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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY

Jim Reisert (AD1C) on November 10, 2005
View comments about this article!

During the ARRL SS CW contest this past weekend, I noticed CW signals all over the 40 meter RTTY band. The same could be said for 20 meter RTTY, I heard a few signals at 14080 and above.

Where are all the complaints? Where's the wailing and gnashing of teeth? Or is there a double standard when it comes to non-digital contests?

73 - Jim AD1C

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N3HKN on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Regardless of the offending mode contests will always breed malicious operations. If all of the contest activities were so benign why do you have some many rules and such an effort to find cheaters? Once you open the competition floodgates a small percentage of any group will spend a fortune and do "whatever it takes" to win. They really have little regard for others and may not be the kind of people you would socialize with. Because of this sub-set of the hobby it takes dozens of rules and lots of checking to keep them in line. Forget complaining. This type A+ personality feels no shame or concern for your position.

N3HKN
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K9OSC on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Your point is valid. CW operators, of which I am one, take over just as do RTTY operators during contests. In either case, it isn’t right nor does it do anything to enhance amateur radio. It just demonstrates how little regard we have for others who share in this hobby. If we were to all give way a little bit and respect reasonable voluntary bandplans for operation and listen before we transmit, operation would be much more pleasurable whether or not a contest was in progress.

Unfortunately, there are amateurs who feel that when a contest is in progress that all conduct of respect and reasonableness is temporarily suspended. Anything goes to get the needed contact. Consider just how far all the contesting has gone. Given a typical weekend there are sometimes 8 or more contests scheduled, some simultaneously. Small wonder that contesters, who have just as much right to practice their favorite part of amateur radio as others, irk so many on weekends.

Respect, tolerance and consideration should and can be a solid part of amateur radio. However, just like good phone, CW or RTTY operation, it takes practice and a will to succeed.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K7UNZ on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Jim, you have a valid point. As a non-contesting CW guy, I found it quite ironic that there was so much complaining about the SSB stations on 40 meters during the CQ-WW SSB contest (an International contest), and yet during the ARRL-SS CW thing (a "local" contest) they didn't seem to mind taking the whole band themselves.

Ignorance is bliss, or so I've heard.....

Jim/k7unz
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K0BG on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Dick, Robert, and Jim, I have to add my vote to each of your comments. However, type As are not necessarily rude and discourteous. Neither are your average CW, RTTY, or SSB operators. All in general, of course. But there is just something that gets the blood boiling when otherwise gentlemen, get involved in a contest.

As a side light, the ARRL asked in the weekly on line poll, how many were going to be in the Sweepstakes contest. Fully one third said no. This fact should start a real argument.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KT8K on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
A few contests like sweepstakes and CQWWDX events attract so many operators that the normal band segments get extremely crowded. People driven by contest fever/enthusiasm (some to the point of near desparation) naturally expand into the nearest quieter areas just so they can hear and be heard.

I do think the more savvy ops steer clear of areas like the dx zones and the 70 kHz area where the PSK31 ops hang out, and generally try to avoid the busy areas used by other modes. Also, I did hear casual conversations going on even in some extremely crowded areas during each of this Fall's contests, and had the impression that most ops tried to steer clear of those QSOs as well.

People do get a bit crazy over the big contests, though. It's a natural result of human nature, just as it is human nature to complain about it on-line. None of it is all that bad, in my book.

Hopefully articles like this will produce a bit of consciousness-raising among those who need it.
Good reception and happy operating from KT8K - Tim
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N8VUL on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't CW allowed on all portions of the Amateur bands, accept for the 222 and upper portions of the 1240mhz band? CW-SS only comes once a year. It seems that it is only during contest that a large portion of ham frequencies are used. Maybe if others were more radio active during non contest times, we wouldn't have a need for contests to use up frequency bandwith. Wasn't the contest only 24 hours long or was it longer. I don't know. I am not a contester.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W5GNB on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Give me SOMEONE to complain to and I would do it in a minute!

It seems the contest organizers don't give a hoot about anything but thier stupid contest. Anything else is of a secondary concern to these folks. Wether it be CW, RTTY, SSB or any other mode seems to make little difference, poor operating practice is still poor operating practice any way you look at it.

I recall that during the Katrina disaster the contesters pressed onward right OVER THE TOP of the emergency traffic frequencies with no regard to the emergency at hand.

Until we get some sort of organization with contesting sub-bands, I really don't see any relief in sight for this problem. It is fully apparent that the ARRL is not interested in a solution since they are one of the MAJOR contributors to the contesting QRM.

I find that the old Citizens Band on 27Mhz seems to have more courtesy among themselves than the hams of today.

73's
Gary - W5GNB
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by SWANMAN on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
And we had to pass a code test for this?
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't CW allowed on all portions of the Amateur bands.

-------------

Seems to depend on who you ask.

We will just continue to have unclear and wishy washy standards and protocals in place.

You would think that people shouldn't have to be reminded that CW is allowed pretty much anywhere throughout the amateur bands, but it seems apparent this is not the case. Otherwise articles like the author submitted wouldn't have to be posted in the first place.

I find it sad that an individual has to justify to antother operator why they are using CW on a "non standard" portion of the band. If your not doing what all the other Romans are doing in Rome, then it seems you ruffle all kinds of feathers.

This ongoing and unclear gentleman's agreement idea is just creating more confusion that never seems to end.

