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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio

Joe Tomasone (AB2M) on November 23, 2004
View comments about this article!

Yes, yes, I know. You've heard this before. It's been pronounced when FM was introduced, screamed from the mountaintops when no-code came to be, and continues even today with BPL. However, I have seen some disturbing trends lately, and I think that they point towards the slow and painful death of the hobby we hold dear. Please, indulge me for a moment as I explain.

Whenever there is any threat to Amateur Radio, be it potential band reallocation, Part 15 intrusion, or any other issue that threatens to upset the status quo, we hams immediately raise the one sacred, (usually) FCC-scaring, blood boiling rallying cry that we have - WE PROVIDE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. We never justify ourselves anymore as advancers of the radio art (we'd be hard pressed to do so these days), so the only value we can provide to justify our continued occupancy of billions of dollars of spectrum is merely emergency communications. I believe that very soon, certainly in my lifetime, we will be all but out of that game. Allow me to explain.

I have been a resident of Tampa, FL for the past few years. 2004 will certainly be remembered around here for a long time - and should have been a shining example of emergency communications saving the day time and time again. You didn't hear that this time. Wonder why? I spent time in some of the hardest hit areas here in Florida, and what I saw from an emergency communications perspective scared me silly. Before we tackle that, however, let's go back in time a little:

1991: A newly licensed ham living in Long Island, NY; I am called up to help provide communications in support of Hurricane Bob, which would up dealing a glancing blow to the eastern end of the Island. We were activated by the local emergency management office, and assigned to various government and first responding agencies to allow for intercommunication if needed. Fortunately, we were not tasked in my immediate area.

1996: TWA Flight 800 crashes off the coast of Long Island. Hams assist the Red Cross in providing communications for mass care operations (primarily). This, I will later realize, is the first operation I have been involved with in which hams were merely augmenting a cellular system that was overloaded for an agency that has radio communication equipment of its own but rarely uses due to training and equipment issues.

2001: 9/11. I am forced by my employer to sit this one out in Florida (where I have arrived earlier in the year), but manage to scrape together a web-based database to manage the load of volunteers. I quickly realize that this, again, is a Red Cross/Salvation Army support operation. I never heard of any assistance to FDNY, NYPD, Port Authority Police, the EMO, or anything else.

2004: Four hurricanes in almost as many weeks. Hardly anywhere in Florida has not been affected by these storms. People are without food, shelter, electricity, water, telephones, cell phones (in many cases). Essentially, much of Florida has dialed the clock back 100 years or so. Tensions are high. The EMOs consider how to prevent civil disturbances and looting of incoming food and supplies. Fire Departments are going door to door looking for survivors. Driving through the main street of a town at night is hazardous at more than 5mph due to the amount of overhead and downed debris and electrical wiring (which probably is dead, but who knows?).

So, you might ask, how did Amateur Radio respond?

I'm not sure we did.

I responded to 3 seriously hit areas: Wauchula (in Central Florida), Punta Gorda (in South Florida) and Pensacola (in the Florida Panhandle).

In Wauchula, we delivered a portable repeater system so that the responding agencies could communicate. That sounds like a fine use of ham radio - except it was a Forestry repeater, on their frequencies. Sure, we hams brought it and deployed it, but anyone familiar with the setup could have. The Sheriff's Department lost a huge tower (and thus their repeater) in the storm, leaving them with no communications save simplex, which didn't even come close to covering their operating area. Therefore, deputies in the furthest reaching areas had no communications. We were able to move their repeater to another location that had a working antenna and saved the day. But once again, we did not operate OUR radios, save for local simplex communications to get this all accomplished.

As the EMO had no tasking for us (by now the cellular providers had their mobile cell sites around), we left.

Punta Gorda. Ground Zero for Hurricane Charley. I arrive there a week after Charley hits to help relieve the operators from the local area. I get there to find no tasking other than Red Cross communications, and a Section Manager so starved for something to do - ANYTHING to do - that he cooks up a plan to have hams drive around the community soliciting health and welfare traffic. Remember, folks, this is a full WEEK after the Hurricane. If you haven't gotten a message out to your loved ones in a week, you probably don't want to. Again, there's little to do - the Red Cross is using Nextels - which are working.

Pensacola. In the wake of Hurricane Ivan, the call goes out - hams are needed - BADLY. I kiss the YL goodbye, load my Jeep, and start out on the 8 hour drive. Upon arrival, I am sent to the local Red Cross (here we go again) headquarters to relieve operators. There, I meet two hams who inform me that they have passed 3 messages in the past 24 hours. Three. One ham has extensive damage to his home and, quite frankly, this is a better place for him to sleep at the moment. The other ham wonders what we are doing there. He departs the next morning.

In the morning, I am informed that Red Cross operations are moving from the Chapter Headquarters to a larger facility in the donated basement of a commercial company. I am asked to establish communications from there to the EOC. Getting there, I am staggered to find that I am expected to provide communications to a building that has working telephones, internet access, email, a slew of Nextels that are being handed out, and, to add insult to injury, 2 Red Cross comm vans with every type of radio known to man (including ham), satellite links into the National Red Cross Network, and WiFi.

I tell the hams running the show at the EOC what the story is - I'm providing communications for a building that has more communications than I think I have ever seen in one location before. They respond by sending a total of 4 more hams to assist. I speak to the local EC and tell him that if he doesn't want a boatload of really perturbed hams, he'd better find some taskings for us to justify putting out the ARES equivalent of an All Points Bulleting screaming for ham help. He promises that we will have something to do in the morning.

I spend a part of the night helping the Red Cross folks set up WiFi so that they don't have to run cabling to each workstation for network access. I begin to wonder if I could have left my license at home.

The next morning, we do indeed have a tasking. The Red Cross is making a push into the hardest hit local area on the beach near the Gulf of Mexico - as close to the landfall point as we're gonna get. (It literally is described almost like an offensive against rebels in Iraq). Given the amount of sand that was blown over roadways, I am chosen along with another of my overnight compatriots for the task since we both have 4-wheel drive. We depart, with instructions to meet and team up with two other hams at the parking lot of a local supermarket just outside the devastated area. There, we are to await the Red Cross team that will push Mass Care into this area.

Upon our arrival, we meet the two hams immediately, and they are NOT happy. They've been waiting there for this Red Cross team for HOURS, and each time they ask where the Red Cross is, they are told "any time now". Seeing us, they quickly decide that we are their relief. They've had it, and head home. Net Control doesn't sound too surprised to hear that they have abandoned ship.

My new partner and I wait for three hours. Yes, that's right, THREE HOURS. No sign of the Red Cross. During our wait, we take some time to take a look at the shopping center in this hard-hit, hurricane ravaged area. The supermarket is open. OPEN? We look inside. They have milk. MILK? I can't buy milk in TAMPA, and we never came close to being hit by Ivan! Further inspection here reveals that they have ice, bread, bottled water, and everything that people in a hurricane-ravaged area should be waiting in long lines and mugging their fellow citizens for. All the while, my cell phone has a great signal, and I am able to make and get calls at will. Now, really starting to question our mission here, we begin asking Net Control the tough questions: WHERE IS THIS TEAM, AND WHAT IS OUR MISSION? A great deal of scurrying is heard over in the EOC, and eventually we are told that they don't know where the Red Cross team is, but we should await them.

Sorry. We've been here for three and a half hours, and the team before us was waiting almost as long. I snap. I drive back, collect my belonging, and without so much as a word, I begin the drive home, arriving at 4am, the stomach acid churning in my stomach having proved quite adequate to keep me awake for the drive. The other ham (and a few others) leave the area as well, ranging from disillusioned to plain old mad.

Sitting back afterwards, I began to realize a few trends that had been slowly emerging:

1. Ham Radio (well, ARES anyway) has largely become the free communications auxiliary to the Red Cross.

Worse, they already have enough communications capability to more than cover themselves. Their problem? A lack of trained communicators. Suddenly, I grasp why we always seem to be assigned to the Red Cross. I try to remember the last time I was assigned to anyone other than the Red Cross during an emergency. I have to go back almost ten years.

2. The Red Cross doesn't need us.

Even while assigned to the Red Cross, the only task consistently put to hams is to relay shelter census counts. I almost couldn't believe my ears as I heard hams relaying shelter census counts to an EOC when both had fully working landline phones. Why are we used in this scenario? Because they don't have to use Red Cross personnel to do it. For their critical comms, they use Nextel. I can't remember the last time I saw the Red Cross even use their OWN radios, which they have in abundance.

3. Cell phones, mutual aid repeaters, Blackberries are replacing Ham Radio as the inter-agency communications glue.

None of the Emergency Management Offices I worked with had any need for communications outside of these. Cell phone providers rush in mobile cell sites (called "COWs" - Cellular On Wheels - a cell site on a trailer) when an emergency hits - and registered Emergency Management personnel get higher priority on the cell network - so overloaded cell sites are becoming a thing of the past for our served agencies. Blackberries run on the cellular networks and are low bandwidth devices. Even in areas with no electricity, the Blackberry owners were tapping away like mad.

Now, you may say that this isn't the case in your area. You might even be right. However, I think we have seen the end of the era in which Amateur Radio saves the day as a matter of course in this country. In fact, the only example I've seen lately of Ham Radio coming through where all else fails is in the Hurricane Nets to the islands like Cuba, Grenada, and Haiti. In other words, those outside the US.

I see this as in inevitable slide down a slope towards more and more communications capability in the hands of the masses. Look at the revolution in smart cellphones - I carry a Treo 600 - a device from which I can surf the web, get and send email, and make and get phone calls - all in one little device. It wasn't all that long ago (fifteen years, perhaps?) that a cell phone was considered small if it fit in a briefcase. Where will we be in fifteen more years? Will we be able to still claim that we provide a critical, unique, robust communications capability? I think that once so many forms of communications saturate the general public that they can't all possibly go down during a disaster that we will have lost that argument. Remember when CW was the mode that got you through when all else failed? Now, make that argument to anyone but a CW buff and you'll be laughed at. I remember being able to show my HT to a teenager and see the look of amazement when I made a contact over a repeater to the next County. Now, that same teenager will ask if that big cell phone I'm carrying can play cool ringtones. I rapidly see the day approaching in which we will be relegated to the museums like the dinosaurs that we will have become - a quaint memory of what once was. A nostalgic trip down communications lane. We will, as a hobby, become the macrocosm of CW - outdated, outmoded, and universally laughed at as we try to claim that we are needed somehow.

And then the spectrum vultures will come.

Member Comments:
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The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W3PH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It's true that technology today seems to have diminished the role of amateur radio in emergency/public safety situations, but this is only one of the facets of the hobby. It still has tremendous potential as a way for folks who are interested in the technology to develop their knowledge - many of us have had the careers we've had because of early nurturing of our technical interests by ham radio. As a teenage ham, I spent countless hours reading, experimenting, building, re-building, and learning, and I think as a result ham radio was the single most important influence on the direction my education and career took, and greatly shaped my life. That's worth a bit of spectrum ...
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
While you are correct in pointing out that many of the “Classic Scenarios” for Ham emergency assistance are dated, I think you draw an unnecessarily gloomy conclusion.

The demands and requirements of emergency service have changed, and those in the Ham community who wish to offer a service to their community need to change with them.

Every Spring, during the “Severe Weather Season” thousands of ARS licensees participate in Spotter Nets and Field Research groups. Amateur radio is of great value in these activities, because in most parts of our vast country, cell phone service is a bad joke!

If the concept of Public Service is important to you, contact your local OEM, and ask if they want volunteers for their Weather Spotter Net: The chances are that you’ll be welcomed with open arms! ………And I promise you that you’ll miss plenty of dinners because you’re “working”!

There are still ways to serve. I can tell you from personal experience that you will feel that you have contributed when you hear the sirens go off in a nearby town because you called in the first report of “Tornado On The Ground”!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N4GI on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
http://www.members.aol.com/larry33414/04SeptNewsletter_225DPI.pdf

Looks like the Tampa Amateur Radio Club did plenty if you ask me.

N4GI
 
RE: Gloom, doom, despair, weeping and wailing!  
by K4JSR on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Joe, I have tears in my ears from laying on my back
and crying over the demise of ham radio.
But, I got over it. While I agree with some of the facts that you stated in your article, I disagree with
your conclusion. The reason? Check the article that followed yours about CERT and the EMA. I think that you will find, as I have, and many others as well, that CERT training is the wave of the future for ham radio in times of emergency. Technology has indeed done in the need for just "communicators". However
EMA officials, at least the ones with brains larger than a BB, have realized that hams can be of service when all other forms of communications fail. They also
know that a ham operator cross trained in as many other areas of emergency skills are very useful.
Not only can the cross-trained hams help where "the
rubber meets the road", but in times when acting mainly as communicators they will be significantly more effective.
Leave the death, doom and despair for
those who are impotent and useless. Instead, come into
the light and and joy of becoming more fully prepared
to deal with reality by availing yourself to the
training offered by EMA and CERT. As the "Plop-plop-
fizz-fizz" boys used to say, "Try it! You'll like it!"
It is also a very good way to meet other people in your community and recruit them into the King of Hobbies!

73, Cal K4JSR
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W4VR on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Don't despair! Ham radio will be alive and well, even after you and I have turned into dust.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Many of your observations are 'partN'parcel' to what I observed when I was Chief RACES Officer for Riverside County. Of those Ham's who would respond, and had previously been willing to attend various practical communications courses, many were older retiree's, only a few were younger 'with some energy and staying power'.

The typical situation would evolve with a large brush fire etc that, the older Ham's would not make themselves available for after dark, when their eyesight difficulties made it hard for them to drive. Even in the daytime, they would 'crap out' within an hour or two. This really upset the Fire Department -- Emergency Services folks, who rightfully expected us to work as offered and, STICK WITH IT.

The same was unfortuantely true of some of the younger Ham's. They would not attend the training classes. They were staunch, in that, "they knew how to talk on the radio -- why should they attend such classes". These classes were oriented to primarily make emergency communication efficient -- short and sweet! We also had to be aware that often the news services were listening in, and if we had a dead body etc, we would have a dozen news vans there about 2 minutes after the notice went on the air. We also worked on training Ham's in, "Basic ICS" the field management of dealing with all agencies. Younger Ham's were simply intolerent to attend such classes, and those that had, seldom showed up at actual emergencies -- their families came first!

My main thought is, that while we certainly should avail ourselves for emergency communication relief, Ham's of your degree of motivation are few and far between. A low demographic in the larger Ham picture!
Our main purpose has been, since we were first tasked to do emergency communication was, our technical skill that aided in this work.

We knew that the "D-layer' was going to kill any useful MF, or low HF communication in the daytime. We knew how to set-up or make VHF or other wavelengths useful for given communications. We knew how and why a lack of connection to a packet node was because of a flacky coax connector, or that the 'mag-mount' antenna was sitting on a vehicle with a plastic roof. I think if we concentrate on or technical expertise, to at least on a reasonable demographic basis, to be recognized for that expertise, there will alway be situations where our assistence will be needed and appreciated.

To accomplish this however, newer Ham's must in essence motivate themselves to want to learn. They must have a 'fire in their belly' to want to do more than use that little VX-1 that puts only a crappy signal to the repeater in the best of situations. They need to investigate new modes, and even learn what the word "mode" means! This will make a world of difference when another Ham 'emergency communicator' asks them 'do you have multi-mode capability' they won't respond 'yes, this radio works on 6 and 2 meters, as well as 70 and 23 centimeters'.

73, and hang in there! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KD4AC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The death of amateur radio is being caused by many things, emergency service NOT being one of them. Here is my take on it:

1) Computers and the Internet. Many amateurs have been saying that computers and the Internet would be the death of amatuer radio. While it has contributed, it isn't the only cause. Just about every amateur in the U.S. probably has a PC and Internet at their station. They're very useful resources. But most parents or people have never heard of amateur radio (see #2) and therefore are more likely, or willing, to spend the money on a good PC. A PC, to them, is more educational and the whole family can use it. Amateur radio requires more money, "ugly" antennas on the house (see #4) and a license.

2) Public Relations. About a year or two, back when I was still living in San Diego, the morning DJs on a local station were "playing" a "game" they called "How do they stay in business?" whereby listeners would call in with a name of a business that they wondered how they stayed in business or what they did. One lady called in and said, "Ham Radio Outlet. Do people still do that anymore?" People know what amateur radio is, but they think it's like some kind of "fad" from the 50's, much like CB was the "fad" of the 70's and 80's. And then some people think they're both the same thing and all they think about is "Smokey and the Bandit."

3) Lack of time. In today's expensive and greed based economy, people spend a good deal of their time working during the week. Once the weekend comes around they're busy taking care of everything around the house that didn't get done during the week. Combine that with people who have kids that need to be toted from soccer game to little league and free time is a valued commodity.

4) DEED RESTRICTIONS. To me, this is probably the single most cause. Yes, I've read all the arguments by amateurs that aren't impacted by deed restrictions and good for you. However, let's say that a young person is interested in amateur radio and wants to get a license. Great! Study the material and get one. But then let's say that the young person gets his or her license only to find out that mom and dad bought a house in a deed restricted community. Well, that young person isn't very likely to ever get on the air now are they? They eventually let the license expire, never having gotten on the air.

5) RFI. I think RFI should fit in here, if only slightly. With all the consumer electronic devices out there, all of which are just waiting to pick up your transmissions, it makes getting on the air difficult. Let's go back to the young person who just got their license and lives in a deed restricted neighborhood. They got creative and put up a stealth antenna. They get on the air and immediately qualify for WAN (Worked All Neighbors). If the person put up a low profile antenna then someone will eventually see it and come knocking. If they put up wire antenna that isn't visible then they might be okay for a little while. But someone might eventually track it down. And if you live in a deed restricted neighborhood, you're off the air once they find you. Of course, if you don't live in a deed restricted neighborhood, someone is going to accuse you of RFI as soon as your antenna goes up... regardless of whether a transmitter is connected or not.

So, I think all of these items combined is what's slowly killing amateur radio. I know there's a big push to do away with CW as a licensing requirement. While I have no problem with that, it WON'T fix the problem. Yes, there will be a big increase in the number of people getting licenses. But it will only be temporary... just like Novice Enhancment in 1987 and the "no-code" Tech license of the 90's. The code requirement right now is only 5 WPM. Why are there Tech Plus and Generals out there? Why have they not upgraded to Extra? I would have asked the same about Advanced but I know some of them aren't upgrading out of spite. Which I guess could bring me to an additional item to add to the list:

6) Kindness. How many amateurs have you seen or heard gripe about today's licensing requirements or say they refuse to talk to any newcomer because they aren't a "REAL HAM?" Boy, that does a lot to make a potential amateur run out there and get that license and it really makes a new comer really feel welcome and want to get on the air everyday.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by G3SEA on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

While I dont subscribe to the view of an inevitable death of our fun hobby I must commend KD4AC for making some very salient points.

Point 1 holds much weight with Joe public. They just cannot see the point of our hobby anymore ( Until the power go's out ;) )

One can now buy a notebook for $450 with all the capabilities mentioned and still dabble on distant Ham Repeaters ( If one has a tech licence ).It's just a no brainer economical choice for most folk out there.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W5ESE on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
i think we're more likely to gain spectrum in the
vlf, lf and hf regions than we are to lose spectrum
in these areas.

since i became licensed, we've gained allocations
at 30, 17, and 12 meters. a few channels at 60 meters.
we will be gaining worldwide exclusive use of 40
meters, which will greatly improve the usefulness of
that band. when i first became licensed, loran
occupied ~70-80% of 160 meters, rendering much
of it useless. that's now gone, and 160 is a much
more useful band today than it was in then.

some parts of the world have an allocation at 136
khz; perhaps the usa will follow at some point?
some experimental licenses were granted at 73
khz for a time.

there is a possibility that we may gain a tiny
allocation, a "spectral international park" at
500 khz, the old maritime distress frequency
(being replaced with the gmdss satellite system).

we did lose a good chunk at 220 mhz.

73
scott w5ese
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio.

I believe we hear so much of this that we start to believe it is true.

Like a person that keeps telling lies and finds that he actually believes it.

Or so a man believes, so it is.

Nonsense folks; lets talk about how great ham radio is and going to last forever.

Take it from a dot and dash scientist W6TH.
.:
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KD4AC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that it's a great hobby. The problem is convincing others the same thing.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0FP on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It's an interesting story...

Today, emergency services have been infused with billions of dollars of money. They cannot spend it fast enough. Any funding bill before congress that includes any sort of spending for anti-terrorism will coast through congress like you-know-what through a goose. Most of those dollars are being spent on emergency management infrastructure. In an area like Florida, where hurricanes are common occurances, the infrastructure for dealing with it has matured. I'm grateful that the technical side of communications has apparently been solved.

How would this past year's events have been different if the entire state was without electrical power for several weeks? What role would hams play if a dirty bomb or bio-terror device had been lobbed into Orlando? My point? Hurricanes are common place and emergency management not only trains for these events, but they get to practice in real episodes every year. Why would any agency rely on unpaid volunteers when paid professionals are readily available to deal with the challenge?

What is most onerous about this episode is that the call goes out for volunteers, volunteers respond, and what appears to be a poorly managed activation results in wasted and redundant effort. These episodes leave a bad taste in the volunteer's mouth. Will they volunteer next time?
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K3AN on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio AS A LICENSED SERVICE will disappear before mid-century (probably much sooner). But we'll quickly learn to be happy as freebanders, and there will be a lot more of us then!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VE2DC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just thought I would point out that...

1. Elsewhere in the world, amateur radio is not necessarily "defined" as being in the public service as in the USA. In Canada, public service is just one facet of what is just a hobby. From the Government of Canada website:

"Amateur radio service" means a radiocommunication service in which radio apparatus are used for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication or technical investigation by individuals who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.

2. The infrastructure that is replacing the public service role of Amateur Radio in the USA is not not as ubiquitous in many parts of the world... and probably won't be for decades.

So, elsewhere on the planet, there may be some life in the ol' hobby yet!

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K0RGR on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Opportunities for the traditional ham role in emergency communications have been getting smaller ever since the advent of CB radio decades ago - cell phones have only exaccerbated the situation.

We should definitely not be where we aren't needed, and untrained hams aren't needed in many places.

Here, the Red Cross is trying to cross-train our Storm Spotters so that they are able to do damage assessment work after the tornadoes strike, since they are likely to be among the first on the scene, anyway. I suspect that Red Cross could have used some people with the basic classes needed to do that work in Florida. Red Cross has been known to provide those classes "on the fly" in disaster areas when needed - I'm surprised they didn't in this case. Hams might be valuable assets to the assessment teams.

Ham radio needs to adapt in order to be more useful in emergencies.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K5JDB on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It ain’t so much a problem,
Cause we are still so many,
We have a lot in common,
And most of us are friendly.

And if we are not needed,
As much as used to be,
The good that’s been completed,
Will still be there to see.

We cannot know the future,
But today we can compete,
To fight the band-cut butcher,
And sure the challenge meet.

Whether we’re a chewer,
Or contesting for the points,
We need to work with fervor,
To regain what we had once.

Support the League, amateurs,
And never let her down,
‘Cause if she shuts her doors,
We may not be around.

We all have our weaknesses,
And it’s for certain I do,
But we still make up a chain,
That none can break through.

There’s bad is almost everything,
But why just make complaint,
Be the best you can be,
And let those leave who ain’t.

I just love being a ham,
It’s what I love to do,
As long as you are like I am,
I hope you will enjoy it too.

K5JDB Jim
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
For W5ESE,

Scott, while I agree that the HF and below spectrum are under little demand for alocation for commercial projects, and thereby, we are a good and likely recipient for this spectrum -- it's a pretty poor trade!

We have lost a thousand or more MegaHertz at a clip on various SHF bands. We would gain only a few KiloHertz in a re-alocation at VLF etc. Actually, I don't know of any area in this region though that is a likely candidate for realocation. The Navy still loves VLF for submarine communication, even while they do use satelites. Even at HF, our new WARC bands are about 100 KHz wide, or less.

We need to support an infrastructure that just keeps us 'in the game'. If we 'do good', than at least maybe we can keep 'what we got'!

73! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


VE2DC

Yes, that is how it was back in the beginning of time. The Americans , whoever they may be have a great imagination and don't see reality. They, the American hams, not all, just want to be king of the hill

Many are not satisfied with just having food, shelter and clothing. Our congress is an example of American people.

73 from the dot and dash scientist W6TH.
.:
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes VE2DC, in other parts of the world, the 3rd world, Ham radio may in fact flourish. That ain't gonna help your country or mine to keep what we got!

Forgive my poor English. Just trying to make a point!

73! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

WA6BFH

Revelation says the 3rd world order will never work. The 9 horns will not conquer. Although it is in the making. Keep tuned in.

What fools these mortals be.

73 from the dot and dash scientist W6TH.
.:
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I don't know what your drink'in, or smok'in TH but, thanks for the tip, and, pass some to me!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


WA6BFH

I don't drink and I do not smoke. Guess it is over your head.

Have faith old timer. Being 52 years of age, you may never see the 9 horns.

.:

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hey TH, we have something else in common besides Ham Radio!

I also worked on the Space Shuttle engines, I was actually consulting to Rocketdyne, and set fourth the safety system (Hydrogen leak/ignitor sensors) for the engine 'test stands' used in Alabama, and of course in the Simi Valley.

I would have preferred to e-mail you directly but, you don't list your e-mail address on QRZ.

73! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WILLY on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
AB2M,

I don't think we are staring down the gun barrel, with death looking at us. Not anytime soon.

You have brought up an interesting point in that I wonder just what all the effects will be on us, if and when we are officially declared as not being useful for emergencies.

To me, if it affects our band allocation - as you seem to think it will - it appears to be a political thing. I'm not thinking to well today, politically. I can't come up with much.

I do feel that our best political voice should come from numbers, and that means the ARRL. Doesn't an official from the ARRL post here? Therefore, I'm looking forward to seeing a post from them here, not necessarily addressing doom and gloom, but addressing how they feel it will affect us, and what stance we should take.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

WA6BFH


(Hydrogen leak/ignitor sensors) for the engine.

I am familiar with those and ran many tests on each one before installed.

73, Vito. W6TH the dot and dash scientist.

.:
 
Can't call this one, but...  
by W3DCG on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Who knows?
It's good to have backup, and backup to backup.
Even if it's just some happenstance person with HF-UHF capability in the car, accidently on scene or nearby.

Yes, I see Text Cell messaging, and Trios and Blackberry's slowly replacing people's need for pagers.
In the medical industry. Especially for physicians.

However, every carrier has issues.
All the big ones, especially the small ones.
The SMTP server can (does in fact) go down.

It happens. It has happened twice already this year. Once for over 3 hours. And again this weekend, on a very big and major carrier.
The smaller carriers often experience delays in the digital traffic, from the time say, an "e-mail" is sent, until the time it hits the towers.

When the WORST happens, when power and towers are down in a relatively large region, or high population area, or rural area, when communication via phone lines and cells are out or bogged down, when Internet traffic gets bogged down- there will at least be some hobbiests out there, individuals and clubs, doing Field Day for real, and they'll be up and communicating, even if no one cares to use them. When it proves to be all that remains, it will likely be used.

There is no shame in being the last resort, fail-safe service, that our world will depend on, when nothing else works.

We really do tend to take too much for granted in this high tech age. I know I do. I also know, if I was hiking for days, had a GPS, I could depend on summoning for help on whatever HF QRP freq is available, and likely be heard, provided I can get my coordinates out to a station with a land-line or cell to the authorities, or it can be relayed from ham station to ham station, if I can get word to some ham, ANY ham, some how, I know the message will get delivered come hell or highwater.

Every Net, even the ones like County Hunters- at least it's a place where there's a lot of people covering a broad area. Chances are you triple-break there, you will be heard, and help WILL be on it's way. After all, we all drop anything and everything to answer a distress call. Then there are the tried an true, always dependalbe nets, like the maritime mobile net.
There's IRLP regional VHF nets... big nets, small nets.

Boy we have all kind of nets.

I believe we have a purpose still. When all else fails, and hopefully it won't, there's always Ham Radio.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K1YDA on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


The typical prefab cell site today has a TWO HOUR BATTERY LIFE as we have found out recently in two local disasters. Cell companies are now doing it on the cheap without backup generators. Same problem with 800 trunk. Cell sites near a problem area often become overloaded when the "if it bleeds it leads" types show up tho broadcast has their own 2 way they know the other guy is evesdropping so they use the phone.
Local hams after Hurrican Bob put up a replacement police antenna for one department -the chief says to this day he knows where to turn for help when the comms go down and he didn't care whether it was his gear our our own that got him back up just that "the hams" will find a way. The role may have changed but we still must be ready.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Willy, You should read all of the post's for the "My Opinion" thread. It should aid you in the over-all perspective.

73! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Will we be able to still claim that we provide a critical, unique, robust communications capability?"

In 15 years? Seriously speaking, we can't do it now.

We are no longer unique, not even in technology:

Packet laid groundwork for 802.11 in 1982
APRS laid the groundwork for smart E911 handsets in 1983
AMTOR lead to COMMERCIAL WinLink 2000 in 1980

Compact, multimode devices (Treo's, Blackberries, other "terminal devices") have really taken our 1980's technology into the field in 2004 but we have yet to come up with anything new since about 1985. We are no longer the only ones with antennas, transceivers or a gameplan. Most are totally clueless & quite derogatory about ANYTHING Part 15, WiFi, WiMax, 802.11, 802.16, wireless broadband or PTT & cell carriers yet that is the obvious service trend to anyone watching with open eyes.

Look at the mere fact there are $20 Cybikos & $50 Motorola IMfree's on 902-928MHz for AOL instant messaging yet do we even have ANY data operation on 900? Trunking? Paging? Messaging? NOTHING!!! Squatting on 2.4GHz?

Rip Van Winkle + Ham Radio = R.I.P.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4ZMT on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Its possible that we may become useless for emergency communications at some point in the future due to the incredible commercial infrastructure that is in place today.

The way to save our hobby doesn't lie in falling back on emergency services, but in making our hobby appealing to more people. If enough Americans are Hams, the FCC will be unable to take away our spectrum due to the sheer numbers of amateur operators.

Our job is to find new ways to appeal to the masses and get the word out about how great a hobby this is.

73
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well RIP, how many Ham's do you know that are active on 902 MHz. The radios are out there, both surplus, and brand new!

For that matter, how many do you know on 2.3 GHz? Same situation. The radios are available and actually quite cheap, both new and used. You just have to have a little knowledge to get such a station on the air.

de John
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K3BZ on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
AB2M writes: "I rapidly see the day approaching in which we will be relegated to the museums like the dinosaurs that we will have become..."

K3AN writes: "Ham Radio AS A LICENSED SERVICE will disappear before mid-century (probably much sooner)."

K3BZ (me) writes in reply: I will disappear long before mid-century, and probably you both will too. But I think whoever is left will still have some form of communication hobby available, be it radio-based, or perhaps involving some technology as yet unknown. So what if it isn't quite the same in the next 100 years as it has been for the last 100?

Amateur radio is a manifestation of the indomitable human spirit and the quest for knowledge... as such, it may mutate, but it's unlikely to perish.

I have faith that at mid-twenty-first-century...and for centuries to come...we will still have challenges, as in radio DXing. We will have competition, as in radio contesting. We will still have ways to be useful to each other, as in public service radio. We will still have fun ways to communicate with each other, as in worldwide Amateur Radio. And the same type of people as we are will be pursuing it, whatever form it takes.

Be patient and keep the faith. To paraphrase Mark Twain, "the rumors of the death of 'Ham Radio' have been greatly exaggerated..."

73, Jerry K3BZ
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
k3BZ, Jerry, My concern is that it just seems like a shame that we may loose access, or JUST LOOSE, the 23,471 MHz we now hold and should for or own good be using!

Look at it this way. If you had a little 'nest egg' of $23,471 Dollars that you had stashed away, and suddenly you got a bank statement that said you now presently have $11.00 Dollars left in that account -- wouldn't you think that YOU HAD REALLY LOST SOMETHING PRECIOUS?

de John
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VA6EEE on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There are two sides to this issue. The number of "disasters" is increasing worldwide and the high population figures mean higher casualties and higher numbers of people affected. Although emergency services have improved, the scale of these events is beyond our capabilities. As well, emergency services screw up just like anyone else does.

On the other hand, ham radio generally does a poor job of offering its services. I agree that hams don't do enough training and don't even understand the nature of disasters. We don't even understand the service we are providing. Check out www.amateurradio.ca "EC0 Lessons Not Learned" for a pretty comprehensive list of where amateur radio misses the boat.

The two large cities I have recently lived in are using amateur radio more and more. Fire, police, hospitals and Salvation Army are all using amateur radio more and more. The Province of British Columbia next door just posted this little gem on November 18 - just 4 days ago:

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Provincial Emergency Program - The Telecommunications Specialist is the provincial expert on the use of telecommunications technology related to emergency management. The position provides the technical direction to ensure that Provinical Emergency Program's (PEP) emergency telecommunications systems are state of the art, maintained at the highest possible readiness status, are supported by redundant systems in the event of a failure, and continue to function during emergency or disaster operations. Working with considerable autonomy and under stringent timelines, the position is responsible for the design and implementation of the PEP Emergency Telecommunications Strategy and manages the procurement, installation, operation and support of all telecommunications equipment for the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centres as well as the Public Safety Lifeline, Search and Rescue Services program.

Qualifications - Post secondary education. Incident Command training to level ICS-200 (minimum). Industry Canada Advance Amateur Radio Certificate required; International Commercial Radio Telecommunications Certificate preferred. Training and experience in radio and telephone communications systems. Experience in operational response. Experience working with radio operators and volunteers. Experience in writing Operational Communications Instructions and Exercise Communications Instructions.

Governments, emergency services, disaster agencies and the general community still value amateur radio experience. It's the ones that continue to train, continue to challenge themselves and continue to be aware of our shortcomings and do something about it that are the really valuable ones!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6TH on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This fellow doesn't know how our govt operates.

The way to save our hobby doesn't lie in falling back on emergency services, but in making our hobby appealing to more people. If enough Americans are Hams, the FCC will be unable to take away our spectrum due to the sheer numbers of amateur operators.----------------------------------------------------------------

We lost half of our Constitutional rights and the other half of our Bill of Rights.

Now do you think the radio hobby stands a chance?

If our representatives can get into ham radio as they control Wal-Mart and the Heinz food company, then you may have a chance.

Guess hams are too much tied up in ham radio then to know what is going on with our country leaders.

Ham radio R.I.P., not just yet, because there are plenty of money to be made from ham radio in the other countries. The other country hams will keep us going.

.: The dot and dash scientist, W6TH.


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
But still it's a sad day when the local Horry County EC and Assistant EC , Boycott Skywarn Recognition Day etc .

I must respectfully boycott this exercise and further, ask my
Skywarn members to also boycott Skywarn Recognition Day as
well until such a rule can be incorporated to prevent the use of
a computer or telephone at either or both ends of an AMATEUR RADIO contact.

Webster D. Williams, KR4WM.
Horry County Emergency Coordinator
Myrtle Beach, SC.

:( KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0TONE on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You're wrong from the very beginning. Here's where you went astray:

"Whenever there is any threat to Amateur Radio, be it potential band reallocation, Part 15 intrusion, or any other issue that threatens to upset the status quo, we hams immediately raise the one sacred, (usually) FCC-scaring, blood boiling rallying cry that we have - WE PROVIDE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS. We never justify ourselves anymore as advancers of the radio art (we'd be hard pressed to do so these days), so the only value we can provide to justify our continued occupancy of billions of dollars of spectrum is merely emergency communications."

If you believe this, then you have not been reading the comments submitted to the FCC in response to various rule-making proposals. You have not read the comments of the FCC when they discuss what benefits the amateur service provides. You have not sat on the technology commitees of the FCC and NTIA, who frequently turn to the hams in the room and ask things like, "Have you noticed, in your weak-signal HF work, an increase in the RF noise pollution"?

I consult for the FCC, NTIA and for basically any company that wants to perform measurements in RF, microwave or related fields. As far as I can tell, those who have some sway over the future of the hobby from a legislative perspective, still see us as a possible place from which a technological advancement might suddenly appear. They also see us as the strongest defenders of keeping the RF spectrum available for the most users, because we are the most populated user group that cares about weak signal work. That's right - despite the hand-wringing about declining numbers, NOBODY uses the RF spectrum for weak signal work in the quantity that we do.

And, there is significant mention that frequently the first contact between the US and third world countries is ham radio. We too often forget that the internet does not exist in those countries that need the helping hand the most. And, in some countries that supposedly do have the internet, access to much of the web is restricted. I've spent a fair bit of time in many Asian countries, and the only one where I encountered more than one person who even know about internet chat rooms was Japan.

And yet, the gov't agencies with which I consult ALWAYS know that ham radio will get through when nothing else will. And that does not mean repeaters! That means good old HF, where it's your radio direct to the radio in the Red Cross building, with no need for infrastructure like phone lines or repeaters.

Do not make the mistake of linking ham radio's future to how well the gov't thinks we are capable of contributing to emergency comms. It's not as tight as you think!

AM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6PDU on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am starting to hopefully help with the San Diego Chapter of the American Red Cross. They are not too happy with ARES. They are right now looking at hams for ways to set up their new communications trailer. They are talking about equipping everybody with radios and teaching them, the proper ways to set it up has with use it. But, has with everything we will see how it goes. Although I am going to help with ARES no matter what. We are not going to go any where.

73,
KG6PDU
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K8NQC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I do think the comments of VE2DC do a good job of encouraging us to use a broad view in understanding this subject. I think that the emergency service justification is a poor one for perpetuating the hobby.

Will there be a day when we again expect the government to meet our needs rather than rule over us? We need our government to manage the radio spectrum in ways that assure its availability and utility for we users. How different is radio spectrum from the exspanses of this country that we call national parks? We expect the government to manage those parks for the enjoyment of the citizens. The citizens don't have to provide value in return for the use of the parks beyond modest maintenence fees. Likewise, citizens should not be expected to return value for the use of the radio spectrum.

People enjoy their hobbies for a variety of reasons. In amateur radio it may be for public service satisfaction. It may also be for technical curiosity or learning. It may be for social needs or sporting needs. If our government has communication gaps that our equipment and skills can provide in times of duress, we as citizens likely will stand ready to offer them. In past difficult times that has often paid dividends. What it may look like in the future is only a guess.

The bigger issue is a question of what we expect from our government. They have pacified us with political alligence, nationalism, and fear. They have shown a willingness to sell out things we hold dear to the highest bidder. With greed in the drivers seat and people afraid to stand up to their own government, there will be attacks on the spectrum we need to enjoy the hobby. Will we amateurs as a group have the courage to stand up to the politicians, no matter what their party shield, and tell them "NO MORE !!" Will we have the foresight to lay aside our petty gripes and support an amateur organization that can talk with a powerful voice. Will we be able to support this organization with our collective political clout or will we argue we each other about the latest political spin?

We have tried to use public service as our primary justification argument. As VE2DC suggests, we better look beyond that and even be willing to learn some things from those with other than W/K/N/A callsigns.

Bill
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC0RCQ on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
When I was first licensed in 1976, there were approximately 300,000 amateurs in the US. Today there are over 700,000. Around the world, especially in Asia, the numbers are increasing rapidly. Stop worrying about the demise of this great hobby and go get on the air. I am fine if some of the hams I hear out there go away.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6BBC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
When I listen to the bands, I hear a lot of really, really, really, old people. Most of the QSO’s I hear are between really, really, really old people. I felt like the kid when I was licensed at 12. At 48, I still feel like the kid, and I ain’t no kid. If we don’t infuse the hobby with younger participants, we will just simply go extinct.

K6BBC
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA3LGG on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
ham radio will die when the big three cash flow runs dry, but for now, the boys with the big noses want you to keep up with the jones'es, so buy that big rig until bpl becomes a pig, and when the well runs dry, ham radio will die.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
When I listen to the bands, I hear a lot of really, really, really, old people. Most of the QSO’s I hear are between really, really, really old people. I felt like the kid when I was licensed at 12. At 48, I still feel like the kid, and I ain’t no kid. If we don’t infuse the hobby with younger participants, we will just simply go extinct.

K6BBC ,




I AGREE ! took the words out of my mouth thanks!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC0RCQ on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WA3LGG...What a ridiculous statement. Nice conspiracy theory.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6BBC on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Who are the big three with the big noses???

Inquiring minds wonder.

K6BBC
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W3RAZ on November 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Our local ARES group recently had the same kind of experience at a event. We were doing a Diabetes Walk and found that they security for the place we were at was pretty much doing the job we were asked.....overkill if you ask me as the malll where we had it (outdoor mall) had cameras completely covering the complex. ANYWAY, here's a couple things I got from the parent:

You tried to go from your home to another location to try and help AFTER a hurricane. Now a days, the real radio help is needed during a event when the hurricane is hitting and noone can repair the COW that was blown down or other things tore up. Afterwards, the cell companies have lots of COW's in range.

IN this day and age, companies realize insurance is not going to cover everything. Where possible, they make their businesses fault tolerant. Generators, batteries, solar cells....multply redundent phone cables.....steel and concrete reinforced light poles.....Cat 5 proof data centers.....if it affects the bottom line, people will buy things beyond what is needed. This makes us amateurs less needed unfortunately.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W7NWH on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,

I read this with at first glance, honest concern, but after just traveling to ARRL HQ in Newington, it infused me with a sense of progress as I sat videotaping at W1AW. I saw the scrapebook full of more memories then I can shake a stick at.. of W1AW construction, 1MQ the station before W1AW, memories everywhere.. the thing that struck me other then it being alot smaller then I ever imagined... was the technology scattered about.. in one room the main one a huge long 7 bay rack of battle hardened commerical radios and MOSFET amps handling the bullitin transmissions.. total utilitarian, AC plenum to the outside world.. first class all the way.. then right next to it a op suite with a Icom 7800, running PSK 31 and CW, SSB, etc. In the Foyer was HP Maxims sparc gap transmitter. The contrast was amazing to see!

The point I want to make is the history of our service.. it is long and proud... just because we find ourselves in a downpour of communication possiblities, the reason we exist is to mirror that process, to provide "Licensed and Trained" operators, and that should be our emphasis. In our on-air skills, our stations, a "ready for anything" concept. We have no idea of what another terrorism plot could bring to this country?, Or a major Earthquake on the westcoast which is now a prime concern, Mt St Helens is active again... I mean come on folks.. How many cell towers do you find 100 miles in the middle of nowhere... sat pnones, Cell, commercial FM radios, amateur all can co-exist... the devil is in the details! It's not what we do.. but how we do it.. or effectivness and inventiveness.. just like W1AW.. ham radio has a long history of "smart" people making progress....it's time to make some again!

Call TAPR or the ARRL.... talk to Icom, Kenwood and Yeasu.. define the future of amateur radio in your own minds.. We are NOT going away.. going to league HQ, walking the halls, even on a weekend with no one around.. echo with the history of our wonderful service. I saw THE Wouff Hong, the cases and cases of old gear and memories. Just because the "art" of communications is now commenplace, doeen't make it common.. only in it's use.

