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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Where Do We Go From Here?

lou giovannetti (KB2DHG) on May 6, 2014
View comments about this article!

I read a lot of articles on eHam and get a wealth of information out of them.
On a recent post about the state of amateur radio it is apparent that many of us including myself worry about the future of this time-honored hobby...

We are a passionate group to say the least and that is a good thing... So I say if the future of amateur radio is to survive than it is up to each and every one of us to see that it does...

It should start right at operating practices. I have been a ham for many years and an avid SWL before then. In my years I have witnessed the demise of good operating practices and down right nasty harmful intentional interference.

It is almost on a daily basis that I hear violations of the rules and just poor operating of my fellow hams...

So I think the best way to insure that our hobby endures is right with the way WE conduct ourselves on the air. Remember we are like an embassy to the word. As amateurs, with the power to broadcast all over the world, we must always keep in mind that we represent our Country and how other Countries see us. Foul language and harmful interference will only prove to make us look bad and lest face it who would want to get involved in a hobby that would cause stress and dismay?

If a would be Amateur Radio Operator were to here some of the nasty operating that has been going on the air these days, I am sure it just might scare them away.

NOW for the most part I am not saying that all hams are bad operators quite the opposite, most ham's I have met throughout my 30+ years in this hobby have been wonderful but there is that percentage that ruin it for ALL of us and the future of this great hobby.

So I say, when on the air try to remember to be a good operator and be kind and courteous to your fellow Amateur...

This may be just one other thing that can save us from loosing this great hobby. Just something as being a courteous good operator...

Member Comments:
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Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KE6SLS on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

Hi Lou:

First, hams don't "broadcast". This is sort of a fundamental rule. Hams transmit or receive. . . Broadcasting removes us from part 97 completely.

I agree with you. Some ops are incredibly rude and seem to go out of their way to make operations on some bands very difficult, or they use language a 3rd grader would use on a school yard.

These hams don't ruin it for all of us though. They are being monitored. A time will come when they are visited.

In the mean time, the rest of us continue on--looking to meet new friends and support local nets.

Yes, there are some rotten apples. Just move along a bit and you will find the ripe apples.

73 om
j
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N4OI on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Wow... I have not observed this type of behavior. Exactly where in the CW portions of the bands does this occur?

73
 
No need to worry.  
by AI2IA on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Here we go again - preaching the obvious!

Responders will always comment about the "other guys," not themselves.

The gloom and doom hams will rise up out of the muck and contribute their wisdom to this thread.

Ham preachers and scolds will contribute their wise advice.

Ugh. Go on the air. Escape this lunacy,and if you hear anything you don't like, well, there has always been a solution for that - jut turn the big knob.

Life is too precious to spend time on this sort of stuff.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W1JKA on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
N4OI, I think he's referring to those guys up on the voice frequencies practicing for the oral and tune up procedure sections of their upcoming CB license exams.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N1DVJ on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Come on, you think this is a new problem? It's been around for years. I first started listening in the 60's, and it's always been a problem.

If it weren't for the fact that the bands are more crowded today, I'd say the problem would be LESS than the late 70's or early 80's.

Oh, and hams are "broadcasters"? I've heard more than a few that the term would be applicable to.

And, don't be so smug about cw. I've heard trash on CW too, back in the early 80's. Not just carriers and 'CQ's repeatedly over conversations, but cursing. Sent at speeds I had to record and slow down to listen to. Radio Shack had a great little cassette recorder for that back then, with variable speed...
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W1JKA on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Anybody have a list of the CW Q signals for the various foul language words, terms and phrase that are commonly used? I'm not a high speed Morse operator and these Q signals would be less tiring on my wrist.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KF4HR on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Let's not pick apart the term Broadcasting and Part 97. I think everyone knows what Lou's point is.

It would be great if any of this conversation would make any positive changes to the way certain hams conduct themselves on the air. Unfortunately it probably won't.

Thankfully there is a fantastic AM and SSB Lid Filter. It's called CW.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by RSHIRE22 on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Seems to me everybody today is dying of hate. It leads to nothing but diseases, road rage, and murder suicide. The problem is we removed morality from our institutions. Forget about religion and God. You can be an athiest and still not hate if you can sense the difference between right and wrong.

Another side effect of hate is paranoia. When that starts you become so sensitive you want to take away everyone else's rights and put everyone in jail. Then you have a revolution and begin again. Hopefully the healthy people win and not the haters.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KK5RH on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I earned my Advanced Class License back in the late 70's.
Operated most HF bands for 20 years. Just getting back to the hobby after being away for almost 20yrs.
I am a little taken back at the arguments and foul language I have heard on 40 & 20 meters. Prime example is the Jamming, Broadcasting, Cursing, etc. I hear on 14.313
"Back in the Day" some one at the FCC Office would have certainly pin pointed these clowns and at least issued a citation. Yes, there has always been a few bad eggs, but I do think the code requirement help filter out some of the "chicken banders". Its OK to come to Amateur Radio from CB band (I did) but please leave all the non sense behind.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W5TTW on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I appreciate the author's concern for the hobby, but this is much ado about nothing. The nitwits are an extremely small portion of the ham community. They're easy to avoid because we all know what rocks they're hiding under. Move on. Be happy.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N6AJR on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!