 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by AB7R on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Contesting is ONE of the aspects of ham radio I enjoy and nobody has the right to tell me what I can or cannot like about the hobby.

BUT......I do agree this should not be happening. So here is a suggestion if any of the contest coordinators are listening.....

Since probably at least 90% of contesters use auto logging programs that interface with their rigs...make it neccessary for ALL contests to log the actual frequency for each contact, not just the band.

If a frequency is logged outside the bandplan, not only is that contact forfeit, but the entire entry is disqualified. If evidence of tampering the frequency is apparent, then stations can be banned from that organizations contests for a year or something like that.

Just a thought.....I see lots of complaining but never many solutions on topics such as this.

73
Greg
AB7R
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Until we get some sort of organization with contesting sub-bands, I really don't see any relief in sight for this problem.

-----

We already have organization in place. Remember? It's called a "gentlemans agreement."



(ooOO... "Gentlemans agreement" = a clear cut method of what is known as mass organized confusion)
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W9WHE-II on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Easy solution....ban contests!
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA4DOU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
CW contesting is much more popular than RTTY contesting, therefore it stands to reason that the band is going to fill up and activity have to expand more to accomodate cw ops rather than RTTY ops. No double standard there. If you don't like contests it really doesn't matter as they were here long before most of us and they'll be here after we're gone.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K3UD on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder what will happen during contests if any bandplan by bandwidth goes into effect with so called gentlemens agreements being the sole criteria of who can go where on the bands. I think the author of the article aptly points out what will happen, only what he experienced will happen on a wholesale basis.

When it is in someones interest to ignore gentlemens agreements they will, as happens all the time in contests. If there is not force of regulation we end up with a highly QRMed Tower Of Babel.

When the range is wide open there will be range wars until the Sheriff steps in and the ruling council of the territory makes the decisions as to who can go where and do what. If we think that anything else will happen we are just kidding ourselves.

73
George
K3UD
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N4ZOU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Just switch to Amtor mode, which is nothing more than RTTY with forward error correction. Any non-digital contester will quickly give up trying to take over the frequency your using with another station. A simple and cheap Hamcomm modem and the Hamcomm program is all that is required. A TNC with Amtor mode is nice but not absolutely required.
http://www.eham.net/articles/7095
http://www.eham.net/articles/7305
http://www.eham.net/articles/8616
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA4DOU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
There is really nothing unclear or wishy washy about it. There are 2 segments to every band (except 30 meters). The phone portion and the cw portion. All other modes came afterwards and fit in to somewhere, generally in the cw band, usually up high. In normal day to day operation, cw operations stay in the lower part of the cw band. The exception is when the cw activity swells to such a level that it has to expand upward to and sometimes completely encompass the cw band, such as in major contests. CW is also legal in the phone bands but only because phone ops can resort to it in the event they have lost phone communications in a qso. It is not normal operating protocol to solicit cw qso's in the phone band. You can gripe about contests till you're blue in the face. In a popular phone or cw contest there can be thousands of ops participating and they are just as entitled to use the band as the rest of us are. If the contest encompass's the entire band, thats the way it is. If you're going to complain about that, you'll get greater results if you take a shovel and go to the beach and shovel sand against the tide.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA4DOU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I'm absolutely in favor of regulation by law. Too many of us won't be bound by anything less.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W7AIT on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
1. All contests / contesters jam the bands.

2. The ARRL sponsored contests are the worst.

3. All contesters are inconsiderate.

4. All contests jam the bands regardless of mode -RTTY, CW, SSB, PSK etc.

5. Contests server no useful purpose. If you say “emergency preparedness, - oh please - that’s a bunch of crap. We don’t run emergencies like these contests, even if we help in emergencies at all. See Katrina.

6. I asked several SSB ops during the last CW WW DX contest what the purpose was and they couldn’t answer. There is no purpose to any contest.

7. Same can be said for “amateur radio as a service” - it truly is not and hasn’t been for years. Contesting is not a “service”. It is a dis- service. Ham radio is just a hobby, nothing more.

8. Contests are an outlet for male aggression, nothing more.

9. Contesters hid behind their microphones and are afraid to show their faces, really- do you see them on the football fields playing football?

10. Contesters don’t care who they step on, and contest weekends (almost every weekend) becomes an exercise in futility for the non- contest operator.

11. Ham is worse than CB - CB has no contests!

12. I’m reaching for the off switch, goodbye.

 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K5FZ on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
We seem to have devolved into a world of situational ethics. It seems that the subject of "gentlemen's agreements" and ethics spills over into many other areas as well.

If the situation requires cheating in order to win, then cheating seems to be in order.

I had a conversation with a friend the other night about this subject...

That exact subject of that conversation was power levels in contests. If you are in the legal limit class, do you crank all the knobs to the right and run 2 KW, 3 KW, 5KW...if you have it and no one is looking over your shoulder do you use it?

In a low power catagory, who is running low power, and who is running 3,4, or 500 watts?

If it is a QRP catagory, who will know if you bump it up to 40, 50, or 100 watts.

We are supposed to be self-regulating, but when the
"situation requires it" who is regulating each of us?

Maybe self-regulating needs to start at home, and not with the OO group.

Just food for thought.

73,
Rich
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KD4MCA on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"Easy solution....ban contests!"