The main concern is like many technologies RF is one that is starting to get taken for granted. Cell phones, Cordless, they look like an appliance because they are.. like most appliances they don't offer much flexibility. They do what they we're designed to do. The key to Ham Radio is our flexiblity. 24X7 without wires if need be.

The fact is we do things other services are hard pressed to do.. when they rely on a tower on a hill, a disptacher, considerable power at multiple sites, control lines, computers, infrastructure, etc. Some see it as competition.. I see it as a whole bunch of stuff that can break down when really needed. Much better to rely on basic and I do mean basic communications. We can convey messages faster by SSB voice then by typing an email.. need more transmitable data, try PSK 31 or RTTY or other digital modes.

So diverse and basic we either relay or bounce via HF, we can forward and store, PSK 31 at low data rates or await high speed options from commercial resources or TAPR.

Our story is about innovation.. it's all in the marketing spin folks. I say let's reverse engineer this puppy... turn it around.. not wait for opportunities to provide service, but to invent ways to serve.

A few things off the top of my head....

1) Extreme sports, back country safty communcations.. get young people that do hardcore sports in major backcountry areas involved in HR... nothing better then being able to "phone home" 150 miles in the Alaska backcountry! Cell phone. no way.. sat phone.. cost $$$ and not as simple as HR...

2) Bunny Hunts and "Extreme Hamming"... finding remote transmissions in the least amount of time... good for tracking homeland threats, etc.

3) Neighborhood watch groups.. have a ham along during nightly patrols... bring groups together.. try to get 10 old folks walking around in the dark with cell phones in a group call.. no way.. use a 2M rig and get the coordinated in block group.. a cell phone is cumbersome to use in an emergency.. if it has more then 3 buttons.. bad.. ham radio PTT..good! Put our organizational and area skills to good use!

4) Put together Civilian Coastal watch... places on the westcoast on the shorelines are under patrolled by state police with budget cuts. Help out! A loose network of drivers making it up and down 101, etc.

5) Put an ATV Fast Scan tiny Camera in a model powered plane or helicopter as a hobby.. practice flying and downloading video in challanging, windy conditions.. offer your new found skills for suvellance or search and rescue services. Then upload the video to the internet and stream it.

6) Practice with WIFI Backhaul or line of sight high speed internet connections.. use some power.. or a nice high gain antenna. Go down to Vegas next summer for the 802.11b Distance Shootout.. let's show these young punks what some old hams can do with some good ol' American Ham Inginuity a few watts and a high gain yagi or two!

7) Get involved with Boy Scouts or other organizations needing coordination, or communication services at events. The communication can become an attractor as well.

Ok, that's my seven ideas.. I'm concerned as well. I think we need to start selling ourselves in a totally different way now.

Sincerely,

W7NWH


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA4KOE on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Has anyone considered what would happen if a nuke were exploded high in space above the US and took out most electronics with the EMP?

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KT0DD on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am amazed at how many people on here are still crying "Cell Phone" as part of the death of ham radio. It's been shown time and time again in disasters, 9/11, 4 Florida hurricanes etc. that Cell Phones are the first thing to get overloaded & go down. Granted, they can bring in portable cell sites, IF they can get around on roads and get into where they need to be (not always immediately possible) but Amateur Radio was never intended as a replacement for Cell Phones. Amateur Radio usually will be the first immediate stop gap measure for the first 8 or so hours after the disaster until other services can be deployed and put into place. In this capacity we are vital. 73.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KG5JJ on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ahhh...doomsday prophets. They've been with us since...well...doomsday was invented.

73 KG5JJ (Mike)
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N3EVL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
N0TONE said: "...As far as I can tell, those who have some sway over the future of the hobby from a legislative perspective, still see us as a possible place from which a technological advancement might suddenly appear..."

While the original post raises some interesting issues and I can see why a past volunteer might think twice about making an 8-hour drive into a disaster area only to discover they're not needed, I hope very much that N0TONE's assessment is correct.

As others have stated in this thread, the technology is changing and changing fast and we must be and should be inseparable from it.

I'm not in any way suggesting that we throw out our traditional or legacy modes and practices but it boggles my mind that at a time when the technology we supposedly helped to bring to fruition (and to the mainstream) and in which (I think) most of us are passionate about, is flourishing, that we find it so hard to embrace it within the hobby! There's all this neat technology out there and 99.9% of those using and depending on it have not clue-one about how it works. Surely there is a role for us here? If Ham Radio cannot define itself within this brave new communication-rich world then we are indeed a lost cause.

Pete

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K0PD on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Good lord will the talk never end about the demise of Ham Radio.How many different way's can we think of how it is all going down the tube's.I can not remember ever signing on to E Ham that someone has'nt brought up is this the end of Ham Radio.
All this remind's me of the religious doom and gloomer's,or the political doom and gloomer's.Look all any of us can do is what we do best and in a hobbie what we enjoy doing.If Ham Radio goes away it will be because of a natural reason unless of course the world end's.I'm sure of one thing and that is if Ham Radio stay's strong and alive it will not be caused by abunch of people with intirely to much time on there hand's talking about will this be the end of Amateur Radio........
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: But still it's a sad day when the local Horry >County EC and Assistant EC , Boycott Skywarn Recognition >Day etc.

Still acting like a child when you don't get your way, I see? If you understood the reason I said that.... Well, I understand you're incapable of being reasoned with, so I'll leave that alone.

I thought I was seeing the end of Skywarn radio support when I read the ARRL bulletin pronouncing that the upcoming Skywarn exercise was going to allow contacts made via VOIP. That's right, pick up your Vonage telephone that's connected to your cable modem on your desk, and simply telephone ALL the National Weather Service offices for contact credit! If you ask me, it sure violates the spirit of radio communications! I've asked my Skywarn coordinator to boycott this one, and received an affirmative. I wrote the ARRL and they think I'm crying wolf!

I can see it now: The ARRL (of which I plan to stay a member in hopes that I can sway some opinion) sits down to the table at the WRC*:

WRC: ARRL, we see you're against BPL.

ARRL: Yes, that's right.

WRC: But you encourage people who have computers and internet access who are not using radios to assist in emergency communications by VOIP.

ARRL: Yes, that is correct.

WRC: Well, if that isn't hypocritical! Sir(s), if the service that you provide can be done just as easily over the internet, why should we approve any more frequencies for your use of radios, and in fact, why shouldn't we take away some or all of your underused, unneeded frequencies you already have and give them to BPL?

ARRL: Uhhhhhh.....

WRC: And since you're going to be using VOIP and the internet to provide the services you used to provide over radio, why don't we just go ahead and rubber-stamp all these requests by the BPL guys?

ARRL: Gee whiz! What will Kenwood, Yaesu, Icom, and Ten Tec do if we hams lose all our frequencies to VOIP? All those radios they make will no longer have a use!

WRC: You radio guys are not even a drop in the dollar bucket. Think how much more money Dell, Compaq, Gateway, HP, and the other computer manufacturers will make when you all have to give up your licenses and use only computers to do your communicating! The economy of the entire world will improve if we take away your frequencies!

......the transceiver on this end is a Dell P4 microprocessor running at 3.2GHz into a DSL modem at 768K, with 1 Gb of RAM memory. I'm listening to you on a pair of Altec-Lansing speakers powered by a wall-wart power supply. I bought this Logitech microphone on sale at Wal-Mart last week, how does it sound on your end? Broken up? Lemme disconnect and adjust my IP address... maybe I need a new ethernet card. I can remember when the ether was something we used to tickle with an antenna and a radio. I guess I'm giving my age away though, back to you. No callsign here, I dropped mine when ham radio gave way to VOIP. It sure is easier to talk on my computer than my old radio used to be- no static at all, you're perfectly copyable! I'll send you a QSL card in the mail to confirm our contact. No, wait, I can just e-mail you one. Nobody will ever know the difference! You can print it out yourself and save me a stamp. On second thought, why bother? There's no such thing as a WAS award anymore since we're not using radios...

Bah, HUMBUG!

Is this a likely scenario? I don't know, but I'm boycotting all amateur radio use of VOIP which is not connected to the use of RF. Without RF, it's just another AOL chat room! I invite all other amateur radio operators to do the same!

I'm -NOT- anti-technology, I just think that radio *SHOULD BE* radio.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
By the way, Johnny Boy, I don't have an "assistant EC". If you'd quit throwing rocks from the outside and participate with the rest of us, you'd have known that.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have to agree with K0PD and the others that have expressed similar opinions. To paraphrase Mark Twain; “The reports of Ham Radio’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”

I suppose the ARS could conceivably find itself killed by legislative action, but I think it’s a long way from dying on it’s own. I don’t believe we have anything to worry about, as long as people find their license and radios to be things of value in their own lives.

I, for one, (even though I don’t fit into the mainstream of the “Ham Community”) will have my license until I die………because for me, it’s an important tool!

In reading the threads that bear on this topic, I begin to suspect that many of the “Doom & Gloom Crowd” are mistaking “Change” for a terminal illness.

……..And no, “Change” is not always bad! In fact, Part 97 mandates it when it states in the list of principles: “Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.”

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K0RGR on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I missed the post from N4GI the first time - I just read the 12 page newsletter about the experiences of the Tampa Radio Club. It does, indeed sound like they were pretty busy. I know that four hams from our radio club up here in Minnesota travelled down there with the Red Cross and were very busy for weeks doing Red Cross stuff. It looks like the Tampa Bay club was mostly involved with the Salvation Army, which in the one real disaster which I was an active participant, I was talking to the Red Cross, stationed at their shelter, but I was really working more with the SA. There are other groups that involve hams too.

I think the fact that hams were able to set up the forestry and sheriff's repeaters was pretty remarkable, too - it doesn't matter what band they were on. I suppose the cops could have done it themselves, or they could have recuited a few folks off the beach to do it - anybody knows how to set up a repeater, right?

This is just one example of how hams can use their "skills". Communications skills include more than talking on the radio and banging on a key. Indeed, a trained Red Cross Communications person is someone who sets up the Communications - telephone, cellphone - satellite - and/or ham radio if needed, and then gets out of the way or goes and does something else. I think this is the goal of ARRL's project to build a digital email network for disasters - hams can deploy it and move on, or at least get out of the way.

If you think you're being wasted, you probably are. Find a way to make yourself, and other hams more useful!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
And in case you're wondering- here is the entire text of my communications to the ARRL:

Gentlemen,

It has been brought to my attention by my skywarn coordinator
that VOIP contacts will be an approved method for obtaining
contact confirmations with the National Weather Service for
Skywarn Recognition Day.

Many people are now using VOIP telephone service in their
homes, to wit, the Vonage brand of telephone service. The
way the rules are worded, anyone with Vonage telephone
service may simply telephone the various NWS offices and
thereby claim contact points, assuming this is a contest of
sorts? This voilates the spirit of amateur radio! Perhaps this
VOIP "contest" should have been placed underneath the headline
of "Band Threats"!

VOIP is a useful tool when a radio is not available, but it should
not supplant using a radio to make a contact when one considers
the basis for the amateur radio service is using a radio to communicate!
I suggest that you consider the removal of VOIP as an approved
method of contacting someone -UNLESS- VOIP is used in between
two RF links, in other words, a radio must be used at *both* ends
of a contact to count a contact credit.

I must respectfully boycott this exercise and further, ask my
Skywarn members to also boycott Skywarn Recognition Day as
well until such a rule can be incorporated to prevent the use of
a computer or telephone at either or both ends of an AMATEUR
RADIO contact.

Your truly, -Webster D. Williams
Horry County Emergency Coordinator
Myrtle Beach, SC

Hi, Web

Thanks for writing us to express your opinion. We're talking about EchoLink and IRLP here--perhaps that was not clear from the brief story that appeared in The ARRL Letter; even if it were possible, there would be very little incentive for someone to "phone in" a contact. This is not a contest with prizes of value. It's an annual operating event to recognize the contributions of SKYWARN volunteers. I think you're worrying about a problem that is highly unlikely to occur.

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

73, Rick N1RL

Rick Lindquist, N1RL
ARRL Senior News Editor

Dear Rick,

Thank you very much for expressing your opinion about the upcoming
Skywarn operating event. I personally consider VOIP and it's many
variations to be an affront to Amateur Radio, and do not think it contributes
much to the advancement of the hobby, with the possible exception of using it
to link one repeater to another. I believe that the users of Echolink and
IRLP, once "hooked" on using a computer to make contacts via the internet
may lose interest in purchasing and using a "real" radio on the air, hence, I feel
these modes of communication contribute to the demise of amateur radio as
a hobby. I do not, nor will I ever, endorse using VOIP as a valid means of
amateur radio communications for contacting emergency service providers,
with the exception of "last resort" after all else via RADIO has been attempted.

If you were a _new_ amateur radio operator, and had the ability to contact
other (radio owning) amateur radio operators all over the world using a
computer you already own, what incentive would there be to put forth any
effort to learn how to set up and use a real radio? I would hope that the ARRL
would see things from this perspective as well, in order to help keep the few
amateur radio manufacturers we have left in business. Radio is a magical thing
to a new ham, and using the internet to make contacts removes all the magic
from radio. Without RF, it's just another internet chat room.

I hear that some people who have HOA problems are successfully using
VOIP to get on amateur radio, I only wish these same people would expend
as much effort in fighting HOAs and lobbying their congressmen to approve
bills such as the now defeated HR-1478 as they do in setting up their
computers. Please tell me what incentive they have if they're happy using
Echolink and IRLP? If all these people are using the internet instead of RF,
don't you think the WRC is going to see this and wonder why they're allowing
us to have and to hold all these frequencies if we can do the same thing on
the internet???

If the ARRL provides a positive spin on VOIP, then speaking out against
BPL is surely hypocritical. I'm not against the internet, and I'm not totally
against combining amateur radio and VOIP as long as it's for extremely
limited usage. I think the ARRL would be doing amateur radio a big favor
by limiting it's endorsement of Echolink and IRLP.

I apologize in advance if my opinion hurts anyone's feelings, but this issue, to me,
is more important that how people "feel". I see the future of amateur radio being
threatened. I have too much invested in time, money, and education to see a
computer supplant the requirement of using a radio for amateur radio communications.

Feel free to publish my opinion in QST. I don't mind anyone knowing what my
opinion is, as long as my message is not abbreviated to obscure any meaning
from my words. I mean malice towards none, and I harbor no ill will or hard
feelings one way or the other, but the issue of VOIP needs to be worked on if
we are to provide a bright future for the amateur radio hobby. Each computer
placed into service as an Echolink or IRLP radio is one less radio on the air,
although I don't think the proponents of VOIP see it in that light.

Kindest regards, -Web Williams, KR4WM
Horry County EC

I also received a letter quite favorable to my position from one ARRL representative that I will not post for personal reasons.

So now, all my cards are on the table, and everyone knows how I feel about Echolink, IRLP, VOIP, and their hopefully _SHORT_ future with amateur radio.

-Web Williams, KR4WM, Myrtle Beach, SC
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Seen in a previous post:

>>” I thought I was seeing the end of Skywarn radio support when I read the ARRL bulletin pronouncing that the upcoming Skywarn exercise was going to allow contacts made via VOIP. That's right, pick up your Vonage telephone that's connected to your cable modem on your desk, and simply telephone ALL the National Weather Service offices for contact credit! If you ask me, it sure violates the spirit of radio communications!”<<

Jeez……….Talk about your misplaced priorities!!!

The whole point of Skywarn is getting significant and sometimes critical field information to the National Weather Service! Who the hell cares how it gets called in, as long as it gets there?

Lives and Property are far more important than “Contact Credits” and regulatory technicalities! Even the FCC recognizes this in 97.403, and so states:

>>” No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any means of radio communication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.”<<

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
”Appliance Operator”



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL

You missed the entire point of having the exercise- it's to make sure your RADIOS are ready in the event you need them to contact the NWS. We are amateur RADIO operators, not amateur COMPUTER operators. If the VOIP guys want to report to the NWS using their computer or Vonage telephone service, then let them start their own emergency service organization APART from amateur radio! I suggest they call it Computer Relay Amateur Proponents (please see the acronym). This whole "let the VOIP guys check in" is a "make 'em feel like they're doing something useful" thing, and does absolutely nothing to promote amateur radio or to test the readiness of their RADIO gear. VOIP has it's place, but it should not be relied upon as a robust method of emergency reporting by any self-respecting amateur radio operator. When the power is out, and the internet is down, there's still.... RADIO.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K3NRX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I hate to keep harping on this, but how much will the Red Cross, et. al. be billed by Nextel for cellular phone usage during these disasters? How much money was spent to set up internet hook-ups, and have service provided? Now, how much money does it take to key a microphone and pass on messages? I rest my case. Promote ham radio's key attributes, such as not having a costly gatekeeper, which in a disaster, only adds to the financial burdens!

Vince P
KA3NRX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6LCS on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>...The death of amateur radio is being caused by many things...

The "death" of amateur radio is a myth. Look at the total number of licensees over the past decade or so - then report what you discover.

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N1YRK on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The Raison d'Etre for ham radio is thought by some to be community service. This is assumed to be only in times of emergency, for communications alone. Neither of the assumptins are true, but I don't have time to explain that right now. Instead, I'll just pick the lameness that I have seen.

The public has become used to instantaneous communications. In a public disaster, such as the WTC bombing or a hurricane, they expect to communicate with their loved ones within minutes. If they can't their fear that something horrible has happened increases. If people have been injured or killed, or are missing, the situation can change quite rapidly. This all makes old methods of ham traffic-passing obsolete, as it takes too long to communicate a message.

While there should be a fall-back of voice traffic handling when nothing else is working, we need to be pro-active in setting up a communications system that will be fast, efficient, and reliable in times of disaster. Packet networks fill the bill. If a message is transformed from analog audio to digital (either digitized voice or text) and transferred to an amateur packet network, there is less work involved, less possibility for errors to creep in, and it gets done much faster.

Here's what I'd like to see:

- a field worker, with a robust laptop and robust radios, with batteries sufficient to power both, is dispatched to the field.

- The ham in the field sets up a variety of digital technologies on several bands, from HF to Microwave. PSK31/MFSK16, HF packet, VHF 1200 BPS packet, UHF 9600 bps packet, 2.4 ghz 802.11, 10ghz ATV, etc. ANY of these would be some help, as long as there is some sort of preparation and organization in the effort. THe victims can record a personal voice message to be transmitted to the recipient, dictate a text message to the ham at the keyboard, or type it themselves. Hams can also relay messages coming in from users of FRS/MURS/CB.

- The message flows through several networks, both amateur and commercial, until it gets to its destination. There should be adequate interoperability coordinated beforehand and tactically maintained.

- Messages can be transmitted from the public network back through the ham network in response. This requires some sort of identification of the disaster victim and tracking of their location. THis requires planning, organization, practice, and discipline.


- In times of emergencies, the rule against private messages should be lifted. There are many good reasons to not want the general public to know certain things. Looters with scanners, reporters with cameras, and rapacious lawyers come to mind. Though the times when this will be permissible will come to an end, it is important that there be no possibility of a message transmitted with the expectation of privacy be revealed to the public.


So let's start building a better emergency infrastructure! We should start by rejuvenating our VHF/UHF packet networks, and making email gateways to the internet on them (for the general public, only useable during emergencies). We should encourage and help community WiFi projects, and have smooth interoperability between part 15 and ham nets. CBers should be organized to provide well-run nets as well, as CBs are dirt cheap these days and can reach much farther than FRS. Lastly, we need to work with federal agencies to plan and to create laws, and modify laws, to make this all work.

Of course, these networks we build are used in peaceful times as well, by us hams, but the laws which keep hams from competing with commercial services should be in effect at that time.

Please, cross post this wherver you like, spread the word! Just give me credit for my words and ideas.

73,
N1YRK
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The author, KR4WM & K6BBC are right on...

KT0DD,

You keep using disinformation to inflate your ego. Cells didn't go down the way you portray. The authorities simply requested that Wireless Priority Service be put on surviving cells to filter out civilian traffic loads. Then they added COWs & COLTs to areas that needed recoverage. Since hams were locked out of WPS, we were considered mere civilians, not saviours like fire, police, FEMA, etc. It is shameful that hams don't even try to understand the technology drowning us out.

Clue: "We had a great signal but couldn't make or receive a call..."

Whomever made that WPS determination was right on as well...



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC0ARF on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hello,

Some people think that Skywarn Recognition Day (SRD) is supposed to be a contest; Others think that it should be a chance to talk with various SKYWARN members and simply have a nice time of it.

Here at WFO GRB, we will have one operator on IRLP 9210, and another on the local Skywarn frequencies. We will not QSL Card -- rather, we will exchange the temp and the time and the conditions, thank our spotters for a great job done this year, and perhaps mention plans for next year. On IRLP, we will echange with other stations... last year, we talked to Canada and Texas, and 10 other states in-between. We took reports in the metric system, and converted ours to help them out. We had a blast, and it was not work!

To the folks who wish to boycott, well, we will miss you on the air. While I may not understand your reasons of the boycott, who am I to judge you for doing it. But if you do find an IRLP capable node, feel free to give us a call on Friday night 6pm - 10pm CST, or Saturday afternoon 12pm - 4pm CST, and we'd be happy to chat.

I personally think that our goal as Amateurs and Skywarn members is to communicate. To me, HOW is not important... I will take your report over the CB, through an email, or a note handed in the door from the highway. As long as you are a trained spotter, and you have taken the time to learn what the weather variables are, it does not matter to me how your report gets to me. We look at quality of the reports, and desire highest quality of signals to avoid repeating information during challenging conditions. If IRLP assists us by improving the timely fashion of report reception, I am all in favor of it. If IRLP goes down, or your finals blow out, and you call us in, I am in favor of receiving that report.

To the award purests out there, I have no problem excluding IRLP / Echolink from the awards.

Skywarn is not about awards. We find our satisfaction in reporting the weather and keeping the public safe. I don't need some ARRL plaque on the wall telling me whom I talked with.

Christian Reynolds
KC0ARF
Packerland Area Skywarn Society
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N8AUC on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I believe this is way overstated. But I can relate to this guy, because I've "been there and done that". In other words, been sent to do a job that doesn't need to be done. When that happens, feelings get hurt, people feel like their time has been wasted (and it has), and in general it's not good for morale. To add insult to injury, this poor fellow drove 16 hours (8 there and 8 back) to find this out. But this doesn't constitute the death of ham radio....hardly.

Ham radio, despite all the naysayers, is the ultimate backup communications system. Why? Because it requires virtually NO infrastructure to work. Ham Radio is what you use "when ALL else fails". Clearly, in this situation, all else hadn't failed. When that situation exists, we are indeed redundant. But what if Nextel hadn't come through? What if Nextel WAS ground zero for this situation? Then what do you do?

Ham radio is like homeowners insurance. You know you need it, but you sure hope you don't ever have to use it. But inside, deep down, you know you'd better have it. And when that time comes, we'd better be ready.

And this is the part where I play "monday morning quarterback". Yeah, things look a lot clearer after the fact, and hindsight is indeed 20-20, but learning from your mistakes is important. And we ALL make mistakes. The fact that we breathe, regardless of who we are, or what we've been appointed to, virtually guarantees it. We handle that fact by living through it, learning from it, and moving on. The premise is that whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger and hopefully smarter, right?

This whole thing happened, because the ARES honcho involved didn't completely assess the situation before calling in the troops. Someone from a served agency squealed, and wanting to be perceived as responsive and helpful, he jumped to respond (like he should). But unfortunately, he didn't assess the situation for himself first (like he should). He calls in the troops who dutifully respond (like they should). Then they sit around being bored and redundant because although summoned, they weren't really needed. Why? Because "all else" hadn't failed.

Then one of the participants posts a diatribe to eham describing what happened, and now ham radio is dying again?

Sorry - but I don't think so.

Take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the holiday weekend!

73 de N8AUC
Eric
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KR4WM;

I haven’t “missed the point” in your posts. I am VERY familiar with the issue at hand, as my profession is Meteorology.

The “Whole Purpose” of your exercise was to test the integrity of the data transmission infrastructure that conveys information from the field, to the appropriate National Weather Service facility. The data is the critical item, not the means of conveying it.

You are certainly correct when you say that VOIP is not a particularly “robust” technology………..just as the basic cell phone isn’t; but we can’t afford to exclude any data source when lives and property are at stake.

The data flow needs to be as integrated as possible, with ALL relevant information sources feeding to the same correct location, with a minimum number (preferably none) of human “copy and relay” steps. Consequently, the very system you object to so violently makes perfect sense to me.

Yes, power and the Internet can go down,……..but you don’t disregard a system until it actually fails!!! ….. If you were in a serious car accident, would your first action be to throw your cell phone out the window, and start calling “CG” on your radio??

You Said; >>”If the VOIP guys want to report to the NWS using their computer or Vonage telephone service, then let them start their own emergency service organization APART from amateur radio! “<<

I find that statement nothing short of disturbing! In order to maintain “Radio Purity” you would saddle the National Weather Service with the task of coordinating two separate sources of information, right at the time when they haven’t a second to spare for any sort of trivia at all!.....That sort of thinking in emergency situations costs lives. At the very least, it is the sort of thinking that has led many people in this country to think of themselves as “Republicans” or “Democrats” first, …….and as “Americans” a distant second.

Skywarn and the Spotter Nets use the ARS as one of their tools. They are not there to provide an opportunity for you to “validate” yourself as a “Ham”. If the “Pure Radio” aspect of working with Skywarn is more important to you than getting the data through, then you’re not only in the wrong pew, you’re in the wrong Church!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”


 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KK7WN on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing can last forever: so says certain scientific and even theological theories. Thus Ham radio as we know it will cease. The principal questions are the manner and timing of its demise. The more interesting immediate questions deal with social and technological changes altering its appeal to newcomers.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KR4WM on November 24, 2004
KF4VGX: But still it's a sad day when the local Horry >County EC and Assistant EC , Boycott Skywarn Recognition >Day etc.

Still acting like a child when you don't get your way, I see? If you understood the reason I said that.... Well, I understand you're incapable of being reasoned with, so I'll leave that alone.


Sorry Web , I thought Rick was your assistant Skywarn EC ,as he sends you email and you jump into a frenzy.

Actually I Could care less if you didn't join the net. But as an EC you should not put yourself on the limb and ask all others to boycott the net.

I quote a friend here,

But to forcefully encourage a Boycott to those who dedicate themselves to Emergency Response/ Skywarn service, who make available their repeaters, weather stations, time and resources to facilitate that effort, seems a little misguided, and even insulting to those participants.... certainly in my mind, not in the spirit of the advancement of Amateur Radio Service. It is our intent to use every means of communications available to help save lives. We have a great tool at hand and obviously a growing contingent of participants and repeater owners who agree. It is fine with me to not have Mr. Web William's participation. It is clear that he is misinformed on our purpose.

And KR4WM is truly misinformed ,
You see its just plain ignorant on KR4WM part not to at least be open minded to the possibilities of what VOIP can bring to the table.
KF4VGX
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W1CAR on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I like this article. Writings like these open our eyes, show us a different perspective, and wake us up to reality. I agree that for the most part ARES is used as free slave labor in many cases when we are supposed to be used as communicators, and that only... but that is really up to each person to decide.

"I'm hear to provide communications support if needed, not to carry around your stuff or save people from a burning building."

It's simple to keep it simple. Some people just see no need in doing so.. and other still feel that even if they are helping out in some way...they are still providing a service that makes them feel good about themselves.

The Citizens Band has been around a long time. To me, it is useless. The FCC gave up on enforcing it a long time ago. There are people out there running 70,000 watts and no one cares. They still have their spectrum.

Amateur Radio isn't going anywhere... no matter how we justify our existence. No one is going to walk up and tell all the gangs on 75 meters that they can't have it anymore. No one is going to find a way to utilize the propagation on 20 meters better than it's being used right now. No one else wants 40 because they can't use it all day and all night without getting interference. It's just not going to happen. You can't give people areas of spectrum like we've been given and just all of a sudden yank it away like two children arguing over a toy.

We were given the spectrum for a reason...there was no other way to allocate it. It may be yesterday's chicken scraps to the military and other organizations that utilize the RF spectrum, but it's our home and we have learned to love each band for different reasons.

Besides...the technology now is all high-tech... satellite and extremely ultra-high freqs and digital this and that. No one wants the HF bands more than we do. They aren't going anywhere.

If any bands should be worried about.. it's bands like 6 meters, 220, and the world above 440. The least used bands are the most vulnerable.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K2WH on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
And your point is? I don't think ham radio is dying, dead or near dead, it will be here for a long time to come. So you do not need to worry at least I don't.

From your post I see an evolution from ham radio as a savior to ham radio as a hobby, the way it should be. I think maybe you take ham radio too seriously. Do you ever just get on the air on non-emergency days and have fun?

It seems to me you do not enjoy just sitting back and enjoy ham radio for what it is - a way to communicate with other hams around the world. If you want to be a telephone operator, saving the world then feel free.

I have never seen ham radio the way you see it. Thirty years ago, yeah, it was something to impress people with your communications skills and the golly gee whiz technology, but I never saw ham radio as serving the public or saw myself as a public servant. I saw and still see ham radio as something akin to a hunting or fishing license, nothing more nothing less.

Why worry, be happy.

K2WH
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WX3K on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Im really tired of the doom and gloomy attitudes about Ham Radio. On the contrary, Ham radio will be around for a long time. Its the doom and gloomers that wont and just as well.

Ham radio is a fascinating hobby ! Who is able to bounce signals off of the moon from their home ? Who is able to bounce signals off of Aurora ? Who is able to work other hams through orbiting satellites that are designed, assembled and launched in orbit ? Who WoWs the classrooms of school kids with communications with the space station ?

These are all positive aspects of this wonderful hobby and its ability to demonstrate that science is a valued asset to an individual. We lack aptitude in science and math in this country. Ham Radio introduces individuals to it.

Instead of professing the end of Ham radio, round up some local kids, get on the air for Kids days and demonsrate what a wonderful thing it is to bounce signals off of the ionosphere and talk to other intelligent folks.

Do something positive for the survival of the hobby !

Stephanie WX3K

http://www.wxpage.com
 
HAR HAR HAR  
by K7LA on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Look back at January 17, 1994 Northridge (California) earthquake.

Los Angeles County had a state of the art "earthquake proof" steel framed building in north county equipped with top dollar emergency communications.

After the quake, two thing occured:

1. The building was "red-tagged" unsafe for occupancy by the county fire department.

2. Not a single paid county civil service (union represented) employee reported to work, because they were too busy looking after their own homes and families to worry about the county's emergency communications needs post-disaster. In addition, three of the four local wireless telephone providers went offline.

Within an hour of the event, a group of volunteer hams trained in disaster communications arrived on scene, on their own initiative, without being summoned. They entered the unsafe building, brought out the transmitting equipment to the parking lot, cabled up to portable antennas, fired up their personal generators using personal gasoline and got the county back on the air within two hours of the disaster.

The county was so grateful for this free resource that at the initiative of the ARRL SW Division and local Section Manager the governing elected Board of Supervisors passed an antenna ordinance favorable to hams, allowing any ham living in an unincorporated (non-city limits) regions the RIGHT to erect a 35-foot tower. It was in the best interest of the county. The best part: no snoopy curmudgeon neighbor can block it unless they put up a cash appeal bond (a "put up or shut up" provision) AND demonstate by written case why it is not in the county's best interest to allow the antenna. (Lose the case, lose your cash!) To my knowledge no one has ever successfully challenged a ham on this.

So every time I hear the so-called death knell for amateur radio, I just wait for a quake, forest fire, tornado or hurricane to occur around the country and watch local emergency systems scramble to handle the problems.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by G3SEA on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

KR4WN is understandably concerned with VOIP.

However :

1. Yes.It's entirely possible that EchoLink/IRLP becomes so 'convenient' that there is no desire for
the hardware expense of HF activity.Technology progress by it's very nature promotes more convenience.

The fact is these modes provide a reliable 24/7 means of chatting with hams all over the world on VHF/UHF Repeaters/Links. Whether they are suitable for emergency comms is a diffferent matter despite the fact that the Internet was initially designed as a fully redundant system. However that's not much solace when your power pole carrying power and phone lines go's down ;)

2. The overwhelming number of EchoLink contacts from a
PC/Notebook are to distant VHF/UHF Repeaters / Links and NOT to another PC/Notebook :)It's no different than being on a local Repeater Net except a Repeater may be on the other side of the world.

3.The PC to PC contact fallacy is perptuated by those who are against EchoLink.

EVERY Ham on one of these modes is a Ham RETAINED not lost because of restrictions etc.It's also an ARRL
subscription RETAINED :)

4. The EchoLink/IRLP Horse is out of the Barn Door and the numbers of users is growing exponentially. It's just another mode we deal with.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA2KWP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I do not think Ham Radio is dying. I do, however, think it is changing in ways that we do not yet understand or are not able to control. I know that emcomm was an 'excuse' for being involved in an interest that seemed to many people to be 'strange' or a way to justify an 80 foot tower in a residential zone. A smaller and smaller percentage of Hams are actually getting involved in encomm. CERT is only a reinvention of a way to get Hams interested.

1. When I hear about Ham Radio involvement in emergency communications I can only guess at the pathetically small number of Hams actually involved in Emcomm in any way. Although when asked, most hams will bring up emcomm as a vital ham radio resource, only a small percentage are involved and an even smaller percentage of those actually involved are willing to undergo training for emcomm.

2. As for the number of Hams, I am actually very positive. There are about 630,000 Hams and I would guess another 630,000, who were once licensed who for one reason or another are no longer active. This is a total universe of about 1.2 million individuals who know about ham radio. I am hard pressed to think of any other group in the US of this size!! Stamp collectors, Model trains, Plane owners, Nudists; there are not many groups of this size I can think of.

3. I know the population of hams is getting older and older, but I think I would like to put another spin on it. I think the hobby is being "refreshed" by an influx of older persons entering the hobby for the first time or re entering from a previous involvement.

4. The pursuit of Ham radio is diverse enough and varied enough to attract the interest of anyone who wants to get involved. Even though the reasons for defining Amateur Radio service as a service are getting fewer and fewer there are always new and exciting aspects of the hobby that can attract the interest of the special people that are Ham radio enthusiasts. I am thinking about APRS, PSK31, Antennas etc. etc. etc.

5. Don't be prophets of doom and gloom. Ham radio is not dead, it is not even dying. So instead of going to a funeral, go to a meeting of your local club, read the magazines, see what is new and will excite and attract your interest and do it.

I have many more thoughts of a positive nature, but I think this should provoke enough positive response.

regards,
WA2KWP
David
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W2BSA on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kent, if I may I will add to what you said and point out that the Skywarn program is NOT something that was set up by Amateur Radio, but, was set up as a means for each NWS forecast office to get information about severe weather. It DIDN'T specify how the information got there and frankly they don't care how it gets there just that it does. That's why at least LWX in Sterling, VA has internet, ham radio, telephone, fax, and if they could they would use a transporter from Star Trek. The point is that it was NWS that asked ham radio to help. NOT the other way around.

73,

Bill, W2BSA
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6BBC on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"I know the population of hams is getting older and older, but I think I would like to put another spin on it. I think the hobby is being "refreshed" by an influx of older persons entering the hobby for the first time or re entering from a previous involvement."

Yes, this is spin. I don’t think the facts back up this assertion, however if it were so, the problem of an aging population still exist. Without younger people entering the hobby in much larger numbers, the hobby will be near extinct in 30 years. Band usage is already way down over the past 20 years.

K6BBC
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Bill;

Thank you for your comments…………They are “right on target”.

You are also correct when you point out that it was the NWS that asked the ARS to “step up” and help. That was true in the beginning, and is even more true now. The more we learn about severe weather, the more we realize that “real time” data from the field is absolutely critical. Too many events unfold too rapidly for simple human analysis of the basic data. We need eyes in the field to tell us what real features correspond to the radar images and cloud top satellite shots that are seen in the NWS offices. The buzz word is “Ground Truthing”, and it is more important than ever!

What we don’t need is obstructionist tactics like boycotts,…..simply because the data stream doesn’t fit someone’s definition of “Pure Radio”.

As an aside, I’d like to take this opportunity to appeal to all who are inclined: Get involved with Skywarn and you local spotter nets! You are needed! You can make a difference!

I was there for one of the pivotal events that helped form the current Skywarn system: The Plainfield, IL Tornado in 1990. I remember watching lines of volunteers do “sweeps” through fields, hours after the Tornado had passed…….because there were still children missing.

Against the background of that memory, guys who want to boycott the system don’t look so good to me.

Sorry,……..but it begins to get personal.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W4RSA on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I remember, about 25 years ago, reading an article about the demise of the paper industry due to the advent of the computer. The premise of the article insisted that computer displays and digital storage would cause a major downturn in the use of paper, causing the industry to be in crisis. The opposite took place. People still wanted a printed copy. Further, people found that reading a computer screen was not a conducive substitute. People also wanted to share ideas, something which demanded hard copies be produced. Actually, paper manufacturing has increased. As Marshall McLuhan prophecied: "The medium is the massage."

Not too long after that announcement in-home video came along and the doomsayers were calling for the demise of the movie theatre. People were not going to attend theatres when they could have their own copy. Instead, people continued to flock to theatres and the megaplex was born. People as social beings, wanted to continue to be a part of a larger experience.

I have been a ham for 40 years and have heard many versions of amateur radio doomsday. In addition to the ones listed here, we can include incentive licensing, FM repeaters, solid state circuitry, VEC's, etc.

I refuse to become a radio hypochondriac. Instead of asking about or analyzing symptoms that may look like they lead to death, perhaps we need to be more optimistic about the things that keep amateur radio full of life. Let me suggest a few premises:

We are able to communicate. Even in the world of cell phones and the internet, there is something very unique about sitting in front of a microphone and talking to someone around the world. This may seem passe to some, but I still see a glint of wonder in the eyes of those who watch this radio "magic" work. I do believe, however, that the next generation of amateurs are going to be much more aggressive in the integration of digital protocols and amateur communications. We can't resist this synthesis any more than we could SSB during the AM years or FM repeaters while holding on dearly to our Heathkit "Twoer." The key for me on the issue of VoIP - is there a radio tuned to an amateur frequency and an antenna somewhere in the mix?

We are a part of a communications fraternity. We join clubs and participate together in a variety of radio interests many times as a group. We enjoy the shared experience of the hobby and are able to talk and eyeball each other at various times. We find we have other areas in common and also connect in with our families in tow.

We are able to serve our community. I realize there are various ways of looking at the issue of Emcom in this modern age. Perhaps the issue is not one of making our case before the skeptics, but just being ready to help - both in training and a volunteer spirit. If you have become a ham radio operator in order to become a professional in emergency communications, you did not choose wisely. You need to go to work for an Office of Emergency Management, etc. But, if you want to be present as a resource - however small that might be - stay with the program. We have earned our place in many situations. In Skywarn, for instance, the NWS still depends heavily on Amateur Radio Spotters. I know this first-hand.

Will ham radio die? The question isn't on my radar. I remain optimistic that we will continue to be worthy occupants of our place in the spectrum. Will ham radio change? It always has and always will.


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N6WIX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The gentleman who started this thread makes some good points, but obviously these are issues of concern that are shaped by his experiences in his area. If I were in his “shoes”, I might come to similar conclusions.

However, Ham radio is not dead!

What is important is that we note the “trend” of this magnificent hobby / public service, and tune ourselves into the fact that we are not gaining ground.

I am very involved in emergency communications, and here in Ventura County (Southern California) our services are very utilized, needed, and appreciated. However, it would be just as erroneous for me to draw far-reaching conclusions from our experiences here, just as I believe it is for Joe to do the same as expressed in the initial posting.

In referencing the thought of “not gaining ground” above, it is important to look at some of the key factors that will affect us, and to dispel those that won’t. Please consider the following:

· If Ham radio were a “house”, we have more people exiting the back door, than we have coming in the front. Of the 300 emergency communicators we have in our county, only a very small handful are under the age of 40. We need a massive infusion of young members, and considering all the potential activities young people could pursue, Ham radio is probably #29 on their top 10 list. This is not good.

· Of the 300 members “on the books” (in previous item), only about 100 show signs of life, as seen in checking into weekly nets, or showing up for public service activities. Some of this is due to age or health issues, much to time constraints, and also some to lack of interest. I am still trying to figure out why some of our members still wish to maintain their credentials, but never show up for anything.

· Most of our use of Ham radio (in general) comes with utilization of “out of the box” equipment. From a performance point-of-view, this is not a bad thing, as today’s equipment represents some outstanding achievements in technology. However, the desire to experiment, build, or test is losing ground each day. My take on this is that the technology involved in each area is generally far above the current knowledge or experience base of most of us, so we just use it, as manufactured. While Ham operators had a great impact on technical trends in the past, technology advanced faster than did our expertise, and that role or influence is greatly diminished.

· Inward thinking does us no good. By this, I am referencing those that want nothing more from Ham radio than to sit back and have their nightly, personal health disclosure 80 meter net, while bashing the dumb-downed no code newbies. The presence of code, or none at all, has absolutely nothing to do with the growth or decline of Ham radio. However, what does matter is the presence of positive attitudes, and an open, welcoming approach to all who identify with the hobby. More than ever, we need friends, not enemies. Plus, the more we selfishly look within our own narrow interests, the more we are postured to see the decline of our hobby.

The recipe for amateur radio to survive the future is probably more likely to be based on:

A major increase in young people coming into our ranks. This is a major challenge considering the great difficulty in gaining their attention, not to mention interest.

Increased use of what we have. Drive cross country and scan the 2-meter band, or simply tune the HF bands when a contest isn’t happening, and check the activity level. It has greatly declined in the past 10 years alone. It is very hard to hear a called “CQ”, plus there are times when you can make a CQ call, and find no response in an hour. The FCC notices this, as I’m sure commercial interests do. While the ARRL struggles to protect our interests, I’m not at all totally convinced that the present commission members (including the chairman) are as committed to protecting our spectrum as we would like them to be.

Increased public service and awareness. We each need to become more involved in our communities, both with emergency communications and with public service events. Plus, we need to take steps to remind the public that we do exist, that we serve a good purpose, and that some of our services are still unique and valuable during emergencies. This will take items such as newspaper coverage, newsletters, personal contact, etc., to accomplish, not just an article in a Ham magazine that the public doesn’t read.

Become more open minded, and less critical. Reminiscing about the past, getting all worked up over code or no-code, or hurling insults at learners accomplishes nothing except damage. The perspective that some have (or exhibit on nets) that if the hobby and behavior of Ham radio isn’t like it was 20 or 30 years ago, that they don’t want it at all, is very dangerous, not to mention selfish. Ham radio is, and always should be a growing, and transitional entity and activity, as times and circumstances change. If we don’t change with the times, then the times will change without us.

I have always been an optimist, and an optimistic perspective of the future of Ham radio is certainly better than being pessimistic. However, reality must also be a factor, and the truth is that all the trend signs surrounding amateur radio today should give us some pause for thought.

The real question is, “What am I going to do about it?” What are you going to do about it?

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB2WIK on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in its petty pace from day to day
'Til the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools the way
To dusty death.
Out, out brief candle!

WB2WIK/6

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by G0GQK on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Oh dear, the end of the world is nigh.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by PHINEAS on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ok here is my response to the weekly TROLL thread.

