to keep the number of users low/under control or it will become a serious world wide jam-athon, with only the big guns (1KW EME arrays) dominating the moon station until earth's rotation takes them out of moon LOS. 

   I'm sure we will have one up there "someday"!  Digital?  SSB?  What frequencies?  Where on the lunar surface?  It sure is interesting to contemplate.  Could bring a significant change to ham radio as we know it.
I hate to continually be a wet blanket but when we can't get P3-E launched and now struggle to even get LEO's in the air why would anyone believe we could manage something as complex and costly as a repeater on the moon?  And if even if such a thing were possible, a repeater? I think a more traditional linear transponder would be the answer. Unless of course I'm misconstruing the use of the word "repeater" in this context.
Michael, W4HIJ
Logged
N6JSX
Member

Posts: 216




Ignore
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 03:43:35 PM »

I will be glad to see Fox 1 get airborne but in the end, it's yet another flying repeater and I just don't think that's going to get it done. One thing we need in the sat hobby again is manufacturer involvement and I don't see that happening if FOX becomes the only reliable bird up there.

FYI, if FOX-#'s do not get free rides it can cost ~$250K for each 1U package for rocket space to orbit.  Shocked
I'm watching the private space vehicle companies who may be our ticket to get these small U1 LEO SATs to orbit for very cheap &/or tax write offs. Grin One thing about PE3 is it is BIG, it will take lots of rocket room hence the high costs to orbit (much like AO-40). And I'm still unsure if PE3 will be semi-geosynchronous (like GPS) orbit or a full geosynchronous and PE3 details?
Logged

W4HIJ
Member

Posts: 367




Ignore
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 05:52:03 PM »

I will be glad to see Fox 1 get airborne but in the end, it's yet another flying repeater and I just don't think that's going to get it done. One thing we need in the sat hobby again is manufacturer involvement and I don't see that happening if FOX becomes the only reliable bird up there.

FYI, if FOX-#'s do not get free rides it can cost ~$250K for each 1U package for rocket space to orbit.  Shocked
I'm watching the private space vehicle companies who may be our ticket to get these small U1 LEO SATs to orbit for very cheap &/or tax write offs. Grin One thing about PE3 is it is BIG, it will take lots of rocket room hence the high costs to orbit (much like AO-40). And I'm still unsure if PE3 will be semi-geosynchronous (like GPS) orbit or a full geosynchronous and PE3 details?
I never suggested it was free ride for Fox. I would not know but the fact of having to pay for it cast  doubt on whether or not it's a prudent use of money. A linear bird, even one in LEO would be a much better option. As far as P3E, whatever happened to the concept of rockets needing ballast? You still have to pay for the space of course but better to put something there than just dead weight.  Again, I very much WANT to see AMSAT prosper and survive, nothing in ham radio would make me happier but I'm a realist. FM repeaters are not going to get it done. They are a nice distraction and sideline but the linear birds, even in LEO are where the focus should be IMHO.
73,
Michael, W4HIJ
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!