Can we also ban "Uncle Joe's Prostate Net" or anything else that I don't participate in? Just because I don't like something it should surely be banned. After all I KNOW there is some frequency that I acquired when I passed my test, and I should get wide elbow room. Somehow QRN should also be banned.

Seriously, I did give out a few points during the CW SS and the ops I came across were all ladies and gentlemen, they actually took the time to copy my slow and awful fist, no memory keyer here. Pumped me up to work a little CW agn. If you hear (or see) my call please do the same during the phone SS, the PSK deathmatch, etc.

Peace and 73
Adam KD4MCA

 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA4DOU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you're a person with no honor, cheating is easy to rationalize. I'm sure theres plenty. But there are plenty of us that do not cheat. Ever! And contests do serve good, enduring and valid purposes. Whether you agree or not is really immaterial. Do I complain when phone operation invades the cw portion of 160 meters during the CQ 160 meter contest? No! Do I complain when cw invades the above 1840 khz range during ARRL 160 or CQ 160 cw contests? No! Fact is, I know how to find other ways of entertaining myself if I run into contests that aren't of interest to me. And I know how to entertain myself with things outside of amateur radio as well. I'd suggest that if you wish to be taken seriously by anyone, that you too find the way to do that. However, I don't attempt to operate in the midst of contests and then complain with some kind of self righteous indignation that I'm not getting the respect and consideration I think I deserve.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA1RNE on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"During the ARRL SS CW contest this past weekend, I noticed CW signals all over the 40 meter RTTY band. The same could be said for 20 meter RTTY, I heard a few signals at 14080 and above.""


>> What's wrong with that? The FCC allows CW to coexist with RTTY on all bands, as they're both DATA modes. On 160 and 80 meters, RTTY can be used across the entire band - and at least half the available spectrum on every other band.



"Where are all the complaints?"


>> Why should there be any?? Being a contest, why should anyone waste time complaining about a non-essential activity that is not in violation of FCC rules?


Great stuff these ARRL contests. With the exception of Field Day, they're more trouble than they are worth.


WA1RNE
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K8MHZ on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
My daughter, KØLEY, is not and never will be a gentleman for obvious reasons.

Why should she obey anything other than FCC law, especially a 'gentleman’s agreement'?

I think that 'lest she not be considered a gentleman' concerns her very little....she, at least, has a very valid reason.

The term is as antiquated as the concept and both need to be laid to rest. Gentleman's agreements just allow a small portion of selfish people to take advantage of a larger portion of kinder folk without fear of legal retribution.

Any band plan that is dictated by law is better than what we have now. Sadly, that includes the ARRL's re-do (IF the FCC makes band plans law) but I see no other offering in the works.

And what is needed to get some standardization out of the ITU? I have never seen a list of frequencies that the entire world has in common but I will bet it is a small list.

Contesting, love it or hate it, pushes the bands to the limits and exposes their weaknesses. Good info for my particular interests. The downside is the effect it has on others for a short time...and we gain nothing if we don't respond to the discoveries we have made.

73,

Mark K8MHZ


 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W9WHE-II on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KD4MCA writes:

"Can we also ban "Uncle Joe's Prostate Net" or anything else that I don't participate in? Just because I don't like something it should surely be banned".

My friend, there is a huge difference between a bunch of old geezers discussing their prostate on 14.325 and a few hundred contesters (all knobs turned to the right) stepping on everybody, everywhere, to get their "your 5/9 Tuscolusa". For one thing, the guys on the geezer net aren't stepping on anyone. On the other hand, I've never seen a contest where contesters did not step all over anybody and everybody trying to have a normal QSO.

Contrary to the CONTESTER credo......might does not make right. And when a contester starts to step on me, I just fire up the Alpha 99 and hold my ground, no matter what it takes. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Let's not let the children run wild. That's MY credo!





W9WHE
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W0FM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If you want to put a ban on something, my vote would be to ban the low end of the sunspot cycle. It is totally unnecessary, and the hobby would be much better off without it. :o)

Terry, WØFM
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W5LSD on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Sadly, the RTTY bands are virtually unused except during a RTTY contest. I regularly tune for RTTY sigs on 40m and call CQ for very long stretches and ....rarely ever score a QSO. Even PSK sigs are getting sparse.
There is very little digital activity on 40m.....
not that that justifies contest behavior from other modes.....but the spectrum isn't being used by digital ops.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA3KYY on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What is sadder still is that all the bands are lightly used outside of contests regardless of the mode. Why is it that the bands only seem to be open during major contests? Where are all the non-contest operators who could easily make the bands more crowded than any contest could if even a fraction of them were operating?
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"Now how am I suppose to enjoy listening to Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate Net with all these darn contests going on all the time." Blah blah blah...

- OR -

"Now how am I supposed to contest with Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate Net going on all the time." Blah Blah Blah..

- OR -

"Now how am I supposed to enjoy RTTY with Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate CW Net going on all the time." Blah Blah Blah..


Conclusion: People like to complain about anything.


Solution:

Stop making a sub hobby out of worrying, policing and nitpicking what everyone else is always doing on every frequency allocation in existence from DC to daylight.

Always remember that your VFO dial isn't rusted onto your radio equipment.

Everyone is just going to have to share and get used to it.

 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"Now how am I suppose to enjoy listening to Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate Net with all these darn contests going on all the time." Blah blah blah...

- OR -

"Now how am I supposed to contest with Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate Net going on all the time." Blah Blah Blah..