1. Push to talk technology.
HA! People fail to realize you have to pay for that service, and they have to depend on the company to maintain it. Amateur radio operators maintain their own equipment, and we do have to worry about our cell phone bills.

2. Well all i have to do is use a cell phone in an emergency.
Ok, but what do you do when the tower falls, or the main controllers go down? I dont have to worry about that in my van. I have simplex. If I cant raise anyone, and it is a really emergency, I will clip the radio, and talk to whome ever I can make contact with.

3. BPL is the end of the world!
Bull!!! I doubt that BPL will effect anything but QRP..lol Cause if a signal is 40 over, or CW, we will hear it anyway.

4. Look at murs,gmrs, and frs?
GMRS, FRS, and MURS are jokes to an average person.

5. There will be no more ham radio.. oh god...
Come on, lets get real. We as parents are to blame for giving our children video games, and putting DVD players in the van instead of making them build something or read a book. We have the nerve wonder why their children are not interested in anything.....lol.....please. Also let us not forget that CB has now turned into a hobby. Just about everything we do on amateur bands, CBers do also. I even read a thread about someone trying to setup a repeater on CB. Go figure.

Over all, being a prepared amateur will beat any other available forms of communications hands down. When the big one hits, all of that new technology will be useless. No matter what the disaster, there will be ham somewhere with a radio and a battery waiting to help.

Now, let the flames begin :P

Just my .02

Phineas
K0KMA
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AA5RS on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The last Tech class I taught had seven students - all but one were interested in using his or her newly attained license for 'emergency communications'. They WERE NOT interested in building projects, learning code, or rag-chewing on HF. If there is no future for amateurs providing communication support during emergencies, many of our new Techs will just...go away.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AB2M on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Allow me to clarify a few points:


1. I did NOT say that Ham Radio is DEAD. I simply stated that I see it's demise in our future (perhaps in the long term). I simply don't see how we will be able to justify holding on to our spectrum if all we can offer is Skywarn spotting, comms to the third world during disasters (which is now accomplished to some degree with CNN & the like with sat phones - admittedly one-way), and patchwork assitance here and there. One OM in California related the story about how some hams went on their own initiative to pitch in when the EOC was declared uninhabitable and got the County back on the air in 2 hours. The telling things I took away from that story were: A) The hams went on their own - THEY WERE NEVER ASKED FOR. No one in the EMO apparently saw any value in their services. B) They performed no amateur communications - they merely relocated existing systems onto their antennas - still not justifying occupation of spectrum that they never used.

We must offer more to justify ourselves. We lost most of 220 to commercial interests. How long before the FCC lets the dollar signs cloud their vision and allow the LEOs (or whoever) to make off with spectrum?
We see what happened with BPL. We'll have to see how that plays out now that BPL is approved. Still think the FCC is concerned about our HF comms? Oh, sure, they won't *ignore* 700,000 voters, but they will listen to commercial dollars more - especially if we can't offer compelling reasons not too. Just wait until 5,000,000 tech-oriented folks petition to have 440 reallocated for the latest Instant Messanging dohickey that does local video sharing, proximity dating, and who knows what else. Think even 1,000,000 hams who provide hardly anything will be able to silence them and the commercial manufacturers and service providers with a lot to gain?

2. I see the value of Skywarn. I am a registered spotter and taught Spotter courses some years back. However, it's not enough to justify us. Heck, spotters can use CB or GMRS.

3. I suppose I should clarify - I see this as the death of Ham Radio IN THE USA. Japan, for example, will continue to have a happy ham future - they simply don't have the same circumstances there that we do here. However, if Ham Radio takes a big hit here, that's a lot of market for ham gear that could vanish, which could cause consolidation of the ham radio manufacturers, offering less choice, etc, etc, etc.

4. I'm not a doom-and-gloom type. Ask any ham who knows me well - I've advocated ham radio since being licensed. I'm just being pragmatic here. I'm not singing the Ham Radio Anthem just 'cause it can be sung. I am seeing the result of changes in this Country and this hobby that do not bode well for the future of Ham Radio. For those who say, "We've heard this before", I ask: When have you ever seen a greater influx of communications technology before? 10 years ago, hardly anyone had a cell phone. Today, even teenagers do. 10 years ago, there was no FRS. Today, good quality 400Mhz gear can be had for $20. No license required! 10 years ago, VOIP was a concept. Today, it's a reality. 10 years ago, we had no WiFi. Now, first responders can set up internet access and get their traffic out of affected areas. 10 years ago, we had no: Instant Messaging, Email, Blackberries, Nextel Direct Connect, SMS text messaging, or (relatively) cheap satellite phones. Today, all of these technologies allow people to communicate much easier and with lots of redundancy. THIS IS NEW. This is not comparable to any other period in the history of Ham Radio. I am predicting the results, particularly if we drag our feet. Could circumstances change? Could I be wrong? OF COURSE... I just don't think I am. Yet.


So before you shoot the messenger... See if you are part of the message.


73, Joe AB2M

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VA7DH on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I, personally, think that we should not be too keen on spreading this around. The main article is very negative in nature. I can understand where the author is coming from but we have a different set of parameters here in BC Canada. We aren't so worried about being storm ravaged, we have a constant worry about a very large earthquake.

A large earthquake would disrupt much of the cellular phone capacity and capability. We have a vast network of fibre optic cable that connects up most cell terminals and much of that fibre is supported on pole lines right up there with copper telephone cable and even hydro power above it (joint use poles). A large quake would see quite a bit of damage to the pole lines. Something else that happens is ground sheer where the earth is ripped apart sliding in opposite directions or sections rising or dropping. Any cable or pipelines crossing the sheer zones (faults) will be severed. In our province much fibre cable is buried along roads and railway right-of-ways. Those are real possibilities for catastrophic communication failure not usually seen in the south east US.

In addition to that is the fact that "Florida" is highly populated and there is no wonder that they have a ton of alternative communications. If you get off the path-well-travelled in BC and many US states you are almost immediately out of cell phone range. Cells do not stretch very far in their bubble of coverage.

Search and rescue really need SARS volunteers trained in amateur radio to help when working in the back country. They need able bodied volunteers on the ground and they can use older but willing volunteers to man portable repeaters in vehicles. The list goes on. The point is we don't want to plant a seed of doubt, despair, and disillusionment. We still need lots of hams out north and west.

If you are dissatisfied with your perceived lack of need for your service then move. Keep training, learn other applicable skills. We have CERT members here on Vancouver Island who are quite proud of their capabilities. They have learned ham radio skills and also first aid and search and rescue techniques. Nice people to have around when you are in trouble. Don't just sit by your radio, that may not be where you're needed most.

Outside of that, just remember HAM radio is supposed to be fun as well as serious.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W2MB on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree that the value htat we can provide in an emergency for local communications is not what it used to be. I have heard that much of the handheld and mobile equipment that a lot of us use nowdays was useless at 9/11 because of insufficient audio output and inability to function in a high rf environment. I feel that the greatest value that we can provide is long distance analog and digital communication via old fashioned HF. When the poop really hits the fan fancy high tech networks will fail and the long distance direct point-to-point communication ability that many of us have will save the day!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W4NTI on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Sure have, thats why a real ham has some boat anchors around. So unless the blast shatters the tubes all will be fine.

Dan/W4NTI
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AB2M on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"When the poop really hits the fan fancy high tech networks will fail and the long distance direct point-to-point communication ability that many of us have will save the day!"


9/11. TWA Flight 800. The Florida Hurricanes of 2004. The California Wildfires.

Which of these doesn't constitute "poop really hitting the fan"? During which of these did normal comms completely fail, leaving first responders with nothing but ham radio? What potential emergency will be larger that won't impact ham radio as well and leave it alone amongst the other communication technologies and services in today's world?


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Which of these doesn't constitute "poop really hitting the fan"? During which of these did normal comms completely fail, leaving first responders with nothing but ham radio? What potential emergency will be larger that won't impact ham radio as well and leave it alone amongst the other communication technologies and services in today's world?

..........

If at first we do not succeed, TRY TRY TRY again !

If We can save but just one life, by any means possible within our grasp. Then we as Amateur's are worth while!

Remember 9/11
Best , KF4VGX



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
BBC, You should read an article that I have on the Tech Bench Elmer's web page titled, "For Our Children"
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> Elsewhere in the world, amateur radio is not
> necessarily "defined" as being in the public service
> as in the USA. In Canada, public service is just one
> facet of what is just a hobby.

Even in the United States, amateur radio is not defined as being in the public service. The word 'service' in 'amateur radio service' in the regs does not mean to the FCC what hams want to think it means, and nevere has.

It's a hobby.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4IA on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
My own limited experience with emergency communications (real hurricane and simulated nuclear reactor meltdown) leads me to conclude our first responders are woefully unprepared. They are kidding themselves big time.

Ham radio ops are stuffed in a corner where they practice saying, "Can you hear me now?" Maybe that is all we are good for anymore. We are tolerated but not utilized. Ham radio is neither necessary, needed or welcome.

Long gone are the days when Barry Goldwater ran MARS traffic for our boys in Viet Nam. The emperor's new clothes have been revealed, we are a curiosity and nothing more. Whether this spells the death of ham radio, is conjecture.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> That's right - despite the hand-wringing about
> declining numbers, NOBODY uses the RF spectrum for
> weak signal work in the quantity that we do.

I guess it depends on what you mean by 'weak signal work'. The DoD does a lot more weak signal work than could be done by all the hams put together.

> I've spent a fair bit of time in many Asian
> countries, and the only one where I encountered more
> than one person who even know about internet chat
> rooms was Japan.

Thanks for a good example of how personal experience doesn't always generalize. There are significant online communities in every Asian country.

> And yet, the gov't agencies with which I consult
> ALWAYS know that ham radio will get through when
> nothing else will.

Of course, that's nonsense, as was demonstrated by the Hurricane net during the last hurricane season. I was listening the night the net closed down because no one in the effected area could get out on 20 meters. A fact that they discovered because one of the out-of-area NCS stations got an IM from someone inside the area letting them know.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> When I was first licensed in 1976, there were
> approximately 300,000 amateurs in the US. Today
> there are over 700,000. Around the world, especially
> in Asia, the numbers are increasing rapidly.

Actually, there are fewer than 700,000 licensed hams in the US, and the number has recently started declining. Meanwhile, in Asia, especically Japan, the decline is extensive.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> Has anyone considered what would happen if a nuke
> were exploded high in space above the US and took
> out most electronics with the EMP?

Yes. The Air Force has studied this since the 60s.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K4IA ,Long gone are the days when Barry Goldwater ran MARS traffic for our boys in Viet Nam. The emperor's new clothes have been revealed, we are a curiosity and nothing more. Whether this spells the death of ham radio, is conjecture.

You know ,I would love to see you write an article
On the Barry Goldwater Mars traffic days, I'm sure a piece of that History in amateur radio would be quite interesting.

KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> I am amazed at how many people on here are still
> crying "Cell Phone" as part of the death of ham
> radio. It's been shown time and time again in
> disasters, 9/11, 4 Florida hurricanes etc. that Cell
> Phones are the first thing to get overloaded & go
> down.

Actually, it hasn't. The cell system did amazingly well after 9/11. There's been no particular cell system failures in the various wildfire seasons, nor in any of the recent California earthquakes. The cell system survived quiet intact during the annual heat related crisis in the midwest.

And in those disasters where cell systems go down, so do amateur towers.

There are a small number of weather related disasters where the cell system is at high risk. Not surprisingly, the amateur infrastructure is at the same risk in those situations. And the cell providers are begining to outstrip the amateurs in their ability to restore services.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC7GF on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
What you are talking about is the demise of the amateur community volunteering for the Red Cross, not the demise of Ham Radio.

We are having the same problems with our local Red Cross officials here in the Denver area. The "paid" staff think that we are simply volunteers who will do anything that we are told to do. At one point they told us we were "communicators" so we therefore in the future we would be installing telephones and computer networks for them when asked. They even came up with a new set of "rules and qualifications" to be a "communicator" that included all these "jobs". We have actually had to have meetings where we have laid out what we will do in support of the Red Cross and what we will not do.

We have run into the same situation of being called out to be on 24 hour standby for centers in urban areas where they already have landlines and cell service. Many of us turned around and went home as you did.

But we did shine in the situations during the recent Colorado forest fires in the mountains where there was no cell service and wouldn't be until days later when the COWS were dispatched to the effected areas.

We are now beginning to set our own policies on when and how we will be called out in an "emergency" as most of the non-technical Red Cross personnel don't have a clue as to what constitutes an emergency or what is needed.

So demise of Amateur Radio, I don't think so. Demise of not being quite so "gung-ho" to be out in the field for any reason, yes.

Art - KC7GF
Golden, CO
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> You missed the entire point of having the exercise-
> it's to make sure your RADIOS are ready in the event
> you need them to contact the NWS.

No Sir. It is you who missed the point. Which, from the NWS flier is:

"Celebrates the contributions to public safety made by amateur radio operators during threatening weather."

It's not an ARES exercise. It's a celebration.

Skywarn is *not* about amateur radio. It is about informing the NWS about weather developments. This "exercise" is about celebrating that volunteer spirit.

Your attitude, as you expressed it in your correspondence with the ARRL, examplifies everything that is wrong within ARES. A rigid preoccupation with "proper" amateur radio, at the expense of the served agency, and the other volunteers is the worst thing one can exhibit as an EC.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> The "death" of amateur radio is a myth. Look at the
> total number of licensees over the past decade or
> so - then report what you discover.

It's down. Dramatically down in Japan. Just starting to drop in the US.

It is tempting to blame the decline in the sunspot cycle, but, much of it is coming in the starter classes where the cycle isn't that important.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Seen in a previous post:

>>”Heck, spotters can use CB or GMRS.”<<

I have just one question for the author of that ridiculous statement (or for anyone else that subscribes to the same nonsense):

When was the last time you personally tried to use either CB or GMRS for serious communications in the field????

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Apliance Operator”
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6QE on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think part of the problem is how we portray ourselves to the served agencies. If we just show up to be volunteer communicators, then we effectively become just another peg in a long enough communication chain. I think that in the future, having the license will be a strong asset, but not the focus. Here's where CERT enters the picture.

Instead of saying, "I am an ARES member, here to help." a served agency would rather hear, "I am trained in initial safety assessment, rudimentary first aid, basic search and rescue, EOC Management, and I have an amateur radio license". That way, you are not just a communicator, you are a "do-er" that can get a job done, and relay back to command when you team needs something. Being that you know how to operate, maintain, and set up a radio, you might be assigned duty to a government radio.

As hams, we just need to keep our minds open, and realize that our license is just one of many tools we can provide.

Just my .02.

Rickey/AE6QE
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGV on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The way I see it? If everyone would sit back and think of the latest actions the FCC supports. The FCC supports BPL and Echolink and other internet connections. This tells me that the FCC would like to see more people sign up for echolink, IRLP etc. so bandwidth and the internet can be maintain using BPL.
When more people are using these internet connections instead of using RF, the bands get quieter and quieter with less usage. All of the sudden, the FCC sends out notices saying that portions of the ham amateur band will be allocated to other services like cellular, business and whatever. In simple layman's terms, one thing leads to another. Now that is a shame! :o(
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> When was the last time you personally tried to use
> either CB or GMRS for serious communications in the
> field????

Monday.

In Mountain View, both CERT and REACT use GMRS, and bothh participate in emergency services.


 
Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by CALLSIGNPENDING on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KA4KOE asks:

"Has anyone considered what would happen if a nuke were exploded in space above the US and took out most of the electronics with the EMP [Electromagnetic Pulse]?"

As a matter of fact ...

The matter has been the subject of two Petitions For Rulemaking to the FCC: one 'way back in 1986, and the other after the 9/11 attack in 2001. Following public comment periods, the Commission declined to act on proposed mitigation measures in both cases.

The 2001 Petition For Rulemaking, aka RM-10330, is recent enough to be included in the database for the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS).

Go to www.fcc.gov ... click on "E-Filing" ... then click on "Electronic Comment Filing System" (either "Main" or "Alternate") ... and then click on "Search For Filed Comments". When you get to the box for outlining your search, just go to the slot headed "Proceeding" and type in RM-10330 ... After that, click on "Retrieve Document File" and you should be able to read all the filings in the Docket.

Glad to have another person thinking about this problem, KA4KOE!!


73,



Don Schellhardt
pioneerpath@hotmail.com
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K8NQC on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Since the 1950's, we have had a definitive plan for dealing with an overhead explosion of a nuclear device. If I remember correctly, the first step is "putting your head between your legs." I think that subsequent communications was to use smoke signals, either digital or CW.

 
RE: Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by KF4VGX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
by KF4VGV on November 24, 2004
The way I see it? If everyone would sit back and think of the latest actions the FCC supports. The FCC supports BPL and Echolink and other internet connections. This tells me that the FCC would like to see more people sign up for echolink, IRLP etc. so bandwidth and the internet can be maintain using BPL.
When more people are using these internet connections instead of using RF, the bands get quieter and quieter with less usage. All of the sudden, the FCC sends out notices saying that portions of the ham amateur band will be allocated to other services like cellular, business and whatever. In simple layman's terms, one thing leads to another. Now that is a shame! :o(
.............


Hi Rick,

I still remember the day I brought study material to you so you would become a ham,


Your the Skywarn Coordinator for Horry County. From reading post from KR4WM you also decided to Boycott
2004 SKYWARN Recognition Day as well. The fact is you two should be putting announcements on the GSARC webpage supporting SKYWARN Recognition Day ! What a shame to deprive your fellow hams of their efforts, learning and helping you by giving you support for your Nets here in Horry County.

I also heard yours and Web discussion on a local Repeater early in the last evening. I wont bring that up here ;) .


What you know about voip or how it works is little to nothing, I suggest you being in the position that your in to also get your information and facts straight before you post in a public forums.


I'm not saying you call a bad net or have not contributed to Skywarn.
But perhaps its time you and Web took another look at
how you control your positions within GSARC, let your other members have a turn at the bat.
Open your eyes, what your suggesting with your post is fabrication.

Perhaps its time you both took some time off ! Relax and let others have a turn.

I know I'm not the only amateur that cannot believe the two people who should support SKYWARN Recognition Day , decided to boycott it because others want to help you in your efforts by using voip.

If at any time you or Web would like more information on VOIP your both Welcome in my home. I helped you one time ,I would like to again.

I can only hope fellow amateurs in this area and everywhere can forgive both of you for BOYCOTTING SKYWARN Recognition Day.


KF4VGX
 
RE: Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Joe Tomasone (AB2M)

Excellent observations...

Great story...

I have to agree 1000%

What some of these old timers can't get pas tis that they are refusing to see that ham radio is divided into two parts -- SERVICE and HOBBY...

As hobby it will never die...

As a SERVICE its been dead since the wide spread use of the cellphone

BUT GOOD OBSERVATIONS ON YOUR PART!!!

And i say that becuase unlike 99.999% of us fools that are on this forum YOU my man have actually gone out there and tried to help and thus -- your word and thoughts have more weighted value..

Its a HOBBY -- have fun....

For those that think its still a service -- visit the Smithstonian museum !!!!

 
RE: Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by KF4VGV on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
John: "I still remember the day I brought study material to you so you would become a ham"....

Hey John, I remember the days when you used to sing on 11 meters. I can see that you decided not to make music a career :) . John, all the locals down here at the beach know that you are the telemarketer for echolink. You have said it so many times on the repeaters and on simplex that you are the "go to guy" for this. In fact people are tired of hearing this over and over again. It's like a song on the radio that you don't like and everytime that song comes on, you change to another radio station :) LOL. As far as my post being fabrication, the difference between and you me is that I have foresite and I do see events leading to other events. I'm not psychic, but I can reason things out. Once again as stated in earlier posts, you are most welcome to "step up to the plate" and make an active contribution to the SKYWARN program instead of taking shots from a distance. Granted, you are good at that but really John, there is no room for that in this hobby.
It's very interesting to note that you did not know or never participated in SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY until it was decided that Echolink check-ins were going to be used this year. How sad! :(
Nevertheless, I hope you and yours have a good Thanksgiving holiday.

Rick, KF4VGV


 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NA4AR on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here's another perspective on AB2M's chronicle about the Florida hurricanes. You can draw your own conclusions.

I am the Trustee of WX4TBW, the Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office-TampaBay. I am also President of the West Central Florida Group, Inc. which operates the only regional Amateur Radio repeater system (NI4CE) in the region.

For days preceeding the landfall of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, a significant on the air effort was mounted via Amateur Radio to keep the West Central Florida community briefed about the approaching storms. Twwenty-four hours prior to the landfall of Charley, Frances and Ivan, WX4TBW was activated and remained on the air for the duration of the storms. During the first week following Charley's landfall, WX4TBW was manned each day to help the disaster responders cope with a continuing barrage of severe weather.

During the height of Charley's rampage, WX4TBW took a call from the DeSoto Co. Office of Emergency Management via Amateur Radio. They were seeking immediate weather guidance to avert loss of life. Charley's 100 MPH winds had ripped the roof off a building housing 1,200 evacuees. The MIC offered his best guidance. The shelter residents were moved to another nearby building. A tragedy was averted.

As Charley approached Highlands Co., Amateur Radio was the only thing working. A lightning strike had taken out the Part 90 communications systems.

The Salvation Army mounted significant Canteen operations into Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties in the days following Charley's landfall. Their Nextels were NOT working. They relied solely on Amateur Radio (and the NI4CE Repeater System) to communicate between their State Disaster HQ in Tampa and the Canteens.

Charlotte Co. Fire-Rescue depended heavily on Amateur Radio support during the first week after Charley. The storm crippled the 800 MHz Public Safety Radio system there. No, the towers and antennas were still up. But the T1 data circuits connecting the system together were down.

Amateur Radio was also used to support inter-agency mutual aid efforts, one county helping another. A Ham who works for a Public Safety agency from one county that was deployed into the disaster zone commented to me that the presence (and use) of our regional repeater system opened a lot of eyes on what Ham Radio was capable of.

Some Hams brought and used their own repeaters. Such was the case with a group from Baptist Charities out of Georgia who were in the area for several weeks.

Ham Radio was even used to help those in the communications business. The local radio station in Punta Gorda lost a 60 foot tower used to support remote broadcasting capability. The engineer, who is a Ham, had a Nextel on him that wasn't able to connect to the outside world. A call via Amateur Radio got this engineer his needed tower (from another Ham). Within hours, the station was broadcasting from the local EOC.

Was there more that Ham Radio could have done? You bet! One area that was lacking was Health and Welfare Traffic support. This, however, had less to do with Amateur Radio and more to do with the lack of an organized effort to support the victims.

The communications landscape has changed and will continue to change. Traditional clients, like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals and many government agencies must now operate under new privacy regulations. Communications in the clear is no longer good enough. For this reason, the ARRL, at the behest of its High Speed Multimedia and Network Workgroup is now seeking a change in Part 97 regulations to allow the use of encryption above 50 MHz.

There is also a need for "regional" VHF/UHF linked repeater systems with sufficient coverage to allow Hams to use handheld radios in their Deed Restricted homes.

No, this is not your Father's Ham Radio, nor should it be. We have many more tools and technologies to choose from. We just need the vision, ingenuity and leadership to adapt, improvise and overcome.

73 de Paul-NA4AR
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NA4AR on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here's another perspective on AB2M's chronicle about the Florida hurricanes. You can draw your own conclusions.

I am the Trustee of WX4TBW, the Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office-TampaBay. I am also President of the West Central Florida Group, Inc. which operates the only regional Amateur Radio repeater system (NI4CE) in the region.

For days preceeding the landfall of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, a significant on the air effort was mounted via Amateur Radio to keep the West Central Florida community briefed about the approaching storms. Twenty-four hours prior to the landfall of Charley, Frances and Ivan, WX4TBW was activated and remained on the air for the duration of the storms. During the first week following Charley's landfall, WX4TBW was manned each day to help the disaster responders cope with a continuing barrage of severe weather.

During the height of Charley's rampage, WX4TBW took a call from the DeSoto Co. Office of Emergency Management via Amateur Radio. They were seeking immediate weather guidance to avert loss of life. Charley's 100 MPH winds had ripped the roof off a building housing 1,200 evacuees. The MIC offered his best guidance. The shelter residents were moved to another nearby building. A tragedy was averted.

As Charley approached Highlands Co., Amateur Radio was the only thing working. A lightning strike had taken out the Part 90 communications systems.

The Salvation Army mounted significant Canteen operations into Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties in the days following Charley's landfall. Their Nextels were NOT working. They relied solely on Amateur Radio (and the NI4CE Repeater System) to communicate between their State Disaster HQ in Tampa and the Canteens.

Charlotte Co. Fire-Rescue depended heavily on Amateur Radio support during the first week after Charley. The storm crippled the 800 MHz Public Safety Radio system there. No, the towers and antennas were still up. But the T1 data circuits connecting the system together were down.

Amateur Radio was also used to support inter-agency mutual aid efforts, one county helping another. A Ham who works for a Public Safety agency from one county that was deployed into the disaster zone commented to me that the presence (and use) of our regional repeater system opened a lot of eyes on what Ham Radio was capable of.

Some Hams brought and used their own repeaters. Such was the case with a group from Baptist Charities out of Georgia who were in the area for several weeks.

Ham Radio was even used to help those in the communications business. The local radio station in Punta Gorda lost a 60 foot tower used to support remote broadcasting capability. The engineer, who is a Ham, had a Nextel on him that wasn't able to connect to the outside world. A call via Amateur Radio got this engineer his needed tower (from another Ham). Within hours, the station was broadcasting from the local EOC.

Was there more that Ham Radio could have done? You bet! One area that was lacking was Health and Welfare Traffic support. This, however, had less to do with Amateur Radio and more to do with the lack of an organized effort to support the victims.

The communications landscape has changed and will continue to change. Traditional clients, like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals and many government agencies must now operate under new privacy regulations. Communications in the clear is no longer good enough. For this reason, the ARRL, at the behest of its High Speed Multimedia and Network Workgroup is now seeking a change in Part 97 regulations to allow the use of encryption above 50 MHz.

There is also a need for "regional" VHF/UHF linked repeater systems with sufficient coverage to allow Hams to use handheld radios in their Deed Restricted homes.

No, this is not your Father's Ham Radio, nor should it be. We have many more tools and technologies to choose from. We just need the vision, ingenuity and leadership to adapt, improvise and overcome.

73 de Paul-NA4AR
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NA4AR on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here's another perspective on AB2M's chronicle about the Florida hurricanes. You can draw your own conclusions.

I am the Trustee of WX4TBW, the Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office-TampaBay. I am also President of the West Central Florida Group, Inc. which operates the only regional Amateur Radio repeater system (NI4CE) in the region.

For days preceeding the landfall of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, a significant on the air effort was mounted via Amateur Radio to keep the West Central Florida community briefed about the approaching storms. Twenty-four hours prior to the landfall of Charley, Frances and Ivan, WX4TBW was activated and remained on the air for the duration of the storms. During the first week following Charley's landfall, WX4TBW was manned each day to help the disaster responders cope with a continuing barrage of severe weather.

During the height of Charley's rampage, WX4TBW took a call from the DeSoto Co. Office of Emergency Management via Amateur Radio. They were seeking immediate weather guidance to avert loss of life. Charley's 100 MPH winds had ripped the roof off a building housing 1,200 evacuees. The MIC offered his best guidance. The shelter residents were moved to another nearby building. A tragedy was averted.

As Charley approached Highlands Co., Amateur Radio was the only thing working. A lightning strike had taken out the Part 90 communications systems.

The Salvation Army mounted significant Canteen operations into Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties in the days following Charley's landfall. Their Nextels were NOT working. They relied solely on Amateur Radio (and the NI4CE Repeater System) to communicate between their State Disaster HQ in Tampa and the Canteens.

Charlotte Co. Fire-Rescue depended heavily on Amateur Radio support during the first week after Charley. The storm crippled the 800 MHz Public Safety Radio system there. No, the towers and antennas were still up. But the T1 data circuits connecting the system together were down.

Amateur Radio was also used to support inter-agency mutual aid efforts, one county helping another. A Ham who works for a Public Safety agency from one county that was deployed into the disaster zone commented to me that the presence (and use) of our regional repeater system opened a lot of eyes on what Ham Radio was capable of.

Some Hams brought and used their own repeaters. Such was the case with a group from Baptist Charities out of Georgia who were in the area for several weeks.

Ham Radio was even used to help those in the communications business. The local radio station in Punta Gorda lost a 60 foot tower used to support remote broadcasting capability. The engineer, who is a Ham, had a Nextel on him that wasn't able to connect to the outside world. A call via Amateur Radio got this engineer his needed tower (from another Ham). Within hours, the station was broadcasting from the local EOC.

Was there more that Ham Radio could have done? You bet! One area that was lacking was Health and Welfare Traffic support. This, however, had less to do with Amateur Radio and more to do with the lack of an organized effort to support the victims.

The communications landscape has changed and will continue to change. Traditional clients, like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals and many government agencies must now operate under new privacy regulations. Communications in the clear is no longer good enough. For this reason, the ARRL, at the behest of its High Speed Multimedia and Network Workgroup is now seeking a change in Part 97 regulations to allow the use of encryption above 50 MHz.

There is also a need for "regional" VHF/UHF linked repeater systems with sufficient coverage to allow Hams to use handheld radios in their Deed Restricted homes.

No, this is not your Father's Ham Radio, nor should it be. We have many more tools and technologies to choose from. We just need the vision, ingenuity and leadership to adapt, improvise and overcome.

73 de Paul-NA4AR
 
RE: Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by KB9YZL on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
GHOSTRIDERHF;

I think I just figured out why your viewpoint and mine differ so frequently! …..It took me a while, but then again, I have never claimed to be “The Sharpest Tool In The Shed”.

From your viewpoint you see ARS Licensees as falling into two usage categories ………one labeled “Hobby”, and the other labeled “Service”. (And of course we understand what your opinion of the “Service” aspect of the ARS is.)

I see three categories: “Hobby”, “Service”, and “Tool”. While I don’t share your opinions about the “Service” aspect of the ARS, I now see that I have been guilty of “doing a bad dbase sort”. Many of the ideas I had previously grouped into the “Service” category really belong in “Tools”.

There are many of us who use the ARS in the performance of the services we are involved in: …..It is a tool. We secured ARS Licenses because we needed that tool. For us, the license wasn’t what came first: we didn’t go out looking for Public Services to perform BECAUSE we were ARS Licensees.

If someone were to conduct a survey, I believe that they would find the “Tool” category to be healthy, growing, and enthusiastic! ………How the rest of you guys go about integrating those people into the “Mainstream Ham Community” is going to be pretty much your problem. You could, of course, simply decide not to. ……And for me personally, that would be OK too.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hey John, I remember the days when you used to sing on 11 meters. I can see that you decided not to make music a career :) . John, all the locals down here at the beach know that you are the telemarketer for echolink. You have said it so many times on the repeaters and on simplex that you are the "go to guy" for this. In fact people are tired of hearing this over and over again. It's like a song on the radio that you don't like and everytime that song comes on, you change to another radio station :) LOL. As far as my post being fabrication, the difference between and you me is that I have foresite and I do see events leading to other events. I'm not psychic, but I can reason things out. Once again as stated in earlier posts, you are most welcome to "step up to the plate" and make an active contribution to the SKYWARN program instead of taking shots from a distance. Granted, you are good at that but really John, there is no room for that in this hobby.
It's very interesting to note that you did not know or never participated in SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY until it was decided that Echolink check-ins were going to be used this year. How sad! :(
Nevertheless, I hope you and yours have a good Thanksgiving holiday.

Rick, KF4VGV
....................

I'll correct you, When have you ever heard me push VOIP on any other Repeater other than the ones that used Echolink including mine , you haven't. I guess what I need to do is start going to GSARC Repeater and Dillon each time theirs a Net and Bring up Echolink and how to use voip, don't worry of course I wouldn't do that :) .

I Think the readers here on Eham get the full picture why I don't check into your Nets . But I have stepped up to the plate and participated in SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY and Skywarn Nets while using Echolink for awhile now ,I'll assure you. The last reports I tried to give you were ignored, so that was a waste of time.

You and Web have seen fit to curse me slander me in emails and open airways. And I'm still here Enjoying the amateur hobby my way not your way, thats what the problem is . You don't like hearing the Nets over this Repeater concerning Skywarn and passing traffic direct to NWS. You guy's are afraid your jobs will be useless,on the contrary your experience along with Webs is welcome by myself and others.

But my offer still stands if either of you would like to know the truth about using voip and how it can help you with your Skywarn nets and getting information to NWS ,please feel free to come to my home, You and Web have an open invitation to see VOIP at work.
I see you didn't deny boycotting SKYWARN RECOGNITION DAY as it now no longer fits your's or Webs agenda. You two would rather disagree with the ARRL and the FCC just to keep from having your ego's bruised.


BTY the CB Singing part was funny ,good slander .

KF4VGX
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA2DTW on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would respectfully disagree with this assessment. Remember that on September 11, 2001, practically all telephone service (landline and cell-phone included) in Manhattan and perhaps other parts of the city were down. Broadcast TV and radio were disrupted. Hopefully, nothing like this will ever happen again. But it's sure good to know that ham radio, HF, VHF and UHF, with a network of mobile and hand-held VHF rigs and repeaters with emergency power exists throught the land.

Happy thanksgiving and 73
Steve WA2DTW
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NA4AR on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here's another perspective on AB2M's chronicle about the Florida hurricanes. You can draw your own conclusions.

I am the Trustee of WX4TBW, the Amateur Radio station at the National Weather Service Forecast Office-TampaBay. I am also President of the West Central Florida Group, Inc. which operates the only regional Amateur Radio repeater system (NI4CE) in the region.

For days preceeding the landfall of Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, a significant on the air effort was mounted via Amateur Radio to keep the West Central Florida community briefed about the approaching storms. Twenty-four hours prior to the landfall of Charley, Frances and Ivan, WX4TBW was activated and remained on the air for the duration of the storms. During the first week following Charley's landfall, WX4TBW was manned each day to help the disaster responders cope with a continuing barrage of severe weather.

During the height of Charley's rampage, WX4TBW took a call from the DeSoto Co. Office of Emergency Management via Amateur Radio. They were seeking immediate weather guidance to avert loss of life. Charley's 100 MPH winds had ripped the roof off a building housing 1,200 evacuees. The MIC offered his best guidance. The shelter residents were moved to another nearby building. A tragedy was averted.

As Charley approached Highlands Co., Amateur Radio was the only thing working. A lightning strike had taken out the Part 90 communications systems.

The Salvation Army mounted significant Canteen operations into Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte Counties in the days following Charley's landfall. Their Nextels were NOT working. They relied solely on Amateur Radio (and the NI4CE Repeater System) to communicate between their State Disaster HQ in Tampa and the Canteens.

Charlotte Co. Fire-Rescue depended heavily on Amateur Radio support during the first week after Charley. The storm crippled the 800 MHz Public Safety Radio system there. No, the towers and antennas were still up. But the T1 data circuits connecting the system together were down.

Amateur Radio was also used to support inter-agency mutual aid efforts, one county helping another. A Ham who works for a Public Safety agency from one county that was deployed into the disaster zone commented to me that the presence (and use) of our regional repeater system opened a lot of eyes on what Ham Radio was capable of.

Some Hams brought and used their own repeaters. Such was the case with a group from Baptist Charities out of Georgia who were in the area for several weeks.

Ham Radio was even used to help those in the communications business. The local radio station in Punta Gorda lost a 60 foot tower used to support remote broadcasting capability. The engineer, who is a Ham, had a Nextel on him that wasn't able to connect to the outside world. A call via Amateur Radio got this engineer his needed tower (from another Ham). Within hours, the station was broadcasting from the local EOC.

Was there more that Ham Radio could have done? You bet! One area that was lacking was Health and Welfare Traffic support. This, however, had less to do with Amateur Radio and more to do with the lack of an organized effort to support the victims.

The communications landscape has changed and will continue to change. Traditional clients, like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals and many government agencies must now operate under new privacy regulations. Communications in the clear is no longer good enough. For this reason, the ARRL, at the behest of its High Speed Multimedia and Network Workgroup is now seeking a change in Part 97 regulations to allow the use of encryption above 50 MHz.

There is also a need for "regional" VHF/UHF linked repeater systems with sufficient coverage to allow Hams to use handheld radios in their Deed Restricted homes.

No, this is not your Father's Ham Radio, nor should it be. We have many more tools and technologies to choose from. We just need the vision, ingenuity and leadership to adapt, improvise and overcome.

73 de Paul-NA4AR
 
Disaster: Red Sox World Series  
by N1YRK on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I live in Boston (well, Cambridge...) and we've been lucky enough not to have earthquakes, terrorist attacks, forest fires, or hurricanes in a while. The downside to this is that there was no demonstration of the fragile nature of the public communications network. That all changed when the Red Sox won the World Series. Yes I know it was a realy disaster for you people in Saint Louis ;). But within seconds here, the streets were filled with joyous celebration, the likes of which I have never seen people born in the U.S. do (The Brazilians always celebrate soccer games this way however) - there was barely contained chaos. As my father is much more of a Red Sox fan than I am, I tried calling him on the cellphone to let him hear the victory frenzy. It took an hour and a half of repeated calling to get through! Everywhere, even more than usual, people were on their phones, no one getting through but continually trying.

Now, I had no emergency so I don't know how well a call to 911 would have gone. I didn't try to use a landline (I don't have one), and the Internet seemed to work just fine throughout this. But the sheer capacity of the cellular network has NOT grown sufficient to handle an event of this type. Since it is no longer legal to report statistics on cellular service outages (!?!), no firm numbers are to be found, but I imagine that Boston is probably NOT bringing up the rear on the capacity of the cellular networks.

We're still needed. But, like I said in a prior message, the ham instrastructure is just too clumsy, disorganized, and antiquated to be utilized the way it could be.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W4LTX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I read your comment with interest, however, I have a different prospective on the need for emergency communications in the future.
I work for a Congressman who has been heavily involved in defense and EMP studies. It was of interest to me that all of the services you mentioned as being available in Florida would NOT be if a terrorist conducted a concentrated attack on our power grid.
In power company testimony in Congress:
60% of all telephone exchanges only have battery backup rated for 48 hours. No generators at these sites.
80% of all power company SCATA or data switching and control now go over telephone lines.
Thus, if electrical power is disrupted over a wide area, in two days their control system goes down, and even when generators come back on line, the power companies cannot get their network back up until they power up each one of the telephone exchanges. During Isabelle, the telephone companies ran madly from exchange to exchange with truck mounted generators to keep the system going. Even then several areas experienced the control problem and outages lasting longer than a week in those locations.
In testimony to Congress, power company engineers said that much of the affected area would not be up for at several days and that some areas would be down for over a month.
What would it take for such a mass outage like the one in 2003 in the northeast to be caused? Blowing up five (yes thats right only five) HV transmission towers at critical locations on a cold winter day. These locations would be where HV lines cross rivers or make sharp bends on hill or mountain tops.
I have made the suggestion to Amateur Radio groups that they work with local telephone offices to provide generators to keep exchanges working.
Another area is EMP, that nasty bolt of lightening given off by nuclear explosions. Hams should have extensive protection to prevent such a pulse from wiping out their equipment. Much of the protection we put in for lightening works for EMP but make certain antennas and power are disconnected from your equipment when you are not operating. Next year, hopefully, the EMP commission will start issueing guidelines on protection systems.
For those who doubt this, Russia has told the U. S. that over 70 suitcase bombs ranging from 5 - 13 kilotons are not accounted for! We know terrorists groups are trying to find and buy these.
It's a crazy world in which we live, which means Amateur Radio emergency communication systems will be needed in the future.
To all: Keep your systems in top shape and have emergency power systems which will let you operate for several days. Also keep food and drinking water on hand.
Pudge, w4ltx
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0FPE on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The people that are always saying Ham Radio is going to die are just helping it do so.
Everytime you post a public message abt how ham radio is unwanted or unneeded nowdays you help some other group decide not to use Ham Radio. Or you give that parade planner ideas for using Nextel or FRS/MURS.
Instead of posting how ham radio is not wanted today, why not post some POSITIVE information??

The one real big positive I have seen in recent times is the CERT programs, of which I am a part of, are almost BEGGING/DEMANDING Amatuer Radio be part of their programs!!!! You will NEVER hear a CERT Director saying he has no need for Ham Radio..


Of course if you are one of the many folks out there that are hams but HATE the hobby, and there seems to be a lot of those folks out there, then keep posting the negatives and you will get your wish!!!!

I love my hobby and the only negative I have is all the doomsayers out there trying to kill it!!!

Dan/NØFPE
 
RE: Funny You Should Mention, KA4KOE ...  
by WY3X on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: I'm not saying you call a bad net or have not contributed to Skywarn.But perhaps its time you and Web took another look at how you control your positions within GSARC, let your other members have a turn at the bat. Open your eyes, what your suggesting with your post is fabrication.

KR4WM: John, How many times do I have to tell you, they are not GSARC positions? Gee whiz kiddo, pick up a book and learn to read! The position I hold is an ARRL appointed position, and I am allowed to appoint whomever I choose as my Skywarn coordinator. Rick has invested many hours of his personal time forming associates with key NWS personnel. He also has invested hundreds if not a few thousand dollars out of his own pocket on specialized equipment and pay weather services to have the latest up-to-the-second weather information. If someone else were to make the personal investments that Rick has made, I'd be happy to consider appointing a second Skywarn coordinator. Another thing that makes him a good candidate is that he does what is asked without grumbling. In an organization that provides service to a served organization, this is important! Well, until such time that they ask you to perform a task which goes against your beliefs, which is what has just occurred with the upcoming Skywarn Recognition Day. What you're suggesting (letting someone else take a turn) is very similar to suggesting an elected official should step aside and let a voter be in his position! I don't see any senator or house rep telephoning people at home asking them to come sit in their place during a voting session of the senate, do you? They are in their positions because they have been deemed by the public to be the best able to serve in those positions. This is why Rick and I received those appointments, we were chosen based on our abilities to perform. It has absolutely -NOTHING- to do with being on a power trip or any such nonsense as that (like what you seem to be thinking). When we get tired of doing it, we will hand the hat to someone else, simple as that. If you want it to be you, then I suggest that you learn how to respect us in our positions instead of tearing us down each chance you get. And I don't think it will be that easy, because the ARRL leadership has seen how you have treated us. John, I assure you that unless your approach to dealing with Rick and I changes toward a more positive manner, nobody will want to deal with you being in an appointed position! Aside from all this, John, you have no right to criticize the GSARC, because you have not been a member for as long as I can remember! Anyone can throw stones at an organization from the OUTSIDE.... but a person of character would have come forward and tried to work with a group in an amicable manner from the INSIDE without resulting to derogatory behavior.

KF4VGX:Perhaps its time you both took some time off ! Relax and let others have a turn.

KR4WM: See above.

KF4VGX: I know I'm not the only amateur that cannot believe the two people who should support SKYWARN Recognition Day , decided to boycott it because others want to help you in your efforts by using voip.

KR4WM: John, I know it's hard for you to understand, but Rick, myself, and others feel as threatened by VOIP as you are comfortable with it. Would a Christian feel comfortable in a Buddhist temple? That's as fair of a comparison as I can come up with.

