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Author Topic: How about helping instead of fighting?  (Read 11136 times)

Posts: 11

« on: May 15, 2000, 05:54:53 PM »

I also support FCC preemption of CC&R's and would suggest that the contents of this forum be forwarded to
                  the appropriate officials. As far as working with the HOA one approach may be to try a little "enlightened
                  self-interest", that is, satisfy their personal needs for power or aesthetics in a way that benefits everyone.
                  Obviously if we could recruit the HOA "gestapo" to the ham community it would be easy, however in most
                  cases an end run is required. Why not start (or join) a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT, in
                  some places NERT). Get the power types involved in how good it is to be prepared for any type of emergency
                  such as an earthquake, brush fire or flood. I'm sure that they would love the imagined power and prestige of
                  running about in an official looking vest and hard-hat, bossing committees and teams, etc. (Some people
                  actually realize, eventually, that community service has its own rewards.) Then do communications training,
                  offer to be the expert. Demonstrate how cell phones (really little 900Mhz radios) fail under any unusual traffic
                  volume, as well as the wire lines. Show how the public safety agencies won't be able to cope, and how the Red
                  Cross is at least 3 days away. Talk about HOA liabilities; there probably aren't any in a disaster, but that
                  doesn't prevent the litigious, and fending off even frivolous suits is expensive. Then offer them a way out of the
                  hot seat. You have the means to get health, welfare and emergency traffic to a loved one, officials, etc. under
                  any condition or circumstance; with just one little concession........... Then put your money, operating skills,
                  and license class where your mouth is, and practice, practice, practice the art of emergency communications.
                  Persuade the HOA that if they were licensed as well they could help with the communications side of
                  emergency management, then get them the classes and exam sessions. I did something like this where I
                  work and my employer is buying a couple of new radios for use at my work site; and because there are very
                  few (2 or 3) hams at this location, guess who gets to play with them? Enough said.

Posts: 27

« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2000, 08:02:26 AM »

While this idea seems to be virtuous, I know that many hams are not up to performing this type of "rallying the local troops" effort for many reasons.

For me, I'm too busy with other stuff to get involved in such an effort. From the poor turn-outs at club meetings, and other ham gatherings, it appears that many people are too busy. I have enough trouble finding time to cut the lawn.

I also have no desire to teach people who have a pre-conceived notion that ham radio is bad. They don't want to hear it. Bottom line is they don't care. They're afraid that it will interfere with their happiness. They think antennas lower property values (which they do not). The insane RF exposure limits thing has got them scared too - thanks a ton N6NB et al !

Emergency communications ? That's what we pay lots of tax money for. These people are all too busy meddling to get involved in something like what is suggested.

I just want to use my radio occasionally, work some DX, and be ready to help in a real emergency - should the need arise. I'm not looking for a part-time job.

To use your federally licensed ham radio should not require this sort of extra effort. The FCC must pre-empt this sort of restriction.

The other big problem in these areas is that cheap consumer electronics are susceptible to picking up any local RF signals. So even if you manage to "stealth" your way on the air, they'll hear you on their telephones, TV / Entertainment system, computer speakers, whole house intercoms, alarm system, sprinkler system, etc.

Between the restrictions and interference problems, and now the restucturing, ham radio is going downhill fast.

It's a shame.

Posts: 1

« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2000, 12:01:39 PM »

Lots of good posts on this topic so I won't repeat others, but would just offer up the notion that if ham radio (as a service/hobby) had a better public image then these "political" problems would be easier to resolve or never come up in the first place.

As far as I'm concerned, "marketing" of ham radio has been ineffective for at least a couple of decades.  John Q. Public has no idea who we are and what we do except for the obligatory mention after disasters and/or interference stories (both basically negative images, BTW).  I lay a good deal of responsibility for the lack of marketing at the feet of our national organization but we all share responsibility for our public image.  Pretend you're a non-ham for a moment and peruse your local media (print/TV/favorite websites) for a few weeks.  How often do you see any promotion/news about amateur radio?  

Not to get too far off topic, but I figure the latest license restructuring is our last opportunity to revitalize what's largely perceived (IMHO) a limited interest "old man's hobby" and boost our public image as a mainstream activity.  Why should the real estate industry, which has apparently been successful using CC&R's as a sales tool, adjust to what's obviously a niche market especially when accomodation of that niche threatens sales to the majority?


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