- OR -

"Now how am I supposed to enjoy RTTY with Uncle Joe's 20m Prostate CW Net going on all the time." Blah Blah Blah..


Conclusion: People like to complain about anything.


Solution:

Stop making a sub hobby out of worrying, policing and nitpicking what everyone else is always doing on every frequency allocation in existence from DC to daylight.

Always remember that your VFO dial isn't rusted onto your radio equipment.

Everyone is just going to have to share and get used to it.

 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N0IU on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
KD4MCA wrote, "Easy solution....ban contests!"

Easier solution... ban rag chewing!!!

Talk about rude! Boy, you rag chewers really gall me! I am an avid contester and to me that is what ham radio is all about... making nothing but "quick hit" contacts with as much power as I can muster then moving on. To me, the section of Part 97 that says I can run only 1.5KW is like stop signs on a shopping mall parking lot; it is just a suggestion!

All you rag chewers want to do is find an open spot on the band and bore the daylights out of anyone who will listen to you chat about your lumbago, arthritis, quadruple bypass or some other way in which your decrepit old body is falling apart. While you yammer on midlessly for hours at a time, I can make over 60 contacts in the course of that same hour. Now I ask you, who is making better use of the bandwidth???

And who's idea was it to not allow contesting on the WARC bands? As far as I am concerned, those are 3 more bands I should be able to use for any purpose I see fit! After all, I took five written tests plus Morse code tests at 5, 13 AND 20 WPM in order to use any band at any time! I am the one who should be upset over this, not you!

All you rag chewers who only run 100 watts need to just get another hobby like stamp or coin collecting and leave us folks who really know how to make some noise on the bands alone! Sheesh!
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by AI2IA on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
If I could get just one message to contest participants, it would be the same thing I would tell the sports players: "It matters not whether you win or lose. It is how you play the game!" You can knock it if you like, but then you will never know how true it is, and you will never get the real satisfaction that comes not merely from doing it, but from doing it the way it ought to be done.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W6TH on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.
I have been around these ham bands now for the past 67 years and have "never" heard the words of "gentlemen's agreement". Guess this has started with all the new Hamsters. Please don't start the ARRL and the FCC to provide more laws to have tighter restrictions and control on our operating.

Operate with all coming conditions and prove yourselves worthy of being associated with ham radio.

Please don't put us Radio Amateurs in the back of the bus.

W6TH, a non vanity call, licensed in 1938.

Live Free or Die.

.:
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WB4M on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I did make a reply in reference to the CW contest that ran all over the RTTY frequencies, and was promptly lambasted by someone asking me about RTTY owning the frequencies. My post was what you are saying, showing the CW ops were guilty of the very thing they were complaining about! However, I did not crank up a RTTY CQ, I just turned off the rig and let the CW ops have their fun for the day. I had plenty of yard work to do anyway, :)
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K3ZE on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
For Pete's sake, it was only two weekends and you scream rape. Let's learn to cut each other some slack and GET OVER IT! We have bigger problems to solve.

73 Al K3ZE
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA8VBX on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Might is right and if I have the mightest signal on the band then I am right, so says me, and I am always right. Some contester feel that way, again some ragchewers feel that way. Is there a agreement about band usage, a unoffical one yes, it is followed mostly during the weekdays, then on contest weekend it, I guess it is forgotten.

Talking about usefulness of contest, what about field day, a chance to show how good hams are to the public. Most I have seen lately are using commerical power, and held out at someones farm or property where you can throw up several towers and beams, a place where the public really can't see what is going on. Field day should be emergency power(batteries,solar,generator), and in a place where the public can see it.

Now the above is just my opinion.

Kurt
WA8VBX
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
<Where's the wailing and gnashing of teeth?>

Those wailing and gnashing their teeth, are still stomping their feet while holding their breath until they pass out.

Just be patient.

Soon, their hissy-fit will diminish to a point where they regain enough control to get on the internet and complain.

To get the full measure of complaining, enter you eMail adr, and ask people with complaints, about anything, to include you on a list of people wanting to hear their complaints.

Bob
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by AB7JK on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Who starts these silly threads?
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 10, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
People who miss the Jerry Springer show.
8-o
Bob
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K0RGR on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Go cut a dipole about 45 feet long and get on 30 meters during the CW/RTTY contests if you want get away from them. 17 and 60 meters should serve a similar change of pace during SSB contests. Try something different for a change!

Contests demonstrate that there is still vitality in the old hobby. I'm all for 'em. I want to see another Field Day type activity in the winter time, with a multiplier based on the outside temperature. We in Minnesota should clean up.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KD6NIG on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I always thought that another function of Field Day was to demonstrate emergency communications preparedness.

Running the contest like an emergency would be good. Have it start at some ungodly hour, like 2 in the morning. Emergencies aren't always convienent.

People can start on commercial power, but like in a real emergency-uh oh, the power went out. Groups must organise and go to emergency power for at least half the contest. If that means running off the battery in your car, so be it.

I also think some kind of calamity should be built in that your main nice mondo antenna fails, and you're forced to go to a dipole for a few hours too. You can't string it up, or even unpack it either until that hour is reached. Then, you're off the air until you get it strung and working.