KF4VGX: If at any time you or Web would like more information on VOIP your both Welcome in my home. I helped you one time ,I would like to again.

KR4WM: John, I do remember a time when you checked in on the REPEATER to Skywarn nets. Your presence was appreciated, and would be once again welcome if you decide to stop tearing down the infrastructure that Rick has created. Stop criticising the way we operate, and we'd be happy to have you aboard.

KF4VGX: I can only hope fellow amateurs in this area and everywhere can forgive both of you for BOYCOTTING SKYWARN Recognition Day.

KR4WM: I hope that they understand my and Rick's position with respect to VOIP. If anyone wants to talk about it in person, I'll be glad to share my viewpoint. Heck, if they e-mail me their phone number, I'll call them and talk to them, on my nickel! John, if you're willing to show me the mutual respect another human being deserves on the phone, I won't even hang up on _you_ anymore!

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGV on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: I'll correct you, When have you ever heard me push VOIP on any other Repeater other than the ones that used Echolink including mine , you haven't. I guess what I need to do is start going to GSARC Repeater and Dillon each time theirs a Net and Bring up Echolink and how to use voip, don't worry of course I wouldn't do that :) .

Excuse me? OMG, you don't remember several times doing that on the GSARC repeaters and even on simplex in the early going?
LOL!! You don't have to believe me. Just ask the others down here locally! I guess that is why you are nicknamed "telemarketer of Egolink!" LOL
Johnny, you can sit here and spin the issues and be in denial all you want. I will even quote you saying this, "I will do ham radio MY WAY!" That is fine. No problem with that but don't expect the community to accept your audacious views especially when you consider contribution to ham radio "playing the armchair general"
I am going to enjoy Thanksgiving and you can continue your verbal quest here. I hope you enjoy yourself!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Johnny, you can sit here and spin the issues and be in denial all you want. I will even quote you saying this, "I will do ham radio MY WAY!" That is fine. No problem with that but don't expect the community to accept your audacious views especially when you consider contribution to ham radio "playing the armchair general"
I am going to enjoy Thanksgiving and you can continue your verbal quest here. I hope you enjoy yourself!



.........
I stand corrected, I do agree I mention Ilink on the GSARC Repeater two years ago . But I was asked a question by a fellow ham.

I don't expect anything, from you or Web. I do expect others to see the problems you two have with control issues in Horry County. Which both of you have done very nicely. Lets put it this way you have a right to use or not to use voip at your option, you don't have a right to lie about me . Or use your position ,
( Rank )as Skywarn Cord. to persuade others to your will or beckoning.

Enjoy you TURKEY !

KF4VGX
 
RE: KR4WM ...  
by KF4VGX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


Webs getting good a long post .


I understand KR4WM is appointed. no problem here ,

He has a wonderful way of trying to ridicule me on this.

GSARC is where most of you Skywarn members come from. Lets get pass this if you will.
Its the same old story ,emails are the same as the post.


ARRL appointed KR4WM , I know this also , But I must admit ,

" Don't byte the hand that feeds you "

Lets get pass this if you will.


Ricks equipment and his use of it have nothing to do with this discussion, however investments should not be the ruling factor for a Skywarn coordinator. lets get pass this if you will.


I Enjoy this Hobby , Believe me I'm not interested in any appointed position's and I'm not criticizing the GSARC, putting words into in others mouth is an option I would refrain from .

Would a Christian feel comfortable in a Buddhist temple? That's as fair of a comparison as I can come up with.

I agree here ,understandable. Its your decision to use VOIP or Not.
I am not asking you to use anything here .

I just offered an open door if you need one !


KF4VGX



 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KG4ZUO on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I Fail to see the problem. You set up communications systems, they trusted your knowledge to set up THEIR systems, not just yours. I'm sorry you may not have been able to do what you wanted to do , but you were able to do what they needed you to do.
I was in Pinellas County for the hurricanes. I was a member of our cities emergency response team, and if we were to get a direct hit I was to go to the eoc or close remaining building and set up emergency communications. Well we didn't get a direct hit so I just filled sandbags and listened to the scanner on my ht so I knew when they were bring in more bags/sand etc. Not as glitzy as setting up an impressive communications sytem, but every bit as needed.
It's funny to see that everytime something doesnt go our way in the hobby, it must be the death of it.Be it code/no code, bpl, frequency allocations, or internet, we try to blame it for the death of our thriving hobby.
If you really feel it's not technical enough..elmer someone.
If there arent enough people...recruit someone.
If there is a band threat...lobby, write, and donate to spectrum defense.
If you Don't like how it's run...join and vote.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0YD on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Hi:

It appears to me that a lot of hams think the most important benefit of ham radio is for emergency communications and when that is no longer needed, then ham radio will die.

The most important benefit of ham radio is to foster world peace through mutual understanding of the different peoples and cultures that share our big blue marble with us. Ham radio is about people talking to people and getting to know them, their dreams and their problems, their successes and their failures, thier families and friends. When hams talk to other hams in far away places with strange soounding names, a human bond is established that we are all human and we must learn to live together in peace.

No other existing technology can do that, not cell phones, not satellites, not the internet. Ham radio is about human beings learning about other human beings.

Ham radio will continue to be alive and well as long as hams everywhere continue to use it to promote undersatnding and peace.

Txn and 73,

Tom, N0YD "Yankee Doodle"
 
More About EMP ...  
by CALLSIGNPENDING on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Those of you with an interest in Electromagnetic Pulse should be sure to see my posting in this thread ("Funny You Should Mention ... ") AND ALSO the more recent posting by W4LTX (aka "Pudge" Forrester).

It also occurs to me that some of you -- definitely including Pudge!! -- might be interested in some articles about EMP (and other defense and foreign policy issues) that I wrote for Internet readers. These articles are in one of two periodic Internet columns that I wrote for roughly a year.


****


The column, which focuses pretty exclusively on defense and foreign policy, is entitled THE 21st CENTURY POPULIST. The specific articles about EMP are "North Korea's Kamikaze Option" (May 24, 2003) and "An Agenda For REAL National Security: Priority One" (July 17, 2003).

You can find the archive of ALL of my 21st CENTURY POPULIST columns at:

http://scorpius.spaceports.com/wkjce/Don


****


BTW --

You can also find, at the same location, the archive for all of my articles in the separate AMENDMENT ONE column, which concerns efforts to diversify ownership and programming on the broadcast airwaves.

Plus:

There's also the text of a filing with the NTSA regarding "Licenses For U.S. Pilots".


73,



Don Schellhardt

 
RE: More About EMP ...  
by WA6BFH on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think that I am pretty well done with this particular thread because I am annoyed at the vitriol, and divergence from the main topic but, let me address some points that have been raised in the last couple of days.

1) The Ham populace is shrinking. This must be looked at against the number of the populace in general. If we want to stay healthy, we should represent a good or increasing ratio of numbers, against the populace overall.

2) I am not though greatly worried about our numbers at large. If we are WELL respected for our technical expertise, I think that will be sufficient to protect our continuity.

It will help us individually as well!

73! de John
PS
I never did get an answer from the author on my first posting!
 
RE: More About EMP ...  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
NA4AR

Is there a reason you feel you have to submit, resubmit, resubmit and resubmit your lengthy comments over and over again...

dude -- submit it once and move on...
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Steve WA2DTW

WRONG WRONG WRONG

You stated" I would respectfully disagree with this assessment. Remember that on September 11, 2001, practically all telephone service (landline and cell-phone included) in Manhattan and perhaps other parts of the city were down. Broadcast TV and radio were disrupted. Hopefully, nothing like this will ever happen again. But it's sure good to know that ham radio, HF, VHF and UHF, with a network of mobile and hand-held VHF rigs and repeaters with emergency power exists throught the land."

The cell telephone network did drop some calls but was not down. Almost 500,000 phone calls were made in a 4 hours period -- and yes a few phone calls were dropped...

now fricking explain to us how a ham radio netwrok, no matter how robust could have handled even 10% of these calls -- let alone 500,000...

Its comments like yours that make people just get tired of this hype ...



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NN6EE on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
If ANYONE out here who has ANY experience in Amateur Radio knows DAMN WELL it will not go away!!! The "FEDERAL GOVERNMENT" ought to be SMART ENOUGH to realize that WITHOUT US the so-called "Almighty U.S. Military" as well as the joke called "Homeland Security" are impotent!!!

Jim/nn6ee
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> I would respectfully disagree with this assessment.
> Remember that on September 11, 2001, practically all
> telephone service (landline and cell-phone included)
> in Manhattan and perhaps other parts of the city
> were down.

This turns out not to be true. Nextel alone handled nearly 2 billion cell calls in the city of New York on 11/sep/01, almost double the usual number, according to industry papers. There were some disruptions, but they were localized, and in the areas where they occured, *all* telecommunications were down.

Did the cell system work perfectly? No. There were outages. Calls were lost.

Mid-morning (PDT) I was in contact, via IRC, with friends in Manhattan. There were internet failures as well, but, again, the system performed very well under the circumstances.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: I Enjoy this Hobby , Believe me I'm not interested in any appointed position's and I'm not criticizing the GSARC, putting words into in others mouth is an option I would refrain from .

KR4WM: OK John, to QUOTE you: "But perhaps its time you and Web took another look at how you control your positions within GSARC, let your other members have a turn at the bat." John, if this isn't an attempt to criticize the GSARC, I don't know what is! I've told you time and time again, the positions you are questioning have absolutely NOTHING to do with the GSARC, so I don't know why you keep bringing them into this! Tell you what, I'll make a deal with you: pull the key tops off of the keys on your keyboard that make the letters G, S, A, R, and C, then formulate your replies with the remaining keys.

While I have your attention, why do you complain about wanting to be a Skywarn net controller if you don't want an appointed position? Please, explain this to me, I'm all ears. These are all appointed positions under the auspices of the ARRL.

John, _ANYONE_ can run a Skywarn net if they want to do it- they have my blessing, and I'm sure Rick will give them his blessing as well. But they will have to run it in the manner prescribed by Rick. They will have to take the Advanced Skywarn Weather Spotting class to begin with. It's a short class with lots of valuable information. I have delegated to Rick the responsibility of appointing assistant Skywarn coordinators and official Skywarn net control stations in this area. You do *NOT* have to be an ARRL member to be a Skywarn Net Control. But just like the fire department, if the chief comes on the scene and wants to run it himself, you gotta move over!

John, as a retired professional firefighter with 25 years of experience at commanding small fireground incidents with up to 10 other firefighters under my command, I assure you that the shots I'm calling are the ones I think are best for our situation. We've been doing it "our way" for several years, and the guys at the local NWS have given us plenty of praise for the work we do.

With your permission, John, I'd like to e-mail you a powerpoint slide presentation on the Incident Command System. It's 5 parts totalling 520K. I think when you run through it, it will explain a lot to you about why I say the things I do, and why I say things have to be run a certain way. ICS (or Incident Command System) is a dynamic system of controlling manpower and resources that is utilized by practically all emergency services nowadays. Once you see how comprehensive it is, things will begin to pop into place in your mind and you'll see that I'm not singling you out to pick on. There really is a method to what you perceive as my madness!

John, I'm extending an invitation to you to attend the Advanced Skywarn Spotter Training class anytime you want. I'll set up the class anytime you or anyone else wants it. I have the teaching materials and the written tests which are given afterwards. (If you have a valid Skywarn Advanced Spotter Training certificate, I'll accept a copy of that.) When the class is over, we'll see what your attitude is like, and if I sense you're no longer negative about the system, I'll talk to Rick about putting you on the payroll (no money involved, I'm sure you understand). You'll have to understand up front that the Skywarn system operates on a certain repeater system, runs backup on a different repeater system, and Echolink is not a part of either system, nor is it planned to be in the immediate future nor in the distant future.

Also understand that to advance in the ARRL chain of command, you must become a member of the ARRL. That's not my rule, it is just a fact. If you'll stop pretending to be the preacher and listen for a change, I might even consider appointing you to be my Assistant E.C., which currently is an open position. But you're going to have to stop being so hard to get along with and learn how to operate within the system the way we have it designed as a first step.

I'm extending you an olive branch, John. Will you step up to the plate and accept it? It *is* conditional, however, on you not pushing Echolink to us, because we're *all* tired of hearing about it.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
There are none so deaf than those who do not listen.

Web seek help, dont walk run to the doctor. Get Meds!
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N3TTU on November 25, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
As far as public service goes, we have the training. Or at least a lot of us do. I have performed thousands of public service hours in the last ten years (mostly the first six before I got married), and working for different organizations we always used amateur radio. In seven years in the Civil Air Patrol, I think we used CAP frequencies 3 times... the rest was on the amateur band, and I can't think of anyone licensed that wasn't a ham.

What else?
Bike races, ham radio; sporting events, ham radio; weather spotting for the National Weather Service, ham radio; parades, ham radio; parking, ham radio; air shows, ham radio. I have never been to an event where there was not another way to perform the same task that we do... but what makes us stand out is our TRAINING. I have been to events where people are handed FRS radios, and people have had business band radios and such... but those people are generally confused and don't know anything about propgation, signals bouncing off hills or structures, distortion from speaking incorrectly, phonetics, or even who to call for information.

Anyway, that is my two cents late at night 12:37am and I cannot wait for the next public service event!!!
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AI6KD on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS TO CREATE OR OWN NEXTELL COMPANY.BUT NOT CHARGE A DIME.JUST GET LICENSED. THESE WIRELESS COMPANYS ARE JUST MONEY HUNGRY.tHINK ABOUT IT WE CAN TALK ANY WHERE AT ANY TIME FOR NO CHARGE.tHANKS TO ECHO LINK THIS IS POSSIBLE FOR ANY hAM.i THINK HAM RADIO IS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AS FAR AS TECHNOLOGY.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KK5CA on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

I struggle to accept that most ARES groups have
sufficient local resources to fully replace much
more than a fraction of the communications
infrastructure that is found in most modern cities
and counties. At best, they can replace only the
most critical communications needs. This is
especially true in wide spread disasters, such
as we observed this year in Florida. This is also
true with more isolated, bolt out of the blue (BOOB)
incidents, such as the attacks on the World Trade
Center in September 2001. That surely must be about
as bad as it could get, if you were in the NYC area.
For those living well away from there, there was
considerably less direct effect, if any.

Most ARES leaders tend to focus on The Big One, an
incident that completely disrupts all the
communications infrastructure over a large area.
We often overlook the many smaller incidents that
cause small pockets where all traditional
communications have failed. One example is a tornado
that destroys everything along it's narrow path.
Certainly there is destruction of the local
communications infrastructure, in that immediate
area. There could be a communications need, in that
immediate area. The surrounding communications
infrastructure is likely to remain fully intact.

Under this limited scenario, it is likely that a
city or county EOC would be activated to coordinate
resource requests from the Incident Commander. To
provide the immediate needs for those affected, we
would expect the Red Cross to provide some level of
mass care. Amateur Radio could be initially called
upon to provide some communications out of the
affected area and to the EOC or Red Cross chapter
headquarters, until higher bandwidth systems can be
moved to the affected area.

The content of messages on behalf of emergency
management or disaster relief organizations tend to
fall into two large categories:
- Information (intelligence) about an incident
- Requests for resources
Amateur Radio may sometimes be the only source, or
the initial sources, for some information about an
incident; until professional responders arrive.
Until other communications resources are in place,
Amateur Radio may also be the initial communications
network assisting with logistics.

One large scale example of Amateur Radio providing
intial and critical communications was in February
2003 when 350 Amateur Radio operators assisted with
the Shuttle Columbia recovery in East Texas and
Louisiana. Despite all the communications resources
of all the professional government and NGOs working
this incident, they were initially inadeqate. It was
Amateur Radio operators who responded with their
portable and highly compatible radios that
established the initial communications networks. As
the professional responders began to receive their
more complex systems, the need for Amateur Radio
decreased. The Amateur Radio mission was concluded.
This is precisely as it should be - providing an
initial and temporary communications infrastructure.

Amateur Radio operators have long been known to
say "in a disaster, telephones do not work." A modern
variation of this would add "cell phones and the
internet." If we are intellectually honest with
ourselves, we should admit that these statements are
not always true. We have said these so long that we
sometimes start to believe them ourselves, and base
our planning on them. What is true is that in a
disaster, telephones, cell phones, and the internet
may not always work, all of the time. Where and when
they do work, they are marvelous communications
tools, and we should make maximum use of them.

As is true with telephones, the internet does not
always work, nor does it always fail in every
incident or disaster. It was specifically designed
by DARPA to be fault tolerant. As but one example
of the reliability and robustness of "the internet,"
despite consecutive and large hurricanes going across
Florida, I was able to consistently view the radar
images from all the NWS offices in Florida across
the internet. Even as the peak winds were battering
the NWS offices, the internet remained functional,
at least between Florida and my residence several
states away. Many Florida residents did lose their
internet access, along with telephone and
electricity. Although many residents there lost
these utilities, not everyone did. Some that did had
alternate resources available to mitigate the effects.

In reading the after action reports from New York
on 9/11/2001, one communications system that seemed
to have higher reliability than the others were
common pagers, a technology long dismissed by some
people as out-of-date.

The environment in which Amateur Radio now finds
itself is changing, but this is not new. The Amateur
Radio service was not created solely, nor even
primarily, to provide communications in an
emergency. That purpose is but one of the five
reasons it was created. Focusing exclusively on
that diminshes the importance of the other four
purposes. If sometimes being called upon to use
Amateur Radio resources for public service is the
cost of being allowed to use our frequencies for
other purposes, it is a small price that I am
quite prepared to pay.

When Amateur Radio resources are used to provide
communications for what is called a public service
event, that event is usually a fund raising event
for a non-profit group. It is my opinion that
the value of the Amateur Radio resources used for
these events should be considered as an in-kind
donation to the group. Without the generous
donation of Amateur Radio equipment and labor, most
of these non-profit groups would have to lease
commercial radio equipment.

Jerry
KK5CA
 
Speaking of Inevitable Death & Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Stephanie Phillips, Florida ARRL spokeswoman: "Despite obstacles, ham radio appears to be growing. According to ARRL, about 680,000 Americans are licensed amateur radio operators, up about 25,000 from 1995."

Growing? My question is how many were lost in that same period that no one knows about. If I renew today & die tomorrow, you won't know it for about 3650 days when there is no renewal. We are losing about a 1000 WWII veterans a day so what is the general death rate & how many are hams? I know many younger guys than me that are SK long before retirement. Some calls are still counted as active since no one really ever cancels SK licenses.

I certainly don't trust the inflated numbers compared to what I actually see, hear while operating & understand about our demographics. It "appears" the ARRL lives on inflated numbers like those 70,000 mobiles that will be affected by BPL.

Look around you & ask "how many are even under 50?"

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"WITHOUT US the so-called "Almighty U.S. Military" as well as the joke called "Homeland Security" are impotent!!!"

Just what kind of meds make someone have delusions like this? What do you consider our key role is with the military that they somehow "need us"???
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: There are none so deaf than those who do not listen. Web seek help, dont walk run to the doctor. Get Meds!

KR4WM: That's what I thought. You're just content to throw stones and pitch a b---h, but when it comes time to help, you just throw stones. I've offered to help you, Rick has offered to help you, and all you want to do is tell us how to run things _YOUR WAY_ that we happen to be in charge of. We've considered your suggestions, and rejected them. Then when you complain, we tell you how you can help make it better, and you still throw stones and don't want to help. I explain to you the path to get on the inside, and you still throw stones. John, I think you're way beyond help. I don't think they make meds that will cure what ails you! Let's just call it "terminal b----itis" and get on with life. Even if we had a total change of management, it wouldn't please you because you'd search until you found something to p and moan about. The difference between you and I, John, is that I am a doer and you are a complainer who does nothing. John, I've come to the determination that your interest in the hobby is simply throwing stones and poking sticks at any authority figure. KMA and don't bother me anymore. When you decide to grow up and "act right", call me. Nobody complains about the system but *you*, and that should tell you something. Let me give you a clue: If you're the only jackass in a herd of buffalo, you're probably in the wrong place! Go back and sit in the pew of your one-man Echolink church and think about this. I'm saying nothing more.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: There are none so deaf than those who do not listen. Web seek help, dont walk run to the doctor. Get Meds!

KR4WM: That's what I thought. You're just content to throw stones and pitch a b---h, but when it comes time to help, you just throw stones. I've offered to help you, Rick has offered to help you, and all you want to do is tell us how to run things _YOUR WAY_ that we happen to be in charge of. We've considered your suggestions, and rejected them. Then when you complain, we tell you how you can help make it better, and you still throw stones and don't want to help. I explain to you the path to get on the inside, and you still throw stones. John, I think you're way beyond help. I don't think they make meds that will cure what ails you! Let's just call it "terminal b----itis" and get on with life. Even if we had a total change of management, it wouldn't please you because you'd search until you found something to p and moan about. The difference between you and I, John, is that I am a doer and you are a complainer who does nothing. John, I've come to the determination that your interest in the hobby is simply throwing stones and poking sticks at any authority figure. KMA and don't bother me anymore. When you decide to grow up and "act right", call me. Nobody complains about the system but *you*, and that should tell you something. Let me give you a clue: If you're the only jackass in a herd of buffalo, you're probably in the wrong place! Go back and sit in the pew of your one-man Echolink church and think about this. I'm saying nothing more.

-KR4WM

I would say I have done quite alot. I have expose you to public eyes,and your peers.

73 Web
Have a nice day!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: I would say I have done quite alot. I have expose you to public eyes,and your peers.

KR4WM: The only thing you've exposed is just how stubborn you are and that you refuse to work within the system. You've exposed nothing on my end because I don't hide anything- I have nothing to hide, and I'm not ashamed of my views. Everyone involved knows how I feel about things, they trust my experience, and you're still the only one complaining. You're going to have to get over it, or not, the choice is yours, but nothing is changing based on your recommendations.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
OK ,If you say so ;)



Best reguards, KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I’m just glad the General Public doesn’t see the amount of infighting and Personal Petty Politics that goes on inside of an organization that is supposed to be dedicated to the collection and expeditious transmission of critical data in weather emergency situations.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The following post lasted two days on the GSARC Website, Wonder why ? Webmaster put it up .


2004 SKYWARN Recognition Day


December 4, 2004 (0000 - 2400 UTC.)

There are reasons that Hams are interested in voip,

SKYWARN Recognition Day was developed in 1999 by the National Weather Service and the American Radio Relay League. It celebrates the contributions that volunteer SKYWARN radio operators make to the National Weather Service. During the day SKYWARN operators visit NWS offices and contact other radio operators across the world.



The National Weather Service wants to thank all SKYWARN Volunteers for participating in 2004 Severe Weather Operations.



We know that there are some hams that would like for you to boycott this net for their reasons, but please use your own judgement, peer pressure can be a horrible thing. It is your Hobby to enjoy is it not ?.

As I have used VOIP systems for years now I can tell you it can be a way to report skywarn or any emergency traffic . I would be more than happy to demostrate this to anyone or club that would like . I must admit, I do have a problem with hams trying to control how others enjoy their hobby. Its not right to use a position or( ranking ) in the amateur community to influence other hams to avoid something that is new or different. You do have a right to enjoy this hobby as we please ,do we not ? VOIP is Amateur Radio communications , the same as my license within my wallet while I send this email over the internet.



Please look at the following links and make your own decision.



http://hamradio.noaa.gov/



http://www.caryncrepeater.com/



http://www.voipwx.net/


 
Death of Ham Radio Operator/Zookeeper Chingling et  
by KB7LYM on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It was with interest that I was reading the passing of Hamradio. The gloom and doom reminded me of an article I wrote were a devoted Zookeeper Chingling passed on into the here after. Also a catalog of the endangered species of the Old preserved ones.
http://members.tripod.com/northwest-beanpie/BEANS.html

It might open your eyes

KB7LYM 73
 
RE: Death of Ham Radio Operator/Zookeeper Chinglin  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
was with interest that I was reading the passing of Hamradio. The gloom and doom reminded me of an article I wrote were a devoted Zookeeper Chingling passed on into the here after. Also a catalog of the endangered species of the Old preserved ones.
http://members.tripod.com/northwest-beanpie/BEANS.html

It might open your eyes ,



IT Did love the site!
 
RE: Death of Ham Radio Operator/Zookeeper Chinglin  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Here is a site for you as well,


http://home.sc.rr.com/screpeater/





Best , KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: The following post lasted two days on the GSARC Website, Wonder why ? Webmaster put it up .

KR4WM: Because it was a mistake. Your call and Rick's call are one letter apart. When that embarrassment to amateur radio was discovered, it was pulled within 2 minutes.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: The following post lasted two days on the GSARC Website, Wonder why ? Webmaster put it up .

KR4WM: Because it was a mistake. Your call and Rick's call are one letter apart. When that embarrassment to amateur radio was discovered, it was pulled within 2 minutes.

-KR4WM

Web ,thanks for not cursing me with your last post.
I See , The webmaster thought it was news worthy because it was posted on GSARC website, I must assume that all the members of GSARC feel the same as you two. Or do they have a right to their own opinions ?
Did all the members call for its removal? Or just a few of its controlling members? In other words if it had came from Rick KF4VGV ( Skywarn Coordinator ) it would have been a good idea. After all it was there.

KF4VGX
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I hate to say this, but somewhat allied to this topic and in the BPL arena,I wonder about a group of aging Hams who count up to far less than 1% of the population trying to block millions of citizens who could be afforded higher Internet access speeds. We Hams think we are important but are we really given today's cell phones, personal radios, CB, and so on? Much of what I hear on the bands today is nets with no real purpose other than to tie up spectrum, i.e. hunt counties and states, often childish contests, and CQ parties (whatever they are), and far too many idiots preaching religion, expousing radical political ideologies, or seeing how many four letter words they can broadcast. The author is right, we contribute little anymore to the "state of the art" and I can't remember the last time I spoke to another Ham on the air who was less than 50 years old. We've become an anachronism.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Seen in a previous post: >>”We've become an anachronism.”<<

Well……..I’d like to respectfully disagree. That statement is one of two things: ………..either an oversimplification, or simply not true.

If some in the ARS choose to operate with equipment and modes that hail from the first half of the last century,……..well then good for them! For them, it’s a hobby, and they’re entitled to do what they want with it. It’s a lot like automotive enthusiasts…….some of us still prefer 8 cylinders, rear wheel drive, and “points and condenser” ignition. (Please forgive the automotive misnomer for “capacitor”.)

From another point of view, in 2004, an ARS License is still an incredibly powerful tool, and it still serves those of us with “non-hobby” applications very well.

I believe that the only factions in the ARS that are in danger of becoming “anachronisms” are those that mistakenly believe that misapplied label.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: Web ,thanks for not cursing me with your last post. I See , The webmaster thought it was news worthy because it was posted on GSARC website, I must assume that all the members of GSARC feel the same as you two. Or do they have a right to their own opinions ?
Did all the members call for its removal? Or just a few of its controlling members? In other words if it had came from Rick KF4VGV ( Skywarn Coordinator ) it would have been a good idea. After all it was there.

KR4WM: Like I said, it was a mistake. You worded your "bulletin" to make it appear that you were an official of an organization which you are not a member of, do not participate in, and had no right to right to represent. You did not have anyones permission to do so. Consider yourself lucky that you aren't going to be sued. Your post was blindly placed on the website by accident because it was mistakenly assumed that the post came from Rick, who IS an official and who DOES have permission to make posts regarding official business. The merits of your post being or not being a good idea had nothing to do with it being pulled. You did not have our permission to represent us, nor are you likely to have that permission in the future.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KR4WM: Like I said, it was a mistake. You worded your "bulletin" to make it appear that you were an official of an organization which you are not a member of, do not participate in, and had no right to right to represent. You did not have anyones permission to do so. Consider yourself lucky that you aren't going to be sued. Your post was blindly placed on the website by accident because it was mistakenly assumed that the post came from Rick, who IS an official and who DOES have permission to make posts regarding official business. The merits of your post being or not being a good idea had nothing to do with it being pulled. You did not have our permission to represent us, nor are you likely to have that permission in the future.

-KR4WM

Let me get this stright I send email to a few Hams who take it own their own to post it on GSARC ,and your telling me I'm luckey I am not being sued ?


Sue me please, I would be more than happy for you to .




KF4VGX

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!




KR4WM ,You did not have anyones permission to do so,


Whos permission do I need ? Yours ?






KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: KR4WM ,You did not have anyones permission to do so,Whos permission do I need ? Yours ?

Yes, John, you do need my permission. Or Rick's, or someone else above us in the chain of command.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Yes Sir Web. :)


For those of you who wanted to know who Web Williams was, Now you know.



KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Likewise, they also now know what a loose cannon you are, sir (and I use that term very loosely).

-KR4WM
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K2JX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

I have been a Ham for 30 years, I never considered the hobby anything but that, a hobby, a great one. I was an EMT for several years serving a large community on Long Island, very rewarding work. I work for the ninth largest police agency in the country, 20 years service in the communications section.

I was at Flight 800, the "Wildfires" on the East End and other "disasters" here on Long Island. The point is, I was there as an employee, doing my job, wanting to finish and go home. That's all.

Of course I was aware of the Ham radio volunteers at several of these events, and although thier "hearts" were in the right place, thier actions were not.
Name calling, pouting, arguing, geeez, what's going on here ?

After one major event, I over heard one high placed public official say to another, " please don't bring these people in during another disaster ". I thought to myself that they (ARES) really shot themselves in the foot this time !

We all know that many ARES volunteers are hard working and dedicated individuals, some are a bit over zealous during a disaster. They can, and do hinder those who are paid to serve the public.

One thing you learn when your trained and paid to work in the law enforcement or fire service enviornment is that you may be called upon to "just sit tight" until your needed. No it ain't glamorous, but it's your job to do what's asked of you during times of need. If that means standing by for 4 hours waiting for another agency or further instructions so be it.

Ham radio will never be a replacement for public safety communications. If we can help fine, if not that's fine too.

73 de K2XJ



 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K1CJS on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
We continually say that we have to attract new blood to the hobby. So what do we do? Post articles like this one that says in effect: It would be nice to be able to use a ham radio to talk to other hams, so why don't you people who are thinking about getting their licence just go get it? Oh, and by the way, the ham radio hobby is dying.

Makes sense? NO!

I wonder why we can't all just smarten up. LOL, I guess that may be asking too much.........
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Lets sum this all up if you will,
( rand trand mateur adio lub ) is not a part of Skywarn and Skywarn is not a part of,
( rand trand mateur adio lub ) , per KR4WM

But to send email I have to have KR4WM or KF4VGV or a higher chain of commands permission or even to post on , ( rand trand mateur adio lub ) Web site ?

EC ,KR4WM Skywarn Coordinator ,KF4VGV


Sorry about the typo's I took the keys Web requested off my Keyboard.


I like Web his daddy and My daddy went to different school's together.
Best regards, KF4VGX
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC5CQD on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I think the biggest problem facing amateur radio these days is the fact that we live in a society of "instant gratificiation". Most kids now days aren't impressed with what we do because they do the same thing on the web every day. On the rare occasions when a child has shown some interest in what I do, they usually lose interest very quickly when they realize that they have to actually work for something. Now days if mom and dad can't write a check to "make it happen" kids quickly lose interest.

As a child in the 60's and 70's I was so impressed whenever I met someone from far away. Be they from another country or even another state. I was always curious about how people lived in those far away places. Now the world has become so small that running across people from Europe, Asia, Africa, etc., etc., is practically a daily occurence. It's really no big deal.

In short, the world has become very small and people have become very jaded. They're hard to impress and even harder to motivate.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"Much of what I hear on the bands today is nets with no real purpose other than to tie up spectrum, i.e. hunt counties and states, often childish contests, and CQ parties (whatever they are), and far too many idiots preaching religion, expousing radical political ideologies, or seeing how many four letter words they can broadcast."

I'd rather listen to verbal horsing around than those NTS traffic nets that pass messages in an average of 8 days or more, when & if they actually have any traffic. Talk about useless, they meet 3-5 times everyday, just to meet & say they have no traffic. Then they generate a traffic report saying they had no traffic, time they wasted & the amount of checkins. That is usually after they ask for traffic, get none, then read a role call to ask people who aren't there if they have traffic too. When they do have traffic, it always includes a phone number:

Is that not circumventing postal & telephone tariffs when there is no emergency, natural or manmade?

If you are too cheap to buy a card for Mom's birthday & send it for $0.37, call her on your cell phone or use prepaid. Speaking of...

Why doesn't the ARRL just hand out prepaid phonecards & stop the useless on-air social charade?
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4JF on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I agree about today's kids expecting instant gratification. It's true of most young adults, too.

BUT: <Most kids now days aren't impressed with what we do because they do the same thing on the web every day.> I simply can't agree with. They CANNOT do what we do when they are on the Internet. It's completely different. They need to be shown the difference.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KK5CA, You may be right about the Space Shuttle incident etc but, yours is the first and only report I heard about Ham Radio helping in that situation!

I always reflect back upon the news story where CBS News TV reporter Dan Rather was explaining about how Ham Radio 'got the word out' at the fall of the Soviet Union. He was saying things like, 'well, its kind of like CB, but not really'.

This is a NEWS correspondent that has been around since the Korean war, and he does not know how to explain Ham radio to the lay public! He has probably used Ham radio in the past to get his various news stories back to his organization before, and he can't tell the public what we do.

We are in trouble!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC5CQD, right on! You are 100% correct!

de John WA6BFH
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX: But to send email I have to have KR4WM or KF4VGV or a higher chain of commands permission or even to post on , ( rand trand mateur adio lub ) Web site ?

KR4WM: No John, you don't need my permission to send any e-mail. Smart alek. You do need my permission (or Rick's permission, or permission from one of our supervisors) to put out an official ARRL bulletin pertaining to Skywarn or other ARRL activity, and even then, the bulletin content must be pre-approved or the wording obtained through official channels. You may dissemenate bulletins that you obtain from the ARRL freely. You may NOT embellish them with your own words, nor add derogatory or offensive information to the content of an official bulletin, nor may you legally make up a bulletin that appears that it may have come from an ARRL official when in fact, the words contained therewith are you own. It's very much like impersonating an officer of the law, although the fines involved may not be as high. (You are also subjecting yourself to a civil lawsuit when you perform such an act.)

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC5CQD on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'll concede that what they do on the internet isn't the same but as far as they're concerned, it is.

In the mind of a child or young adult there is very little concern for the means of how something is accomplished, i.e. wire or wireless. They're only concerned with the end result. I've explained to young people time and time again how we hams communicate antenna to antenna with no need for phone lines, cable systems or monthly fees paid to a service provider and it just seems to fall on deaf ears. "You see, mom and dad are paying for my service and so it's there whenever I want or need it and as long as I have it, why should I rack my brain and study and take a test just to accomplish what I'm already accomplishing?"

A good example of what I'm saying would be like the time I tore my engine apart in my Chevy S-10 to rebuild the motor. I had let a radiator leak go too far and had inadvertently overheated the motor and warped the head. After I had torn the engine down my 19 year old neighbor walked over and freaked out and started screaming, "Oh my god! What are you doing?!" I then explained that I was rebuilding my engine to which he said, "Can you put it back together?!". I answered to the affirmative and then asked, "Can't you?" and his response was, "Hell no!" I looked over at his hot rod pickup truck and said, "You built that truck and you can't overhaul an engine?" to which his response was, "My dad bought that truck for me like it is. I take it to a shop to have the oil changed."

A nineteen year old young man(?) can't even change the oil in his own truck. Good grief! I realize that not all of our youth are this way but they are in the majority, my friends.

The fact is that we live in an age where everyone wants to write a check for everything. Whether it's for solving a problem or for expanding their horizons. As simple as the amateur radio licensing requirements have become, they're still too demanding for most people.

Maybe if we could get Britney Spears on DVD teaching radio theory, our numbers would quadruple! hihi!!!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL Dear Kent, Just about all of us have become applicance operators unless you happen to work for a major electronics firm in R&D. I've been licensed off and on since about 1948 and my equipment runs from rigs I homebrewed from scratch to the latest and greatest from ICOM and SteppIR. Yeah, we can still homebrew and experiment but mostly with antennas, tuners, filter circuits, QRP, and so on. However, the modern "big" rig is pretty much like most modern autos, you can no longer work on them yourself. I was unpopular in some ham circles 35 years ago when I publicly stated that CW should go and it would help increase our ranks. Perhaps that's finally coming but in the meantime CB, computers, cell phones, personal radios, and the Internet all came into being so the mystique pretty much evaporated. I still enjoy the hobby but I'm afraid it is dying. Regards
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC5CQD: You put it very well in your post and I agree, the age of instant grafification is upon us. As for me, I've been a "tech freak" all my life. I want to, I HAVE TO!, understand how something works. As a DoD test officer back in the mid 90s, I angered my radio people by bringing in a portable cell setup and issuing cell phones to test personnel on site rather than the $1.5 to $2k each handie-talkies everyone used to carry. We wound up saving big bucks and had much better comms with the phones than with two way radios. The phones were programmed to prevent off site calls and had internal nets and work groups all nicely integrated with no jokers jamming the system as usually happened before. I guess cell phones have become about the most sophisticated two-ways in existence and common use. 73s
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by G3SEA on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Gentlemen,Gentlemen ! Enough of the feuding :)If you must continue this diatribe do it in e email form to each other :)

You are NOT demonstrating the Ham Spirit !! :)

I believe that the author is actually intimating the inevitable death of Emergency Communications not Ham Radio per se !

Let's face it the number of Hams involved in Emergency Comms is a tiny percentage of the Ham population.

That's not to say all of us would not chip in for a real catastrophe.

However most regard it as a fun hobby and have confidence in the exponentially more sophisticated infrastructure of the ' Professional ' Emergency Organizations.

Let's show more of the Ham Spirit ( Aloha Spirit ) out there ! :)

73 & Aloha KH6/G3SEA
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC5CQD, Have you ever read Ayn Rand's, "Atlas Shrugged"?

Your comments suggest to me that you have her level of appreciation, in our particular situation.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC5CQD: You put it very well in your post and I agree, the age of instant grafification is upon us. As for me, I've been a "tech freak" all my life. I want to, I HAVE TO!, understand how something works. As a DoD test officer back in the mid 90s, I angered my radio people by bringing in a portable cell setup and issuing cell phones to test personnel on site rather than the $1.5 to $2k each handie-talkies everyone used to carry. We wound up saving big bucks and had much better comms with the phones than with two way radios. The phones were programmed to prevent off site calls and had internal nets and work groups all nicely integrated with no jokers jamming the system as usually happened before. I guess cell phones have become about the most sophisticated two-ways in existence and common use. 73s
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I was wondering: can the people who are putting down the current younger generation as lazy and uninterested please explain extreme sports and monster garage to me?

It's funny to hear fogeys of my generation putting down today's youth with exactly the same language we were put down with at the same age.

I find this generation as willing to learn and expend effort as the previous, (my kids,) and the one before that, (mine.)

I just notice that they're not always interested in the same things I am.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kent: One other thought just occured to me. The fact that Ham radio USED to provide a pool of young radio communicators and electronics technicians for our defense efforts. Hams went to war in a big way during WWII and even Korea (my first war). We Hams were even handy in Vietnam (my second war) but that's all been outmoded by advances in technology. I'm sure so-called "nerds" and "hackers" (terms used in the positive sense) would be far more valuable these days than Hams....? When I hung it up for good from DoD and things military in late 96 after almost 40 years total, computer programmers and network folks were worth their weight in gold; radio guys and general electronic techs weren't. Time marches on, I had a good run and I still love Ham radio but it is a dying art/avocation/hobby which sits on valuable spectrum space. I hope we keep it but won't hold my breath.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB7DCV on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP: You are absolutely right on! My wife and I raised five kids and I couldn't, for the life of me, get any of them seriously interested in Ham radio. Instead, they were into mechanics, wood working, sports, and other pursuits. They all turned out well and have good careers today but could care less about Ham radio. Perhaps there was still a bit of a pioneering spirit left when you and I were young. More likely, there wasn't as much fun technology stuff around for cheap prices....? Seems like a majority of folks today are technology users rather than innovators or builders and there's nothing wrong with that. A smart user drives the more specialized innovators of today to improve and advance their products.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VA6EEE on November 26, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WA6BFH

There is a good report on the shuttle recovery effort at www.amateurradio.ca - look at "DL17 Challenger Debris Recovery" report. This is a compilation of four different articles about the special relationship between ham radio and the astronauts, the recovery effort as well as some of the problems with hams who volunteered. The four reports make some very interesting reading for people interested in assisting with communications during emergencies and even non-emergencies. It is a word document - right click and save to your computer or open.

Another very interesting article on the amateurradio.ca site is the 1979 Mississauga Rail Disaster involving the evacuation of about 200,000 people and how ham radio wasn't initially called out, yet continued to provide more and more service as the disaster developed. This is under "DL3 Mississauga". That one had almost every type of situation you would want to throw at your hams in a Incident Command training session including evacuation of hospitals, multiple command posts, 12 reception centres and the typical initial "you're not needed" from the authorities.

There might be a few others in there of interest as well! One of the problems I find is that hams often do very good service, but it rarely gets properly reported. I've got several favourite reports in the mix that show how amateur radio still helps, despite the naysayers and, even more importantly, despite the problems that hams cause themselves. You'll find a bit of all of those in the shuttle report.

Robert
VA6EEE
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC5CQD on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>I was wondering: can the people who are putting down the current younger generation as lazy and uninterested please explain extreme sports and monster garage to me?<<

Sure. Extreme sports are for a very select group of people called adrenaline junkies and Monster Garage is a money making tv show and once Jesse James is no longer considered "cool" the show will vanish into thin air.

What's your point? I know a lot of children and young adults and not one of them is into extreme sports. Unless you call riding a skateboard extreme. As for Monster Garage....I don't know of one single kid or adult that has built their own hot rod or chopper. Most hot rods and choppers are owned by middle-aged guys that...YEP!....wrote massive checks for their rides. Most of these guys couldn't turn a wrench if their lives depended on it.

If it sounded as though I was attacking our youth in my previous posts, I do apologize. If anything I'm just trying to point out a weakness in our society as a whole.

We've become soft, selfish and a bit stupid.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KR4WM (You are also subjecting yourself to a civil lawsuit when you perform such an act.)

.....

Well now lets see you have cursed me here on Eham also cursed be in private email,called me an idiot on open repeaters as well as Rick kf4vgv, have threaten me with being sued and now also threaten me with civil lawsuit. All because you disagree with what I'm am doing with my hobby. Web you really do need to get a life.
I look forward to the day that both of you have the courage to curse me to my face, as you have done here and email. A coward can curse anyone on text messaging but it takes a man to do so in person.

Where dos that leave you ?
KF4VGX




KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4EIT on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
kf4vgx: As I have used VOIP systems for years now I can tell you it can be a way to report skywarn or any emergency traffic . I would be more than happy to demostrate this to anyone or club that would like . I must admit, I do have a problem with hams trying to control how others enjoy their hobby. Its not right to use a position or( ranking ) in the amateur community to influence other hams to avoid something that is new or different. You do have a right to enjoy this hobby as we please ,do we not ? VOIP is Amateur Radio communications , the same as my license within my wallet while I send this email over the internet.