My rule of thumb is to always communicate as if my mother was listening. This makes sure my comments, on voice, cw or rtty are always ok for a new young ham to listen to as may well, be the case. A gentleman or lady always uses proper language




 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Having been around in the 70's and experance'n the WESTCARS wars back then. The FREETINKERS net on 75 meters etc.... nothing has changed. The FCC did nothing under that admin (R HOllingsworth) and now the new one today. The ARRL has been about as effective as warts on a frog. They pay'ed lip service but in effect stayed up in the peanut gallery and really didn't do much of anything except sell more paper. I know a lot of hams who were disalusioned by the inpotency of the ARRL on the stance they took. Many threatened to quit the ARRL if they didn't get involved and do something. We all know what the result was. CQ and 73 groups gained a lot of old ARRL members that quit.

It seems that some of the hams on 40 mtrs tried all kinds of options to get the ham bands back into being professional looking... but we know that didn't happen and they lost both money, time and effort.

Today their is a resurgence of this effort started by a ham up in the northwest. It seems that some effect has been seen however, they are trying to get more hams to help root out these "bad apples". Something the ARRL doesn't get involved in due to lack of funds. (this accroding to the the rep we talked to at HQ) Yet the group up in the Northwest seem to be having a effect with the FCC. (phone call with FCC agent confirmed this as they have now several that are under investigation and two that they will not renew their licenses)

I wonder if it is not a case of frustration... that these hams become 'bad apples'. I know of several in our group who were all set to "save the world" due to the hype that the ARRL put out on ARES and then after several months of doing nothing (thank goodness) got disalusioned and went on to a different hobby. Could it be that these hams who are broadcasting, jamming and /or being a pain to others just might be frustrated hams who were brought in under the assumption of helping humanity and then found that after spending all the money on gear... were abandoned/not needed and/or reconized and are frustrated.

While most hams read this and go away ignoring the problem it is true that they use the ham bands for their enjoyment and when it gets bad enought; start complain'n about why doesn't someone do something. To those I say WE make the hobby what it is. Want to clean up the hobby one needs to get involved (that means everyone) These so called bad apples live close to someone and that someone (U) needs to make it known. If we all work togeather we can improve and make the ham bands back into the professional standing it once had. If we don't... don't complain when they start having fun jamming your nice conversations just because it is fun to them to harass you...
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The author poses the question, "Where do we go from here"?

Initial reaction to that question is we do the best with what we have. We no longer have the quality operators we had decades ago, due to the stupiding down of the hobby, but to use a cliche, it is what it is.

The author claims he monitors violations daily. What category? Minor violations occur daily, so what? Government enforcement is virtually non existent, so if a minor mistake is made and it bothers you, see if the operator will accept a POLITE private correction.

I don't see any problem with minor violations, and they are the result of cereal box "exams" so simple anyone can pass them. We just live with it. 27 mHz is where hams today get their basic training. Either that or one of the mass club classes that get people a call sign, then turn them loose on the air with no coaching.

W5TTW makes a good point. We know where the rotten apples and scum are, so don't go kicking the rocks they live under. Avoid the frequencies we all know are home to mental wards.

I have been around for several decades, and in that time, the number of criminal mentally ill dangerous hams I have encountered I can count on one hand. I know of two who have used amateur radio to facilitate the commission of felony crimes. Guess what? They still have their amateur radio licenses, and they still hang out on the mental ward frequencies. That is wrong, and the regulatory agency is clearly responsible for these people still having a ham license. The commission is well aware of their felony criminal records.

On an optimistic note, there are many great hams out there, and many of them are brand new hams.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by RSHIRE22 on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Right now we have a government that's all about devide and conquer through differences. It views traditional (mostly white) America as bad or at best useful idiots. It's narcissist power hungry that views the potential first female president as a threat. We live in dangerous times most dangerous since WWII.

By policy our friends are our enemies and vice versa so all the crack head dictators around the world see opportunity ahead. Our past friends shake their heads. Bizarro world is here. In comparison ham radio concerns are insignificant.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@boysclubradio

Be careful which "bad apples" you decide to get involved with. There are a few out there that you would do better to stay clear of. You may run across one of them who takes his delusions to the real world, and you will find out you cannot get rid of them.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by AF5DN on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have not been a ham long. I canít say I have never came across these, how shall we sayÖ offending operators.
If I doÖ. I have a VFO.


ds
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N1DVJ on May 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
First off, I STRONGLY agree with Johnz about being careful. Some if these people really are in their own world, and outright confrontations could lead into areas you just don't want to go. A lot of these people are already legends in their own minds, and their perception of what is 'justified' (to them) and what they can get away with could be far from what everyone else would consider the 'norm'

But TTW probably has the best outlook... The nitwits really are a small minority, and aren't worth the trouble. That is, unless trouble is your entertainment.

But UXA, it has ALWAYS been this way. Back in the 70's especially. By the early 80's it was a mess. And the worst area in the early 80's was 20M, followed closely by 80m. 2M was around major cities was it's own special class of wasteland. Only the bands weren't as crowded. And come on, the test is harder today. Back in the 70's the question pool was much smaller and always available to those that wanted it in advance from the 'Bash Books'. At least the question pool today is someone of a study guide, not flat out an answer sheet.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by ZENKI on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Dont lower the standards anymore. Lowering perceived barriers anymore anywhere in the world will always be detrimental to the ham service in the long run.

