Don't blame the W3 name on the "old school guys".
That one was invented by the 4DTV designers. I'm pretty sure that W3 was never at 87. W3 was at 91. The old school guys, who never went for the 4DTV sales pitch probably have S3 programmed into their receivers, since that was at 87 before AMC3. That's what I've had in my receivers for the 87 slot. Having only G, T, F, A, W, S, M, B, R, C, and K available, I tend to save "A" for Canadian Anik sats, and use "S" for the AMC sats. The AMC sats were all "GE" sats before the AMC people took them over, so "G" would make sense, but I use "G" for Galaxy. I guess that since there aren't any Westar sats anymore, that using W for AMC had some logic, but since a couple of the AMC sats took over slots occupied by the Spacenet sats, I thought it made more sense to give all the AMC sats the "S" designation on my receivers.
But of course I wouldn't call them S3 on a forum, that's just what they show up as on my receiver, which is dictated because most if not all old receivers only allow you to use a 2 digit name (to make it quicker to use two clicks on a remote), ie one letter and one number, so we don't have many options. When I refer to the sats on internet groups, I tend to go by what NASA and now SpaceTrack/USSTRATCOM call them, mainly because I like to use tracking programs to keep track of where the sats are, and you need to use their two line orbital elements. I figure those guys are the guys who keep track of where all the sats and space junk are, so I call them what they call them. Although actually the more official names for the sats are either the "Catalog number" or the "International designator", which for AMC3 are 24936U and 97050A respectively. Sometimes when the sats change names, I have to track down the keps using the catalog number.
But anyway, don't blame the W3 name on the old school guys. That was purely a GI/Motorola invention.
No, I understand what you were getting at re using the "OLD" names. I still think of 125 as G5, and think of AMC11 as F3 and G15 as G1 (even though the switch from 3 deg to 2 deg confused the slots down there a bit), but what caused me to respond is that W3 was never the old name for that AMC3 slot. The W3 name for that slot was fabricated by GI, and only has meaning to the 4DTV community. Old-timers would remember that slot as S3.
I consider myself an oldtimer, and tend to associate current sats with the old names, but I never bought into the 4DTV fad, so I don't associate anything with their fake names. Actually, the W3 instead of S3 one isn't that bad. My biggest complaint with respect to the 4DTVs fake names relates to the 121 and 129 slots. A few years ago, I got into a discussion with some 4DTVers on another forum about some channels that they said were on T7. Now to me, T7=IA7=G27=129 slot. To them, T7=G13=121 slot?!?!?!? Took me a long time to figure out what transponders they were referring to. I can understand using an unused letter like W for a newer sat like the AMC sats, but using the legitimate designation of an existing sat for another sat, and then renaming the sat whose designation they stole, THEN expecting the rest of the sat world to know which sat they're talking about??? I have seen 4DTV sites which list T7 as being both 129 and 121, but at the time, the official GI web page listed it at 121. I don't know what they call T7 now.
Anyway, that's why I get grumpy when the discussion comes around to 4DTV names. At least now that G27 is on the move (now at 135.7) , I won't have to worry about that one anymore.
Yes, AMC-1 thru at least 4 or 5 were previously GE sats. Before that, the AMC3 slot was Spacenet, however. I don't think there have been any W (Westar) sats since around 1990. When I started out, there were 2 or 3 Westar sats. I think W4 was my favorite, because it had a bunch of SCPC stuff on it, if I remember right.
My http://www.eskerridge.com/bj/sat/tvrosat2.html page tries to show where the sats were, although there are some errors on it, plus, I didn't differentiate between sats like S3 and S3R, etc. But it's close to being accurate. The years thru 1997 or so are based on the old Westsat charts. From 1998 on, it's based on Lyngsat and old NASA keps I kept.
But I don't see any evidence that the AMC3 slot was EVER a W sat, except at GI/Motorola.
This one got me really doing some research. My list that I posted a link to above only had the sat as S3, not S3R, although I knew that Lyngsat had been calling it S3R before it was retired. So I decided to go back and check to see when it actually changed from being S3 to S3r. I looked at Lyngsat listings back to 1998, and they always called it S3R, while my old Westsat charts always listed it as S3 all the way through to 1998, when my subscription stopped. I looked in the Space-Track archive, and they don't even list a Spacenet-3 at all, which would indicate that it never made it to orbit.
So I went back to an old 1987 book I have, Mark Long, World Satellite Almanac, and it had the answer.
Apparently Spacenet 3 never made it to orbit. The 3rd stage failed, and the launch team destroyed the sat during the launch. I'm not sure why the Westsat charts called the sat S3 instead of the correct S3R, because they used the "R" term for other replacement sats.
Also, I've made a couple changes to another chart I posted a while back, ie: http://www.eskerridge.com/bj/sat/tvrosat4.htm
When I first posted this, there was some question about G28 having ben temporarily called G27. I had that in there because the federal web page showed that, even though I was pretty sure it was wrong. I've done lots of googling, and can't find any indication that this ever happened, so Space-Track must be wrong. I took that out. Also deleted G27, since it's moving now. But this page shows names that the current sats once had before their current names. The only issue, is that some sats were given names before they were launched, and then changed names before they were launched. This was true for a few of the AMC sats, ie several were already in orbit as GE sats, then changed to AMC, while some others were named GE while still on the ground, but had their names changed before launch. The federal web page had the pre-launch GE name in the database, so I have these sats also listed as having been GE sats. The best I can figure is that GE-1 thru GE-8 were in orbit as GE sats, but GE-10 thru GE-12 were GE sats on the ground, but AMC sats upon launch.
Another thing I ran across, again relating to AMC3, and the historical name for the slot, is that the SES company used to be SES Americom, which used to be GE Americom, which used to be RCA Americom....
Well GE Americom used to own not only the GE sats that became the AMC sats, but GE Americom also used to own Spacenet 3, and also S1, S2 and S4 (and also the Satcom C sats). Before that, the Spacenet sats were owned by GTE, so S1 and S2 were originally known as GTE Spacenet sats.
SO, since GE Americom owned both S3R at 87 as well as it's replacement, GE3/AMC3, it seems even more logical that AMC3's slot should be called S3, not W3. The Westar company that launched W1 thru W5 sold out to Hughes, which owned the Galaxy sats.
Anyway, probably not of interest to anyone, but I never realized there had been so many ownership changes of these sats. I had a good time researching all this, as back when I was tuning these sats in, I had no idea of who owned the sats.