KF4EIT: John, As Sky Warn Asst. Coord.For Greater Horry County I have tried to stay out of all this but I am tired of hearing you complain about How Skywarn is being run and about Our EC's. Webb Has tried over and over to explain what is going on and you shut your ears and keep a closed mind cause all you can thank about is echo link. VOIP IS Not Part Amateur Radio it is an internet based communications such as Yahoo chat or Paltalk chat. Echo link is just the same thing as that. Skywarn is a local event which is Amateur radio communications. Sure there are other ways to pass traffic to NWS such as telephone and cell phone etc but echo link is not a local way to to such. We have direct communcations to our local NWS, why would we want to send a message to Washington State to have it relayed to NWS in Willmington NC when we can pick up a mike and call NWS direct. As I said Sky Warn is A LOCAL Event not National or World Wide. As far as we are concerned here in Horry county Echo Link and Voip is OUT of the Question for Emergency Commucations. If you want to be of help to someone then I suggest you go to 11 meters since they no longer have REACT active. They Need alot of help on 11 meters. As the saying goes If YOU can't Work with the BIG Boys, Stay ON the Porch. Amateur Radio IS The Big Boys and Echo link is for thoes who want to be. As for me I will do my talking radio to radio.If I want to talk on the internet I will open a Yahoo chat room and talk. Hopefully some day FCC will see that Echo Link and programs as such are NOT amateur Radio and get rid of it all.

Sign Me,
Tired Of Hearing about VOIP and Echolink.
KF4EIT
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
You do need my permission (or Rick's permission, or permission from one of our supervisors) to put out an official ARRL bulletin pertaining to Skywarn or other ARRL activity.

As your post states, you have be tried a convicted of placing an ARRL bulletin on GSARC Website .When in fact I had no idea it was going to be there.
Answer me this ,if GSARC has nothing to do with Skywarn ans Skywarn has nothing to do with GSARC. Why are you worried what is posted on GSARC website . One of your fellow hams read that email on , SKYWARN Recognition Day and decided it to be news worthy and placed it on the GSARC website . All you want to do is blame me. Or act as if your a lawyer for GSARC and threaten me with idle threats .

The control issues you and a few others have over GSARC is REAL ! It is also why you have lost so many members over the years. You and a few others have shown the viewers of Eham that there is such a control.

KF4VGX

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4JF on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<I don't know of one single kid or adult that has built their own hot rod or chopper.>

Let me introduce myself. My name is Jim, I'm K4JF, and I am in the final stages of building a hot rod in my garage. Over 5 years of work. I've finished the mechanical and electrical work, and body work, and am currently working with the paint. It's a 65 Mustang convert. with late model 5.0 EFI, 5-speed, Cadillac and Grenada brakes, Corvette mastercylinder, my own design and built exhaust system using Flowmaster headers, and assorted other changes to make it unique.

No, it's not finished. A real hot rod is never finished. But there are plenty of shows around where you can see hot rods that are built by the owners. There is even a major HR supply company in my city that ships parts all over the US.

Now you can't say you don't know one of us. :o) Heh, heh....
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4JF on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
But I do agree that many of the younger generations do not have the patience to stick with a project. I attribute at least part of that to TV, where all problems are solved in an hour.

I actively opposed that when I was raising my kids by getting them involved in Soap Box Derby, where months are spent building a car for summer races, by encouraging them to participate in band (where much practice is needed), Scouts, sports, etc. Now they are both fine adults who know that instant gratification isn't necessary. My son even comes over and helps me work on the car, and can do most of what's needed on his cars.

Most parents don't take the time or have the interest to do this - they have their own interests and are content to let the kids spend all their time being passively entertained. I had so much fun with my kids, I wonder why other parents don't enjoy it.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio Reply
by KF4EIT on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
kf4vgx: As I have used VOIP systems for years now I can tell you it can be a way to report skywarn or any emergency traffic . I would be more than happy to demostrate this to anyone or club that would like . I must admit, I do have a problem with hams trying to control how others enjoy their hobby. Its not right to use a position or( ranking ) in the amateur community to influence other hams to avoid something that is new or different. You do have a right to enjoy this hobby as we please ,do we not ? VOIP is Amateur Radio communications , the same as my license within my wallet while I send this email over the internet.

KF4EIT: John, As Sky Warn Asst. Coord.For Greater Horry County I have tried to stay out of all this but I am tired of hearing you complain about How Skywarn is being run and about Our EC's. Webb Has tried over and over to explain what is going on and you shut your ears and keep a closed mind cause all you can thank about is echo link. VOIP IS Not Part Amateur Radio it is an internet based communications such as Yahoo chat or Paltalk chat. Echo link is just the same thing as that. Skywarn is a local event which is Amateur radio communications. Sure there are other ways to pass traffic to NWS such as telephone and cell phone etc but echo link is not a local way to to such. We have direct communcations to our local NWS, why would we want to send a message to Washington State to have it relayed to NWS in Willmington NC when we can pick up a mike and call NWS direct. As I said Sky Warn is A LOCAL Event not National or World Wide. As far as we are concerned here in Horry county Echo Link and Voip is OUT of the Question for Emergency Commucations. If you want to be of help to someone then I suggest you go to 11 meters since they no longer have REACT active. They Need alot of help on 11 meters. As the saying goes If YOU can't Work with the BIG Boys, Stay ON the Porch. Amateur Radio IS The Big Boys and Echo link is for thoes who want to be. As for me I will do my talking radio to radio.If I want to talk on the internet I will open a Yahoo chat room and talk. Hopefully some day FCC will see that Echo Link and programs as such are NOT amateur Radio and get rid of it all.

Sign Me,
Tired Of Hearing about VOIP and Echolink.
KF4EIT


Hi George, Nice to see you here on Eham.


Thank you for having the courage to state who you are for the viewers of Eham. George you are misinform on VOIP. Its not my place to tell you to use it or not, its your choice. You are not hearing anything on open repeaters here about VOIP your reading it here on Eham. I suggest if your tired of reading it ,simply stop reading it. But sence you are reading.

As Sky Warn Asst. Coord.For Greater Horry County under Rick KF4VGV ,Skywarn Cood.

I must ask you this question. If getting a report from an affected area can save but just one life ! And you hear the call for help over a voip Repeater, would you take that report or ignore it ? please answer this question .

I assume you boycotting also, Sad .

(quote KF4EIT ,)
Why would we want to send a message to Washington State to have it relayed to NWS in Wilmington NC ,
...
You are misinformed,
It would not go to Washington state George it would go DIRECT to NWS.


You and Rick love to slander me with 11 meters. good humor on your part.


Again I say this to all three of you . I don't have a problem if you use VOIP or not, but please be open minded to others right to use VOIP.

I also will tell you all this , your welcome to my home for a demonstration. I can assure you after you leave this demonstration you will have a different point of view, your just misinformed.


Can we as amateurs afford not to use any means possible to pass information to NWS or NHC ?


VOIP is very efficient to use as well as any other means to pass traffic.

As much as you all have slandered me over live airways on local Repeaters ,I still invite you here for a demo.

Why ? Because I know if we can save but one life combining VOIP with Amateur Radio. I have to put my private feelings to the side in an effort to bring together Horry County and its Amateur radio operators.

Please take me up on this invatation !


KF4VGX


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K2GW on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>Actually, it hasn't. The cell system did amazingly well after 9/11.

Actually, it failed due to overload in NYC and NJ for twelve hours on 9/11 (long distance landline also failed for 6 hours) and for about 24 hours in NYC after the 2003 blackout due to overload and lack of emergency power at cell sites. Cell phone officials actually stated in articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal after the blackout that their systems aren't designed to operate in long term (more than an hour or so) power outages!

I know. I had to help coordinate the Amateur Radio response to overcome the failures. And you can read it in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Of course a lot of folks in the blackout found a use for their cellphones in the black-out. They used them as weak flashlights after they found that that they couldn't use them for communications!

73

Gary Wilson, K2GW
SNJ SEC
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
to KR4WM and KF4VGX

On behalf of everyone in this forum .. on the web... and in the world...

would you two complete morons please find another place to have your idiotic debate ... this was not the place, time and frankly I dont think any of us here gave a shit reading the writings of two complete idiots ...

You want to know why ham radio is dying -- its morons like you....
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KR4WM ,KF4VGV,KF4EIT.

I would not want any of you on eleven meters.
I think the experience you have and the training ,your well respected in my eyes and the Amateurs in this area. We need that in Horry County

I certainly hope you will stop your over the air insults of myself and voip. It is my right to enjoy my hobby as I see fit.

We don't need that in Amateur Radio or over live Repeaters in Horry County . Its not Good for the Hobby. The only reason I'm continuing here on Eham , (I would not do this over live airways ), as you three have . At least its in being viewed by your peer's whom can make assessments of whats really going on here in Horry County.

We can insult each other till the end of time. But I'm willing to work with you !

Give me two hours with a demostration. You are truly misinformed.
Best , KF4VGX



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
DUDE -- COULD WE NOT MAKE IT ANY CLEARER...

LET IT GO ...

this is getting dumber by the minute... you guys have taken up half the forum with your incessant rambling about some dumb repeater/voip in Horry county and why your ying-yang is longer then the others... ...

Wrong place, wrong forum, wrong crowd...

Trust me -- no one cares..
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
GHOSTRIDERHF:

Well Said!

Thank You!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
"Appliance Operator"
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K0EWS on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
<<<I was wondering: can the people who are putting down the current younger generation as lazy and uninterested please explain extreme sports and monster garage to me?

It's funny to hear fogeys of my generation putting down today's youth with exactly the same language we were put down with at the same age.

I find this generation as willing to learn and expend effort as the previous, (my kids,) and the one before that, (mine.)

I just notice that they're not always interested in the same things I am.>>>

I would agree with AE6IP on this. I am a teacher, and have found that kids today just have different interests than we do. Other than that, no difference. Some, believe it or not, are interested in ham radio. Heck, we've always been a small percentage of the populas, so I think the numbers are about right. Ham radio needs young blood, but with everything else there is out there for kids, they are harder to recruit. The ones that I've brought into the fold have told me that computers and stuff are what they find to be boring, but redio is fascinating. Probably the same way that we never picked up the phone to call DX as a kid. At any rate, the kids today will take to radio, but their choices are vastly much greater than what some of us grew up with.
Actually, having taught them for 15 years, I applaud kids today. They have many more areas of responsibility, they live in an economy where most of them work, at least around here, half of them come from broken homes, and they are subjected to mass media and mixed messages, some of which would make a sailor blush, are given more wealth, but less moral guidance than any generation in our history, and they do a great job. I for one believe in the future of this hobby. Will we be the same as we were? In some ways yes, and in other ways no, but I do believe that we will still be here, finding ways to help out in whatever situation we find ourselves.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Kent KB9YZL -- Holy cow --

after all these years we finally find something to agree on ..

LOL

The funny part was that I was actually waiting for WIRELESS to jump on these guys but he must be on vacation since I haven't seen anything from him in days :-)

Anyway ol' chap -- hope you had a good and safe Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to another year of debating with you on eHam...

:-)
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VE3WGO on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Joe, you've obviously struck a nerve, judging by the length of this thread by now.

I think ham radio changing, although not dying. Maybe our relevence in the eyes of the public is dying, but our ranks aren't dropping. The original awe that hams commanded in decades past with our wonderous radio shacks is no longer there. Most people now have wireless things and they know it, so we are not so awe-inspiring anymore, and the internet and cellphones do the same thing anyway. We are hams mostly because we like the hobby, and because it is fun. We provide help when we can, and use our licence to chat with each other, and to build and test equipment on the air legally.

Recall in World War I, hams were sought out not because they were hams with equipment, but because they had radio skills that were useful to the cause. And those same skills are what you used when you set up the Forestry repeater and the Red Cross WiFi systems. Sure, a ham radio licence was not required for it, but the ham radio skills were certainly useful, weren't they? I think you should have felt that you were offering your services as a skilled person volunteering to help, rather than a licenced ham only offering to use ham radio. No ham radio to do, so you guys went home frustrated. tsk, tsk.

So hams are not an absolute necessity. We need to get over it. As already said by many (including by you) there are many other communications networks now in place in most countries, many of which are backed by resilient, fault-tolerant, redundant, and secure systems. They rely on fiber optics, wires, local radio links, satellite radio links, and more. Many, but not all, require AC power to work, or battery backup to sustain during power outages. So do our repeaters. Ham radio networks are only slightly more reliable than some of those systems, and no faster than almost all of them.

I get urked when I see and hear hams bragging about the superiority of our communications system versus the myriad of other wired and wireless networks that exist, as if we are the only recourse when disaster hits. Well, evidence proves otherwise.

Most countries have so many redundant systems that communications just won't fall to zero in any case. Ham radio can help, but it is not essential. On the other hand, ham operators should consider themselves essential as volunteers, not merely as hams.


Another case in point: in summer 2003, when the big power blackout hit Ontario and northern USA, I was without power to my home and community for a day and a half. But I wasn't out of touch by any stretch of the imagination. It wasn't ham radio that provided the communications links and vital news for me and my family, using my HF and FM transceivers. I needed local updates, and I got them, instantly. Nope, it was my little battery-powered laptop connected to the internet by dialup that did it. Got 10 hours total out of it, in intermittent use carefully watching the battery level as power finally intermittently came back on and recharged for a while. That's right. A laptop, not ham radio. And the phone system never went away either. Cellphone failed second day. FM handheld found nobody. You think my family was impressed by that? The laptop was easier and better to use than the HF rig. I wasn't about to run my car to power the radio, because our gas stations closed when the power failed. Laptop gave me news from local radio and TV sources, Ontario Hydro, and bulletins from work on how we would cope with the problem during the days that followed the initial hit.

Can't beat the internet for information from the authorities. Ham radio is for fun. Accept it.


Ham radio is growing, however other forms of communications are growing at a much faster rate, and rendering us as just one of many niche communications systems. We exist as a hobby, that's all, and we have no legal rights nor obligations to provide any services to anyone except as defined by our government licencing agencies.


I expect we will continue to lose much more spectrum in the VHF, UHF, and microwave bands because we don't populate them enough, and commercial users desperately want to. Over the past decade or two, North American hams have lost 220-222 MHz, 420-430(in Canada), 1215-1240, and 2310-2390(in USA), and most of the frequencies above 10 GHz which are now just narrow band segments.

I also expect we will continue to gain more spectrum in the HF bands because we do populate them well, and commercial users no longer need them so heavily. WARC bands and 60m are good examples of that.

Does this mean a gradual shift of ham radio toward HF bands? Hams like to use HF more heavily than VHF through microwave frequenciess. We just do, and there's no denying the statistics. If this trend keeps up, then perhaps some day we'll only have BPL/PLT interference to contend with, instead of the VHF/UHF problems, like WiFi lans, WiMAX wireless systems, pagers, garage door openers, baby monitors and cordless telephones. I'm not sure I like that prospect, but it sure seems to reflect the trends.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NG1L on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Thought I should share this article by Andy Rooney.
"America's Quiet Warriors"
"America's quiet warriors are the legion of ham radio operators, 700,000 of them, who are always at ready for backup duty in emergencies--amateur, unpaid, uncelebrated, civilian radio operators, during and after floods and fires and tornadoes. After the nine-one-one attacks, hams were indispensible in reuniting friends and families. Most recently it was they who expedited the search for debris after the disaster to the Space Shuttle Columbia, and right now, at this moment, they are involved in homeland security..." —Paul Harvey, March 19, 2003

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6QP on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am emergency coordinator for Fresno,CA. I am also VE administrator for the same area.Although I agree with some of the comments made about the lack of our use in emergency situations, I think there are other reasons why our hobby is declining.
1. When new hams get their license they're left to
own to figure out own how to get started.All it
would take is a little follow-up by the local clubs
in their area to give them the help they need to
get on the air. Such as what type of equipment to
get, or how to put up an antenna.
2. Most hams have extra equipment that may be a little
outdated or are not being used any more and can be
sold or donated to new hams. Getting started is an
expensive undertaking, and if you're young it could
be prohibitive.
If all of us would work with new hams, I think we see our hobby grow and flourish. Our's is not only a organization for emergencies but also for experimentation. That's how we got started in the beginning and that's how we will survive. Think about what you can do to make us grow.
73's Paul AE6QP


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by G3SEA on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

KF4EIT hopes the FCC will someday do away with VOIP ( EchoLink / IRLP ) ? I very much doubt that.

In the recent CC&R debates the FCC apparently made it clear that amateur's must find ' some other means/mode to overcome their problems '. ie seek an alternate operatng QTH or use another method ie VHF/UHF/VOIP.

Since the FCC is also now backing BPL I would suspect they would actually ' encourage ' hams moving to VOIP ( EchoLink/IRLP ).

IF BPL is widely deployed and results in unacceptable
levels of noise many of us may find ourselves riding those very same power lines on VOIP ! :)
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGV on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
G3SEA: "In the recent CC&R debates the FCC apparently made it clear that amateur's must find ' some other means/mode to overcome their problems '. ie seek an alternate operatng QTH or use another method ie VHF/UHF/VOIP.
Since the FCC is also now backing BPL I would suspect they would actually ' encourage ' hams moving to VOIP ( EchoLink/IRLP )."

That is what I said in so many words in an earlier post in this thread. If this "encouragement" continues and more decides that VOIP is "their kind ham radio," the FCC will continue to downgrade the ham band and regulate it to other services. RF will take on a new meaning for ham radio as "RADIO FUNERAL!"
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGV on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
G3SEA: "In the recent CC&R debates the FCC apparently made it clear that amateur's must find ' some other means/mode to overcome their problems '. ie seek an alternate operatng QTH or use another method ie VHF/UHF/VOIP.
Since the FCC is also now backing BPL I would suspect they would actually ' encourage ' hams moving to VOIP ( EchoLink/IRLP )."

That is what I said in so many words in an earlier post in this thread. If this "encouragement" continues and more decides that VOIP is "their kind of ham radio," the FCC will continue to downgrade the ham band and regulate it to other services. RF will take on a new meaning for ham radio as "RADIO FUNERAL!"
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4EIT on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
G3SEA,Since the FCC is also now backing BPL I would suspect they would actually ' encourage ' hams moving to VOIP ( EchoLink/IRLP )

I see they have you brained washed like KF4VGX. That is what FCC wants Hams to do is to give up their radios and go to the internet so they can have the freqs to put paying radio ops there. They don't care about Amateurs any more cause they are NOT making money off us nor can they afford to POLICE the Amateur Bands after all the cut backs they have gone thru.Its like the CB band went thru years back and they lost control and they let it go to waste.
A couple of you in the thread said this is the wrong place to have our debate but really it is the best place since it is called "The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio". VOIP and Echolink and going to be the down fall of Amateur Radio because it is going to be a internet chatroom which it already is.Echolink and Paltalk are both just alike except with Paltalk you can talk to another Ham and see him on cam at the same time,and you can even exchange QSL cards at the same time. WOW.All Echolink does is burn up Great Repeaters as kf4vgx did here by broadcasting a internet chat room over the repeater. And NOW He wants to put such chat room on a Great Club repeater and burn it up too. Try to sell us the story that echolink is the best way to go with skywarn because we can report directly to NWS all LOCAL reports. But OUR LOCAL NWS DOES NOT HAVE ECHOLINK SO how can we report directly to out LOCAL NWS IF THEY DON"T HAVE ECHOLINK. But of course we DO HAVE A REPEATER SYSTEM THAT WE CAN CONTACT OUR NWS DIRECT. Now THAT IS HAM RADIO.

ITS LIKE THE SAYING GOES "USE THEM OR LOSE THEM"

KF4EIT
Asst.Skywarn Coord.
Greater Horry County Skywarn
Myrtle Beach,SC.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4EIT on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
kf4vgx:Thank you for having the courage to state who you are for the viewers of Eham.

Your Welcome! You See I am not ashamed of who I am nor what I am. At least I don't make my self out to be someone I am not...

kf4vgx:George you are misinform on VOIP

I know Enough about VOIP that I Know IT IS NOT HAM RADIO.

kf4vgx:I must ask you this question. If getting a report from an affected area can save but just one life would you take that report or ignore it ?

1st off I don't listen to VOIP but instead to true Amateur Radio. As a true Ham and also as a Skywarn Coord. It is my Job and duty to report any emergency communcation I hear, as long as I hear it on the Amateur bands,or other RADIO Freqs. Since echolink is an internet based program its not for me to say since FCC does not control internet. My ticket is from the FCC not the internet.

kf4vgx:You are misinformed,
It would not go to Washington state George it would go DIRECT to NWS.


The NWS Office in Willmington,NC does not have echolink so what you have said is false. It may go to a NWS office somewhere else, but we Report to Willmington NC Office and we can do it direct from our repeater system or via land line or cell phone.
We don't need to go pass our ass to get to our elbow like echolink.

kf4vgx:You and Rick love to slander me with 11 meters. good humor on your part.

I am not slandering you with 11 meters I am suggesting the you and your echo link move to 11 meters and sit up there all you want they need a good chatroom and just think then you can use a echo mike to talk into echolink!

kf4vgx:I also will tell you all this , your welcome to my home for a demonstration. I can assure you after you leave this demonstration you will have a different point of view, your just misinformed

I have or will not come to your home as long as you have echolink on the brain. When you decide to become a HAM again I might thank about it.

kf4vgx:VOIP is very efficient to use as well as any other means to pass traffic

So is APRS and SADAN and HF and VHF and UHF and Amateur TV and CW.And they are all Part of Amateur radio not Internet.

kf4vgx:As much as you all have slandered me over live airways on local Repeaters

I Have not nor have I ever slandered you, I have put down and will continue to put down echolink as a form of amateur radio. IT IS NOT AMATEUR RADIO,IT IS INTERNET!

The SKYWARN event is a friendly contest held between each participating NWS office. The object is for all amateur stations to exchange QSO information with as many NWS stations as possible. The exchange information is: Call sign, signal report, QTH, and a one or two word description of the weather at your location. I have but one question- how can you exchange a signal report
when you're using VOIP???

Good Question? YOU CAN"T. IT'S INTERNET


KF4EIT
Asst.Skywarn Coord.
Greater Horry County Skywarn
Myrtle Beach,SC.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> Actually, it failed due to overload in NYC and NJ
> for twelve hours on 9/11 (long distance landline
> also failed for 6 hours) and for about 24 hours in
> NYC after the 2003 blackout due to overload and lack
> of emergency power at cell sites.

And yet, during that time I was able to make cell calls into Manhattan, as well as to use IRC to speak with friends. The system didn't "fail" due to overload. Rather, it handled twice the number of calls it normally does, but dropped a bunch more.

> Cell phone officials actually stated in articles in
> the New York Times and Wall Street Journal after the
> blackout that their systems aren't designed to
> operate in long term (more than an hour or so) power
> outages!

That's correct. There was no long term power outage at 9/11.

> I know. I had to help coordinate the Amateur Radio
> response to overcome the failures.

So how did you handle the 300 million phone calls that Verizon dropped on 9/11?

> And you can read it in the New York Times and Wall
> Street Journal.

Cool. What dates, and what article titles?
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I wonder how safe the citizens of Horry County, SC would feel if they could read this thread.

Considering the level of petty politics, ego, and “attitude” I have seen here, I’d be surprised if the Skywarn net in Horry County functioned at all! (I mean in real situations, not on one of their “contest” days.)

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 27, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL: I'd be surprised if the Skywarn net in Horry County functioned at all! (I mean in real situations, not on one of their "contest" days.)

Hi Kent,

In Horry County, Skywarn functions just as it was designed to. The problem we have here is one petty individual who desires to force his beliefs on the rest of the local amateur community, and he can't stand it because nobody will listen. You can't listen to this guy talk on the radio without receiving an invitation to use his Echolink system in every other sentence. He's sort of like this one talk show host I know- when you listen to his radio program one day, wait a month, and when you dial back in he's still on the same subject! This became old real quick to everyone in this area. *He* chose this forum to attack me and my Skywarn coordinator. If you were local, you (and the rest of the readers) would quickly figure out exactly where the problem lies. Our Skywarn (and other nets) function flawlessly, and we receive rave reviews from the NWS office in Wilmington, NC, our served organization. Apparently, no amount of pointing out the truth to this guy will ever "set in". No matter how many dozens of people tell him he's wrong, he still thinks he's right because one or two people will inevitably encourage him. He has his mind made up, and that's that. I've tried to help him to get involved with Skywarn, but we have specific objectives that he rejects. If you were a mechanic, and your boss told you to use a spark plug wrench to remove the spark plugs from a vehicle, why would you use a screwdriver against your bosses order? I suspect this is why John is a self-employed painter who works alone. He rejects any authority figure, and he can't stand it because there is rank and structure within Skywarn. He wants Skywarn to be a free-for-all, and that's not going to happen on my watch, and it's not what the NWS wants. I don't think he could ever work for anyone else because he would constantly tell them what he was or wasn't going to do! He believes that he and Echolink are the Alpha and the Omega. He makes himself out to be the lone ant who is gathering food to save the masses in the middle of winter, when in fact, he's more like the one remaining floater that just won't flush no matter how many times you push the lever. California has that oddball repeater that everybody loves to hate in Los Angeles. (You know, the one that the FCC wanted to shut down?) We have our KF4VGX.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL: I'd be surprised if the Skywarn net in Horry County functioned at all! (I mean in real situations, not on one of their "contest" days.)

Hi Kent,

In Horry County, Skywarn functions just as it was designed to. The problem we have here is one petty individual who desires to force his beliefs on the rest of the local amateur community, and he can't stand it because nobody will listen. You can't listen to this guy talk on the radio without receiving an invitation to use his Echolink system in every other sentence. He's sort of like this one talk show host I know- when you listen to his radio program one day, wait a month, and when you dial back in he's still on the same subject!

.....
KF4vgx . Web you must be joking , Noone wants to Force anything on you its your option to use or not to use voip. If your hearing information about VOIP you must be dialing into my Repeater, turn the dial if you like . No reason for you to out right Lie !

.....
This became old real quick to everyone in this area. *He* chose this forum to attack me and my Skywarn coordinator. If you were local, you (and the rest of the readers) would quickly figure out exactly where the problem lies. Our Skywarn (and other nets) function flawlessly, and we receive rave reviews from the NWS office in Wilmington, NC, our served
organization. Apparently, no amount of pointing out the truth to this guy will ever "set in". No matter how many dozens of people tell him he's wrong, he still thinks he's right because one or two people will inevitably encourage him.

.....
KF4VGX - You will not hear me on other Repeaters encouraging the use of VOIP perhaps your listening on my Repeater .
I think they can figure out exactly where the problem lies Web :).


.......
He has his mind made up, and that's that. I've tried to help him to get involved with Skywarn, but we have specific objectives that he rejects. If you were a mechanic, and your boss told you to use a spark plug wrench to remove the spark plugs from a vehicle, why would you use a screwdriver against your bosses order?

......

KF4VGX -I have made up my mind to help save live's if using voip helps why not ? You are not my keeper.

Not interested in becoming involved with Skywarn ,I think Web and Rick also George is Suffice.
You all do great job with that :)

......


I suspect this is why John is a self-employed painter who works alone. He rejects any authority figure, and he can't stand it because there is rank and structure within Skywarn.

.....


KF4VGX - Er, WRONG ! I dont work alone Web I have a crew that I work. I dont have a problem with your rank Sir . There has to be rank.
........

He wants Skywarn to be a free-for-all, and that's not going to happen on my watch, and it's not what the NWS wants.
.......

KF4VGX , No ! Web, please don't put words into my mouth that I would not dare say. Free for all Skywarn.

You said that I did Not !

......

I don't think he could ever work for anyone else because he would constantly tell them what he was or wasn't going to do! He believes that he and Echolink are the Alpha and the Omega. He makes himself out to be the lone ant who is gathering food to save the masses in the middle of winter, when in fact, he's more like the one remaining floater that just won't flush no matter how many times you push the lever. California has that oddball repeater that everybody loves to hate in Los Angeles. (You know, the one that the FCC wanted to shut down?) We have our KF4VGX.



KF4VGX - I suggest to all ,read the above post! Web you are full of lies ! , I dont think VOIP is the Alpha and the Omega. Its just another tool for amateur's to use , I'm not the lone ant ,beleve me others are watching your's and others post here . You guys must be listening to my repeater alot ,thats the only place your hearing voip in use in this county and thats the only place I encourage it's use .

Sorry ,to the Eham Group members and also Kent.


Best , KF4VGX


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I have a very clear idea of how Skywarn is supposed to operate. If our “friends” in Horry County have any doubts, they can go to the National Skywarn Page, and check the “Links to other Skywarn Sites”. They will see that the College of DuPage (who employs me) is a key element in the Northern Illinois Multi-County Skywarn.

In addition to that, my job with the college puts me in the field for a significant portion of May, June, and July. On an average year, that means that I find myself in close proximity to 15 to 20 Supercell storms, and 4 to 6 Tornados. Every year, I see firsthand why Skywarn (or some system like it) HAS to work.

The sort of infighting and feuding we have seen on this thread has NO place in a Skywarn organization. It compromises the integrity of the particular organization, and undermines the public trust in Skywarn in general.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4EIT on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KB9YZL:The sort of infighting and feuding we have seen on this thread has NO place in a Skywarn organization. It compromises the integrity of the particular organization, and undermines the public trust in Skywarn in general.


This is not a fight within Skywarn but reather a fight aginst a person and a program the both would be better off away from Amateur radio since both are not Amateur Radio.

We have a Great Skywarn program here in Horry County,SC ran by Some One who is well versed in weather and Amateur Radio. He is Well Known and Respected By His fellow Hams as well as NWS.

Our Problem is We try to run Skywarn Like it is Suppose to be run but we have A Person who thanks that Skywarn should only be run on HIS echolink system and by him so he constently running down How we Run Skywarn and Our EC for Letting Us Run IT.
This Person Has Not Taken the time to even take a skywarn class nor learned to try to help out.All he can do is tell everyone that we don't know shit because we don't use his echolink to do our Skywarn Nets.
My Question Still remains to be answered "Why should we have our nets on the echolink system when skywarn is a local event and we have a direct link via HAM Radio to OUR LOCAL NWS and OUR LOCAL NWS DOES NOT Have echolink in their office?"
Is so every one in the world can hear what is going on via the internet which is what echolink is or is it because the Person who is running the local echolink can feel like he is someone special and get credit for something He doesn't know anything about.

I still say he needs to talk to all his internet echolink buddies and get echolink moved to 11 meters so they can quit tying up Good Ham repeaters {and Burning up Good Ham Repeaters} and also they can use the old echo mikes with the echolink. We Hams Have Plenty Of Ways To Pass Traffic WITHOUT Internet.

IF ECHOLINK IS NOT REMOVED OR SEPARATED FROM AMATEUR RADIO IT WILL BE THE DEATH OF AMATEUR RADIO AS WE KNOW IT NOW. WE WILL NOT HAVE ANY RADIOS OR FREQS TO TALK ON JUST COMPUTERS.

KF4EIT
Asst. Skywarn Coord.
Greater Horry County,SC
Myrtle Beach,SC
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W1CAR on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I am blown away by this thread. What a bunch of time-wasting and arguing over nothing.

Despite all the crap in this thread, nothing will change. We will still live life. We will still operate, call CQ, participate in contests and nets and Skywarn ops.

Look at all the time you've wasted.

I love this hobby, but this is the true embarassing side of it. I don't think VoIP is aiding the end of ham radio, I think this kind of crap is. VoIP helps in areas that radio cannot... and vice versa. They supplement each other. They do not work against each other, they work with each other.

Whenever I meet a new ham, I always remind him or her that what they may see on QRZ or Eham isn't necessarily how hams really are. Honestly though.. I think I'm lying to them.

I operate my Skywarn group very efficiently without any of this bickering amongst ourselves. We enjoy the friendship of the hobby and the service we provide helps increase our self-worth. There is nothing to comment on beyond that.

The original poster of this thread opened our eyes to things that were going on in his mind. Whether any of us agree or not isn't the point. He was just trying to open our eyes in his own way. I can appreciate that. I may not agree with everything he said, but I respect his opinion, as all of you should.

Stop this stupid bickering. No one cares who wins the arguement. Life will still go on as it always has with or without your opinions.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> Cell phone officials actually stated in articles in
> the New York Times and Wall Street Journal after the
> blackout that their systems aren't designed to
> operate in long term (more than an hour or so) power
> outages!

Not true of anyone other than Nextel, who chooses to not equip their sites with a minimal 4 hour battery backup. Even here in the woods where there is no "seamless coverage", every cell site I pass has an LP generator outside. There is no excuse.

I don't know who these supposed "officials" are but I give little credibility to any carrier that can't design a site to stay up on its' own. They are ignoring the radio manufacturs own provisions for battery backup & AC switchover.

The problem with 9/11 was the sudden loss of the 1300+ radio systems atop WTC roof. When it fell out of the sky, the only TV station left was CBS, who never switched "backup" from the Empire State Building. Cells were not atop WTC but with load exceeding supply, dropped comms were a result of migration from the systems lost to the systems that survived. A large ripple effect!

Ham radio did NOT provide critical comms post 9/11. It even took the BBC over 3 years to stretch the truth enough to appease the larger egos involved in this hobby.

I also agree with the premise that supporting EchoLink is supporting our demise. Bringing it into an emergency situation only shows the "officials" that VoIP can (& will) replace radio use.

Big mistakes across the board. BuhBye!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I would like to apologize to the amateur radio community for the diatribe that has gone on in this thread. I truly wish it had not occurred. I am wide open to advice as to how to handle the situation. The facts of the matter are:

1. KF4VGX refuses to participate in a Skywarn model that does not include Echolink.

2. We have been as nice to KF4VGX as any human being deserves, until he attacked us in a public formum. Should I not have defended myself?

3. It doesn't matter what I say, KF4VGX will figure out a way to twist and turn my words into something I did not say.

4. I have written ARRL officials, and was advised to just keep quiet in this matter. I'm not one to be an ostrich, I'm sorry. We have a problem individual, and I'd like to be able to deal with him. As a retired career firefighter with 25 years of active service, I never ran from flames. I'm not about to start now, defeat is just not within me. I believe there is a solution, I just don't know what it is. Whatever the solution winds up being will not include Echolink.

5. I put KF4VGX in my "blocked sender list" so I would no longer receive "irritating" e-mails from him. He then telephoned me and acted like he was the nicest person in the world like nothing had happened. I repeatedly had to hang up on him to get him to stop calling me. I felt like I was being stalked!

6. KF4VGX continued to take pot-shots at me here on eHam.net because I no longer allowed his incoming e-mail and would no longer talk to him on the phone. If you throw enough rocks at a hornets nest, even the calmest of hornets is going to react eventually!

7. The fact is, it was determined that Echolink burned up one of our local repeaters (147.285) with overuse. The poor repeater stayed keyed up during all daylight hours! We refuse to let it happen to another repeater. KF4VGX is so enthralled by Echolink that he decided to put his own machine on the air for this purpose. We didn't complain about it. We just simply don't use his repeater, and he can't stand it! How is it he can't understand that the rest of us are not interested?

8. I've offered time and again to help KF4VGX become involved in both Skywarn and asked him to join the local club, the GSARC, to perhaps get him out of his rut. He resists because he presumes that "this guy or that guy has too much power" so he won't support anything! If it weren't me, it would be the next guy. John has a problem with anyone in an authority position. I can't help him there- somebody has to run the show. I do the best I can, but it doesn't please John. What more can I do?

Again, I apologize for all the name-calling and etc. that has been displayed on other ham's monitors. I truly wish there was a solution, but I don't see one. I'm entirely open to suggestions...? I do -NOT- apologize to John because now he truly knows how I feel about the entire matter, and I can't explain it any better. I tried explaining it nicely, politely, and it didn't work. John realizes that if you turn on switch "A", then light "A" will probably turn on, and apparently he's good at flipping my switches. I don't have anything to apologize for- and I suppose I will forever be waiting to hear him say that he's willing to help with no strings attached.

Sorry to have wasted all this bandwidth, but I will continue to defend myself and Horry County Skywarn.

Kindest regards, -KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just cheking in to see if the morons were still rambling about their stupid SKYWARN in HORRY county and I see they are ...

I do hope you guys understand that you have became the K1MAN of this forum and all of you have lost credibility ...

I feel sorry for the folks in HORRY county -- they will probably all be dead by the time the tornando comes through by the time these morons figure out what they are doing instead of this internal battle that should be fought OFF LINE in ANOTHER PLACE...

If you jerks think for a moment that any of you made points well WRONG --

HORRY COUNTY VILLAGE CALLED -- THEY ARE MISSING THEIR IDIOTS!!!!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA1JJM on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Quote:

"I thought I was seeing the end of Skywarn radio support when I read the ARRL bulletin pronouncing that the upcoming Skywarn exercise was going to allow contacts made via VOIP. That's right, pick up your Vonage telephone that's connected to your cable modem on your desk, and simply telephone ALL the National Weather Service offices for contact credit! If you ask me, it sure violates the spirit of radio communications! I've asked my Skywarn coordinator to boycott this one, and received an affirmative. I wrote the ARRL and they think I'm crying wolf! "


VOIP has allowed us in the Northeast to get links working in remote areas the have hounded us with unreliability for years. It has taken Skywarn in particular many steps forward. Replace HF/VHF? Nope, but its a great tool in the emergency comm toolbox. To ignore it and to act like a backward fool and little kid is silly. People who boycott skywarn recognition day for such silliness need to be replaced. Ham radio will die only because of such foolish attitudes. Lets go back to the spark gap, thats pure ham radio.

KA1JJM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA1JJM on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
quote:

"The “Whole Purpose” of your exercise was to test the integrity of the data transmission infrastructure that conveys information from the field, to the appropriate National Weather Service facility. The data is the critical item, not the means of conveying it.

You are certainly correct when you say that VOIP is not a particularly “robust” technology………..just as the basic cell phone isn’t; but we can’t afford to exclude any data source when lives and property are at stake.

The data flow needs to be as integrated as possible, with ALL relevant information sources feeding to the same correct location, with a minimum number (preferably none) of human “copy and relay” steps. Consequently, the very system you object to so violently makes perfect sense to me.


Yes, power and the Internet can go down,……..but you don’t disregard a system until it actually fails!!! "

[end quote]

Fact is, we have been using VOIP for skywarn up here for 3 years. It has proven MORE reliable then the RF links in place in the Northeast. Internet up here is far more robust than the copper phone lines, most of it being underground fiber now. The argument put forth by a few naysayers when VOIP was first used up here has long since faded, and most of them now agree, its a valuable tool to say the least. If emergency coordinators are going to throw out tools that enhance their performance, they should be replace.

KA1JJM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
5. I put KF4VGX in my "blocked sender list" so I would no longer receive "irritating" e-mails from him. He then telephoned me and acted like he was the nicest person in the world like nothing had happened. I repeatedly had to hang up on him to get him to stop calling me. I felt like I was being stalked!

.....

Here is an OUT RIGHT Lie. I called Web twice ! Trying to discuss our issues like men should . The Stalker part is a low blow . We can have your phone records checked Web . Now your resorting to outright Lies !
I no longer have respect for in this community ,you are far from an honest person.

The 285 was not burned up, I just wanted to get you guys off the Repeater owners back, so I removed my system from his Repeater, Ask him yourself if you like . He's reading these post.



I dont think anyone reading the post from you or your Skywarn team ,would really want to join anything you guy's are involved with .

The truth of the matter is this conversation started because I cannot beleve you guys

Boycotted 2004 SKYWARN Recognition Day !

and I still cain't. But it was your options to do so.

I dont dislke any of you or the fact that you dont use this repeater, its getting used. And I'm very happy to support voip and Hams while there here on vacation using this Repeater.

73 KF4VGX














 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA1JJM on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
QUOTE:
7. The fact is, it was determined that Echolink burned up one of our local repeaters (147.285) with overuse. The poor repeater stayed keyed up during all daylight hours! We refuse to let it happen to another repeater. KF4VGX is so enthralled by Echolink that he decided to put his own machine on the air for this purpose. We didn't complain about it. We just simply don't use his repeater, and he can't stand it! How is it he can't understand that the rest of us are not interested?

[end quote]

Your repeater burned up with "overuse"???

Fact is, any repeater to be used for emergency communications should be 100% duty cycle. That means, it has to be able to stay keyed or used 100 percent of the time. Time to look up "100% duty cycle" in "repeaters for dummies". It means your repeater is inadequate. Sad if it did that during an emergency with people keeping it busy for an hour without letup.

Either that statement is incorrect, or your repeater needs to meet common standards if it failed that easily.

We have had repeaters keyed for hours at a time during hurricane or winter storm nets. Never heard of this.

KA1JJM

KA1JJM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by GHOSTRIDERHF on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
DEAR KR4WM, KA1JJM, KF4VGX and anyone else from HORRY county SKYWARN...

Please answer your phone....

as stated before ...

The villagers of HORRY county are looking for their idiots and are trying to call you ....

ALL OF YOU --PLEASE STOP YOUR CRAP NOW -- THIS IS PLAIN STUPID ...

and to the residents of HORRY COUNTY -- KR4WM, KA1JJM, KF4VGX are clear ressons why you need to put more money in Public schools !!!

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
GHOSTRIDERHF;

Hey…..I just realized what’s probably going on here!

I’ll bet these two guys are both sitting in a basement, somewhere in South Carolina, sharing a refrigerator full of beer and a computer. They’re taking turns writing and re-writing the same crap, just to see how many people on Eham they can annoy. (Wow! …..A new Sport!..... “Team Trolling”!)

They’re bored, pure and simple. (Horry County probably busted and closed the local “Gentlemen’s Club” last week!)

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WY3X on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Fact is, any repeater to be used for emergency communications should be 100% duty cycle. That means, it has to be able to stay keyed or used 100 percent of the time. Time to look up "100% duty cycle" in "repeaters for dummies". It means your repeater is inadequate. Sad if it did that during an emergency with people keeping it busy for an hour without letup.

FACT: The repeater that had a 100 watt Motorola Micor PA burned up by Echolink was not part of the Skywarn system.

And John, ask the guy who actually did the repair work on the repeater what happened. Ask him to be honest with you. Even 100% duty cycle has to rest -sometime-. If my computer had not crashed and lost all the e-mails documenting the repair I had from a couple of years ago, I could show them to you. The people involved know the type of person you are, and most likely misinformed you so you wouldn't get all out of whack. They were probably trying to be nice to you. I'm being as honest as I can be with you, John. Sorry to burst your bubble with the truth. I heard this with my own ears, John. I'm not stretching nor distorting what I have been told. *If* the truth is different than what I was told, then I have been seriously misinformed, and you'll have to accept my sincerest apologies. I was going on what I have been told by the people involved, and I have no reason to doubt them.