I know Field Day is a good time to show off what Ham Radio can do, but if we're honestly still about emergency communications also, then we should be integrating some emergency service preperation into the plan. Heck, our last field day actually covered some of what I stated-our main antenna went out and we had to go to a backup, and we had issues with our generator. Both had to be addressed during the contest, and the antenna also repaired during the contest. It gave people some new skills to have to use, not just the ability to log 60 contacts an hour. (And I'm sorry, I saw a guy doing this, he was a MACHINE doing it, but not everyone is that good, either).

As for Gentleman's agreements, note how many Gentlemen (and ladies) are left on todays roadways. We're just seeing that progression "bleeding over" to our hobby now. Someone that passes me so they can get somewhere faster 10 seconds earlier has the same "ITS ALL ABOUT ME, I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU, GET OUT OF MY WAY" mentality that a few (and I stress a few) contesters have. They ruin the experience for everyone else and give everyone else a bad name. Don't let those bad apples spoil the whole bunch.

As for the idiots who pass me because they are in a hurry-I'd rather have them in front of me anyway so I can keep an eye on them. Sorry that my non-excessive speeding car was in your way :)
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K0RFD on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W6TH wrote:

>I have been around these ham bands now for the past 67
>years and have "never" heard the words of "gentlemen's
>agreement".

Nowadays license candidates are at least expected to know they exist (note I wasn't foolish enough to say "follow them")

There are several questions about "gentlemen's agreement" bandplans in the General exam (section G2B) and one question about "gentlemen's agreements" in the context of the "DX window" in the Extra exam (Section E2C).
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by G8KHS on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Jim, thank you for starting this article, I make absolutely no apologies for reproducing the amateurs’ code below:

The Amateur's Code

The Radio Amateur is
CONSIDERATE...never knowingly operates in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
LOYAL...offers loyalty, encouragement and support to other amateurs, local clubs, and the American Radio Relay League, through which Amateur Radio in the United States is represented nationally and internationally.
PROGRESSIVE...with knowledge abreast of science, a well-built and efficient station and operation above reproach.
FRIENDLY...slow and patient operating when requested; friendly advice and counsel to the beginner; kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the hallmarks of the amateur spirit.
BALANCED...radio is an avocation, never interfering with duties owed to family, job, school or community.
PATRIOTIC...station and skill always ready for service to country and community.


I think these words contain a lot of wisdom, and should not be dismissed as a relic from the past, as they are just as applicable now as they were in 1928 when Paul Segal wrote them.

Nowadays, I try hard to be tolerant of other people using the bands, and remember to bend like the bamboo in the strong wind and not snap. (© B.Lee).

I also tell myself that although I’ve spent money and time on my station, I do not have an absolute right to turn my equipment on and have a great time on the air, contesting, ragchewing, or dxing, but I do appreciate civility from other operators, and try my best to reciprocate it.

73, John
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W6TH on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.
G8KHS

The Amateur's Code....You are kidding of course...

The Amateur's Code is nothing more than a piece of paper, the same as our Constitution of These United States.

The Constitution means nothing any longer, even Bush, our commander and chief can verify that.

.:
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!

"The Amateur's Code"

Nice in theory, but in actual practice some people operate their radio equipment with the same mentality as Friday evening road rage.

Get off my frequency and get outta my way, honk! honk!...

It's just deplorable low life loud mouth Fred Flinstone classless idiocy if you ask me.

 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W6TH on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
.

K0RFD

There are several questions about "gentlemen's agreement" bandplans in the General exam (section G2B) and one question about "gentlemen's agreements" in the context of the "DX window" in the Extra exam (Section E2C).
---------------------------------------------------
As I mentioned this all begins with "you" new hamsters.

W6TH
.:
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K0AMZ on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the article, and to you John for the code to live by. Yes, people get crazy when it comes time for "cq test" doesn't matter what frequency/band area you are in. I love psk and get trampled on in the contest so if you can't beat them join them. As far a people not utilizing the bands except during contest look at the solar cycle. 20 is dead at sunset and 40 follows shortly afterwards. I'm curious how it will be tonight in 4 1/2 hours WAE RTTY starts and I'll be in it. Like I said if you can't beat them join them.
73 and 72 when cndx right.

Galen
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by G0GQK on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
On the 24th October,there was a complaint about "The hi-jacking of the CW frequencies". Today the date is the 11th november and there is a a compaint about the RTTY frequencies. The answer from me is the same as before. Lack of frequency.

In a couple of weeks someone will have a bright idea of writing to e Ham about how the ham bands are dying, its the end of the world etc. etc. the lack of new people on the bands and all that stuff.

How long have the complainants been radio amateurs ?
This situation has been going on for years. There has never been a time in recent years when if there's a contest, there's space on the bands.

Is it not possible to use 17 metres or 30 metres, or if those bands are packed from one end to the other to go and clean the car, or brush leaves or even get the paint and brush out and brighten the place up a bit ?

There are other things to do in life

Mel G0GQK
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WM5R on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This is off the topic of the original article, but W5GNB and W7AIT have offered a pretty provocative claim in their discussion posts - that contest operations disrupted emergency communications frequencies responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.

I'd like more details. I've not heard of any such disruption. As far as I know, all of the Hurricane Katrina emergency traffic took place on HF phone or VHF FM simplex, and there were no major HF phone contests for North American stations for nearly a month after the hurricane made landfall. I know several contesters in Louisiana and Texas who took part in the emergency communications for both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and I've heard nothing about contest activity causing interference. There were major solar flares that disrupted communications, but not contests.