We will always be a technically orientated communications hobby and lowering this focus will essentially wipe our legal status for existing. Besides we can never be the internet. If you cant pass the basic low standard tests as they exist now, you can go let loose on the internet and have your needs met there.

Ham radio was not meant to be a telephone or internet service for dummies. Expecting the ham service also to be a "clean" version of CB without mandating entrance tests is asking way too much. Nowhere in society can you have decorum, consideration and good manners where there is no laws.

Many ham organizations seem to want to make the ham service to be a dumbed down hobby thats free and easy access to all for no good reasons. This does not service the interests of those who love the technical aspirations of the hobby. It also does not foster an environment that mandates one to educate yourself for excelling in mastering all aspects of the hobby.

Tuning the bands today leaves one with the impression that the service has become a shelter for a lot of ignorant morons. It seems ham radio is no longer the hobby of kings and intelligent people, it has sunk to a new low thats very close to the gutter.

The many great hams who were knowledgeable now seem to be derided as arrogant smart asses who like like belittling the average ham who has no knowledge. The reality is that so many hams have such low technical aspirations that they might as well stay on the CB bands. Since many of these hams do not want to contribute by either helping themselves or the hobby by becoming technically literate and mastering the art. These hams might as well do what they want on their smart phones on viber and snapchat!

Bottom line is not to lower the entrance requirements anymore. Incentive licensing overall has been disaster right across the world. The huge influx of hams has been statistical blip that is now fast disappearing. All we left with is many undesirable characters who seem to want to wreck everything that was good about the hobby.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KR2C on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
N4OI said
Wow... I have not observed this type of behavior. Exactly where in the CW portions of the bands does this occur?

73 "

Hey! Good for you. Keep telling us you're a CW operator and soon enough you will find somebody who will give a poop.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K6CRC on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio is a hobby for old guys. OK, there are some YLs, and a handful of young people, but not enough to change the culture. It is also a hobby for a certain kind of personality. Painfully obvious if you have ever been to a Ham event or a swap. I am not sure you can change any of that.

Behavior? I agree, the FCC could help things buy publicly yanking a few licenses of the worst abusers. That could help, but will not change the nature of people. Even the worst trash-talking ham is mild compared to the average SitCom on TV.

Just enjoy your time on the air and on the earth. Stop trying to fix the un-fixable! And, OTs need accept the fact that most new hams don't do CW.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KB2FCV on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
by N4OI on May 6, 2014:
Wow... I have not observed this type of behavior. Exactly where in the CW portions of the bands does this occur?

73

Oh it happens... try listening to the dxpedition pileups in the cw bands when a rare one comes on.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K9MHZ on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Another worthless, non-specific "article" full of emotion that gets absolutely nothing accomplished other than more mudslinging and web hits.

Given the predictable responses, this is very predatory. Some of these "authors" must get off on doing this.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K8QV on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Be nice, m'kay? We wouldn't want to "loose" anything, m'kay?
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I agree... it used to be that the smart people in this country were rewarded with honor and advancement. Ham radio USED to be about electronics and Commucation. Ham radio clubs used to teach electronics as such. CW was a added obstical that you needed to APPLY ONES SELF to master.

What happened was that the powers which claims to direct us (they think they are leaders) were seeing a dummy'n down of the people who were wanting the reconigition and honors that the hams who WORKED AND APPLIED THEMSELVES got.

We are in the mode of ' if I have a handicap I get the same rewards'.

Now before the physically hanidcapped get all bent out of shape; most have no problem with the intellegence factors and have no problem comprehending technical aspects. We have worked with enough of them that we can make that statement. Others that have speach imparments seem to migrate over to CW or other means of commucations as we have seen.

So where does this leave the "HAM RADIO" If we want to regain the reconigition that HAMS once had. A reversal of the idea that hams are just glorified CB'rs. They need to start regaining the technical aspect of being a ham. (most today can't tell you what a voltmeter, O-Scope or other instrumentation is used for/how to use it)

When conversations get technical and some "EXTRA" class ham makes a dumb statement consering electronics, YEP most hams who are of the old school do poke fun at them. After all they have the CLASS of license once reserved for hams who have a vast background of technical knowledge. Clearly then one can see that the person holding that class of license is a "FRAUD". (i.e doesn't deserve to be honored or elevated.)

But who is allowing this to happen. Did the hams get polled as a demo'cy . I don't think so. It was our leadership back in Conn who along with the FCC decided to dummy down the rating. This then caused the ones who DID work for their license to snicker at the current EXAMPLES. (Yes then they do poke fun at them as a means of frustration)

I have been saying all along that the EXTRA class license should have been more technical than it currently is. However, the ARRL, would not be selling as much paper so that these NON TECH people could aquire it. Yes it is money moviated as far as we can see. Otherwise why is the membership so expensive.