The facts of the case:
I did enjoy having Echolink capabilities when it was on that repeater, I won't lie. I did use it. I never brought up any links, but I did participate in conversations using Echolink when the opportunity presented itself. The repeater it was on belongs to a private individual who funded the entire machine out of his own pocket. When it was determined by a competent technician that extended keydown periods caused by Echolink burned up the PA, KF4VGX failed to volunteer any funding to help repair it. In fact, KF4VGX denied that Echolink had anything to do with the damage. The repair technician stated otherwise to the repeater's owner. Maybe John has been a victim of misinformation. Maybe somebody told him that Echolink was not at fault. (I realize that Echolink itself is not at fault, rather, it was the users who kept the repeater keyed down all day long for days at a time, only letting it rest during the wee hours.) John should have offered to place some (hardware) restrictions on it's use to protect the repeater, but failed to do so. If there had been a 10 minute transmit timeout timer that automatically recognized IP addresses that only allowed a 10 minutes of keydown time in a 24 hour period from a particular IP address (but with manual SYSOP override), we would never have had the problem. Maybe John was unaware that the damage was being done until it was too late. I consider the repeater owner a good friend, and I can't help but feel bothered that John and his Echolink stuff precipitated the damage, but failed to volunteer any financial assistance towards the repair. (The owner should not have had to ask for the $.) I think this is where all the hard feelings began to occur. If you break something that belongs to somebody else, the least you can do is offer to help fix it. This failed to occur.

I have no reason to doubt the repair technician when he says to me that 100% duty cycle isn't _REALLY_ 100%, and that overuse of the repeater caused by Echolink was the likely cause of the damage. He (the repair tech) has been involved in radio for more years than I have been on this earth, and really knows his stuff.

The new repeater system that Skywarn operates on is also a privately funded repeater system. The owner of the new system is aware of the situation with the other repeater, and chooses (I think wisely) not to include Echolink as a function of his system. We chose this repeater system based on it's area of coverage and reliability. It does just what we want, and the NWS can speak directly to us through this repeater system, no Echolink or RF linking is necessary. (The system hosting Skywarn does include full-time RF links featuring several repeaters in different areas, but no links that must be "brought up" in order to facilitate maximum coverage.)

OK, we're past the damage assessment phase. Hopefully we're also past the harrassing e-mails and disingenuous phone calls, and past all the name-calling from both sides. We've all hastily made rude comments towards each other which none of us deserved. We know that Echolink is never going to be a part of Skywarn in this area- it's just not going to happen. We all know who likes Echolink and who doesn't, and we can all make personal choices for the betterment of amateur radio to stop pushing each other's buttons.

The question remains: What can we do to fix the crack in the dam John? I'm all ears. Please don't come up with any wise remarks. Please don't quote me and say "fellow hams, see this and this and this". Just tell me what direction you want to go in, and lets have an end to this! If it's not in the direction that the rest of us are going in, John, don't be angry. You don't have to be a part of Skywarn. It's a volunteer organization. If you don't want to volunteer and work with us, that's fine, but please don't intrude with ideas that are not wanted. If you want to work with us, you'd be very welcome, as long as you are willing to work WITH us, not AGAINST us. Everything with respect to Echolink has been hashed and rehashed, so just leave anything to do with combining the internet and amateur radio out of the conversation. If you can't work with us, then please just go in peace and know that some day, we hope you will work with us in a positive way.

John, I've extended an olive branch to you twice. I'm trying one -last- time. After this, I will make no more comments, and I promise this to the amateur community- no more "retorts" from me. John's negative posts will simply go unanswered. I will, however, respond in a constructive manner to any positive posts.

-KR4WM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W5ESE on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> The Amateur Radio service was not created
> solely, nor even primarily, to provide
> communications in an emergency. That purpose
> is but one of the five reasons it was created.
> Focusing exclusively on that diminshes the
> importance of the other four purposes.

i agree with jerry, KK5CA.

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

The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

---------------------------------------------------
73
scott w5ese
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC9DBE on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I'm sorry I'm fairly new to amateur radio, EMCOMM and such and quite frankly I ran out of patience reading the responses about half way through.

I guess somewhere along the line I got this funny idea that EMCOMM was about getting the message through to the destination, reliably and correctly, no matter what the method of transmission. Funny how we new guys get those ideas.

I have to admit that I use all communcations methods at my disposal when the reprocessed hay hits the rotary impeller. I've been know to use landlines, cell phone, public service radio (when I was authorized as an EMT), amateur radio, internet email, instant messaging, VoIP, wireless internet access, 802.3 B/G and would settle for a note tied around a rock if it got the job done quickly and accuratly.

I personally have always enjoyed 'storm chasing' and amateur radio just enhanced that experience with a NCS with radar, NWS contact and access to the local EOC directing me to where the 'action' is so I can report back. Works for both of us - they get timely information and I get to 'catch' the storm (although once or twice it's been the other way around).

I personally think we need to go back to one of those basic principles that they teach us in school for business when dealing with a supervisor. Supervisors don't like problems - they like results. If you can find a solution for a problem then present the solution and the issue to resolves at the same time everyone is happy. You justify your job, your boss looks good and the company gets to do more business.

I've been seriously involved in public saftey off and on (law enforcement, SAR and EMS) since I was 17. I've been involved with ham radio and EMCOMM for 2 years in Janauary. From the public safety side of things I can tell you there is nothing more annoying than someone who 'thinks' they know what to do to impede me as a first responder from providing the care and/or tasks that I need to perform. On the flip side of that is that as someone who trains constantly to provide emergency response as a volunteer and maintain a level of professionalism as high, if not higher, than required by full-time personell is to be shuffled off to a corner to stamp toliet paper requests.

As I said earlier I constantly train to be able to provide services during emergencies at a minimal level of competence. In the last year I have retaken my ICS, take a course in NIMS, researched, purchased and learned several software packages relating to weather. Learned to integrate high-resolution real-time NEXRAD images in APRS, installed, configured and maintain a Davis Vantage Pro feeding weather data to the NWS FSL via MADIS, a EMWIN system. I've also learn (with the extremely valuable help of the local NWS office) to read NEXRAD - not only the basic 0.5 reflectivity that everyone relys on but all tilts of reflectivity, composite reflectivity, ground relative motion, and storm relative motion. I'm also a licensed EMT in Illinois and trained with the ARC as a health and welfare instructor and for disaster response including Damage Assesment. I am constantly in contact with NWS via the COOP and SWOP program relaying current condition information during rain/snow events. In addition I keep my weapons of mass destruction and torrorism response up to date through Department of Justice online programs.

In a nutshell, EMCOMM isn't something that you pull out of your closet once a year when the (insert your event here - tornado's, floods, hurricanes, etc)happen - it's something you develop and practice every day right down to proper operating procedures in your daily contacts, event analysis of the current weather, participating in SET's, operating in event nets as a EMCOMM simulation exercise and support of your local EOC's, ARES/RACES organizations.

As far as travelling 8 hours to get to an event site I applaude you for doing your civic duty during a time of need. But, on the other hand having someone that I really don't know their training, ability and skills I'd probably send you to a non-critical facility, at least until I got a handle on your capabilities and personality. The last thing you need in EMCOMM is a unknown quantity in a mission critical position. Not only can a failure by someone in such a position jepordize life and property it can do incalcuable damage to the local ARES/RACES/ARC teams relationship with the served agency bringing about just the situation we want to avoid - the served agency looking for other solutions since the local ARES/RACES has shown they obviously aren't capable of handling the response.

At one time I was associated with a Red Cross agency and was assisting with developing their Communication Annex. Included was responses and likely availablility of infrastructure in different types of responses. A basic response then tweaked for wide geographical areas, narrow geographical areas, urban, rural, etc. A good rule of thumb is to plan for the worst, mutiply it by 10 and hope it never happens and then implement based on worst case. In the intitial response I've heard time and time again that infrastructure services of any type where spotty or completely unavailable (i.e. cell phones, land lines, power, potable water, etc). Even the availablity of ham operators and equipment can be impacted - you probably need to be looking for the family pet or relative. What you have in-place and active at the time of the event (in the case of known, impending events such as weather related events) is going to be your core, trained, competent personnel and is likely to shrink immediately after the event due to the likelyhood of their response to high priority events (such as their home was destroyed by a tornado and they need to search for family). My initial plan called for the most basic of communcations provided by ham radio operators. Then added in additional operators/equipment and infrastructure services as avaialble. The ARC committee and I never came to a agreement on what to plan for so I stepped aside and resigned. Unfortunely, the worst case situation happened last year - in two widely spaced geographical areas that where struck by tornados almost simultaneously, where all infrastructure was spotty at best if not completely unavaialble. When planning for events don't go with best case - it's unfair to your organization and the served agency. Be a Mr. Scott - Captain I can't do it...but I'll try.

I guess the high points are:

1. Use all communications means at your disposal - even if they aren't amateur RF to get the job done quickly and efficently. It's the mission that counts not the way it got done. The served agency doesn't care how it got done - just that those Amateur EMCOMM guys(gals) got the message to where it was going and it was RIGHT!

2. Train constantly - a half/untrained operator can do more damage than help. The served agency, like people in general, tend to remember the one screw-up over the 15 things that went right. Even if it was someone from 2000 miles away that wasn't really a licensed amatuer anymore because the FCC pulled his ticket but said he was. (S)he was still one of those 'ham radio people'.

3. Plan ahead and implement those plans. Once the plans are in place and implemented - TEST THEM - TEST THEM - TEST THEM!!!

4. Fix your plan based on 3. TEST YOUR PLANS - TEST YOUR PLANS - TEST YOUR PLANS!!!

5. TEST YOUR PLANS AGAIN - oh, by the way, I'm sorry did I forget to notify you we were going to test the plan this week? A planned exercise bears absolutely no resemblance to reality. Once the plan has been tested (see 3 and 4 above) test it without prior notification and see how many people actually show up and what equipment they bring with them and what their real response times are.

6. Go back to #3 and start again.

If you hadn't noticed this tends to be one of my (fill in the blank). If anyone has a question please feel free to send a note - I'm sure I'll have an opinion on it.

Let's all get over the hand wringing and get with the program and go out and do it whatever it takes. The rest will then take care of itself.

David C
KC9DBE
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0CTO on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
OK back the original post.

I was hoping that someone else who was involved would have piped in first but since they didn't here goes:

I don't speak for the Escambia County AREC, ARES or anyone else. I can only speak for myself but as one of the hams working the EOC in Pensacola after Ivan I feel that I have to respond to AB2M’s comments.

I was honored to be a part of the recovery efforts in Pensacola. Despite problems I think the entire community and the amateur radio community did a fantastic job. We had hams in the EOC who lost everything but stayed at their posts for almost two days before getting a relief. I'm honored that I, KI4DQC and KG4ZRY were asked for by name and sent over to the EOC from our Navy Base on the second day after the hurricane when our Navy MARS stuff was taken care of.

We were some of the Net Control Operators at the county EOC so we are some of the guys referred to in the post. First I'd like to say that I am and will always be eternally grateful to all who came in from out of area to help rebuild our community. So many wonderful people came in and devoted their time to help out. A wonderful couple, AA5DW and AD5IQ showed up in their RV from Texas and asked where they were needed. They were nothing short of Godsends. They did their job wonderfully and yes, they got stranded a couple of times and weren't happy about it (and rightfully so). Neither were we. We also had a ham from Jacksonville (I have forgotten his callsign unfortunately) show up and we sent him to the Salvation Army HQ where they had a generator problem. Well he happened to be a diesel mechanic and worked on their generator, once again a Godsend. We even had a ham get injured here. Two hams came in from Tallahasse and one had to abandon his truck when it broke down but came on in anyway. FEMA gave us another repeater and locals left their damaged homes to install it. I think stories like that and many more that could be posted here show the true spirit of the amateur radio community. I just wish you saw more of it on these posts which sad but true.

Most hams that came in despite how much or little experience they had were more than happy to come in and be assigned wherever they were needed. I'm sure everyone would have love to work the EOC or run an HF gateway and sends hundreds of messages but that simply wasn't what happened or what was needed at the time. Anyone who has done this before should know that the majority of what we do in an emergency is sit on our rears in a shelter passing traffic for the shelter manager. Not particularly exciting. But most did this boring but very important job without complaining and we appreciate it.

Let me address some of the complaints that AB2M listed. The first will be him being assigned to the Red Cross where they had all kinds of comms. Well, for the first two days they didn't have any. So those hams were needed there. It's a pretty simple answer to some of your complaints. They Red Cross said they needed an operator there so we sent one. Period. They didn't exactly tell us that they had all of that stuff right away and they were still asking for hams. So what are we going to say? No? I won't. When we knew they didn't need anymore hams the decision was made to move them out. We are a stop gap until better or normal comms are set up. That's what we did and we did it well. With the exception of Verizon pretty much all cells were down here including the all powerful NEXTEL phones that the police seem to not be able to live without. We handled two 911 calls one possibly even saved a life. I called in a call for animal control when I was out in town. We did our part until normal comms were restored then we faded into the background like we are supposed to. I think it's wonderful that phone and normal radio service was restored so quickly. I personally was glad to see it as everyone else should be.

You complain about being stuck on the beach waiting for the Red Cross. Well, we didn't know that they weren't going to show up either. We sent operators out there like they asked. They said they would be there and the Red Cross didn't show up on time. I guess sometimes it hard to stay on schedule in times like these. This is just one of those things that a ham needs to learn to live with when they respond to disasters. If you don't like that or feel your time is being wasted then you probably shouldn't volunteer in the first place. I know that others were upset and rightfully so but I don't think the Red Cross is going to drive any faster to your QTH just because you are pissed off. You need to learn to deal or get in your vehicle and leave.

You complain about having to help the Red Cross set up their WiFi gear for them and not feeling like you needed your ticket with you. Well, since you have so much experience in this field you should know that when you come into an area like this that your job is strictly amateur radio. That point was made painfully clear to the Red Cross and to the hams that came in. Any help you provided I'm sure was appreciated but if it bothered you so badly or insulted you as a ham then you didn't need to help. No one had a gun to your head and you are a big boy so you could have easily said no. The Red Cross is bad to use their hams as food preparers or to move boxes etc. That didn't happen here as far as we know. If it did then it's on the ham. They were briefed on what to do.

You said we responded to your report that the Red Cross had plenty of comms and we sent four more hams there. You conveniently leave out that they were later moved to other places. Another answer to that is that we simply had an abundance of hams. Personally, I'd rather have too many hams than not enough. The tracking system that the state set up was pretty much abandoned by day two. They kept showing up in Santa Rosa Country for an inbrief before making it over to Escambia Country and hardly anyone had a tracking number. Regardless they were sent in to us. When someone came in on my shift I wasn't going to tell them "Sorry pal, you came out here for nothing. We don't need you. You can go home." We didn't want to turn anyone away who came in to help. We did the best we could to find a place for them. Like I said earlier if they didn't feel utilized they were always free to go. That's a decision that I made on my watch and I
make no apologies to you or anyone else for trying to include everyone.

A lot of the problems that you mentioned are simply the nature of the beast in times like these or they fall squarely in the lap of the Red Cross. We had nowhere near the problems with the Salvation Army. There were some but not as many. They are the ones providing the disaster recovery and relief and we are there to help support them. I suppose we can cut them a little slack in times like these. That's hard for me to say based on my impression of the national people that they send to these things but that's another story. One should already know that since we were in the middle of a major natural disaster sometimes things get a little chaotic and if the only thing you have to complain about is sitting around doing nothing then you are pretty lucky. At least you weren't picking up the rubble of what used to be your house.

I guess the question one needs to ask themselves when they come into a disaster area is "why am I coming here?" Is it to truly help others and the community or is it to be a glory hound? If you are an adrenaline junkie looking for a thrill or you want to be the hero of the day, then I would suggest that amateur radio is not the hobby for you. When you come in to an area to help then you should take whatever task is assigned to you and do your duty gracefully and professionally. If you think you could be more useful somewhere else then great bring it up. Let the folks in charge decide what they want to do. If you don't like their answer then you have two options: 1) Continue to do the job you were assigned knowing that you are helping where you are needed or wanted or 2) pack up your gear and go home. You are a volunteer and you have that option. A whole lot of people came in who had decades of experience and most completed their job without complaint.

Joe, you have tons of experience you let everyone in the EOC know that on multiple occasions. And we appreciate you coming in to help but it pretty much seemed to me that you wanted us all to step aside and let you run the show. You seemed pretty confident that you could do it all. Well, it just doesn’t work that way. You come into an area to help you should provide that help to the best of your ability and be satisfied that you did your part. You weren't the most experienced person that came in, just the most vocal. If the part you play in amateur radio is not that's not a good enough contribution to the community then maybe you should find another way to help, i.e. Red Cross or Salvation Army volunteer, Medic, electrician, tree removal, construction or whatever. If Amateur Radio doesn't satisfy your desire to help then find something else.

Regardless of our disagreements I'm glad that you and others came. I'm just very disappointed that you seem so bitter about your experience here. I dare say that a lot of hams have disagreed with you on some of your points. I don't think amateur radio is dead. It's alive if we keep it alive but it's not the most important thing in the world. It's just a hobby people. There's my two cents from someone who was here.
73,

Mike Gregory "N0CTO"
Petty Officer First Class
Corry Station Pensacola FL.
n0cto@yahoo.com











 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC9DBE wrote: >>”I guess somewhere along the line I got this funny idea that EMCOMM was about getting the message through to the destination, reliably and correctly, no matter what the method of transmission. Funny how we new guys get those ideas.”<<

Gee Dave, …….That’s the same delusion that I’m currently laboring under! (Maybe if we hang around “Ham” radio long enough, we’ll both be “re-educated”!)

Well said, and “Good on you” for a well written contribution!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio / KR4WM  
by KF4VGX on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Per KR4WM,

The repeater owner as well as my self have never once had a problem with the use of Echolink on his Repeater,any of them .
I was also given permission to use it own his other repeater 030 while the 285 was being repaired.

I moved to his secondary repeater ( 030 )system with his permission while repairs were being made .
Only to find that you all were sending him emails about its removal there also.

(To be honest you all were giving him a hard time ).

I removed it by my own free will to keep you guys from nipping at his heals ! out of respect for the repeater owner. ( Thats the facts ! )

(And you exaggerate the ,all day key downs ,
you know this never happen )


I read these emails as they were forwarded to me by the repeater owner.


As far as the damage to the 285 repeater ,The owner and I have never had a problem with finances, as we both though that it was simply the age of the repeaters that caused these problems.

However, I did feel bad about the problems and offered to reimburse him with my (own Repeater ) to replace his.
This offer was refused as per his statements ,we can't be sure Echolink caused this to problem to happen.

We get along fine .

( You ever think about the age of the repeater may have come to play here ).



What you don't know about the echolink software is really to your disadvantage.


The time out timer on the software was set at ten minutes as well as my link Radio to the Repeater in question there was no key downs over Ten minutes,

You had double timers to the repeater there was noway it stayed keyed over ten minutes, also there was a time out timer on the 285 repeater as well.

You are misinformed .



There is no way to repair our friendship you have taken this to a different level with you out right lies.

All this private info was actually none of your concern the equipment was not yours to be concerned with. You and the others had no idea what the repeater owner and I have discussed , now you know .

You have no right to judge me as well as your skywarn staff.

KF4VGX



 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio / KR4WM  
by KF4VGX on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
While your at it tune to the 285 and 030 and what do you hear ? nothing .

KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA1JJM on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Boy the uninformed are way too common....

Im not from Horry County, never even been there.
Im just horrified by the actions of the "emergency
coordinators" there as to a boycott of Skywarn
Recognition Day due to VOIP being involved.

They need to be removed.

Im one of the Skywarn founders in the Northeast, looking in from the outside in horror and commenting.

KA1JJM

[QUOTE:]

DEAR KR4WM, KA1JJM, KF4VGX and anyone else from HORRY county SKYWARN...

Please answer your phone....

as stated before ...

The villagers of HORRY county are looking for their idiots and are trying to call you ....

ALL OF YOU --PLEASE STOP YOUR CRAP NOW -- THIS IS PLAIN STUPID ...

and to the residents of HORRY COUNTY -- KR4WM, KA1JJM, KF4VGX are clear ressons why you need to put more money in Public schools !!!
[END QUOTE]

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KA1JJM on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
[QUOTE]
FACT: The repeater that had a 100 watt Motorola Micor PA burned up by Echolink was not part of the Skywarn system.

And John, ask the guy who actually did the repair work on the repeater what happened. Ask him to be honest with you. Even 100% duty cycle has to rest -sometime-.

[END QUOTE}

FACT:

We have police departments around here and in other places that go key down for hours at a time. Most use Motorola, as you say. The 146.91 repeater on Mt.Greylock often stays key down for multiple hours at a time. If your PA burned, something isnt right, perhaps a high SWR or no circulator???? What are you driving it with? Obviously something isnt right.

Motorola gear rated at 100% duty cycle is just that.
Echolink did it?? BLAH. Political excuse for sure.


KA1JJM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VA6EEE on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC9DBE and N0CTO

Very interesting posts! Thanks for taking the time to provide valuable information and trying to keep this thread on topic.

We sometimes forget that the valuable contributions of many can quickly be overshadowed by the unfortunate experience of one person or the unfortunate behavior of one ham. It is always easy to come up with an example of ham radio behaving badly, but one of the things I've always learned with disasters is "When things go right, it is no longer considered a disaster or noteworthy." I wonder how many times amateurs have helped authorities and communities alleviate a situation so that it is no longer considered a disaster - and amateur radio is no longer thanked for helping reduce the problems.

The comments on out-of-town hams were particularly interesting. If people come and twiddle their thumbs, it is considered a terrible waste of time for ham radio. Yet, if you consider the converse of being short of hams, it would be said that "ham radio is dying and they can't even get enough people out to help us anymore".

I completely agree with the comment that it is better to have too many than too few. In running ICS exercises for amateur radio, it is amazing how many locations could be staffed in a disaster. And, using actual examples of disasters, things can always get worse. This is what I call the "Oh S**T!" factor in the exercise, when you pull out the actual report of a disaster and show how they often get suddenly worse before they get better. This is one of the reasons that Incident Command says "You MUST have spares." It is not a luxury or something you do if you have a couple of extra people. If you don't have spares or replacements if you assign your spares, you literally are not running Incident Command. You are back to winging it. In a disaster, you need spares and yes, sometimes people get assigned to useless roles.

Besides, one of the miracles of amateur radio is that you can actually avoid many of the problems with convergent volunteers - simply stage them on a frequency instead of a physical location. As long as a ham is monitoring the staging frequency, they can shop, read, visit with other hams or do whatever they want - all without crowding the disaster site or putting themselves out of touch. As well, they could "stage" at a reception centre and let a ham take a coffee break or have a little longer lunch.

FEMA has said for years that most disaster problems are not skills problems. We know how to run nets and fill out a message form. Most of the problems are management, jurisdictional and logistics problems. Ham radio doesn't have enough "managers" to stage hams, communicate organizational structures and goals, we don't run formal incident command during our responses (we'd rather get on the radio than worry about time and tracking or making sure every ham has enough water bottles and sunscreen) and we definitely don't make a list of all probable locations requiring communications BEFORE emergencies occur. We race off to the EOC and the firehall when it may be the hospital and the hardware store that might need the communications the most. We'll staff the reception centre with 50 people in it and ignore the fact that the emergency vehicles are getting multiple flat tires from debris.

As emergency communicators, it would be nice for us to use our expertise and experience to say "Let's staff a major tire repair shop if there is widespread debris" or "let's staff the hospital" in case the ER gets swamped with casualties and the parking lot becomes the triage area. How many disasters have to occur before we finally begin to realize that the hospital parking lot gets swamped with casualties, press, relatives and vehicles? 90% of causualties in earthquakes arrive in the back of a car - not the ambulance with the radio system. It will be slightly lower for other types of disasters, but not by much.

As well, it is equally valuable for the authorities to hear "Everything is quiet at the hospital" as it is to hear "The hospital is being overwhelmed." One of the problems with both 9/11 and Kobe, Japan were that some hospitals were swamped, but others were quiet.

Amateur radio does valuable work, but if you want to be an emergency communicator, it has to be more than picking up your mike.

VE6EEE
Robert Cox
mail@amateurradio.ca
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by VA6EEE on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Oops, trying to make the switch from VE7 to VA6 is taking some getting used to!

That is VA6EEE@amateurradio.ca

Maybe I should move back!

Robert
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WM526 on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
I hope that I do not live to see Ham radio go away but if it does it will our own fault. I have dreamed of having my own radio for over 35 years and finally was able to devote the time to actually study and get my General license which I got last Sunday. SO now I have been KC9GNV a licensed General Class operator for a week. Yep it is a half assed weak setup but it does transmit and receive, only thing is who would I talk to my best antenna is a old CB antenna Tuned to 10 meter where I have only heard one QSO in a weeek and when I asked for a break was told they were using the channel and to go elsewhere. So I put a G5RV on the roof and hooked up a 969 Tuner and now I am really going to be a Ham I can tune to 80,40, and all the rest still just a old 735 ICOM for a radio and I have no key or filters to try CW ( honestly I only learned code to pass the test so never planned on actually using it). But I still did it they old way I learned it to earn it. Still have no one to talk to need at least a KW to break on 75 and if you get in no one will talk to a rookie. So the only decent radio time I get is on the WAS nets which is something but waiting for up to a hour to give and receive a signal report is not what I thought I was studing for. Maybe if I get my Extra class license some one will talk to me who knows. My theory is quite simple use it or lose it we need to have voices on the air and when others see we are enjoying our hobby they may want to join. When the bands are full of happy Hams enjoying their hobby they won't look at our spectrum as wasted space and if we use up our licensed space BPL will die as it will have no place to go and the same will apply to many other Part 15 devices as they have to put up with us we just need to give them more to deal with and they will look for easier places to take their interference. Do not think for a minute I am upset or pessimistic about my expereince with HF so far it could be better but it could be worse and it will improve I am looking for a amp and a better antenna so I can be told to go away by a lot more people but I ain't gonna go away so you better get used to my weak signal untill I get a strong signal. So here it is get on the air and talk to me and anyone else you can while you can and as often as you can my radio is on the air either on 40 or 75 SSB Phone every day in the evening and I have been doing the OMISS nets every night. Any how death or life of our hobby is up to us and should not be judged solely on our ability or inability to preform emergency services they are important but only one aspect of the hobby. We have to promote it like any other sport or hobby if we don't encourage others to join we will dwindle and die. Use it or lose it other people have plans for our spectrum but I really don't think many of them are viable as it is much cheaper and takes less power and space to use UHF freqs, Imagine the size of Cell towers if they were on 160 or 80.
Well thats my 2 cents worth.
KC9GNV
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K6PS on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!


Regarding the Death of Ham radio.

Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a young ham, good looking, and still had my hair, there were a LOT of young people in ham radio. Nowadays, I am an orthodontist, and in thousands and thousands of young teenage patients, I think I have had three hams. Three.

It is a hobby which , if it dies, will die slowly due to attrition. Sort of an Easter Island Phenomenon I suppose. I also used to be a Boy Scout. That's way off as well. Times are changing, and while I try to encourage the hobby of ham radio to others, it's never been overwhelmingly successful. I'll keep on trying to the end of course, but by say 2025... hmmm .. what will it be like ?? Just my thoughts, YMMV .. your mileage may vary. 73. Paul - K6PS

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC5CQD on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>>K4JF<<<

You sound like a middle-ager, like myself. If you are then you don't count. Sorry. Folks from our generation were taught to be inquisitive and self-sufficient. I was speaking of the generation or two after us.

I'm sure you're "one helluva guy" but these kids now days are weak and totally dependant on momma and daddy.

I'm sorry to all of those folks out there that want to rush in and defend the youth of America but I've already had to explain to a strait "A" student what a Congressman is and explain to a valedictorian what a "Star" is. And when I say "star", I ain't talkin' about the ones in Hollywood. I'm talking about the rudimentary crap we learned in grammar school back in 1968-1975.

Our society has become stupid. That's why amateur radio is dying. Stupid people that want to be entertained by stupidity on a daily basis. Just look at the crap our society watches on television now days. People screwing each other over and/or eating some sickening earthworm, cockroach concotion for a little bit of money. Our society calls this crud entertainment!!! Need I really say more?

Stupid people that don't have the drive or intelliegence to shut off their boob-tubes and demand more from their networks than the drivel they're given.

The fact is, foks; Amateur Radio is dying because the average intelligence of our planet is dropping. Defend it however you will but the fact remains.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
pre , Stupid people that don't have the drive or intelliegence to shut off their boob-tubes and demand more from their networks than the drivel they're given.

The fact is, foks; Amateur Radio is dying because the average intelligence of our planet is dropping. Defend it however you will but the fact remains.



The average intelligence ? Perhaps moved to modern
day communications.


Best, KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N2NZJ on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
AMATEUR RADIO WILL NOT DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.it will change again as has done in the PAST 100 YEARS.sooth sayers of DOOM AND GLOOM always stir up the multitudes with their THE END IS NEAR FOR ALL OF AMATEUR RADIO. it won't end it will just change as time moves ON. the real reason growth has slowed is we have no real WIDE SPREAD PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM.like some other HOBBIES DO. GOLFERS HAVE THEIR OWN CABLE CHANNEL. just to name one hobbies wide spread propaganda MEDIA. what do we have nothing other than minor OCCASIONAL honorable mention in the local paper once in a blue MOON. ask the guy on the street what a radio enthusiast is HE WILL SAY TO YOU A CB'ER. yeah you got it CB'ERS got more publcity over the last aprox. 40 years than we ever did. so whose FAULT IS THAT ?????????????. DOES ANYONE THINK WE WILL EVER GET WIDE MEDIA COVERAGE the answer is a flat NO. we won't because we never IMPLEMENTED A PUBLIC RELATIONS PROGRAM YEARS AGO. btw there may have been a lot of OPPORTUNITIES but we chose to pass them UP. "WHY". BLAME WHOM. so unless some organization gets on THE BALL. slow growth syndrome will continue. THE GOOD NEWS IS HAM RADIO WON'T DIE AS THE NAY SAYERS SAY. 73 TOM
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on November 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KC5CQD wrote: >>“The fact is, foks; (sic) Amateur Radio is dying because the average intelligence of our planet is dropping. Defend it however you will but the fact remains.”<<

So………You’re saying that no matter what contrary evidence is presented, your contention will remain unassailable? That goes beyond “closed-mindedness” into the realm of “Pompous”!

If you look around and all you see is stupidity, then I have to respectfully submit that perhaps you’re hanging around in the wrong places! Mediocrity has always been available (and plentiful), if that’s what you want. No one generation has a patent on that!

In my job with the College, this this “50 something” old ass rarely goes a day without learning something from one of the “kids” (or at least having them correct my calculus).

You used TV as an example: Do I really need to point out that TV earned itself the title of “Vast Wasteland” back in the early 60’s, ……when we were the “kid’s”, and the older generation was complaining about what total losers we were??

BTW: TV has always offered you the exact same choice your radio does: ….. If what’s coming out of it upsets you,……..Change the channel!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”


 
HAMRADIO TODAY AND LAS VEGAS REPORT !!  
by KB7LYM on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
POSTINGS HERE LIKE LAS VEGAS CONVENTION

When I read all the posting of bickering,falsehoods.poison,blackballing,
swearing,name calling and a few more it reminded me when I worked in a Las Vegas Convention Center.
We had a special Convention of about 5000 Shriners who who were plaqued by
Hemmeroids. Needless to say that after downing countless Mexican drinks of Tequilla mixed with shots of Jalopeno sauce the crowd was in no mood to talk in a soft way to each other.
Just telling you how it was......

Comments can be send to dragonflies329@juno.com
 
RE: HAMRADIO TODAY AND LAS VEGAS REPORT !!  
by N2NZJ on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
GET REAL GUYS AMATEUR RADIO WON'T DIE.we will just change for the BETTER. "i hope" 73 TOM
 
RE: HAMRADIO TODAY AND LAS VEGAS REPORT !!  
by KB9YZL on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
>>“……Mexican drinks of Tequilla mixed with shots of Jalopeno sauce”<< ?????!!!!!!!!

Brrrrrrrrrr……. That’s just grim!!!

I’m Irish, and that makes me want to order a cup of tea!

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC9DBE on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Well, I got long winded and felt like talking so if you plan on reading this you better make the pit stop, grab a drink and settle in good before starting. Some of it wanders (a lot like my brain patterns), some of it you probably won't agree with, some of it you may, some of it probably has absolutely no bearing on the thread (or even possibly reality). The opinions expressed herein are completely and totally mine and have no endorsement of anyone, anywhere or any offical or unoffical organization or even small groups of people. Samples of my writing have been banned in at least 7 countries (we'll I don't write that much but I'm sure it would be banned if it ever made it there). But that may be based more on my butchery of the English langage than any content that was actually decipherable. So settle in, enjoy the read and use it as a springboard for to get your brain circulating and generate a few opinions of your own. A civil debate is good for ham radio - it makes us think and exercise our brains - but let's have a good, clean fight(debate) - no hitting below the belt, no flaming, and no Three Stoodges double whammies (ding ding). Enjoy :)

===================
I don't know about anywhere else but EMCOMM and SKYWARN are both alive and well in the area that I am in. I just had a amateur last week tell me that whenever weather seems to be threatening he switches on his radio to the local repeater for weather updates - sayes it's the best weather information he could ever ask for. Information direct from NWS VIA lowband, reports from fields spotters, support information giving estimated rainfall, windspeeds, etc from NEXRAD interpretation. He's given his wife and daughter (both non-hams) scanners for bad weather so they can bring up the local repeater and listen to the SKYWARN chatter.

We had one of the most intense tornado's here this year that the state has seen in the last 10 years, the national NWS assessment team rated it a F4 but I've heard since it may have been upgraded to an F5 but I haven't confirmed that. It come to be known as the Parson's Tornado in the area since it completely levelled the Parsons mfg plant among other things. The first warning that a serious event was beginning came from a licensed amateur VIA cell phone to the county ESDA. I do know this to be a fact - I reported the intial rotation from my back porch. The initial ESDA response was a ESDA truck, command trailer and four personnel - two of those where amateur EMCOMM operators that went to the scene with the command trailer. Where did the warning that a second rotation was approaching the area come from - a licensed amateur. I'd been injured on the job and wasn't able to take part in the actual operations at Parsons but seeing a second supercell merging with the first and moving towards us I moved into position to observe. Sure enough a second rotation moved down the same path the first took offset by about 1/2 mile. Ground confirmation came VIA cell phone again to the ISP dispatch for relay to NWS.

About a month and a half after this when severe thunderstorms moved through the area but it was thought that it would be a squall line. I was still out there watching. NWS got the report of the rotation that wasn't suppose to be there. ESDA didn't have anyone even on the road at the time since warning hadn't been given to expect that type of weather. How did that warning get relayed to ESDA - cell phone.

Last week who fed NWS updates on ground conditions during a somewhat freak Thanksgiving Eve snowstorm. A licensed amateur radio operator using a cellphone and internet VIA the NWS eSpotter system. When I did my daily reports the next day NWS personnel made it a point to tell me how thrilled to have good, solid spotter reports from the field during the event. No big deal - that's what the spotters are out here for - to give you the ground truth information to improve your forecasts.

On the way home from work that day the roads where terrible. It had started by raining then snowing over the top causing ice covered by snow on the roadways. Just driving at 15 mph without acceleration on overpasses would cause a loss of traction. It's the first time in years I can remember being out in bad winter weather and not being passed by someone in an SUV or 4x4. And it was a really nasty stick to everything it hits wet snow driven by gusts up to 40 mph in this area. I was, of course, listening to the local repeater and making an occasional comment when I could. Just outside of town I saw a car in the ditch with the lights still on. I politely broke in and asked for the repeater then asked for any station with a landline to copy priority traffic. The location, situation, make/model/color of the vehicle, possibility of occupants was copied, confirmed and passed to the sherriff's department. Another vehicle, again what looked like a 'fresh' one, in the ditch with it's lights still on and obvious occupants in the vehicle two miles later. Priority traffic to a station with a land line. Message traffic was passed, 911 dispatch was notified and a confirmation returned that the sherriff's department was dispatching personnel to the area. Repeater returned to normal traffic. No big deal - two minutes while info was passed and confirmed - didn't even break stride from trying to get home in the snow storm along with everyone else.

You know what - it was a big deal to someone. All of those events information that was passed was really important to someone. If you where the people still sitting there in your car in shock trying to recover from what to you what a significant and probably terrify event that had help on the way a few minutes faster than it would have been it was a big deal. Should I have stopped and rendered assistance - in other circumstances I probably would have. With visibility down in places to hundreds of feet, roads ice and snow covered the likelyhood of me becoming a victim myself and taking some other car full of people with me was just too high to justify my stopping on the side of the road. It doesn't help anyone for you to respond and want to help if you add to the problem by becoming a victim yourself. If you where the mother who got your kids in the basement a few minutes before severe weather got to you because someone down storm spotted a rotation after a squall line unexpectantly deteriorated into individual cells - it probably was a huge deal to get those few extra minutes of warning. How about all those victims of the Parson's tornado and the first responders already in the field that got warning another confirmed rotation was approaching and you need to take cover. If it was me I'd be really glad someone noticed and gave me a few minutes to find better cover than laying in the cold, wet ditch because it's the only cover around I can find. How about the people that got the warning and the forecaster that was able to issue the warning about the Parson's tornado because a spotter saw the rotation while it was forming (well it was somewhat hard to miss since I was sitting on my back porch at the time watching the storm go by after the weather radio woke me up with a STW for the next county over). To all of those people it was a huge deal. What was my total, actual involvment time in passing traffic in those events - maybe 1-2 minutes for each with an accumulated total of 5-6 minutes spread over around 5 months. To me it wasn't a big deal, a drop in the bucket of all my operating time during that period, but to someone, somewhere that I will never probably meet, and in many cases they'll never know who made that report it was a huge deal. The bottom line is that we communicate to protect life and property. The EMCOMM we do isn't really all that much about quantity it's about quality - 30 seconds of quality, timely communications is worth a whole bucketful of wrong information that is late. We do EMCOMM operations all the time - and really don't think of them as EMCOMM operations. Isn't the bottom line in EMCOMM passing quality information to/for someone that helps them prepare better. Isn't telling the next ham down the road it's started sleeting and snowing here and it's moving his way and to prepare for it a form of EMCOMM. It may not be glamorous like being first on the scene of a F5 tornado that's levelled six city blocks or being in the comm center during a level X hurricane but it still helps someone in a time of need and THAT is what it should be all about, isn't it?

As far as using EMCOMM to help protect the band spectrum - what do you think most of those people I communicate with regularly remember about me? I've never met most of them in person - just a voice over the (insert communications media here). I hope it's something like, 'yeah that's ummm.....well that ham guy that lives in the NW part of the county somewhere but you know what, I don't know his name....but his call sign is KC9DBE. Maybe his name is Dave or Dan or something like that. But he's always there when it hits the fan and he's always got really good information. When he tells you something you need to take it as god's truth and listen to him!' I've just done my part again to protect the band spectrum - I'm a ham and I alway pass good, solid information when it's needed. Besides, it's kinda interesting when you do meet some of them trying to put their image of you from your voice together with what you actually look like in person <evil ;)>.

EMCOMM and responding to emergencies in general isn't something you do - it has to be a mindset. It always has to be somewhere in the back of your mind all the time. That mindset causes you to develop habits that allow you to respond more effectively to emergencies. I've only had my ticket for two years and am still in the process of putting my 'shack' together but that EMCOMM mindset has help direct just about every decision relating to my shack. Where is my shack - it's in the garage where I can open the door and have a wide view of the western sky. Where do I operate primarily - on the local repeater used for SKYWARN in 2m. What kind of new computer do I need - well it has to be a laptop so it has it's own backup power or a desktop I can take apart and put in a rackmount case so I can take it to the field with me if I need to. How do I power my radios - well I use a 270A battery designed for Telco/CATV backup applications that is online constantly and a charger to replace what power I used. I don't lose my radio's that way even if I lose commercial power. How do I put my equipment in the shack - I've started to move to musician's travel cases and rackmount equipment so it's easy to move to an event scene and well protected while it's being moved. How many batteries should I buy for that new HT? Well, if I get three and a quick charger I can always have one in the radio, a hot spare and one in the charger. You always have to keep emergency response and EMCOMM in the back of your mind - it should be a guide to you constantly. Think of that mindset and a good friend that always gives you good advice.

Hand-in-hand with mindset is training. With a good solid mindset and good solid training you breed confidence in yourself and your abilities. With confidence you are able to use your training and experience to make judgement which lead to good solid decision making processes. An instructor at MP school told me once '...you are the authority on the scene, everyone looks to you and expects you to make the decisions. A good decision now is much better than a bad one five minutes from now after it's too late to make use of it....just make sure you always make the right decision...' or something along those lines. Being 17 at the time, and able to lift large buildings and walk under them (too much effort to jump over them) and just generally invincible that sounded like a lot of old timer (sorry guys I'm there now too) drivel. I don't even remember who said it to me now but whoever you where bless you - it became a foundation for applying myself to training in the future and just a good general saying to pass along to youngsters when you want to sound like you have picked up some wisdom along the way :). Years later while I was reading about/studing officer survival skills I thought back to this and wondered '...with all that pressure and all that stuff going on around you and people bleeding all over the place and maybe even someone shooting at you how do you always make the right decision?' What goes into making the right decisions under pressure. Well, confidence in yourself and your decisions are high on the list but where does confidence come from. It comes from a lot of places but two of the biggest factors, I think anyway, are experience, enthusiasm and training. Experience is gained, of course, by doing whatever it is that needs to be done and really can't be given to someone. Enthusiasm is something that someone has to bring with them - and it has to be nurtured and tended just like that first fire (those of us that where Boy Scouts) we built. Training is something that can be giving and some of that experience can be passed along in training. Training for a job or task, any job or task but especially those that have to be carried out quickly, accurately and under pressure, is the bedrock that a good emergency communicator is built on. That training we recieve and the quality of the training is going to be the factor that decides if we can gain all those other qualities needed for good decision making and always make the right decision when it's really important. Personally, I can't make a decent decision anymore if there isn't oodles of pressure being applied at the time and something I work on constantly. Should I put this radio on this side of the room or that side of the room? Hah...I'll analyze the thing to death all winter and the radio will sit in the box. Let there be a tornado 10 miles down the road and that think will be in a rack and ready to operate so fast even Dorthy won't have time to hit the ground in the Land of Oz and it will be in just the right place.

Training, be it bad or good, will be with you the rest of your life - it's part of what you are, your personality and helps make you who you are. It also shapes your decision making processes. Think of it as a really, really almost indestructable habit. When I was reading about officer survival there was a story about an officer who was fired upon and returned fire. This was a bit unusual in that there was time for a reload. I don't remember the outcome of the incident - the thing that stuck in my mind was that afterwards it was discovered that under the pressure of being fired upon when the officer reloaded his weapon he put the empty cartridge casings in his pocket - expending time that was much better used in reloading and/or returning fire. It wasn't a concious decision on his part - it was a matter of training, he did what he was trained to do. Even when I started in law enforcement brass was caught so it could be reloaded, it's harder to find/clean/may be damaged, etc if you let it drop to the ground on the range so many places had their officer's catch their brass and pocket it on the range then dump it in a collection bucket at the end. This policy unintentionally 'trained' their officer's to always pocket their brass and when the 'real deal' happened that training asserted itself and the officer wasted valuable time pocketing his brass when it wasn't necessary.