The Texas QSO Party took place the very weekend after Hurricane Rita made landfall, and as far as I've heard, there was not one instance of interference to emergency communications networks during that operating event.

Can you provide more details? What day and time did the interference take place? On what frequency? What were the calls signs of the stations involved? Was the station informed of the interference? How was it resolved?

It sounds like a wild rumor to me.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K0RFD on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W6TH--I don't write the tests, I just give 'em...
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WR8D on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Well its sad to say but just like the ssb guys the cw guys really had a good time. There were hundreds all piled together. I don't do contests at all but i loved hearing all those cw guys "of which i'm one" going at each other. Cw is allowed by the way everywhere there's gentleman agreements which are thrown to the four winds during contest time, but everyone does that to make a contact regardless of the mode the contest is being held for. I bet what really stick in most "craws" is the fact that this mode is not dieing as so many say. Literally hundreds are pulling out their old keys and getting back into cw. Yeah you read that right, but since so many have turned their backs on the mode they are not aware of the activity. If you can't do but 5wpm just get on there and do it. Like i always say code speed won't make you a better or worse ham. Its the representation of yourself that you put out on the air regardless of the mode, that people can hear and form their own opinion about you. Again with contests the rule book is pretty much thrown out the window. 73 Happy Thanks Giving! WR8D John
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by RobertKoernerExAE7G on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Inquiring minds want to know.

Where did the hijacked RTTY portion of 40 meters wind up? Subspace?

Did the CIA capture the hijacked band segment?

When the hijacked band portion was captured, how did the FCC merge it back into the rest of 40 meters?

What happened to the RTTY signals after the dastardly, devilish, blood-sucking, terrorists hijack the 40 meter RTTY segment?

Bob
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KB7LYM on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Trying to solve this 40 meter RTTY ball of Spaghetti is like hanging Wallpaper in a Hurricane.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K6CS on November 11, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
To KT8K Tim:
You are now my mentor.
I like your thinking!


Thanks & 73, Charlie KE6OUD
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N0IU on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Mel G0GQK wrote, "In a couple of weeks someone will have a bright idea of writing to e Ham about how the ham bands are dying..."

But ham radio really is dying, at least here in the "colonies". It is not just my opinion, the cold hard numbers back me up. I wrote the following response on another ham message board on the topic of "meaningful entry-level privileges" --

Lowering the code requirements may have sounded like a good idea at the time, but if the intent was to increase our overall numbers, it did not work! I don't have the answer as to how to boost our numbers, but this latest push to create a "more meaningful" entry level sounds like a lot of back pedaling since the last attempt to give ham radio a shot in the arm was a dismal failure!

In April 2000 (when the 13 and 20 tests were dropped along with the Novice and Advanced classes), there were 678,539 amateur licenses. As of about a week ago, that number has dropped to 675,274, which is a loss of 3,265 in the last 5 and half years. Digging a little deeper into the numbers by class, those with HF privileges (General, Advanced and Extra) grew by 33,464 while the "entry level" (Novice, Technician and Tech Plus) licenses have gone down by 36,729.

These numbers tell me that the entry-level people have taken advantage of the code reduction by upgrading, but that has left a huge hole in the entry level. Even if that 3,265 loss is from Silent Keys and people letting their license expire, the bottom line is that there is still a net loss in our numbers. Reducing the code speed and eliminating two license classes has not resulted in any sort of growth in ham radio. All it has done is shifted the entry level into the HF level.

So you see, there was no altruistic motivation behind the reduction in code speed as a means of bolstering the ranks of ham radio. If nothing else, these numbers should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the only motivation was so that existing entry-level licensees could upgrade without having to learn higher speed CW and not having to take the Advanced written test.

What we need is a way to get people into this hobby, not continuously easier and easier ways to upgrade within it!

George K3UD further analyzed the numbers in this way:
Actually the number of unexpired licenses (not including club licenses) is 663,533 and has been on a steady decline since the all time high of 687,5500+ In April of 2003. This is a loss of almost 25,000 licensees in 2.5 years.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by K8NQC on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
This is no problem. It should be considered normal. Except for emergency traffic, which always takes priority, all other uses of the amateur frequencies is so trivial that it does not justify the use of commercial communications channels.

There are legal restrictions that apply based on mode, band, and license class. Beyond that we have gentlemen's agreements that have evolved based on experience that tend to reduce conflicts most of the time. One factor in observing these unofficial band segments is the demand, the number of users sharing a band at a given time and their mode preferences. From time to time, for a variety of reasons the demand is far different from typical use. Changes in propagation move people from one band to another. When that happens we find ourselves sharing a band with more or less people. The band may be more or less crowded and we either adjust, complain, or turn our radio off. For example, the recent change from Daylight time to Standard time has forced several 40 meter nets to move to dodge the SW Broadcasters on their new schedules.

Major operating events can greatly affect the demand for use of the ham bands. A band such as 80 meters may operate one way on typical nights when 800 hams want to talk with each other on SSB. On a field day night when demand for the band swells to 20,000 hams, operation is going to be much different. Those who "own" frequencies during low demand periods learn that many others also own those frequencies when they use them for different kinds of communications.

This is also true when mode dependent operating events occur. In RTTY events, CW is going to have more company. The opposite is true during CW contests. International conventions can make these conflicts much worse, especially on 40 meters.