So what does that have to do with the Jamming and were do we go from here? Well clearly if one wanted to improve the HAM rating then something has to change. One needs to improve his standing by learning more and demonstrating that he has the technical ability. (YES one can learn from others-- on the air-- in technical discussions)

If the FCC were to make a few good examples of some of these contenuing low life hams that are jamming, broadcasting, etc... and make it public-- with them going to Jail for 5 years min. and/or losing a chunk of their money $25,000- sorry no arbtration allowed-- I would think that the rest would suddenly take note and probably stop or face the same legal process and loss of income. NO EXCEPTION. (yep tough love)

Once that got out into the ham community of users; I would think we would see the Jam'n, broadcasting and others suddenly stop. However, I think I am dream'n to think the FCC would even get a tough attitude with these people. (YES I agree that small infractions could be handled by the OO's and need not be a hardship.. as we all make mistakes. (these high power jammers however, know all good and well--from the pre meeting on other frequencies-- that they are going to become terrorist on group frequencies; as heard on the band)

It becomes a issue of who is going to lead the way to attain this. Clearly the ARRL is not going to get involved nor is their legal jokers going to become targets after identifying and causing the jammers to be processed in court. They (ARRL) pay lip service but no action. Oh! ya they want a donation fund to make more money-- but take no action as we have seen.. saying its the governments job. No instead they (ARRL) take the appearent position of being passive and not wanting to be involved while still claim'n leadership. Something we have noted for some time now; leadership without professional effective management.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hey someone on the air just suggested that they (The FCC) start up a bounty hunter (turn 'em in with documentation) rating idenifying jammers.
(i.e the FCC gives them a chunk (percentage of the fine) \ money (reward) for the identification and convection of the alleged jammer that they turned in. (everyone would be eligable--even SWL's)

Now thats a idea... but, can hams make reward money off of doing it? That would be a legal question.

If you worked at it-- think of the new radio you could buy with the jammers money (sale of their conficated equipment-- like the drug laws do)

novel idea.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K6CRC on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Still trying to figure out how cramming CW and more technical knowledge down the throats of potential hams will help. I WILL hasten the demise of the hobby, significantly.

If you really want to 'test' for relevant technical knowledge that modern hams MAY need, have them write a rotor control app for an ARM -based board computer. Then, have them write TI DSP code for a FFT routine. Much more important than CW anyway today.

If that isn't TOUGH ENOUGH to SAVE the hobby, you may want to use the nuclear option...require a physical fitness test.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by NU1O on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Our prisons are overcrowded as it is and you want to give 5 year prison terms to ham radio jammers? I'm all for fining jammers, and if the jamming was done regularly I would be in favor of the FCC yanking the offender's license. However, locking somebody up in prison for 5 years (minimum!!!) for jamming is way too draconian.

Turning hams into bounty hunters is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen on Eham and there isn't a shortage of dumb ideas on this and other ham sites.

There are plenty of hams who are unemployed or underemployed and if the bounty system took off it wouldn't be long before people started making up violations to make a little extra money.

Amateur radio's rules should be enforced by competent FCC employees who have the proper equipment and expertise required to actually locate a jammer or somebody running illegal power.

Since we all seem to agree that most hams don't have the technical expertise of hams from prior generations the last person I'd want enforcing rules and regulations would be a fellow ham, especially when there is a financial reward for turning in a fellow ham. I'd hate to think of the number of hams who'd use that program to get even with a ham they don't like.

If you've really been involved in this hobby since the 70s there's no reason why you should be hiding behind a CB handle. Use your real call sign!

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@NU1O

"...competent FCC emloyees..."

That is one of the best examples of an oxymoron that I have seen in recent years!


 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K4PIH on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NU1O ...

Right on target!

Hams turning other hams in. I actually had that happen to me. Not to the FCC but another ham turned me in to a home owners association that he was the president of and he was in violation of the CCR antenna restrictions. A little bit of power went to his head.







 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N4JTE on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Most of us have figured out how to avoid lids etc,it can be a challenge but no big deal from here, really a non issue.
Bob
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by NU1O on May 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
N4JTE: Have you been in the pileups for some of the real rare entities lately?

I'm talking about expeditions for operations like FT5ZM, VK9MT, XZ1J or XZ1Z, just to name a few of the more recent ones.

During those pileups there was virtually constant deliberate interference until the pileups were thinned out.

I'd like to know your secret for avoiding jammers because I'm a regular participant in the DX forum and NONE of us have figured out how to avoid the Lids other than shutting off the rig which is just handing them a victory.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W1JKA on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Re: NU1O

In regard to the current state of this type of activity on the bands and in answer to your question concerning DX expeditions/contest perhaps a petition to the FCC via the ARRL from its members recommending a frequency allotment of perhaps 4 up or 4 down just for the hams that specialize in this activity niche. This particular group alone is quite competitive among themselves and would tend to congregate on 4 up or 4 down especially if the ARRL and AllSate Insurance co sponsored a Top Mayhem award in 3 catagories, Jammers, Tuner uppers and all round lidsmanship.I only suggest this because the current FCC allocation of 14.313 and 7.200 seems to be working out well for this group of hams.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K1CJS on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Where do we go from here? A good question. We seem to be heading back to the times of the old west, when the ideas of laws and law enforcement was that those ideals applied to the other guy, but not to me. I'm going to do what I want to do, and to heck with your laws and your ideas!

The person who suggested that using what you feel comfortable saying to your mother wasn't exactly on track--but he was darn close to it--since sometimes today some mothers language is worse than her children's! How about speaking as though you have your local clergy at your dinner table. That is possibly the ideal we should strive for, even if you're an atheist. After all, would you tell a minister/priest/imam/etc. to go to hell??
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Monitoring of the mental ward freq of 14313, shows many of the bad actors there are also avid contesters and DX chasers. I am NOT painting ALL contesters and DXers as bad people. Just saying, even the casual observer will notice many of the wackos on 14313 are also compulsive contesters and are also the misfits who cause mayham when rare DX appears on a freq. Of course, these same guys will readily accuse others of jamming rare DX.