Granted being shot at isn't something we are likely to experience in EMCOMM operations (gawd, I hope not anyway - once was enough) but I think this story drives home the importance of good, solid and most importantly correct training for any task. Solid training allows you to respond based on training, without thinking yourself into indecision. Doing the job, even in simulations, add experience and makes the decision making process even smoother. Couple solid training, some experience and a few good decisions together and you have a recipe for confidence. Put all that together with a bit of enthusiasm and you got yourself a kick butt EMCOMM operator.

Yes, all of this rambling does have a point and it's in response to KF4VXG's comments

KF4VXG wrote:
>>pre , Stupid people that don't have the drive or intelliegence to shut off their boob-tubes and demand more from their networks than the drivel they're given.<<

In my last position I had opportunity to work with a few high school students. There is more than enough intelligence there than we need to work with. As a side note stupidity deals with a persons, inborn capabilities - something they nor any of us have any control over. Ignorance, on the other hand, is a concious decision on a persons part not to learn a task or other information that is available to them. It's semantics, but an important distinction. From what I have seen of, well for lack of a better term, is an underlying lack of confidence and therefore a unwillingness to make decisions and poor atttention to detail in many of the high school aged kids in the area. I think, and this is solely my opinion, that our society has evolved to the point that confidence and decision making capabilities have eroded to the point that may do appear to be stupid but that's not true. May are ignorant (as in lack of learning - not ignorant as in obnoxious) - but that is a reversable situation - the raw materials are there. That leaves it up to an outside force (namely US - as in all people not the country) to mentor that raw material into a confident person capable of making decisions.

As I said, training is the bedrock of confidence in any task or undertaking. Something I have found to be lacking in the workplace for years is the ability of supervisors to quantify the expectations. As a consultant you had to be highly skilled in managing both the consulting firms and the clients expectations - while often their expectations tended to be a moving target depending on the day. Giving someone a known expectation of how a task is to be performed and the miminum acceptable standard build confidence. They then KNOW beyond any shawdow of a doubt what the task is, how it's suppose to be done, how long it should take, and what it should look like when it's complete. When it's finished they know it's right without having to wait for you to inspect and approve it. I don't know about you but I hate having the boss say I need to talk to you before you start work on Monday at 5:05 PM on Friday - completely ruins the weekend wondering what the boss wants to talk to you about. Same thing applies to someone who doesn't understand the expectations. Once the 'kid' can perform the task to expectations that isn't the end of their 'training' for that task - it's really just the begining. Now the mentoring begins. Why do you think we do it this way? Can you think of any better way of doing it? Why do we do things in this order? Is there something else we should be doing and aren't? Brains like anything else that isn't used tends to turn to mush - and for some reason in today's society we seem to be promoting mush. Many places want nice little robots that do things the way they are told to do them without any variation or thought. My latest career (one of many) was as a meat cutter at a local supermarket. The boss tended to want someone that did it HIS way (the only proper way) without thought or suggestion and then tended to explode when things didn't work out because you didn't think and do it differently. While he was on vacation one week I was 'in charge' (and I use the term loosely). One of the daily tasks required that needed some though was how much of each type of ground beef (g. beef, g. chuck, g. round, g. sirloin) need to be made based on various things like what was in the case etc. Chris (our current HS kid) would come around and ask 'how much grinds do we need?' Well, I don't know how much is out there? Out he goes with a piece of paper to find out what's in the case. We have this much of this - is there any in back stock in the back? Off he goes to check backstock (which I knew there was). Out goes the back stock back comes Chris. Okay, how much he asks. Did you update the numbers with the backstock - out he goes to get updated numbers. Here's the numbers - how much. I dunno - how much of each do you think we need I ask. <Confused, deer in the headlights look from Chris>. We work the math (basic math actually and it was slow going) of how much of each needs to be on the shelf, how much we have, how much a chub holds and will make and finally get the amounts and off Chris goes. Does anyone besides me see a problem with this exchange??? This isn't supervision/management - it more like task programming/micromanagement. After this happened I started watching HS kids working in other places and see much the same dreary, drained faced zombie like movements. It's like we've (and I actually believe that we've means society) has come to the point where it believe someone cannot accomplish a task without being each instruction for the task. Sure they make mistakes - if they make mistakes I've done my job because they are thinking and making decisions on their own. It's time for a beer and a shot when one asks me 'Why do we do it that way - wouldn't it be better to do it like this?' I'm ready to retire when one does something faster and better than I was doing it without asking me should we change it before hand then presents the solution to me after it's been 'tweaked'. That's when I'm doing my job as a supervisor (read mentor) right. The bad thing in this day and age of downsizing is once you train your people to where they are as capable as you it becomes a choice of money - they work cheaper than you do and can do your job just as well (you trained them after all didn't you). So we go on and do our information is power is money is my job attitude and huge amounts of knowledge that is hoarded is lost all the time to attrition. It's a sad thing to watch all that brain power dissappear into the ether.

This is the truly sad thing about this whole experience - I mentioned to the store manager that I was working with Chris trying to get him to be a bit more independent and think on his own a bit more. The managers response was 'You need to be careful doing things like that'. I'm sorry - I didn't get the company policy memo that said we should try and turn all our employees into thoughtless zombies - would you mind sending that to me again.

KB7YLM Wrote:

>>We had a special Convention of about 5000 Shriners who who were plaqued by
Hemmeroids. Needless to say that after downing countless Mexican drinks of Tequilla <<

My first thought on this is that it's scary they had a special convention for hemorrhoid sufferers.

My second thought is that if there was any hope of getting me on a teeny tiny little motorcycle to ride in circles on hot days in parades it just went out the window :)

K6PS Wrote:

>>It is a hobby which , if it dies, will die slowly due to attrition. Sort of an Easter Island Phenomenon I suppose. I also used to be a Boy Scout. That's way off as well. Times are changing, and while I try to encourage the hobby of ham radio to others, it's never been overwhelmingly successful. I'll keep on trying to the <<

I have to agree that it will be due to attrition. I also think (obviously I have an opinion about just about everything once I get started :) ) that it's not actually about ham radio, or television, or fragmentation of the population or changes in demographics. I truly believe it's about a general basic shift in principles and believes. I always stay away from politics and religion conversations and will do so here but if you think about the changes we've seen in the population over the years there has been a shift in base principles. Amateur Radio, the military, Boy Scouts all had principles that where expected to be carried out? Honored? Boy Scouts I still remember '....I will do my duty to god and country...', the military 'Duty, Honor, Country', and even amateur radio was seen as a civic duty much like any other volunteer organization. Somewhere we lost the duty part and it's become more like '...my duty to myself to satisfy my every whim so I can have as much instant gratification as possible...'. What's the cause of it? I have absolutely no idea - don't really care either. What's done is done and can't go back and stop it. What I can do however is to change it from this point onward, actually I should say each of us can change it from this point forward. The problem always looks huge when you try to tackle it all - but if everyone takes a little piece then it doesn't seem nearly as bad.

To start why don't we each pick a young person or two and guide them into electronics, ham radio, dance, basket weaving, or whatever interests THEM, non us. If it leads to ham radio so be it - if not then so be that as well. But along the line maybe we can infuse some of that sense of civic duty and responsibility, help them become a person that thinks, that can make decisions and wants to be a part of what I think is a really interesting culture. Maybe it's not the kids that have gone off the deep end - maybe those of us that should be guiding them are the ones that need to sit down and review how we have been handling things for the last few years/decades?

I was interviewing for a ED position just after we went into Iraq the last time. As we where walking out the door one of the interviewers toss the question at me '...what do you think about us going into Iraq...'. My response '...well, the time for debate is over, we are there and it's time to get behind them and stay there...'. There comes a time when the debate has to be over and action taken. Give that poor dead horse a break and leave him in peace and let's get on with the job. If we don't like the way young people are today let's quit talking about it and do something about it.

KC9GNV wrote:

>>fault. I have dreamed of having my own radio for over 35 years and finally was able to devote the time to actually study and get my General license which I got last Sunday. SO now I have been KC9GNV a licensed General Class operator for a week. Yep it is a half assed weak setup but it does transmit and receive, only thing is who would I talk to my best antenna is a old CB antenna Tuned to 10 meter where I have only heard one QSO in a weeek and when I asked for a break was told they were using the channel and to go elsewhere. So I put a G5RV on the roof and hooked up a 969 Tuner and now I am really going to be a Ham I can tune to 80,40, and all the rest still just a old 735 ICOM for a radio and I have no key or filters to try CW ( honestly I only learned code to pass the test so never planned on actually using it). But I still did it they old way I learned it to earn it. <<

Ha...sounds like me. I first studied for my ticket back in the 80's when there where five classes and the no-code tech was coming into effect. I studies my butt off and spent hours going down the road to a CW tape tapping code on the doghouse of the truck. I was driving a semi at the time and never got around to taking the test. I did dream up all kinds of wild ideas on how to carry around a small 30 foot tower with me though - took up quite a few dreary miles across West Texas and Montana :).

A couple years ago I was invited to a local club meeting to show what amateur radio could offer the local ARC chapter for EMCOMM while I was working on their communications annex. Joe showed me around the club, APRS, the repeater was and still is just a great guy all around. I mentioned I'd studied for the test years ago and he said they where having a test that day and why don't I see how much I remembered - it's only $12 to try - what's $12 these days. So I gave it a try and passed by the skin on my teeth - what there are left of them :) and that has lead to a fascinating two years of amateur radio I'd never give up for anything.

I actually got my ticket in January of ummm...gads...2003 I think and had no idea what to do with it - it really looked cool up on the wall though :). Joe was miles away by this time since I didn't date anyone or work in that area anymore. I was involved with ESDA and the local EMS and figured that would cover things - why did I need a ham radio too - both ESDA and the ambulance issued me a public safety radio for their frequencies. I could talk to ESDA and 911 dispatch for the entire county - that was surely plenty added to my cell phone wasn't it? My poor lonely ticket sat collecting dust on the wall feeling lost and abused.

Storm season came around and I did manage to get to a spotter's course at one of the local ham clubs. I just kinda wandered in, was noted, and wandered back out after the course without much being said to me. May 30th, 2003 turned out to be a truly fateful day as far as my amateur radio and EMCOMM goes. SPC forecasted a moderate risk of severe weather - I have no idea what that means but it sounds good if I wanna see some nasty weather. Being off work I hang around the house waiting to see what happens - watch the SPC site like I actually can read all those neat colored pictures of the country and make sense out of them :). My poor ticket continues to sit in it's pretty little frame with more dust on it than last month - it's past feeling abused and on to having a abandonment complex now.

The weather radio finally goes off - ha a severe weather warning for our county - how does that work and where does that come from anyway? That must be a heck of a transmitter to get all the way down here from Chicago (ahhh....the bliss ignorance of newbies.... I later found out I'm not anywhere near Chicago's warning area - I'm on the north side of Lincoln IL warning area). Great just what I've been waiting for for years since I took my first spotters class in the early 90's. I run out the back door and look around and see....what the *#&)(*$#&)*( is this...the SUN IS SHINING AND THERE ISN'T A CLOUD IN THE SKY....THOSE (#)($# IN CHICAGO MUST BE *(#)(*$#)(. I slink back into the house knowing my neighbors (who probably haven't a clue of what I'm thinking) are laughing about what a world-class putz I am right now. Check the scanner - nope...nothing on fire/rescue, nothing on ambulance, nothing on sheriff's dispatch, city is empty too. I curl up with a book and promptly fall asleep from the adrenlin lag.

Shortly there after I awake to the sound of thunder and wind shaking the window panes. I, of course, without thinking dash out the back door into a solid wall of falling water with solid stuff in it - SNOW IN MAY?!?!?! This isn't ALASKA!!! Well the cold downpour finally made it though my clothes and woke me up enough to realize that was hail, the small tree that use to be across the road was now laying in my back yard and if I didn't get out of the hail soon I was going to get admitted to the emergency room for a concussion. I drip my way back into the house and listen to the scanner - pretty quiet still - just a dispatch for a chest pain being transported - where the heck is everyone - HEY WAKE UP IT'S RAINING OUT THERE FOLKS!!!!

What to do. Well the hail isn't grapefruit sized and pounding holes in peoples roofs so I guess I don't need to tell anyone about that. That tree was kinda small and sickly looking so maybe I don't need to report that either. No need looking any more like a complete idiot than I do dripping on the floor shaking marble (may the gods of storm spotter's everywhere forgive me for thinking that particular statement at the time) sized hail out of my underware.
Isn't there a OSHA requirement about storm spotters wearing helmets to protect their heads - it worked in Twister didn't it (having since learned this is a terrible idea since the hail bouncing off the hard hat sounds alot like sticking your head in a metal trashcan and having someone beat it with a 2x4 - when it comes to hail just don't get out in it in the first place stoopid - just report it) :).

Well so much for the brand spanking new ESDA hat dripping on the counter - maybe it's better this way - no sense letting anyone know I'm suppose to know what I'm doing - they may want me to decide something important. Don't want them to know I haven't a clue - not that I'd ever admit that much less ask for directions anywhere. Let's go the incognito route for right now when we change out of these wet clothes - and those hail stones in my shorts are getting - well they just need to be gone before they freeze something important.

Head for the bathroom with clean (DRY) clothes. Change out the ESDA hat for one that sayes "Lloyds BBQ" (ha let them take the flack). Ambulance service shirt for a tshirt with "Who's mother's on a milk carton" on it. EMT pants gone too - who needs tape and trauma shears to duck hail stones??? Maybe I should let my hair grow to act as a better cushion when the hail falls on my head??? That idea has some merit!!! Nothing like experience to teach you new things!.

Nekkid in the bathroom with one leg in and one leg out and everything breaks loose. Weather radio alarm wails, scanner shouts for attention, ambulance pager tones go off( I really believe dispatchers have hidden web cams in my bathroom/shower and pick the most unoppportune time to set off the tones), ambulance radio (tuned to county repeater talk out) starts jabbering all at one time. Fall repeatedly trying to decide to hop, other leg in, first leg out and run(trip) into where the radios all are. Gads, another false alarm - just dispatch announcing a severe thunderstorm warning has been issued and/or extended (as if the hail melting in my abandoned wet clothes didn't tell me that). I begin to wonder if I got health care coverage when I volunteered for ESDA - I'm begining to think my work coverage would rank ESDA duty up there with the exemption for skydiving, SCUBA diving and bull riding. BTW, my amateur ticket my be having seperation anxiety but it's about to fall off the nail watching all this.

Okay, time to try heading outside again....caution may be in order....just like a bar fight when I was in the MP's ....peek in the door, open the door and wait for everything to stop flying out then dash trough it when the coast is clear. Peek through the curtain on the kitchen door - WOW, hail 2 inches deep on the ground, where did all this fog come from??? No Rain??? No Hail??? Trees are all there - and they are still standing even. Looks pretty safe. Crack the door and peek through the gap - hummm...no wind to.....WHAM...CRASH....and I HOWL as a 45 mph gust slams the corner of the door into my forhead and go tumbling backwards letting the door slam back and embed itself into the wall. Carefully stacked spotting pamplets, recently printed (basically meaningless to me at this point) weather maps and anything else not tied down migrate from the kitchen to the living room. I start checking myself for holes to make sure the knife block didn'm migrate with me in the path. Jump up and start to push the door close and ZOOM...CRASH...BANG....65 MPH gust, door embeds itself deeper back into the wall, cast iron cookware migrates into the basement (never thought of a cast iron skillet lid as a frizbee), someone turns a 6 in main line from the FD tanker into the screen door sending up flash flood warnings for the kitchen and surrounding rooms. Someone is shooting at the screen door!!! Wait - no holes - must be that marble (ARRRGGGG) sized hail again! Isn't against the law to allow someone to join ESDA without providing the OSHA regulations???? Amateur ticket is now on the floor laughing so hard it's tumbling across the floor into the bedroom - or is that the wind doing that???

Finally, door is closed...back to the bathroom to change (have I got tshirt that says 'Even my mother doesn't know me or want to claim me')??? We use our well honed skills of building entry/search in reverse and exit the house without incident. Hummm cloudy, no rain, no wind, look at that hole in the clouds with the sun shining through. I think I should report that eight inches of standing water over the road in front of my house but emergency traffic is pretty heavy from other parts of the county right now and I really don't need to sound like a huge doofus to dispatch (and it's really gonna be tough to sound like a bigger doofus than I feel like right now but I'm sure I could manage the way things are going right now). Well now that's kinda weird those clouds look really, really.....ummm....bad and they are close looking...I bet I could almost hit them with a rock.....and the ones to the west are going south and the ones to the east are going north....that must mean something but I'm not sure what. I'd check the spotters guide but I think it's half way to Timbuktu having got caught in the Great Kitchen Flash Flood of '02. Maybe it's time to mount up and head for ESDA and pickup one of the ESDA radios and see what's up. I need a couple things from the house but I AM NOT going through that door again in the near future so it'll just have to stay here.

Once last glance around - nothing of interest, into the truck (good thing I only paid a $1000 for this and it's paid for - looks like someone got after it with a ballpeen hammer for some reason). I've seen cars used in drive by's take return fire that didn't look this bad. Out the drive, past the house and the neighbors (how did three houses out in the boonies get built this close together anyway) and back out into open farm land. Scan front, scan back, scan right, scan lef..................HOLY @#((*)(#)( (while slamming on brakes on wet gravel at 50 mph and sliding sidewas to a stop in middle of road completly blocking the road between the rivers that use to be ditches and stopping in Lake State Street and dumping clutch to a lurching standstill in flying sheets of runoff water). WHERE THE *(()*$ DID THAT COME FROM IT WASN'T THERE 90 SECONDS AGO!?!?!?!? WHERE'S MY RADIO, WHERE'S THE CAMERA, WHERE'S MY MOMMY, WHERE MY LUNCH BECAUSE IT'S NOT WHERE I LEFT IT AN HOUR AGO RIGHT AFTER I ATE!!!!!

Okay calm down...think...you don't have the book with you. Rotating wall cloud...check.....funnel shape cloud extending from cloud base...check....visible debris field around the base of the funnel cloud....check.....HOLY JUMPING #()(*#$(*#$(* THAT'S A TORNADO!!! Ummm....that looks alot bigger than it did in the spotter training pictures. Then again those picture were taken at more than 1/3 distance too!!!! Yep...don't need the book for this one....it gets reported....idiot sounding(probable at this point) or not (dissapearing from the realms of possibility and reality quickly).

Get EMS portable Mary 451 to WOODCOM....Mary 451 to WOODCOM....what are they doing down there coffee break or is it manicure day at dispatch??? I must be the only idiot standing in the rain a 1/4 from a tornado at this point in time - who else do they need to talk to??? Try the cell phone - no answer at ESDA, No Answer at 911, No Answer at County ESDA, no answer at NWS.....where in the world is everyone - they already make it to the Land of Oz without me?!?!?! Finally they answer after what seems like 17,000 tries (GAWD I wish I had my ESDA radio - I know they'd answer me). WOODCOM Mary 451 (thinking I sound as calm as if I'm enjoying an ice tea on a cruise deck - I'm sure if I listen to the tapes I sound like I've got a 10000 lb tiger eating me for lunch). I have a tornado on the ground (That was stupid - if it's a tornado of course it's on the ground) and need a relay to NWS. Mary 451 Stand by. I'm sure the neighbors though I was loosing it by this point. STAND BY?!?!?! STAND BY?!?!?! THERE A TORNADO OUT HERE HEADED RIGHT FOR...ummmm....I think that would be my nearest cell phone tower....hummm...interesting it didn't work a few minutes ago....SOMETHING THAT'S GOTTA BE IMPORTANT AND YOU WANT ME TO STAND BY?!?!?! THE WORLD HAS COMPLETELY GONE AROUND THE BEND!?!?!?! I must be the only sane one left - the asylums are made for sane people to keep them same and I accidently got locked out - yeah - that has got to be it. Okay...enough gawking....gotta get to city ESDA and report. They can talk to me while I drive into town IF THEY EVER CALL ME BACK - YEAH YOU ON THE OTHER END OF THAT SILENT RADIO!!! Thank God for small favors I didn't accidentally key the mic during all this.

Out of the truck at city ESDA and go running through the door WHAM!!!! SMACK!!!! The *#(*$#** door is locked???? (Making note to get checked for obvious neurological damage from all he head injuries recieved today after close encounters with doors). Keys...keys...I know I got a key for this door....make it inside just in time to hear the SKYWARN net closing down....severe weather has moved into the next county and isn't a threat any longer. Slowly back away from radio and study it closely - hummm - must be some secret new alien device Emergency Services uses - suprising they leave classified equipment laying around where anyone can see it. At least the writing on the front is in English '....Kenwood 2 m Transciever...' Hummm....I think I know what that is....(tap..tap on top)...no sound....not much of a radio is it. Well, it looks safe but let's keep an eye on it. Way things are going today it may just as well be a disguised taser that attacks when your back is turned.

Call the ESDA director at home.....no we didn't activate...it never threatened the city itself and since that's our jurisdiction we didn't activiate. ARRRGGGG!!!!! I'm moving to another planet where I won't be recognized. Ummm....how did you know that I never heard anything. I just monitored the 2 m net on the local repeater. Hummm...code...wonder what it means....we had code books in the military that changed every day but I don't remember seeing one in the stuff ESDA issued me. You really should get one and listen since you have your license he sayes.

That weekend I installed my first 2 m radio in my truck - a Kenwood TR-7800 I got on a pay as you can plan from ESDA. The batteries where gone...the chargin circuit didn't seem to work right and every time I turned off the truck and started it again I had to program all the frequencies back in. I found a $2.00 close out cellular look alike stick on antenna at Radio Shack and hooked to it. Now I was ready for the next storm that came through. I'd know exactly what to do, where to go and things where good. My ham ticket crawled back from Timbuktu, climbed back on it's nail and started three times a week therapy sessions to recover from the seperation anxiety.

Of course the jet shifted and there wasn't a severe storm predicted in our area till the next storm season by this time. But I had my 2 m radio and with a dictionary, a computer with full translation support and a couple full time tape recorders I might actually start to understand what people where saying on it.

After a somewhat rocky start with tornados, repeater offsets, talk around, SWR and a few other things I'm become very active with the local ARES/RACES, both my city and county ESDA, NWS VIA the eSpotter, SWOP and COOP programs. I put about 12,000 miles on my truck that first year, knocked out the floor board on the passinger side in a flash flood in Shelby County, watched a telephone pole take a lightning hit about 500 feet away one night, unknowingly wandering in under at least three rotations (those are the ones I figured out on my own and ran away), spending alot of time with the SKYWARN NCS saying '.....well ummm...describe it....well it looks bad...should I run away yet???' and splitting my time about 50/50 between me chasing the storm and the storm chasing me I like to think I've seasoned a bit :).

That was a bit drawn out, but hopefully enjoyable if not downright halarious re-telling of my first storm spotting experience. Besides the humor there was a couple points I wanted to make. First I'd like to bless all those Elmers and NCS that work with newbies (not just the ones that worked with me) everywhere and let them know that we do appreciate them even if we do drive them to distraction sometimes :).

Another is that the newbies (be they young, medium or 'mature') are the future of anything, ham radio included and we need to cherish them while we are dreaming of wrapping both hands around their necks :).

After I left the military I did private sector security for awhile and was a field training officer for our company. And it got to the point I just loved my rookies, exasperating, yes, stupid chances, yes, stupid mistakes, yes, reminds you of trying to herd cats, yes. Rookies are all of that, but they bring and exhuberance and excitement to anything they do that 'seasoned' veterans don't have anymore - it's like that first spring day you get to open the windows. Better yet when your rookies learn, and when they get better and are ready to do the job by themselves you get almost paternal about them. When they succeed so do you and you feel every bit as proud of them as they feel of themselves. Hard to explain I guess but I would be willing to bet you take a 'rookie' or two under your wing and work with them you'll eventually get to feel around your rookies the way I felt about mine (if the survive the experience). And it's good for the rookie to have the experience to act as a 'crib bumper' to keep them safe from themselves because there are things they don't know.

Keep the right frame of mind and you and the other Elmer's will spend more time on the floor then having to grip about a rookie and who knows in a few centuries the rookie may enjoy a good laugh with you when you tell him about some of his rookie stunts :)

David C - KC9DBE

PS don't forget to regale those newbies with some of your rookie stories - you'll both get a kick out of it.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!

Cant take the credit for that comment it was a
" quote " from another poster.

here is what I said , But I did enjoy the read.

The average intelligence ? Perhaps moved to modern
day communications.




Best, KF4VGX
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC9DBE on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
KF4VGX Wrote:
>>Cant take the credit for that comment it was a " quote " from another poster.

here is what I said , But I did enjoy the read.

The average intelligence ? Perhaps moved to modern day communications.<<

I apologize to whoever it was I that I improperly credited that to. I believe it was '<please fill in the blank for me>'. I always forget that 'any errors or misquotes are entirely mine and are not avaialble for sale or lease...' part of the disclaimer :).

David C - KC9DBE
===================
Just keep repeating 'The memory is not the first to go...the memory is not the....'

...what was I repeating to myself and why was I repeating it??? :)


 
The Inevitable Death of ambalance chasers.  
by WB8WKA on November 29, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The U.S. is unique in its amateur radio service in that it lists "emergency service" as one of the basis and purposes of amateur radio. The basis and purpose of amateur radio is largely defined by the ITU, and it does not include emergency communications as a basis and purpose of amateur radio.

And hence we have the problem in the U.S. with space cadets and ambalance chasers trying to hijack the service. And the ARRL taking dirty money in the form of "homeland security" and other jackboot infringments on civil rights.

Getting rid of the focus on emergency communications would be the best thing that ever happened to amateur radio in the U.S. Actually having a service that is focused on being relevent and FUN would do so much more in retaining the bands then any of this self invented ambalance chasing that so seems to dominate the hobby. Things like "advancing the state of the art" actually might become fashionable again.

One can only hope.

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of ambalance chasers.  
by KB9YZL on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WB8WKA wrote: >>”…..And hence we have the problem in the U.S. with space cadets and ambalance (sic) chasers trying to hijack the service.”<<

I will confine my remarks to an area I am familiar with: The National Weather Service and the Volunteer Spotter Nets that serve it.

Jeff, ….There are literally thousands of volunteers who serve their communities across this country, providing critical field information during weather emergencies. They deserve far more respect from you than being referred to as “space cadets and ambulance chasers”. How could you even think, let alone write such a thing without feeling guilty?

I don’t know what you mean by “hijacking the service”. (Although I notice that you did use the word “service”.) All the people I know and work with consider the ARS to be a valuable tool during times of emergency, and they’re glad to have it!

You comment that the US is the only country where “Emergency Service” is part of the Amateur Radio Charter: Well, ……I don’t know if that’s true or not: I haven’t taken the time to read the charters from the other couple of hundred formalized countries.

I do know that here in the United States, the motto has never been “Every Man for Himself”. One of the things that has made this country great has been the willingness of “Joe Citizen” to “stand to”, and come to the aid of his Country or Community in times of need. ……and they do it without legal mandate or forced participation. It is nothing short of an American Tradition, and it is at the core of what real patriotism is all about. To my eyes, your comment attacks this whole concept, and I find that offensive.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC9DBE on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WB8WKA wrote:

>>
And hence we have the problem in the U.S. with space cadets and ambalance chasers trying to hijack the service. And the ARRL taking dirty money in the form of "homeland security" and other jackboot infringments on civil rights.
<<

Okay - I admit it I have chased an ambulance - but only because I live 4 miles away from the firehouse and they left before I could get there and ride with them!!! Then again being for miles away from the fire house any calls in my area the ambulance chased me to the scene so I guess we can call it even.

Space Cadet - ha I wish I could get a job with NASA. I admit I did earn that nickname (something I've since managed to get away from) since I was always thinking/explaining these very deep (read as weird as far as the other kids where concerned) thoughts about science and chemistry and math (like ohhh....what would happen if gravity failed - not likely to happen but an interesting intellectual exercise into science and cause and effect).

Can't say I've ever owned a set of Jackboots - I do have a really cool set of 16" custom made packers with spur shelves and riding heels that I had lined with kevlar for snakes.

WB8WKA wrote:
>>
Getting rid of the focus on emergency communications would be the best thing that ever happened to amateur radio in the U.S. Actually having a service that is focused on being relevent and FUN would do so much more in retaining the bands then any of this self invented ambalance chasing that so seems to dominate the hobby. Things like "advancing the state of the art" actually might become fashionable again.
<<

Hummmm.....you sound much like my boss. After being hammered at every opportunity about my interests in amateur radio and emergency response and by others with comment like '....you do that for free??? Why the h*** would you get up in the middle of night on Christmas morning and go out in a blizzard to get on an ambulance for someone that probably really doesn't need an ambulance FOR FREE???'

After awhile all the ex-friend and ex-bosses comments tend to wear you down and you start wondering - '...why is it I do this again...' and it doesn't seem worth it when we are constantly assaulted by the comments of people who haven't done those things.

I don't see ham radio as the cure all for EMCOMM nor any other particular media either. I spend huge amounts of time, energy and thought on ways to integrate all the different, amateur and non-amateur, into a reliable, stable system that provides communications on-demand from anywhere, anytime with the shortest possible deployment time and passing those thoughts on to others that are willing to listen.

Like the system design I'm just putting the finishing touches on for a weather web cam. My field of view is blocked from my house so my neighbor (bless him) gave me permission to put a cam on top of his silo with a full 180 degree view of the western horizon. Just a couple little problems (challanges???). There's no power available at that site and it's across a heavily travelled country (yeah - there is such a thing) road from me. Batteries, solar panels and PoE (Power over Ethernet) take care of the power issues. Next is getting the video from there to here. My first thought was to use SSTV or ATV - I'm a amateur. You know what - it's is illegal for me to use amateur radio in that application. So much for 'advancing the state of the art', as I believe you put it. The best option was to use 2.4 GHz off the self 802.11G WAP's in bridge mode - and it was several hundred dollars cheaper than a (illegal) ATV option.

When the F4 Parson's tornado came through here in July I conciously stayed away from the scene during the entire operation with the exception of a tour of the scene about two weeks after the incident when I spent about 10 minutes there for an inspection of the damage. I'd several things noted.

1. I had the permission of the owner of the property so I was allowed to park my vehicle off the roadway in the parking lot.
2. I spent no longer on the scene than was necessary.
3. All active emergency/rescue operations had been completed days before this.
4. I didn't go out to 'gawk' - I looked at the damage to gain a better understanding of the injuries that people could sustain so that I could adjust the inventories of my go-kit, jump bag and trauma bag.

Not only are people for the most part lemmings(the 'me too' mentality that seems so prevasive these days) they are bullfrogs as well. They are constantly 'jumping' to conclusions that have absolutely no basis in any fact other than their minds. My father was actually one of the worst of these. The first example to come to mind is of the police officer that pulls up to a traffic signal, comes to a complete stop, waits for traffic to clear and then makes a turn/crosses the intersection against the signal. I have not idea why (s)he did that - for that matter is it really my business? No not really for the most part. Are they late for coffee - I doubt it - but it's a possiblity - there are officer's who abuse their authority just like there are amateur's that abuse their grant. Possible he is responding to assist another officer with a building search and a code 3(for those of you that missed Adam-12 that's full emergency equipment in use) response isn't necessary much less safe. Yeah, that's a possiblity too.

I personally have come pretty much to the end of my rope and have started dropping my volunteerism almost to zero. In the last two years I've resigned from my volunteer ambulance service, decided to allow my EMT license lapse at the end of it's term in Dec '04. When it lapses I'll resign from IMERT (Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team). I've previously resigned from ARES and RACES. I'm only peripherally associated with ESDA(Emergency Services and Disaster Agency) and no longer even go to the field as a mobile spotter. If I want to storm chase I leave my county (and I might add, my amateur radio at home) and chase in another part of the state. Maybe it's time to just drop all my volunteer, emergency services committments, including amateur radio, and go on with a life that is much quieter and has much, much less external induced stress.

David C - KC9DBE
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of ambalance chasers.  
by WB8WKA on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
kb9yzl wrote:

"I do know that here in the United States, the motto has never been “Every Man for Himself”."

Sure it is. It is called capitalism. The sooner amateur radio operators come to grips with this, then sooner then stand a chance of retaining the bands. Yes, we can't resell our bands, but we can create a vibrant service that attracts newcomers and creates a market for equipment.

"One of the things that has made this country great has been the willingness of “Joe Citizen” to “stand to”, and come to the aid of his Country or Community in times of need. ……and they do it without legal mandate or forced participation."

Agreed. Then why the need to have emergency service codified in the rules? It seems self evident, even to the ITU. And even though I don't participate in the hobby to chase amblances, my station was mentioned in QST as active and available in the aftermath of the crash of Northwest flight 255 in 1987.

"It is nothing short of an American Tradition, and it is at the core of what real patriotism is all about. To my eyes, your comment attacks this whole concept, and I find that offensive."

Then so be it. I don't have to defend myself to you. A comment was made, and I gave my impression of what would help the hobby. I don't go to Star Trek conventions either.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WB8WKA on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
David:

That was quite a long message, so I'll do my best to clear up any misunderstandings.

KC9DBE wrote:

"Can't say I've ever owned a set of Jackboots"

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. One doesn't need to chase federal money to do the right thing. Here in my county, the amateurs interested in emergency communications largely self fund. Federal money usually comes with conditions, and in the case of "homeland"s security, is suspect at its core.

I was not directing the "jackboot" comment at you, unless of course you use your involvement in Ecom's to violate people's civil rights or support those that do.



"After awhile all the ex-friend and ex-bosses comments tend to wear you down and you start wondering - '...why is it I do this again...' and it doesn't seem worth it when we are constantly assaulted by the comments of people who haven't done those things."

Why would it wear you down? I mean, I hope your doing Ecom's for your own self satisfaction + I also hope you are keeping proper perspective here. The hell with anyone who thinks less of you because you have a interest in Ecom's. Understand, I was not commenting on the individial, just the hobbies preoccupation with Ecom's at the exclusion of other things. It (Ecom's) is only 25% of the hobby in the U.S. 97.1





"Next is getting the video from there to here. My first thought was to use SSTV or ATV - I'm a amateur. You know what - it's is illegal for me to use amateur radio in that application. So much for 'advancing the state of the art', as I believe you put it. The best option was to use 2.4 GHz off the self 802.11G WAP's in bridge mode - and it was several hundred dollars cheaper than a (illegal) ATV option."

FYI, they have camera's that have integrated 802.11b in them. If you want, you can run them under part 97 (channels 1-6). But why is it illegal for you to use amateur radio to send a video signal? Long as you comply with the ID requirements, it seems legal to me.



"Not only are people for the most part lemmings(the 'me too' mentality that seems so prevasive these days) they are bullfrogs as well. They are constantly 'jumping' to conclusions that have absolutely no basis in any fact other than their minds."

Like the assumption I have no background in Ecom's? Yes, it is true, I have no interest in making that my primary reason for the hobby, yet to assume I wouldn't step up to the plate in time of need is completely baseless. But that, and attracting new blood to the hobby, are totally different animals.



"I personally have come pretty much to the end of my rope and have started dropping my volunteerism almost to zero."

Sorry to hear that, but even so, you have the experince should a real disaster come along.

"Maybe it's time to just drop all my volunteer, emergency services committments, including amateur radio, and go on with a life that is much quieter and has much, much less external induced stress."

When I was involved with Ecom's, I noticed that as well. Lots of politics. I think it best to put blinders on and focus on your goal.

In any case, thanks for the response. Again, I was not trying to attack any of the individials (and sorry for the title) but trying to suggest there was a bigger picture to amateur radio then just Ecoms.

73

-Jeff wb8wka
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W3TTT on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
This is part of an article that I also posted on this website.

This is a popluar topic! Having read most of the above posts, I have a comment that apparently was not made yet....

IMHO i compare the airwaves to the beaches and parks...now hear me out...we enjoy public access to *some* beach front property, not all, because we the people believe in public access to our natural resouces. We have public parks, national parks, public beaches and so on, so that the poor, non-land-owning public can enjoy these natural resources. Sure, we also support private property, after all, we are not communists or socialists, at least most of us. Most land and resources are in private hands, however, we do guard the parks and beaches for the use of the public. This is only fair and it is the American way. IMHO.

Likewise, IMHO, i believe that *some* of the radio spectrum should be always available to the public for any use that the public (that's you and I) would want to put that spectrum to use. Therefore - we have the amateur radio bands - for public use, and it must be licenced and controled public use, because of the interference issue. I do not believe that the public needs to prove it's case for the set-aside of some frequencies for amateur public use by claiming that the set-aside of these bands for amateur public use is necessary for national defence, public saftey, public service, emergency service, development of new technology, progress, or any other such reason. No, the set-aside of bands of frequencies for amateur public use is justified simply by the fact that the public ***wants to use these frequecies***, that the spectrum should be shared by public and private people and groups, and such. Again, just like natural resouces such as land and beaches are set-aside for public use, so another natural resouce such as bands of frequencies should also be set-aside for the public.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KC9DBE on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WB8WKA Wrote:

>>That was quite a long message, so I'll do my best to clear up any misunderstandings<<

Ah yes, I do tend to be a bit ummm...overzelous with my posts occasionally (well maybe a bit more than occasionally), a left over from my years as an programmer/analyst I suppose (note the first four letters of analyst is anal - that can't have been an accident :).

>>do the right thing. Here in my county, the amateurs interested in emergency communications largely self fund. Federal money usually comes<<

We are self funded here as well - the RACES commitment is more of an offshoot of the local repeater association but we are becoming more and more integrated with the local county ESDA operations. Two years ago the NCS would often run the net from their shack...now they have their own 'cube' at the EOC in the comm center. Tonight, at the insistence of the local EM Coordinator, we held our annual meeting at the county EOC facility. From what I understand this year the county ESDA is requesting Advanced Spotter training for the county and is having it at the county EOC as well - this is for everyone in the county but SKYWARN/ARS personnel are high on the list of people they want to attend. All in all we have a very good relationship with the city and county ESDA here and ESDA is actually requesting an increase in ARS involvment in routine matters such as the bi-weekly ESDA meetings.

>>Why would it wear you down? I mean, I hope your doing Ecom's for your own self satisfaction + I also hope you are keeping proper perspective here. The hell with anyone who thinks less of you because you have a <<
You might note that comment I believe was preceeded by a note about ex-bosses. It's actually been a while since I enjoyed telling someone to have a good life as much as I did him Saturday.

Anyway, when I applied for this position during the interview I was upfront and said that I was involved with IMERT and ESDA and was that a problem - there was a shortage of availble volunteers in the area during the day since most people work miles away in the nearest large(relatively anway) town. The store manager assured me that it was no problem - within reason - he'd been a volunteer firefigher and completely understood the committment to such things. About six months after I started we had a severe storm and I asked if I could be spared to go open the EOC. "Sure no problem - I can spare you forever". Thanks for the support there boss.

We do comm support for the local high school when they have their annual band day. I told them I would be available about 1630 after I got off work. I took my HT to work with me and asked if they minded if I listen to traffic to keep up with things. Sure no problems - feel free. I then spent the next two hours listening to comments about ARS not being any better than CB - you can probably hear how that conversation went. Finally after two hours of basically being harrassed constantly I turned off the HT for the other two hours of my shift.

I normally didn't really do any ESDA responses on weekends - there normally was enough people in town it wasn't necessary. One weekend the city ESDA director let me know he would be out of town. SPC forecasted a slight chance of severe weather that Saturday in our area so I took the HT to work again. I turned it on at lunch and clipped it on my belt. I went back to work and someone brought up the repeater just as he walked in the door from lunch - the door wasn't even closed when he said 'You can turn that s*#& off any time now'. I tried to explain that the ESDA director was out of town and there was a slight chance of severe weather. His response was '...at least someone in the town has enough f*)#$ sense to get out of here.'

So while not the reason I'm not with this company any longer - it certainly didn't hurt my feelings any to leave this kind of, what, ragging, harrassment, pick a word, behind.

I admit I am probably a bit think skinned about this particular subject right now after a year of this - let's use abuse for now. I probably owe you an apology as well being a bit quick on the trigger.

I do EMCOMM and the first responder volunteer duties because I enjoy them - not because I enjoy seeing people injured or homeless but it lets me do a little piece to help make it better I suppose. I can't tell you exactly why I do it - just that it seems like the 'right' thing to do.

So yeah...I'm pretty much at the end of my rope - or was anyway. Trying to keep committments to my job and to ESDA/IMERT/RACES/ARES - something I was totally up front about and would have gone somewhere else for a job if it hadn't been compatible with each other. And yes, constantly juggling what had become incompatible committments and defense of your association with those organizations (including the ARS and just the fact that I was licensed as an EMT) will wear you down after a year or so.

>>FYI, they have camera's that have integrated 802.11b in them. If you want, you can run them under part 97 (channels 1-6). But why is it illegal for you to use amateur radio to send a video signal? Long as <<

Humm...as far as why it's illegal I'm still researching that. I was researching some of the 'getting started in ATV' sites and '..survellence of businesses, homes and areas...' is how I think it was termed was noted as being specifically prohibited and there was a couple links to the ARS FCC code. I think it's a technicality and what I want to do would be legal but I really don't want to skirt that close to the edge of the code. I think the key here is the word survellence and the fact that the code requires, except in very specific instances, that the communications be between TWO licensed amateurs.

As far as the wireless cameras are concerned those would be a good option but there's a couple of things I want to do that limit their usefulness and are more costly than the wired IP version. Having never laid my hands on one of them or found a really good set of specs on the web I'm not sure if the antenna is removable like the Linksys WAP54G is. I also my need to use multiple fixed cameras in the same installation. This is a lot like some of the programming projects I've done - the final requirements are a bit of a moving target at this point but I'll try to hit the high points enough you can generate an opinion.

Requirement:
1. The capability to transfer images from a single or multiple fixed or PTZ cameras.
2. The capability to be located in a semi-fixed postion for an extended amount of time
3. The capability to transmit over short distance or extended distances along with weather station data.
4. The capability to be completely autonomous without commercial power or landland transmission facilities. While autonomy is necessary provisions will be made to use avialble emergency and/or commerical power and data transmission capabilities as avaialble.
5. The ability to transfer images and weather data VIA various mediums to a central or regionally different collection points. Examples of mediums include but are not limited to commercial dial up access, commercial high-speed access such as T1's and DSL, commercial high-speed broadband wireless internet access, direct dial LAN-to-LAN connectivity, 802.11 A/B/G LAN-to-LAN relay and commercial and amateur sattilite capabilities.
6. The ability to be quickly disassmbled, transported, re-assymbled and made operational...perferably by a single individual.
7. The size of the disassmbled components will be of such size that they can be loaded into a standard passinger sized vehicle for transport, again, preferrably by a single individual.
8. The ability to mount single or multiple camera's in close proximity to each other and the weather station instrument package and/or display.

NWS has an instrument package much like this they field with their wildland fire teams except they have a handy geostationary sattelite hanging around to bounce their signal off. I ran across it once and can't find the link again now. If it interests you enough maybe we can start a seperate link and have a few others jump in as well with ideas. But here is a good link on RAWS (Remote Automated Weather Stations).

http://www.fs.fed.us/raws/

That's funny - I just looked you up on the FCC database. Had a Sgt. in Germany by the same name - isn't that interesting.