Most experienced hams operate a variety of modes and bands and join the various activities. Those who choose to stay with one band or mode are going to have to deal with the disruption. Again, it is not a problem. It is normal based on demand.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N9AVY on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Jim: Just plan on other activities for contest weekends. I occasionally check into some nets which are cancelled or moved on certain contest weekends. Contesters tend to get caught up in the "thrill of the hunt" and don't always pay attention to where they are in the band. I find it far easier to use the "OFF" switch than to use up adrenalin over where contesters are operating.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N0IT on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Contesting sub-bands? More likely a small slice somewhere for the non contesters to congregate. There are more contesters active on a contest weekend than there are non contesters. If you want a qrm free place to carry on about your gall bladder operation or what pig prices are doing these days, try the old Novice bands or upgrade and operate in the bottom 25 khz.

For that matter, you might try the WARC bands. They were intentionally left non contest just to provide a getaway for those offended by type A types.

And for your complaint about interference to emergency nets during Katrina. The only "interfernce" Im aware of related to the stupid QMN traffic net in Michigan that decided in the mist of a contest to claim a particular cw frequency and start operations on an already in use frequency when they didnt even claim this on their website much less publicize it to the ham community. If you only talk to yourself dont blame others when your frequency is taken up.

73 de Dave, N0IT
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N0IT on November 12, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
"This is off the topic of the original article, but W5GNB and W7AIT have offered a pretty provocative claim in their discussion posts - that contest operations disrupted emergency communications frequencies responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster. "

I believe it was W7AIT that came on the rtty contest reflector after the rtty contest had begun to complain about the fact that when the MICHIGAN QMN net and its SATERN component went to a frequency that they had decided they would use as a backup frequency, it and every near by frequency was already in use. They already had three or four other cw frequencies they were using. That in connection with at least six or seven other frequencies on 20 meters and 40 meters that were being used on SSB. <p>

Well despite days of warning regarding the hurricane they never bothered to publicize "their" frequencies and ask that contesters stay clear of them. In fact, if you checked their website you wouldnt even find the frequency they complained about listed. Of course who is going to check a SATERN website for such information. I had never heard of the organization prior to W7AIT use of abusive and foul language and threats. Other organizations publicised their emergency frequencies with the ARRL and didnt have any problems that I heard of.

It was poor planning and preparation plus a big of arrogance on the part of SATERN/QMN that created any of the problems they encountered.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by VE3TMT on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I just wish the RTTY ops would stay off the PSK31 calling frequencies!
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I just wish the PSK31 ops would stay off the RTTY calling frequencies!


 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8VWM on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Trying to solve this 40 meter RTTY ball of Spaghetti is like hanging Wallpaper in a Hurricane.

...Ya think?
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W4CBL on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
So much whining and griping about NOTHING.

I do not contest, but I'm glad there are people that do. They use bandwith that would otherwise go unused, and become targets for takeover by commercial interests.

Poor operating is poor operating, contest or no contest.

As for the Gentlemen's Agreements - what gentlemen? I didn't agree to any bandplan - and I don't belong to the organization that did - so I therefore don't feel bound by this nebulous "agreement".

Most of you folks should kwityerbitchin and get on the AIR!

W4CBL
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W7WIK on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
CW is allowed anywhere on the 40-meter band. The other modes are not.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KT4XF on November 13, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Contesting is a Chinese/ Communist thing.. .. .. RADIOSPORT !
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by AA4PB on November 14, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
As for the Gentlemen's Agreements - what gentlemen? I didn't agree to any bandplan - and I don't belong to the organization that did - so I therefore don't feel bound by this nebulous "agreement".
-----------------------------------------------------
It's attitudes like this that create most of the problems. The only one that matters is the big I and forget everyone else.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by WA6BPE on November 14, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W5GNB wrote >It seems the contest organizers don't give a >hoot about anything but thier stupid contest. Anything >else is of a secondary concern to these folks. Wether it >be CW, RTTY, SSB or any other mode seems to make little >difference, poor operating practice is still poor >operating practice any way you look at it.

>I recall that during the Katrina disaster the contesters >pressed onward right OVER THE TOP of the emergency >traffic frequencies with no regard to the emergency at >hand.

>Until we get some sort of organization with contesting >sub-bands, I really don't see any relief in sight for >this problem. It is fully apparent that the ARRL is not >interested in a solution since they are one of the MAJOR >contributors to the contesting QRM.

Yeah, let's face it, an operating event that happens 5 or 6 times a year like CQ WW SSB or the ARRL DX CW contest with 10,000 participants is much less important than assuring Joe Blow ham operator can operate exactly where they want (20 meter SSB, say around 14.250) any time they want (about 4 pm Saturday afternoon every...single...weekend...) with a completely clear frequency. Let me guess, on non-contest weekends you probably tell other ops on SSB who are 2 kHz away they need to QSY, right? 'Cause "it's in use"?

Why glorify ragchewing? "Yeah, how ya doin', you're running a solid 5 and 9 here 5 by 9 in Outer Suburbia about 45 miles due southwest of Major City...home fo the Major City Whompers of the Unknown Sports League...the name is BOB that's Bravo Oscar Bravo BOB and we're running the old Itsframmer KG-557, 100 watts...heh, heh, got the afterburner off today...100 watts to a dipole up about 37 feet at the top of the treeline in the back yard. Well back over to you, wondering how you're copying over there in Tinytown Someplace. K7whoblah from WB9frickle Over Over"

Yawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwnnnn. YAWN!
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W4CBL on November 14, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
AA4PB

I have never knowingly QRM'd a QSO; and I don't participate in contests except field day. In my original post I stated the "poor operation is poor operation"; and that also applies to contestors.