Further analysis, when you cross reference call signs of compulsive contesters, DX addicts, and 14313 bad actors, and you will find most of them are also on the radar of local law enforcement and have received enforcement correspondence from the commission. Of course, in their delusional brains, it is always someone or something else's fault that caused them to do whatever they do. They perceive being persecuted, and that's justification in their brain for what they do.

Like I've said before, the good news is we are talking a really tiny percentage of the ham community but a very vocal minority. The secret way I handle them is to avoid them and avoid the places where they hang out.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K6CRC on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Does anyone really think the FCC cares about hams? With the current and future battles over spectrum allocations, politically hardball over appointees, and the Net Neutral challenges, a few screwballs and mentally unstable hams bouncing around 20 meters is 200db below their noise level.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@K6CRC

Exactly!

The commission could care less about amateur radio.

Moreover, there is nothing in their budget allocated for amateur radio enforcement. Want proof? The commission's budget appropriation is in the public domain. Google it and start reading. It is very lengthy and written in bureaucratic language.

Reading of the budget appropriation will also reveal commission priorities, in priority order. No where does amateur radio appear.

A large percentage of their budget goes into personnel salaries, employee cash awards, employee benefits, and official travel.

Monitoring stations were all closed in 1996 and remoted to Laurel, Maryland. That is also public record. I was in commercial broadcasting at the time and followed the events closely. Traditional monitoring ceased in 1996, and the sole technician on the duty watch today in Laurel is not concerned with ham radio. Actually, from what I have seen, he is more concerned with his job security and getting sleep on the mid watch.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by AB7MC on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Agree 100 %, that is why TV remote control was invented.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by K6CRC on May 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Speaking of rude, there seems to be a trend here. Several Hams casually talking over the top of various W1AW stations, clearly purposely blocking them. Actually, laughing about it. Don't use call signs and ignore breaks. Happened several times recently, primarily on 40 and 20.

Judging from the level of conversation, they probably live in their mothers basement and eat Corndogs all day.

No indication if they learned CW...
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by K4PIH on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Speaking of rude, yes there is a trend. I have had W1AW just start broadcasting on a frequency without regard to any of the traffic already there. It was really bad a few weeks back on 80. That's right, I said broadcasting. No "is the frequency in use" or "this is W1AW can I please use the frequency". Nothing just started blasting away CQ CQ CQ this is W1AW contest. So does the league think it has the authority to just get on a frequency and blast away? I'm not a contest person myself but being a contest does not give anyone the right to just blast away. If the idea is to promote good will and harmony on the frequencies, then the leading amateur radio organization should lead the way. Before you jump on my case I am a league member and I have emailed the league about this stomp-on-others attitude becaue we are the ARRL. CW has nothing to do with the situation, rude and obnoxious is rude and obnoxious.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by K6CRC on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The assumption we are making is that the offending station purposely talks over the station currently on. That also assume the offending station can HEAR that the frequency is in use. I cannot speak to the W1AW station, but I can say that the local interference not only knew the W1AW station was there, but seemed proud to be blocking it.

The CW comment was aimed at those who continually think that somehow all of the faults of the hobby are due to the FCC dropping the CW requirement.... satire if you will.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What!!! ask if the frequency is in use... QRL, Frequency in use? is a thing of the past... it takes the newbie too much of his valuable time. Yes the ARRL does broadcast but, don't they have a 'if the frequency is in use it holds off' device ?

I was surprised that the license manual says nothing about operating a station CORRECTLY.. maybe they need to put some of these NORM'LY common sense things in the Q,A test. (The ARRL sells a nice manual on operating the ham station however, I am sure its not a big seller)

I know they publish the times and freq in their mag and have done this kind of operation for years. Like other nets it seems they are grandfathered into that.

Most of the ones that jamm 'em seem to cite that as being they are drawing " first blood" but, I guess they don't know that no one is really sending the practice CW. When we tour'ed the ARRL site it was explaned that they use auto sending transmitters. Hello jam'n the ARRL pratice on frequency ... the lights are on but, no one is home...and your waisting your time ... then again go figure.. jammers are not the brightest light in the harbor.

I had to laugh this morning. After spending 2 hours with a EXTRA class ham yesterday going over the operators manual and step by step 'how to' tune his SB220; he was on the net this morning asking if someone could come over to his house and show him how.

Yep EXTRA CLASS license is a higher level of learning
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by K4PIH on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
To clarify, the W1AW operation just caused me to stop trying to hold a QSO and let him have the frequency out of deference to the paper chasers. I was OK with that. What did happen was some others on the frequency went berserk and started keying, playing music, and just talking gibberish over the W1AW unit. There were also some who were following the W1AW station and joining in the mess just to be obnoxious.

What I'm saying is that it seems to be tit for tat and that the W1AW operation seemed to think they were entitled to do what they wanted, just as those already using the frequency thought they were entitled to continue. Common courtesy would have been nice from both as one triggers the other sometimes. The W1AW station was working a lot of stations and I canít imagine they didnít hear the other people already using the frequency. Just my 2 cents on that.