David C - KC9DBE
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on November 30, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
VA6EEE,

I'm not sure what you think I need proof of, in your suggestion of reading the recomended Challenger Report etc.

I have no disagreement with anything that you said in the posting were you recommended this 'supplemental reading'!

John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of ambalance chasers.  
by KB9YZL on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
WB8WKA wrote: >>”……… A comment was made, and I gave my impression of what would help the hobby. I don't go to Star Trek conventions either.”<<

The point that you (and many others) seem to miss is that the ARS is more than just a one dimensional entity. Some, like you, see it as merely a hobby, and that’s fine.

There are, however, people who see it as a Service, and there are those who see it as a Tool:……….. both of these viewpoints are as valid as yours.

The main difference here is that no one from the other two other categories are publicly belittling you for being a “Hobbyist”. Be honest Jeff…….. wouldn’t it offend your sense of propriety if the tables were reversed, and other licensees were comparing you to “Trekies” for being a “Radio Hobby Geek”?

If you have no motivation or desire to be involved in Public Service, that’s OK: No one is going to criticize or ridicule you for it. It might be nice if you extended the same courtesy to people who see things differently than you do.

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N5UP on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Joe, I sense a lot of frustration in your comments. And they sound like the frustrations of a disaster volunteer. I know, because for several years I was in charge of Red Cross disaster responses for the Eastern half of Dallas Country in Texas, and I watched a lot of our Red Cross volunteers "burn out" before I finally did it myself.

They don't call 'em "Disasters" for nothin'.

Disasters are messy. They are chaotic. They are not organized, not structured. They do not help organizations to create nice, neat responses where everybody on the team feels appreciated and needed, or even used.

Here's a typical night for a Disaster Action Team member in Dallas, Texas. The pager goes off at 2am on the hottest night of the year (it's still 99 outside even at this time of night, and the prediction is for 102 later this afternoon). Of course, we had a long day at the office that wore us out, and we have a 7am meeting planned for later today. We stumble into our boots and protective coveralls and drive 45 minutes to the scene of a major apartment fire.

The television news teams are here. There are lights flashing as far as they eye can see. The electric company is shaking its head. There are countless people standing in the grass with their families in pajamas and their arms crossed.

The electricity will be off in this complex for the next week, according to the utility company. The Red Cross team spends the next 3 hours doing disaster assessments and getting a shelter set up at a local gym for the 150 people whose apartments are going to be unbearably hot for the next 2 weeks.

By 6am, we are working in the shelter setting up cots and noticing that the shelter is strangely empty. The cooking crew is showing up to start making breakfast for all the victims of this disaster.

But our "clients" are not showing up. One family of 12 has arrived. How they fit in their 2 bedroom apartment, we don't know, but they are the ONLY ones who show up at the shelter. 20 Red Cross volunteers, a fully staffed and stocked shelter, the Baptists cooking breakfast, all volunteers are ready and rearing to do their jobs. Nobody shows up.

We get home just in time to shower, change clothes, and drag ourselves into the office for our 7am meeting.

Amateur Radio is a technology hobby. And technology changes. Just think of all the frustrated "candle molding hobbyists" before the lightbulb was invented who had their entire hobby annihilated. Think of the horse farms that had to adapt to the automobile. Our hobby will change as the technology changes, and we must be able to change with it. I often joke about the way hams advanced the state of the art (with computerized transceivers) to the point of our own extinction. But that's what we do. We advance the state of the art.

We can no longer say "Ham radio will always be around, because we will always need someone to operate a complex radio" any more than we can say "Typesetters will always be around because we will always need someone to lay out pages for printing presses".

The only way to survive is to find those areas in which amateur radio still plays an important role, then adapt and change the hobby to conform to the new realities. We have to accept that the available roles will change over time, and that the number of people involved may change radically. I'm glad I didn't make "punch card typist" a career choice. That career only lasted 5 years for some people!

The local Red Cross may not need us, because in this day and age, they can get their hands on better radios than we can. One of my friends in the local chapter is making a big push at the National level to get better radios that coordinate with other disaster services such as police and fire. So maybe that opportunity for service is "drying up". But when the entire island of Grenada loses its telecomm due to a Hurricane, can there be any doubt that amateur radio will play at least some role in reconnecting them to the rest of the world?

Isn't there still a thrill in working satellites? Isn't it still fun to build a QRP rig and make contacts around the world with it? Isn't it still fun to pull a distant CW station out of the mud?

Eventually, we will harness the power of "Gravity Gradient Modulation", and RF will become obsolete (see my article in the April 1986 QST!) Until then, it's our job as practitioners of the art to continue finding a niche for the technology and for ourselves.

73,
Dave Morris, N5UP
Webmaster, www.eQSL.cc

 
Death of Ham Radio - First Long Distance Contact  
by KC9DBE on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
N5UP Wrote:

>>Isn't there still a thrill in working satellites? Isn't it still fun <<

I did a little bit with satellites and APRS last year. Not having a satellite type around I just kinda stumbled around until I figured it out. I used a 15-20 year old Kenwood 2m radio and a unity gain homemade antenna I made out of PVC pipe and welding wire. The highest I could get the antenna was about 15 feet since the PVC pipe would bend so much I couldn't get any more in the air by myself :). The whole arrangement was held in place with tied together bailing twine (ha I'll never joke about bailing twine again) and concrete blocks as guys.

I drug myself out of bed at like 4 AM since that was the first sunlight pass (I think it was AO-44) of the day and spent a long time listening to static so I could catch the first tiny glimpse of the sat and get ready for the pass. I think I was awake before Santa Clause that day.

I got my XMas present that day - a automatic response from a APRS station in Venezuela near Ciudad Bolivar - about a 2775 mile trip for my little 20 watt signal - and 2m at that. Whoa - I was actually sorry it was early XMas morning because I couldn't find anyone to tell about it! It didn't even matter it was automatic and there wasn't anyone 'driving' at the time - it made the trip, someone (something) heard it and I got a signal back telling me I'd been heard almost 3000 miles away.

Now that I think about what I was using for equipment that day I'm surprised I got a response from the guy down the road much less another country. You know what - two years after getting my ticket I'm still using those three homebrew unity gain PVC and welding wire antennas. I'm about to put up a couple 3 short Rohn towers (20 ft) and am looking at using more in the way of small, compact Yagi's for local communications. Will I get rid of those homebrew antenna's. Not on your life - when I designed them I designed them to break down and store inside one of the 5 ft pieces of PVC pipe. They go in my 'go-kit' as emergency antennas for field sites.

And for today's tagline :)

"No dear I'm not collecting junk - I'm recycling someone elses lost chance at a challange!!!"

David C - KC9DBE
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"...we can create a vibrant service that attracts newcomers and creates a market for equipment."

Not as long as the entire Part 15 movement is looked at as some untamed CB-ish wasteland by hams. I think the ATV surveillance issue is one of many, many rules that will continue to keep us way behind the times. Some of you are just happy being that way or worse yet, say we "don't need it anyway". I am not of this opinion & it has affected my outlook on the future. I have been migrating to more daily Part 15 use with 802.11B/G. There certainly is no current movement to revise any of these antique rules, not by the ARRL or any individuals. This shows there is now a clear advatage to having no license. No frustrated radio police wannabes who are elated to report you for running an ATV camera to watch the horizon as a SkyWarn spotter, even if you ID...

We have a choice facing us. Either we collectively embrace some sweeping changes or we will be nothing but a museum display in well under 10 years. We are already 20 years behind & really need to be unchained...

 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0AH on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
In May of 1999, in BridgeCreek and New Castle, Oklahoma, I volunteered as an emegency ham operator and we were the only means of communications for 3 weeks of clean up. Towers supporting the town and county communication repeaters we're all wiped out. This was the famous tornado with the highest recorded winds ever that took out Moore and parts of OKC, but this out-lying area where we were was without resources except volunteers from mainly towns people and our church. From the highschool, we coordinated clean up, house demoloshing, locating livestock and pets and even in some cases, those not so lucky. Out of 2,500 regional church members from 6 states, and the town themselves, we managed to operate 24 hours a day from the highschool located on the hill in Bridge Creek. By topography luck of the schools location, we operated simplex and covered 10-15 miles circumference area. I don't think we are dying out as a result in Florida. More volunteers were needed from the sounds of it and if I lived in a Hurrican area, I'd be asking my ARES director what happened to all those drills- Drilling off a repeater system is a bad idea- No insult intended. But a mobile screw driver or HF Hustler 4 BTV's stuck on a stick in the dirt work great. And with all the HF mobile rigs out there, maybe we just need to think outside the box. Of note, I was listening to designated emergency frequencies during all of those hurricanes and heard one idiot after another being a CB Jocky QRM'ing the emergency traffic. These clowns deserve time. They give their calls, we know where they live....let's go get them.

On a more serious note, I think you should give yourself more credit. Sounds like you helped a lot-

Paul N0AH
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K4RAF, Would you explain for me in clearer terms what it is that you are promoting? If I'm reading your post correctly, I'm not understanding your issue or idea that seems to promote "crossing of services" between Part 15 devices, and Part 97 approved devices.

Even the last part of my last sentence is a sort of misnomer. We can do anything, and more, than may be legal with Part 15 stuff! If anything poses a question or consideration that is seemingly contrary to the rules, the FCC has often granted an "STA", meaning a "Special Temporary Authority", so as to test this new idea or mode etc.

73! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> We have a choice facing us. Either we collectively
> embrace some sweeping changes or we will be nothing
> but a museum display in well under 10 years. We are
> already 20 years behind & really need to be
> unchained...

I don't believe that amateur radio is that sort of hobby any more, and even if it were, I don't see how involvement with wi-fi would make any difference.

It's not that sort of hobby any more for the simple reason that the low hanging fruit has all been picked, and hobbiests just don't have ladders tall enough too reach the high stuff.

The 'sweeping' change that we need is one of mind set. We need to recognize that we no longer have any special role in communications as a result of being amateurs.

It's fine to think of the hobby as supplying a tool -- my mountain bike is a transportation tool, why can't a 2m rig be a communications tool? -- so long as we remember that it's a hobby with a side effect of having some utility.

It's fine to use the hobby as a way of providing a service -- my 4x4 did search and rescue, why can't a 2m rig be used to communicate health and welfare traffic? -- so long as we remember that we have no special standing compared to other hobbiests as a result of using our hobby to provide a service.

What is not fine, is to act as if we have some special relationship that will protect us -- like the people who thought that we should cry 'homeland security' to trump bpl -- or to pretend that it's the same hobby it was 40, or even 20 years ago.

We lose new members by portraying the hobby as something it's not. We gain new members by portraying it as what it really is in the 21st century: a relaxing way to play with RF communications that has the side effect of being sometimes useful.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by AE6IP on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
> We can do anything, and more, than may be legal with
> Part 15 stuff!

except pass commercial or encrypted traffic
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
AE6IP (nit-picking again),

There is no need for 'commercial communication' on Ham radio! Also, encryption is entirely legal, as long as the FCC has the codex for it. I see little reason for concerns about encryption though ON HAM RADIO!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"K4RAF, Would you explain for me in clearer terms what it is that you are promoting? If I'm reading your post correctly, I'm not understanding your issue or idea that seems to promote "crossing of services" between Part 15 devices, and Part 97 approved devices."

Simple John, when in doubt, I use Part 15. I am sick of reading, hearing or being advised "you can't do that, it's against Part 97..." or my personal favorite, "What's YOUR call?"

I can do whatever I want under Part 15 including video, roaming internet, streaming or talk to my wife. I can run a camera on my magnum 44 acres & no one can say a thing. Most radios can be had for under $40, antennas under $50. I also built a few antennas & modified some too.

I have become immersed in 2.4 & 5GHz for the sole reason Part 15 offers total flexibility. I have been learning far more about antennas, QRP & LOS with it than with ham radio by actually using it. There are no operators on those bands or 900MHz here. There is also alot of 802.11, FRS & MURS activity here in rural America, found by scanning the channels.

I live to learn & learn best by doing...


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Ok, in your earlier e-mail, it sounded as if you were trying to patch Part 15 radios or devices into Ham radio, and that of course you can't legally do!

If you are happy to play on the Part 15 (what I call sub-) bands, thats cool I guess.

Of course for my part, I'm trying to either keep those Part 15 folks from getting access to our bands, or at the least cut some good deals with the FCC, so that we get exclusive access to the remaining portion of the band.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N8XT on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
The author has experienced the "fog of war". As a 17 year veteran of the USCG, I can't tell you how many responses I participated in that were chaotic- an apparent waste of time- what's going on?- what's the sheriff's frequency?- how many survivors have been recovered?- who is the reporting source?- where did THEY come from?...

I think the best way to be relevant is to establish relationships and roles before the emergency occurs.

As for the "fog of war", expect it.
Don't be suprised if the next emergency is in an area without Nextel and you find yourself in Field Day!

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on December 1, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Eric, While I strongly agree with you, "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE"! Respectfully though, I don't think that your comment is cogent to the topic at hand.

Some Ham's seem to think that the 'community aspect' of Ham radio, for emergency communication etc, will save Ham radio. I think, that while there is certainly no harm in being pro-active and helpful to your community, our best efforts should be placed under the definition of 97.1 parts B,C, and D!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by K4RAF on December 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
"...it sounded as if you were trying to patch Part 15 radios or devices into Ham radio, and that of course you can't legally do!"

Respectfully John, you are wrong. Any amateur can modify a Part 15 device for use under Part 97. If it weren't for this fact, the ARRL wouldn't have a bandaid to use in an attempt to say we have "high speed". "HSMM" is using Part 15 802.11 equipment to squat on the ham channels that are shared in an attempt to "move them off OUR channels". Like I said, spoiled children in a sandbox without any toys of our own...

"If you are happy to play on the Part 15 (what I call sub-) bands, thats cool I guess."

As someone younger than the average, I am quite happy learning & experimenting rather than worrying about what I can/can't do. I don't need a certification to experiment, all I need is a $20 PCMCIA radio. Amateur radio has lost its' own packet technology to people who have run further with it than we ever dreamed. X.25 is still used for 802.11 today, yet AX.25 is stuck in the 80's. I don't resent actual use, I resent pretending we are doing something we clearly are not.

"Of course for my part, I'm trying to either keep those Part 15 folks from getting access to our bands, or at the least cut some good deals with the FCC, so that we get exclusive access to the remaining portion of the band."

This is astounding. Keeping people from accessing tumbleweed bands for what reason? A feeling of somehow "being better" or they might actually use them? If it wasn't for 802.11, you actually think our allocations in the 2.4 & 5GHz would really be used by amateurs? For what? Amateurs have ignored using 902-928MHz even though surplus & new Part 15 equipment is plentiful for the band, such as 1 watt TTL data radios.

The only deal that will be cut is the FCC simplifying administration of the amateur service, like a single class of license. Whether it is by concensus or forced upon us is totally up to us.

A glimpse of our future, courtesy of the UK?

"Unlicensed Spectrum: The Sum of All Fears" at http://www.dailywireless.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3310
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by WA6BFH on December 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
K4RAF, Sorry if I was not being clear but, most of what you said was easily in alignment with my initial query.

In reference though to my statement, that I have highlighted below, there are many good reasons for distinguishing our service (or hobby if you prefer) from that of Part 15.

The foremost of these reasons would be interference! The lay public has no understanding, and little reason to appreciate why this VERY EXPENSIVE (as they will think of it) piece of equipment they purchased is either being interfered with, or is interfering with 'that damned neighbor of mine with those big antennas on his house!' He will be particularly chagrined when you tell him he has to cease what he is doing, and that, 'Oh yea, I could hear you and your wife in bed last night via your Part 15 radio!'

The good deal I spoke actually was first cited for OUR 2.3 GHz band. They got theirs, and we have exclusive use of our portion. Not a bad deal I would say! That was the first band of OURS above 420 MHz to gain such exclusive access.

Also, you and I worked hard to gain access to this spectrum! Others merely purchased WiFi, a cordless telephone, and a Baby Monitor.

As far as your references to the other bands, 902 MHz and above, I use them. I have a 900 MHz repeater, and will soon have SSB and iCW capability on that band. I have been active on 1200 MHz even from the days when this particular band of OURS extended down to 1220 MHz.
I have also been active on 10 GHz, and hope to progressively fill in the other few gaps that I have in our spectrum. Four more bands, and I will be active on all modes from 1.8 MHz through 47 GHz. These are amongst the reasons why I made the below statement. For further clarification if needed, please go to www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2775 . I particularly recommend reading my article, "For Our Children"

"Of course for my part, I'm trying to either keep those Part 15 folks from getting access to our bands, or at the least cut some good deals with the FCC, so that we get exclusive access to the remaining portion of the band."

73, and I hope to work you on a Ham band! de John
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on December 2, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
RECAP; In Closing ,
by KR4WM on November 28, 2004 !
Fact is, any repeater to be used for emergency communications should be 100% duty cycle. That means, it has to be able to stay keyed or used 100 percent of the time. Time to look up "100% duty cycle" in "repeaters for dummies". It means your repeater is inadequate. Sad if it did that during an emergency with people keeping it busy for an hour without letup.

FACT: The repeater that had a 100 watt Motorola Micor PA burned up by Echolink was not part of the Skywarn system.

And John, ask the guy who actually did the repair work on the repeater what happened . Ask him to be honest with you. Even 100% duty cycle has to rest -sometime-. If my computer had not crashed and lost all the e-mails documenting the repair I had from a couple of years ago, I could show them to you. The people involved know the type of person you are, and most likely misinformed you so you wouldn't get all out of whack. They were probably trying to be nice to you. I'm being as honest as I can be with you, John. Sorry to burst your bubble with the truth. I heard this with my own ears, John. I'm not stretching nor distorting what I have been told. *If* the truth is different than what I was told, then I have been seriously misinformed, and you'll have to accept my sincerest apologies. I was going on what I have been told by the people involved, and I have no reason to doubt them.

The facts of the case:
I did enjoy having Echolink capabilities when it was on that repeater, I won't lie. I did use it. I never brought up any links, but I did participate in conversations using Echolink when the opportunity presented itself. The repeater it was on belongs to a private individual who funded the entire machine out of his own pocket. When it was determined by a competent technician that extended keydown periods caused by Echolink burned up the PA, KF4VGX failed to volunteer any funding to help repair it. In fact, KF4VGX denied that Echolink had anything to do with the damage. The repair technician stated otherwise to the repeater's owner. Maybe John has been a victim of misinformation. Maybe somebody told him that Echolink was not at fault. (I realize that Echolink itself is not at fault, rather, it was the users who kept the repeater keyed down all day long for days at a time, only letting it rest during the wee hours.) John should have offered to place some (hardware) restrictions on it's use to protect the repeater, but failed to do so. If there had been a 10 minute transmit timeout timer that automatically recognized IP addresses that only allowed a 10 minutes of keydown time in a 24 hour period from a particular IP address (but with manual SYSOP override), we would never have had the problem. Maybe John was unaware that the damage was being done until it was too late. I consider the repeater owner a good friend, and I can't help but feel bothered that John and his Echolink stuff precipitated the damage, but failed to volunteer any financial assistance towards the repair. (The owner should not have had to ask for the $.) I think this is where all the hard feelings began to occur. If you break something that belongs to somebody else, the least you can do is offer to help fix it. This failed to occur.

I have no reason to doubt the repair technician when he says to me that 100% duty cycle isn't _REALLY_ 100%, and that overuse of the repeater caused by Echolink was the likely cause of the damage. He (the repair tech) has been involved in radio for more years than I have been on this earth, and really knows his stuff.

The new repeater system that Skywarn operates on is also a privately funded repeater system. The owner of the new system is aware of the situation with the other repeater, and chooses (I think wisely) not to include Echolink as a function of his system. We chose this repeater system based on it's area of coverage and reliability. It does just what we want, and the NWS can speak directly to us through this repeater system, no Echolink or RF linking is necessary. (The system hosting Skywarn does include full-time RF links featuring several repeaters in different areas, but no links that must be "brought up" in order to facilitate maximum coverage.)

OK, we're past the damage assessment phase. Hopefully we're also past the harrassing e-mails and disingenuous phone calls, and past all the name-calling from both sides. We've all hastily made rude comments towards each other which none of us deserved. We know that Echolink is never going to be a part of Skywarn in this area- it's just not going to happen. We all know who likes Echolink and who doesn't, and we can all make personal choices for the betterment of amateur radio to stop pushing each other's buttons.

The question remains: What can we do to fix the crack in the dam John? I'm all ears. Please don't come up with any wise remarks. Please don't quote me and say "fellow hams, see this and this and this". Just tell me what direction you want to go in, and lets have an end to this! If it's not in the direction that the rest of us are going in, John, don't be angry. You don't have to be a part of Skywarn. It's a volunteer organization. If you don't want to volunteer and work with us, that's fine, but please don't intrude with ideas that are not wanted. If you want to work with us, you'd be very welcome, as long as you are willing to work WITH us, not AGAINST us. Everything with respect to Echolink has been hashed and rehashed, so just leave anything to do with combining the internet and amateur radio out of the conversation. If you can't work with us, then please just go in peace and know that some day, we hope you will work with us in a positive way.

John, I've extended an olive branch to you twice. I'm trying one -last- time. After this, I will make no more comments, and I promise this to the amateur community- no more "retorts" from me. John's negative posts will simply go unanswered. I will, however, respond in a constructive manner to any positive posts.

-KR4WM


Per KR4WM,

The repeater owner as well as my self have never once had a problem with the use of Echolink on his Repeater,any of them . The real Story is, I did not request to go to the 285 I did so at his request.

Web and Rick also George enjoyed Echolink and use'd it on different Repeater's in the area,and enjoyed it.

The Repeater owner was upset with the way you guys were trying to control ( HIS )Repeater's
I was also given permission to use it own his other repeater 030 while the 285 was being repaired.

I moved to his secondary repeater ( 030 )system with his permission while repairs were being made .
Only to find that you all were sending him emails about its removal there also.

(To be honest you all were giving him a hard time ). The first year of using Echolink on the 030 provided a few issues . Steve would go to the Repeater site and setup the 030 where it would pass the DTMF tones through the Repeater. Steve would leave town for work , these local guys went to the Repeater site and would lock out the DTMF tones so they would not pass.
Over Heard ,over the 285 Repeater, Lets see him use Ego link now !

I removed it by my own free will to keep you guys from nipping ( Spreading lies )at his heals ! out of respect for the repeater owner.
( Thats the facts ! ) I decided to remove Echolink from his Repeaters to at least keep these so called controlling operator's , from causing him further problems ,as well being his friend to his face ,per say . I was tired of hearing their remarks about him in his absence.

(And you exaggerate the ,all day key downs ,
you know this never happen ) to Be honest its an out right , LIE !





As far as the damage to the 285 repeater ,The owner and I have never had a problem with finances, as we both thought that it was simply the age of the repeaters that caused these problems. And if it were more I have no reason to believe that the repeater owner would not have been up front with me about this.

However, I did feel bad about the problems and offered to reimburse him with my (own Repeater ) to replace his. (FACT)
This offer was refused as per his statements ,we can't be sure Echolink caused this to problem to happen.

We get along fine .

( You ever think about the age of the repeater may have come to play here ).



What you don't know about the echolink software is really to your disadvantage. And as I and others have tried to help you understand ,how it works
( operates ).

The time out timer on the software was set at ten minutes as well as my link Radio to the Repeater in question there was no key downs over Ten minutes, NONE ! didn't Happen !

You had double timers to the repeater there was noway it stayed keyed over ten minutes, also there was a time out timer on the 285 repeater as well.

You are misinformed !

Thats the reason you need to at least understand how something operates before you pass judgment on it . But the question must be asked ?

Why was KR4WM keeping a log on the 285 repairs ? Why was the Tech evening sending that information to Him ?

It was surely not his equipment or any clubsthat he was involved with, So what were his reasons ?? Evidence ?

There is no way to repair our friendship you have taken this to a different level with you out right lies. As all three of you have.

I ask you ? What Amateur in his right mind would want to be a part of any Skywarn program that Web, Rick or George were a part of.

If anything there an embarrassment to Skywarn and the Horry County area.
As well as Boycotting it because it allows voip.
They need to be removed from their position's !
They have shown the public and Amateur's alike that relations with anyone that is not to their liking will be cast out in this Amateur Community. It's a control issue ! It's not their concerns ,for other Amateur's rights to communicate.

And Quote !

What you will read here is the same type of emails I have received over the years only worse.

KMA ( Kiss My Ass ) and don't bother me anymore. When you decide to grow up and "act right", call me. Nobody complains about the system but *you*, and that should tell you something. Let me give you a clue: If you're the only jackass in a herd of buffalo, you're probably in the wrong place! Go back and sit in the pew of your one-man Echolink church and think about this. I'm saying nothing more.

-KR4WM

John, I think you're way beyond help. I don't think they make meds that will cure what ails you! Let's just call it "terminal b----itis" and get on with life.
-KR4WM

.............................
Hey John, I remember the days when you used to sing on 11 meters. I can see that you decided not to make music a career :) . John, all the locals down here at the beach know that you are the telemarketer for echolink. KF4VGV.

KF4EIT- I am not slandering you with 11 meters I am suggesting the you and your echo link move to 11 meters and sit up there all you want they need a good chatroom and just think then you can use a echo mike to talk into echolink!



KR4WM - John believes that he and Echolink are the Alpha and the Omega. He makes himself out to be the lone ant who is gathering food to save the masses in the middle of winter, when in fact, he's more like the one remaining floater that just won't flush no matter how many times you push the lever. California has that oddball repeater that everybody loves to hate in Los Angeles. (You know, the one that the FCC wanted to shut down?) We have our KF4VGX.


................
KF4EIT - still say he needs to talk to all his internet echolink buddies and get echolink moved to 11 meters so they can quit tying up Good Ham repeaters {and Burning up Good Ham Repeaters} and also they can use the old echo mikes with the echolink. We Hams Have Plenty Of Ways To Pass Traffic WITHOUT Internet.

IF ECHOLINK IS NOT REMOVED OR SEPARATED FROM AMATEUR RADIO IT WILL BE THE DEATH OF AMATEUR RADIO AS WE KNOW IT NOW. WE WILL NOT HAVE ANY RADIOS OR FREQS TO TALK ON JUST COMPUTERS.

This Person Has Not Taken the time to even take a skywarn class nor learned to try to help out.All he can do is tell everyone that we don't know shit because we don't use his echolink to do our Skywarn Nets

KF4EIT
Asst. Skywarn Coord. KR4WM
Greater Horry County,SC
Myrtle Beach,SC

-John, I've extended an olive branch to you twice. I'm trying one -last- time...


/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
An Olive branch or a Thorn bush ?

All this private info was actually none of your concern the equipment was not yours to be concerned with. You and the others had no idea what the repeater owner and I have discussed , Now you know .

You have no right to judge me as well as your skywarn staff.



While your at it tune to the 285 and 030 and what do you hear ? nothing .
Is it Better to have equipment used ,or just going to waste.

Thing's break down all the time.
I would rather see equipment used.

BTW ,NWS in Willmigton NC use's the VOIP / IRLP Joined with Echolink ! Now.

The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio ? Is Amateur's like this.


KF4VGX
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB9YZL on December 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Jeez………….. I can’t believe how long this has been going on! I’ve started looking for a weekly summary in the supermarket tabloids; ….Just like they do for all the other “Soaps”.

Hmmmmmmmm……… We could call it “As Horry County Turns”, or “All My Repeaters”, or maybe even “The Young and the Horry”……..

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator”

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on December 3, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Jeez………….. I can’t believe how long this has been going on! I’ve started looking for a weekly summary in the supermarket tabloids; ….Just like they do for all the other “Soaps”.

Hmmmmmmmm……… We could call it “As Horry County Turns”, or “All My Repeaters”, or maybe even “The Young and the Horry”……..

Kent Carroll
KB9YZL
“Appliance Operator” .....




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


Or Game shows ,

To Tell the Truth !

Truth or Consequences !

Lets make a Deal !


Horry County Squares !


Sorry ,just got another forwarded email etc. Just wanted to set the record stright .


 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KE6BOL on December 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Did anyone else noice that this year's Rose Parade will not have any assistance by Amateur Radio Operators? The operators themselves cited that their reason for quitting the festivities is that they are no longer needed by the event organizers.

I also wonder if Ham Radio operation is no longer needed by:

- Boy Scout jamborees (do they still have these?).
- Wilderness search and rescue teams.
- Overseas missionaries.
- Maritime message traffic.

It also seems to me that if the Red Cross needs only a few dozen or so warm bodies to perform disaster assessments, then their needs can be met by ordinary people just as well as by the dedicated individuals inside the Amateur Radio community.

73 KE6BOL op Mark
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N7JCT on December 23, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Your point that ham radio serves little or no purpose in emergency communications in the modern world is quite valid. I agree that it hasn't been used properly and that hams should find real ways to help because the services and methods they used to use are outdated.

But if you think that ham radio will die because they aren't needed for emergency communicaion....well, you haven't experienced much of the hobby.

So you learned the hard way that hams roll in public service is outdated. You could find new ways to help.

If you look hard you'll find that at one time hams used to advance the state of the art. No more. You could try to improve upon that, it can be done again.

There was a time when hams promoted international goodwill. There might be some of that going on still, you could join in.

There is so much to this hobby. It is what you make of it. But to say that the hobby will die because it can't do one of the many this available through this hobby....that's a hell of a leap.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on December 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
It deeply concerns me that we as Amateur's turn our backs to new type's of communications that can bring modern day communications to Amateur Radio.

How many amateur's use the internet along side of their radio's everyday ?

What County EC or Skywarn Coordinator will not look at a computer screen to monitor weather conditions ?

Or visit paid weather sites where he or she will receive live updates from weather events.

Over the years, I have heard the internet is not a part of Amateur Radio.

Well my friends it most certainly is.

The next time we have an event where we need to call on our Skywarn Coordinators .

Should we Shut down our computers,toss the cell phone.

Or use any means of communications available to provide the best and fastest ways to report information the NWS, NHC.

Amateur's fear change ,as for the reasons that our public service is outdated.

We as Amateur's should be at the leading edge of technology as to provide the public with our service's.


Some of us have found new ways to help ( VOIP ).

Now if it's so true that reading this over the internet , is not Amateur related.

Should we perhaps just turn off our computer ?

No, We may as well give up electricity, Hot water ,automobiles etc.

73
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N7TOD on December 24, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Cell phones as an effective communications device? Yeah, right! Maybe in the paved expanses of California, Florida, New York, or any other state with vast expanses of concentrated populace where trees and cell antennas are nearly equal in number. But where I live in Nevada, it is a fairly accurate statement to say that approximately 92% of the land mass in this state has no viable cell service.

I work out of Portola, California, approximately 50 miles northwest of Reno. When my YL knows that I am between work and home, she also knows to pick up the microphone, not the telephone, to contact me. Why? Because the cell phone drops out about every 3 to 5 miles along the route. It is impossible to carry on a reasonable conversation for any length of time using cell. On the other hand, the linked repeater system (one of many available in the area) that we use to communicate provides 100% solid coverage along the entire route.

The only reason I carry a cell phone is that in my line of employment, I have no set work schedule. I work on call, 24/7. Having a cell phone saves me from being a slave to the phone at home. However, there is a reason why the secondary contact number my employer has to reach me is the YL's cell. It is because that no matter what far, remote corner of the wide open spaces around here I may be in at any given time that is FAR from a cell signal, I can ALWAYS be reached by ham radio.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KE4NOY on December 28, 2004 Mail this to a friend!
Just remember though, when the system fails (and trust me, it will fail), ham radio will probably be our saviour.

Hmmm, I sound like an alarmist!
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KF4VGX on January 24, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Every system fails,but still each system should have some type of backup plan.
Sometimes having somthing to fall back on will get your traffic out.

Information is passed through ( RF ) to the station that had functional high speed Internet service.
As it was not available in the affected area. You see the two ( VOIP and RF ) work together hand in hand , it even works even when HF bands will not permit you to pass traffic. There was an experiment done here in the Hurricane Alley, using HF as a means to pass traffic. Not one piece of traffic was passed using HF. That my friends was not the news our section manager wanted to hear ,therefore it was advised as a means to help with communications to experiment with VOIP. As it has been proved to help where HF Failed. I sure would hate to have a cat four on our coastlines with noway to pass traffic .

 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by BRIANKOONTZKI5LP on July 3, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Excellent article. The reason why I'm here is that, after several hours of searching for the latest and greatest in digital modes for ham radio (I've been out of the loop since the mid '90s), I got so disgusted with the outdated pages and broken links that I searched for "death of ham radio" for a sanity check.

Sure enough, I found it.

What a sorry state of affairs. While here in Tornado Alley ham radio operators are still used for WX spotting, advances in Doppler technology will soon render this aspect of ham radio obsolete. NOAA is moving towards more accurate prediction and increased warning times; a WX observer's only purpose is to announce tornado formation after the fact.

I've read through all the responses here, and delusion runs rampant. Ham radio will continue to exist in the same vein that people still collect old telegraph insulators: The novelty of the activity keeps it alive, even though there's really no more use for the activity itself.
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by W6XB on August 18, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
I installed a stealth 20 meter dipole at my home in suburban Sunnyvale, California so I could play with ham radio. Much to my disgust and horror, there is an S9 noise level on all HF frequencies below 20 MHz.

This is a strong contributor to the demise of a hobby that I once obsessed over. Yes, I get tears in my eyes too, because I can't hear anything but noise in Sunnyvale! What does a young person think when they tune around on a short wave receiver and can't copy a thing?

My personal solution is to have a country home with the kind of antennas that would get me tarred and feathered in Sunnyvale. HF might one day only work in rural America (assuming BPL doesn't kill it). Fellow hams, don't worry about losing HF frequencies to commercial interests; they're already being trashed by the very computer that you are using to read this message!

There's no turning back. Radio was the origin of electronics. That's how I got interested in ham radio. However, computer technology is the great user of electronics today. This is what excites today's kids with a technical bent. Just go to any electronic surplus store (the few that still exist) and see what kind of parts are available now.

You have to ask yourself the question, "If I were a kid again, would I still be interested in ham radio?".
For me I know that the answer would probably be no. Mostly this is because ham radio is so invisible (and below the noise level!). But the stronger reason is that PCs along with the internet provide a fresh and very visible means for a young person to exercise his or her creativity.

Let's face it, you're reading this message on the internet!




 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by NZ0C on September 8, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
Two words:

Hurricane Katrina

73 de jack
k6jeb (ex: nz0c da2ui ke0mz ka2sgd )
 
RE: The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by KB0NVG on November 27, 2005 Mail this to a friend!
What about Hurricane Katrina?

I got the best information from the blogs coming from folks stuck in New Orleans. Pictures and two way communications with folks maintaining the ISP infrastructure in the city were the best.

In my area of the mid-west Nexrad has mostly elimnated the need for weather spotters. I'd always go out spotting during the pre-nexrad days and play a very active role. Now it seems that with nexrad the need for spotters is significantly reduced. Even the local TV stations will show you the rotating clouds with their real-time radar.

I'm convinced that our local events are better served by cell phone communications than ham radio. As net control for events we are often plagued by repeater jammers (bored hams?) and poor HT signals (under prepared hams). I have found myself asking the remote operator to use their cell phone more than once.

I used to teach new ham classes and feel that I helped many people enter this hobby. I am considering giving a talk later this week to introduce older students to the hobby. I'm really wondering if it too hard to sale now. A cell phone enabled PDA with 802.11b wireless access sure beats a HT for enterainment and communication value.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0IHC on February 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The problem today is education. And I'm not speaking solely about ham radio specifically, but rather for society as a whole - generally.

First, let me begin with a really great example of what I have personally observed in my travels on the web. Seemingly "educated" people who were able to pass ham license exams, college degrees and other assorted intellectually "stimulating" educational concepts continually prove that they went through the motions and indeed learned something. That something was the "wrong something". Here is the example:

First telltale sign that our educational institutions are failing is a simple matter of knowing the difference between two simple little words - "Then" and "Than" If you will take a bit of time and traverse the web while making yourself aware of what I am saying here, you will be very amazed!

I see some 'educated' people who will type a sentence as follows:

"I would rather sit at a PC computer chatting on msn THEN to be tapping out silly old morse code on HF"

I have also seen other 'educated' people who will do something similar, as:

"Why don't we get more younger people involved in ham radio. If we do that THAN we will really be cookin'"

Is this the best we can expect of our intellectual and educational assets? The word THEN is used when describing a time based if condition. Generally, "If case A results in B THEN activity C will happen"

The word THAN is used when differentiating one thing at the behest of another. Generally, "Object A is sexier THAN object Z because object A is the Alpha of the Alphabet"

With an education system that results in a product such as that which we have above - a failure in even the most simple of grammatical usage - how, then, can we ever hope or dream that today's young people could ever possibly build upon technology to expand it any further than it has already?

My take on ham radio is not that it will die off completely, but will expand greatly in the future. I look the opposite direction than the doom and gloom folks. Here's why...

When an entire generation cannot even exercise grammatical prudence, they will also fail in their abilities to pay attention to detail in mathematics and electronics. If they fail in those important aspects of out technological base, there shall be no further expansion of NEW technologies. Instead, these folks will simply find new uses for them and that will be the sum of all they are capable of.

Next, once our older engineers and technicians are long gone, innovation will cease and the technological revolution will reverse gears, heading backwards. A massive economic collapse would expedite this by at least a magnitude of 10x the velocity of the degeneration in technological sustainability.

What does all of this have to do with ham radio? Simple! When all the cellular technology is gone because no one was intelligent enough to even maintain what our technical forefathers left us; when the internet infrastructure evaporates due to the same; when the power grids go down because of lack of innovation in alternate power sources - there will come a day once again when people will have to start over with the old and easier to understand technology but once again. They will find themselves relying upon things more simple and easier to develop.

So essentially, ham radio as well as other areas of our technical society will find themselves in another horse-and-buggy era struggling to harness alternate energy with which to rebuild everything that had been lost.

Can't happen? Then please explain to me why archaeologists are discovering some pretty bizarre high-tech objects in remote areas of the world where we wouldn't expect to find them? Precision cut crystals, structures built on top of high-energy locations (how did they find and measure those locations way back then to know it would be suitable for their yet-unknown purposes?)

Face it. Civilizations fall. The vultures have their day eating the remains. And then, eventually, the stronger who survive begin once again to restore a new paradigm from "ground zero" - and a new technological race begins for survival.

Improper education, or even lack of education today will be the demise of not just ham radio, but technological civilization as a whole.

Where is government in all of this? Those who make it into government today will do what they have always been good at: taking advantage of the lesser educated - raping and plundering a wrecked nation for all they can get ahold of. They won't be of any help, but will more than likely contribute to the problem even more.

As you can see, I don't believe in BASE-LESS doom and gloom, but rather factual analysis and data on just exactly what is going to happen. Ancient civilizations who were recorded as being quite high-tech for their time now riddle our history books. Just like a different civilization will be reading about our rise and fall just several generations from now.

Prepare thyself, for the time of change has since long passed the threshold of being to your advantage.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0IHC on February 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
The problem today is education. And I'm not speaking solely about ham radio specifically, but rather for society as a whole - generally.

First, let me begin with a really great example of what I have personally observed in my travels on the web. Seemingly "educated" people who were able to pass ham license exams, college degrees and other assorted intellectually "stimulating" educational concepts continually prove that they went through the motions and indeed learned something. That something was the "wrong something". Here is the example:

First telltale sign that our educational institutions are failing is a simple matter of knowing the difference between two simple little words - "Then" and "Than" If you will take a bit of time and traverse the web while making yourself aware of what I am saying here, you will be very amazed!

I see some 'educated' people who will type a sentence as follows:

"I would rather sit at a PC computer chatting on msn THEN to be tapping out silly old morse code on HF"

I have also seen other 'educated' people who will do something similar, as:

"Why don't we get more younger people involved in ham radio. If we do that THAN we will really be cookin'"

Is this the best we can expect of our intellectual and educational assets? The word THEN is used when describing a time based if condition. Generally, "If case A results in B THEN activity C will happen"

The word THAN is used when differentiating one thing at the behest of another. Generally, "Object A is sexier THAN object Z because object A is the Alpha of the Alphabet"

With an education system that results in a product such as that which we have above - a failure in even the most simple of grammatical usage - how, then, can we ever hope or dream that today's young people could ever possibly build upon technology to expand it any further than it has already?

My take on ham radio is not that it will die off completely, but will expand greatly in the future. I look the opposite direction than the doom and gloom folks. Here's why...

When an entire generation cannot even exercise grammatical prudence, they will also fail in their abilities to pay attention to detail in mathematics and electronics. If they fail in those important aspects of out technological base, there shall be no further expansion of NEW technologies. Instead, these folks will simply find new uses for them and that will be the sum of all they are capable of.

Next, once our older engineers and technicians are long gone, innovation will cease and the technological revolution will reverse gears, heading backwards. A massive economic collapse would expedite this by at least a magnitude of 10x the velocity of the degeneration in technological sustainability.

What does all of this have to do with ham radio? Simple! When all the cellular technology is gone because no one was intelligent enough to even maintain what our technical forefathers left us; when the internet infrastructure evaporates due to the same; when the power grids go down because of lack of innovation in alternate power sources - there will come a day once again when people will have to start over with the old and easier to understand technology but once again. They will find themselves relying upon things more simple and easier to develop.

So essentially, ham radio as well as other areas of our technical society will find themselves in another horse-and-buggy era struggling to harness alternate energy with which to rebuild everything that had been lost.

Can't happen? Then please explain to me why archaeologists are discovering some pretty bizarre high-tech objects in remote areas of the world where we wouldn't expect to find them? Precision cut crystals, structures built on top of high-energy locations (how did they find and measure those locations way back then to know it would be suitable for their yet-unknown purposes?)

Face it. Civilizations fall. The vultures have their day eating the remains. And then, eventually, the stronger who survive begin once again to restore a new paradigm from "ground zero" - and a new technological race begins for survival.

Improper education, or even lack of education today will be the demise of not just ham radio, but technological civilization as a whole.

Where is government in all of this? Those who make it into government today will do what they have always been good at: taking advantage of the lesser educated - raping and plundering a wrecked nation for all they can get ahold of. They won't be of any help, but will more than likely contribute to the problem even more.

As you can see, I don't believe in BASE-LESS doom and gloom, but rather factual analysis and data on just exactly what is going to happen. Ancient civilizations who were recorded as being quite high-tech for their time now riddle our history books. Just like a different civilization will be reading about our rise and fall just several generations from now.

Prepare thyself, for the time of change has since long passed the threshold of being to your advantage.
 
The Inevitable Death of Ham Radio  
by N0IHC on February 14, 2006 Mail this to a friend!
Forgot to add one item in the above article: I never went to college and got a degree. My observation and ability to identify improper grammatical usage is based solely upon my school years through my graduation as a senior in high school - back in the 70's and 80's with a high school diploma obtained with honors in May of 1987.

Van Halen era - YES!!

73 and Regards,

Kurt
 
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