The only "ham regulations" that are binding on operators in the USA is Part 97. Your ARRL-sponsored "gentleman's agreements" carry NO weight with me.

Don't like it.... Tuffchitski.

As far as "selfish attitudes", call me back when you are involved with as many different public service activities as I am.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by AA4PB on November 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
W4CBL: Do you regularly operate CW throughout the phone bands? Do you regularly tie up calling frequencies with long term conversations? Do you regularly operate simplex on repeater input frequencies? Do you regularly operate RTTY in the middle of the PSK31 stations? Probably not - so I expect you abide the agreements much more than you give yourself credit for.

Most hams abide by most of the agreements most of the time even though they don't have any legal requirement to do so.
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W4CBL on November 15, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I don't do any of those things....

I have the ARRL band plan posted near my rig, and refer to it often. I DO generally follow those guidelines, even though I don't feel "bound" to do so.

I try my hardest not to be a "lid", but like I said, poor ops is poor ops, regardless of the "plan" or the mode.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by W3CDE on November 17, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Cw in the RTTY section of the band is less of a problem than when the RTTY contesters take over ALL of the CW portion of the pand PLUS any where else they can find... From a CW and dgi mode op..

Jerry
W3CDE
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N1QQ on November 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Jerry, I totally agree.!! (Although few will agree with us.) hi hi...
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N9IJ on November 20, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Interesting comments all. As a contester and avid CW user with many years activity I seem to recall that CW is allowed throughout the HF spectrum. While there are absolute band limits for voice communications in the US the rest of the so-called restrictions are of the "gentlemen's agreement" variety. I believe this still means I may operate CW on an unused frequencey if I so desire whether participating in short contacts with little meaningfull information or a long winded rag chew, also likely full of useless information.

Interestingly, I often hear QRL? (that's the CW way to ask if a frequency is being used) during CW contests but have NEVER heard a RTTY station do the same. I often hear RTTY and non-US phone stations fire up oblivious to a CW station on the frequency. Courtesy should prevail but that is an individual thing not limited to any special interest.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC8-TMA on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
While on 14.300.00 monitering an on going emergency at sea, what do I hear? WXXXXX contest qrz.
This was repeated three times.
The net operator advised the HAM from New Mexico of his interferance and illegal op on the Fq.
The contestor replied he did not care, he paid for his ticket. His taxes paid for the use of any and all Fq. Even after being warned that he was interfering with an on going emergency on a sanctioned net, Twice.The reply was repeated. He Did Not Care.
Over the recent years I have noticed the professionalism and politeness of Amature Radio, dissapearing. It has started to sound like the I don't give a damn of CB.
This has got to stop and stop now. Either by tougher testing or HAM's speaking up when this type of behavior is heard and stiff fines and loss of tickets and equipment.
If contesting and general operating does not reign it's self in and play by the rules Amature Radio as we know it will disapear.
 
The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KT5X on November 22, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
The "difference" seems obvious enough. During the sweepstakes, the CW frequencies were crammed full of stations, and there was some spill-over into the RTTY section of the band mostly by slow speed beginners who probably didn't know they were intruding. But during the RTTY activities, the RTTY segment of the band was empty. All RTTY activity had moved into the CW portion of the band.

Thanks boys,

Fred - kt5x
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by N1ZHE on November 25, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Funny - I thought CW was the "original" digital mode....hi! David, N1ZHE
 
RE: The Hijacking of 40-Meter RTTY  
by KC2JCA on December 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Can't we all just get along?

Don't get me wrong, I love contesting as much as the next guy. Expecially CW, it keeps my ear sharp and my fist quick. But I try to respect the band plans, I listen more than transmit, and if I find myself slipping from "having fun" to "being frustrated" I know it's time to take a break, have a homebrew and take a few deep breaths.

Even during non-contest times, there is a percentage of ham operators who could care less about being courteous. You've heard them out there, huge signals on-air tuning. We all know that you should be tuning into a dummy load, but where's the fun in having a BIG signal if you can't destroy other QSOs with it?

We've all heard the courteous operator who sends QRL? to see if the frequency is clear. Then just one second later sends it again, then immediately starts transmitting CQ CQ CQ. He never listens to see if the frequency is really clear, he sends out QRL? just to warn everyone he is about to take over the frequency.

How many times on SSB has your QSO been interrupted by someone saying "Hello...helloooo...helloooooooo" while tuning up?

So, when I start moving from the courteous to the frustrated, and I just want to raise my power and turn my VFO and do whatever I want because it seems everyone else is doing what they want...I just remember that someone needs to be the adult and follow the rules, and just learn to relax.

Someone mentioned CB radio (and I'm sure they did it just to see if they could start a flamewar) and how courteous they all are. Well, that may be, but 95% of the CB users are voluntarily involved in criminal activity. Jeff Dahmer was a really nice guy too.

In fact, I know a group of old CBer's who got their ham license only because one of their friends got busted by the FCC for illegal operations, and they wanted to have the Ham License because then it would be legal for them to at least own the linear amplifiers under the desk.

I keep in mind that not everyone with a Ham License is a Ham. Just like not everyone with a Driver's License is a driver.

73,

--
Jim
kc2jca
 
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