Wednesday, December 12, 2001 is a very special day for AMSAT
members and for anyone with an interest in radio communications.

Wednesday marks the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic radio
communication by Marconi, from England to Newfoundland. The event
was a historic achievement in the annals of radio communications.
An equally historic event took place 40 years ago on Wednesday, the
launch of the first Amateur Radio satellite – OSCAR-1.

From my archives I find that OSCAR-1 was a 10 pound package of
electronics which transmitted the word “HI” back to Earth, along with
telemetry in the form of a temperature measurement (which controlled
the timing of the CW). The satellite was constructed by members of
Project OSCAR, a group organized at Foothills College in Los Altos,
California, along with the Lockheed Amateur Radio Club in Sunnyvale,

I would like to pass my congratulations to all of the members of Project
OSCAR (most of whom are still active in Amateur satellites). They were
the forerunners of AMSAT and we have to thank them for their vision in
developing this exciting aspect of Amateur Radio only four years after
the flight of the first Sputnik.

On December 12, 2001 yet another first will take place, the introduction
of a new website from the latest member of the AMSAT world
community. AMSAT-India has announced that their web page will
become available on this day, and I look forward to reading their

As the senior officer of AMSAT-NA, I get a great deal of e-mail
from many of you, and the variety of topics seem endless. I try to reply
directly to as many as I can, providing some insight into AMSAT and
what goes on in the organization. However, several of you have
written to complain about frequency use, or bad operator etiquette by
some stations. It is important to note that AMSAT is not a regulatory
body and we do not have any control over how people use a satellite,
we can only provide “moral persuasion” and hope that operators will use
the minimum power required to get the communications through and not
try and control the limited frequency space available on such satellites as
AO-27 and UO-14. Many operators try to use these satellites with small
antennas and a handheld transceiver, and do not appreciate some of the
“big guns” operating with high-gain antennas and home stations.

Finally, to all of you from the Board of Directors and Officers of
AMSAT-NA at this festive time of the year, may I wish you all the very
best of the holiday season. May you and your family have a great holiday
and a very happy New Year.


Robin Haighton, VE3FRH

President AMSAT-NA


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