I get your comment on the code. Was the dropping of the code requirement a key factor in the way the hobby has gone? I'd say not but I also say that it did lower the level to the point of just memorizing the question pool and taking a multiple guess test.

I think boysclub is partially correct as I know many hams that can't even tell you the basic formula for a 1/2 wave dipole; much less know how their gear works. They just box it up and send it back and use their credit cards. Appliance operators Ö and these seem to be a lot of the ones causing problems. I'm just saying. Anyway great discussion.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by K6CRC on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@k4pih

All good points.

I know it is an open debate regarding how much a ham 'should' know. But, the hobby is suppose to be a progressive one, and where does 'tuning SB220' and 'knowing the formula for a half wave dipole' fit in? Nowhere I can see for the mainstream ham. I could counter by asking how many old timers can write a filter routine for a DSP, or hack up a small app for a iPhone, as that is much more relevant for the majority of hams today.

The fact is that none of the above technical skills are necessary to properly operate a ham station with today's mainstream equipment. Needed if you are homebrewing or restoring Boatanchors. Essentially useless if you are not.

There was the image of Hams as smart and 'wise' when handling communications, both on the air and in person. Add to that today, on-line. Why is it that many of the posters here cannot construct a paragraph properly, or for that matter, spell. Isn't social skills and manners part of the communications skill set?
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You know, we are here discussing on the air behavior but consider this.

Have you been to a ham radio club meeting or a hamfest and observe how some hams have no manners or communication skills?

Some hams at ham club meetings will think nothing of walking up and rudely barging into a conversation they are not part of, followed quickly by dominating the conversation?

Been to a hamfest where you and a seller are negotiating a deal, when up marches Mr Rude Big Mouth and starts running his loud mouth as to how much should be paid for this particular piece of equipment and how he knows oh so much about it?

I went a few times to a local Saturday morning ham radio breakfast. It was basically a free-for-all shout fest, whoever had the loudest mouth would dominate the immediate area around him.

The above examples are in person, but you can see how this same behavior will also be acted out on the air.
Some personality types act the same way on the air as they do in person.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K9MHZ on May 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Those odd social behaviors are textbook autism spectrum disorder characteristics. It's no secret that so many in ham radio are very awkward, as individually motivating hobbies and pursuits are very enticing to people who are socially challenged like hams. It's really a shame, because the well-adjusted do very nice selfless work in the hobby, but get nowhere with these beligerant morons who are usually bent on showing how smart they are....and they most definitely are not.

Some of the most brilliant, educated, and talented people I've known are also hams, and are ironically the kindest and most well-adjusted.

Too, how ironic it is that a hobby that's about communication has so many who are so inept at communication themselves. Find good people and stick with them....it makes all of this so much more enriching.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by N1DVJ on May 10, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
K4PIH:

"I get your comment on the code. Was the dropping of the code requirement a key factor in the way the hobby has gone? I'd say not but I also say that it did lower the level to the point of just memorizing the question pool and taking a multiple guess test. "

Unless you're talking about WAY back, in the 60's or so, where the test was almost an essay test, that argument doesn't hold water at all. The question pool today is the biggest it's ever been. And the questions cover a much broader range of topics.

Come on... Back in the 70's there was widely available a pamphlet called the "Bash Book", that would have ALL the questions on the test. And back then the FCC was rumored to have at most 3 different test. So figure 1/3 of the questions were in the little pamphlet.

The difference to today is that the question bigger, it follows a much broader topic range, the questions are more balanced between topics on an exam, and most noticable, today there's the internet. Back in the 70's the Bash Book was sold almost by word of mouth and at flea markets, I don't think any mag ever had an ad for it. But it was out there.

But even still with the simple and easy test of the 70's, the problems everyone are talking about have been around since LONG before.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by NN3W on May 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>Monitoring of the mental ward freq of 14313, shows many of the bad actors there are also avid contesters and DX chasers. I am NOT painting ALL contesters and DXers as bad people. Just saying, even the casual observer will notice many of the wackos on 14313 are also compulsive contesters and are also the misfits who cause mayham when rare DX appears on a freq. Of course, these same guys will readily accuse others of jamming rare DX. <<<

Funny, I don't find K3VR, W7CPA, W4AMP, N1FM anywhere in my logs. You sure about that or simply talking out your ass?

>>>Further analysis, when you cross reference call signs of compulsive contesters, DX addicts, and 14313 bad actors, and you will find most of them are also on the radar of local law enforcement and have received enforcement correspondence from the commission. <<<

Name one.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by JOHNZ on May 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@NN3W

Comport yourself as a gentleman, and I will consider your question.

Last time I checked it was biologically impossible for a human to speak any type of intelligent language through their rectum.

73

 
RE: No need to worry.  
by NN3W on May 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I knew you'd be unable to answer a question.
 
RE: No need to worry.  
by NN3W on May 11, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I knew you'd be unable to answer a question.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W2MFT on May 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Again we have to read this drivel? There is a real easy solution...It is right on the radio and it is called a dial...TURN IT!
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W2MFT on May 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You are acting like this pile up problem is a new thing....A good portion of the blame also falls on the DX op as well...A lot of the DX ops lately that I have heard are just plain terrible...
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by W2MFT on May 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Yes lets pick at it...we don't broadcast....and every ham should know that....
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K9MHZ on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
>>>by BOYSCLUBRADIO on May 9, 2014
Yep EXTRA CLASS license is a higher level of learning<<<


LOL, yes sir. A while back, the 900 system links were acting up, and the repeater trustees were on the air discussing between them what to do, and they were clearly frustrated and wanted to get the system problems worked out as soon as they could. One extra class operator rudely breaks in and asks: "uh, yeah man, I'm thinking about a mag mount for 900....what kind should I get, and is RG-58 gonna be OK?" I just thought for him, RG-58 would be perfect for 900. Our system trustees showed this tool a ton more grace than I would have. He's the same guy who gets stoned every night and gets on a 220 machine here in Indy and starts the insanity.

Extra class operator.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N1DVJ on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sure most of us have all run into these types. I think the problem is symptomatic of those who treat their license, ANY class of license, as a final exam, and not as an entrance exam.... Unfortunately, that's been going on for years.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by K9MHZ on May 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
That's true.

 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KE4ZHN on May 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Unfortunately, the push for dumbing down the license tests have resulted in the bands getting filled with rude idiots. Sure, there were plenty of them before the testing got dumbed down, but there were a lot less of them than we have now. If the FCC just gave away the license with no testing I guarantee you it would get even worse. Top this off with a massive push for constant contesting and before long it will just be multiband CB....in some places it already is.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N1DVJ on May 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"the push for dumbing down the license tests have resulted in the bands getting filled with rude idiots"

Come on, grow up. Yeah, the test is 'different' now, but hardly 'dumbed down'. It seems that most of the people whining about the 'dumbing down' are the spoiled elitist that think that the test is a final exam to an elite fraternity that gives them snobbish rights and privlidges.

Get over it. The test is what it is. And in fact, it's tougher than it was in the 80's. Oh, now you'll say 'but they publish the question pool'. I got news for you, the question pool was ALWAYS available, even if it wasn't published so blantantly. And back in the 70s and 80s, there were maybe only 3 times as many questions in the pool as there were on the possible test. Unless you go back to the 60's when the test was almost an essay type test, you statements are pretty much hogwash.

Rude operators have ALWAYS been around. Yes, even in the 50's. But with orders of magnitude difference in the numbers of people on the air, it seems a lot more crowded now. Back then you could just move away from those kind of people. Like the idiot nerd in high school at a sparcely attended dance, you just move away. Unfortunately now the dance hall is crowded, and while the percentage of idiot nerds is lower, the actual number is up.

THIS IS NOT HAM RADIO OF THE 60's!!

What's amazing is the newbies who take this attitude so quickly of superiority and whine about the dumbing down when they actually have ZERO personal experience with it to make a comparison.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N1DVJ on May 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Overall Richard, I have to say the posts I've seen from you over the years have been pretty much right on, and I usually agree with them, even if I don't post a reply. But I think even you are falling into the trap of blaming the bad behavior by numbers on newbies. Personally, I feel yes, the newbies stand out, but the really blatant bad behavior seems to be vetrans. People 10 years or more.
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by N0SYA on May 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"NOW for the most part I am not saying that all hams are bad operators quite the opposite, most ham's I have met throughout my 30+ years in this hobby have been wonderful but there is that percentage that ruin it for ALL of us and the future of this great hobby. "

Contesters?
 
Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KF7VXA on May 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
All one can do is be the best operator they can, follow the rules and treat others as they would like to be treated.
When you find those who choose not to follow the rules, cuss and talk trash, I just turn the dial. I'll always find a bunch of good people to QSO with.
Ignoring the trouble makes is the best way to not validate their behavior.


73's John KF7VXA
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KE4ZHN on May 31, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
N1DVJ I did not say that only newbies are responsible for the bad behavior on our bands. In fact, it's usually the older hams who are the trouble makers and instigators. When I got my ticket 19 years ago, it was the 20 wpm extra's that caused many of the problems on the bands. Especially 20 meters. (14.313) People in general are just less civil than they used to be in all walks of life, not just ham radio.

What we really need to improve the hobby is the FCC to actually do its job that we pay taxes for and police the bands. We have billions to give away on stupid things in this country yet we can't even police our own amateur bands. But that's a completely different topic.
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by JOHNZ on June 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@KE4ZHN

No, we do not pay taxes for commission enforcement on amateur radio frequencies. The commission's annual appropriation (budget) from Congress is public record. If you review it, there is no money given to the commission by Congress for ham radio enforcement, specifically.

The narrow and unimportant world of ham radio is important only to hams, not in the big picture of the real world.

Now, if you really want to get upset, review the commission's budget and see how much money is set aside for personnel bonuses, pay raises, travel, etc. Like any federal bureaucracy, the commission's employees are living a lavish lifestyle off the public's dime. Commission employees travel first class, stay at plush hotels, and party at places you and I could never afford. Such behavior is commonplace in federal agencies. Been watching the news lately, VA employees have been shown living the high life, at the expense of our veterans? Pay for overtime never worked and cash bonuses are common in any federal agency, including the FCC.

 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KF7VXA on June 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I get a little tired of those who have nothing good to say about those who donate their time and money for Ares/Races. Are there some who think they will save the world, sure, just like those who run Yagi's with 1500 watts going into them all of the time so they are the biggest and baddest signal on the frequency, and there are more than a few who run far more power than necessary. When I have to rip off my headphones to avoid hearing damage for a distorted signal heard next door, it's just a little much.
We live in a rural area, something bad happens, we don't have a force of thousands of first responders and communication networks like New York City. Our members are responsible people who work with the local Law Enforcement and Fire Departments in the counties around us and prepare for a time we all hope never comes. We have 7 people in our Sheriff dept.
We are also blessed with a very good Emergency Services person, who is a part of our group. We participate in every local drill we can and the rest of the time enjoy the hobby of Ham Radio and train monthly or more.
Not every Races/Ares group is as some want to portray them every chance they get.
Work on weeding out the one's with a hero complex and find the operators who know what their job is, which is to assist where called apon by the Emergency Services in the area you help cover.
Ares/Races has been a major factor is many, many disasters. Heck, even my neighbors who are not big on seeing my antennas know why I have them, for an emergency as well as my own use and are glad that there is someone who will take the time and spend the money to have a station that can be kept on the air for weeks if necessary.

Just a rant from someone who works hard to do it right and makes sure our group does the same and is tired of the digs from those who do nothing to help the cause. If you are so concerned, get involved and clean up the hero attitudes in your areas group.
Does it get pushed by AARL too much sometimes, yes, and there is a part of the problem.
Add the requirement the Feds want now, and a person really has to want to help. I'm one who is glad there are those who do. Been a Ham for two years, didn't get my ticket for Ares/Races, but saw a need once in radio.

John
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KF7VXA on June 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I also want to add an opinion on the FCC Tests. There are those who memorize the test, the Technician and General test would not be all that hard to do, just takes a little time.
I could have gone that route, but chose to learn as much as possible about every question. Many do as I did, others will memorize, their loss.
The Extra test which I am learning now is a harder test to just memorize, though no doubt it could and is being done. I also have a long shelf in my bookcase filled with Ham radio books that I have purchased with the intent to learn all I can.
Much of the old tube theory is mute today, but is great to know, especially if you are into fixing or building an amplifier, but how many of you really fix your latest Yaesu or Kenwood when it has problems ? Those who are well versed in modern electronics or work in the field, that's who. The rest of us don't have much chance of repairing the newer equipment.
Knowing the theory of why and how it works is great, but few have the knowledge or test equipment to fix problems in modern equipment outside of a power supply of other more general electronic devise.

Jammers, idiots, you'll never get rid of them, turn the dial.
I enjoy some good DX, but my best contacts have been one's talking to others I have met, inviting anyone who wants a contact and enjoying learning more about people with many of the same interests as myself.
ID every ten minutes and get to know your fellow ham operators who care about doing it right, the jammers and lids, just move on, nothing ticks them off more than someone who will not argue with them on the air, everyone moves off, he's only fighting with himself.
For every jammer, I have found 1000 hams who will take the time to answer a question or give an opinion on something. You don't have to always agree, but when done in the right manor, you just may learn something.
At two years behind the microphone, I have a lot to learn, but being polite and doing my best to follow the rules and be polite to my fellow hams is already engrained.
I try to talk to my contacts with 100 watts or less, if the QRM is making it hard for them to hear me, I'll throw on 500 watts, almost always about perfect if needed. When it's not, I don't have to prove I'm the loudest station on the band, I prefer to be the one who gets compliments on nice audio.
John
 
RE: Where Do We Go From Here?  
by KF7VXA on June 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I also want to add an opinion on the FCC Tests. There are those who memorize the test, the Technician and General test would not be all that hard to do, just takes a little time.
I could have gone that route, but chose to learn as much as possible about every question. Many do as I did, others will memorize, their loss.
The Extra test which I am learning now is a harder test to just memorize, though no doubt it could and is being done. I also have a long shelf in my bookcase filled with Ham radio books that I have purchased with the intent to learn all I can.
Much of the old tube theory is mute today, but is great to know, especially if you are into fixing or building an amplifier, but how many of you really fix your latest Yaesu or Kenwood when it has problems ? Those who are well versed in modern electronics or work in the field, that's who. The rest of us don't have much chance of repairing the newer equipment.
Knowing the theory of why and how it works is great, but few have the knowledge or test equipment to fix problems in modern equipment outside of a power supply of other more general electronic devise.

Jammers, idiots, you'll never get rid of them, turn the dial.
I enjoy some good DX, but my best contacts have been one's talking to others I have met, inviting anyone who wants a contact and enjoying learning more about people with many of the same interests as myself.
ID every ten minutes and get to know your fellow ham operators who care about doing it right, the jammers and lids, just move on, nothing ticks them off more than someone who will not argue with them on the air, everyone moves off, he's only fighting with himself.
For every jammer, I have found 1000 hams who will take the time to answer a question or give an opinion on something. You don't have to always agree, but when done in the right manor, you just may learn something.
At two years behind the microphone, I have a lot to learn, but being polite and doing my best to follow the rules and be polite to my fellow hams is already engrained.
I try to talk to my contacts with 100 watts or less, if the QRM is making it hard for them to hear me, I'll throw on 500 watts, almost always about perfect if needed. When it's not, I don't have to prove I'm the loudest station on the band, I prefer to be the one who gets compliments on nice audio.
John
 
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