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Author Topic: New to HF and shocked by what I hear  (Read 20299 times)
AD6KA
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« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2010, 07:47:44 PM »

K3RMX
Quote
Pornography is not entitled to "free speech."
Unfortunately, aside from children being involved, it is protected.
See Supreme Court decisions"
Butler v. Michigan 
Ginsberg v. New York
Miller v. California  and others.
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K3ZL
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« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2010, 06:52:52 PM »

I agree, and I don't like it at all either.  But it may get worse.  Popular Communications magazine reported in it's October issue that a court has ruled against the FCC's rules regarding the prohibition of bad language during hours when kids are likely to be listening or watching.  Here's the part that concerns me:  They are saying this turn of events could effect all FCC services including the Amateur Radio service as well.  Sorry I passed that magazine off to a friend or I would quote page number.
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KD8IZZ
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« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2010, 07:10:52 PM »

It's on 20m as well just not as much. At times around 14.272 +/-  two or three get in there thinking they are still in the Navy! (always the same ones) 80m is the poster child of bad manners and grown men that never grew up. But it seems to be in a certain small range of frequencies fortunately. I try to stay below 3.950 when I am there unless I am in CW mode with the exception of 3.880 early in the morning. I was taken back too when I first became a General (I actually blushed from embarrasement). Huh
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AD6KA
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« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2010, 07:35:01 PM »

I agree, and I don't like it at all either.  But it may get worse.  Popular Communications magazine reported in it's October issue that a court has ruled against the FCC's rules regarding the prohibition of bad language during hours when kids are likely to be listening or watching.  Here's the part that concerns me:  They are saying this turn of events could effect all FCC services including the Amateur Radio service as well. 

THAT'S disgusting. I thought Amateur Radio was a privilege, not a rightHuh

Thanks for that info, K.C.
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K4DPK
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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2010, 08:05:24 AM »

It isn’t a matter of whether a man has the right of free speech.  It has to do with common decency and courtesy, and respect for others’ feelings.

Even if the First Amendment does give someone the right to say whatever he pleases in whatever forum he wishes, it follows that it also empowers you to voice your opinion about it.  My contention is the majority of hams want the bands to be clean and available for anyone to hear what goes on without shock or embarrassment, but most of ’em are too timid to have a go at the ones who are causing the trouble.

One could take the position it’s not the relatively few that pollute the airwaves who are the problem, but the large number of us who tolerate it without saying anything that allows the condition to persist.

This thread reminds me of what’s wrong in our country.  Everyone complains, but many either don’t vote at all or vote for the incumbent, so it continues. 

Neither of these conditions will change unless you as an individual take it on yourself to do something positive.

Qui tacit contentit.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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K3ZL
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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2010, 07:06:34 PM »

I agree, and I don't like it at all either.  But it may get worse.  Popular Communications magazine reported in it's October issue that a court has ruled against the FCC's rules regarding the prohibition of bad language during hours when kids are likely to be listening or watching.  Here's the part that concerns me:  They are saying this turn of events could effect all FCC services including the Amateur Radio service as well. 

THAT'S disgusting. I thought Amateur Radio was a privilege, not a rightHuh

Thanks for that info, K.C.

Here's a link to that news about the court decision: http://www.w5yi.org/ama_news_article.php?id=483
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K4DPK
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« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2010, 06:39:23 PM »

Everyone seems to be outraged by foul language on the air.  I wonder, how many of you have ever openly called anyone down for using such language?  My guess?  Not many.  Of all the arguments I’ve ever heard in my 55+ years on the air, the ones over bad language, except for the ones I started, can be counted on one hand.

There is a growing tendency it seems, to rely on the government to correct problems so we don’t have to become personally involved.  Would you rely on the government if someone cursed in the presence of your family?  

I once had a preacher for a next-door neighbor.  His young son came over on an errand, and happened to hear a very inappropriate remark on my receiver.  When he left, I unloaded on the guy who made the remark, but the kid’s father unloaded on me that evening, and I don’t blame him.  I’d have done the same.    

We constantly hear from each other that ham radio is dying-- We have to get more young people interested.  Doesn’t that seem a bit inconsistent with our tolerance of off-color language on the ham bands?   You still think the First Amendment stands in the way of common decency?

Not too long ago, a young man was complaining on e-ham’s forum that his license was being held up by FCC.  Turned out the fellow was a registered child molester.  Thank you, Laura Smith!  The really surprising thing to me was how many of the participants in the thread actually defended the guy and wanted his license reinstated!  I guess they don’t have kids.

The future of ham radio depends on our young people.  I’m an old man, but I certainly don’t plan to leave them a legacy of foul language and doubtful safety if I can help it.

I think you folks ought to be discussing things like whether ARRL should publish OO reports in QST, and whether ARRL and CQ should deny membership to certain individuals.

I also think you should stand up for what you think is right.  

You gonna wait around on the government to solve all your problems?

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk 
« Last Edit: October 28, 2010, 07:25:51 PM by Phil Chambley, Sr. » Logged
K3ZL
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« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2010, 06:02:30 AM »


I also think you should stand up for what you think is right.  

You gonna wait around on the government to solve all your problems?

Great idea on publishing OO reports in the magazines.  It may have the same impact as publishing names in the local newspaper of arestees. Also, it seems to me that that the language and subject matter are usually among hams who know each other and become too comfortable in their rag chews.  I have never had a ham use language when in QSO with me.  But, if they did, I would mention it.
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WB4BYQ
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« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2010, 01:33:15 PM »

I have been a ham for 38 plus years.  i heard some of this then and thru the years.  i don't hear much on 40 and up.  the 80 meter band has its problems with certain groups, i don't listen to them.  there are still many good groups and nets on 75/80.  people are different now.
Amateur radio is not causing these problems, it is people who lack self respect and no respect to who may be listing.  just look at the television these days and the movies.

Amateur radio is still very much an enjoyable hobby and service, and i encourge you to be a good example and have fun.

WB4BYQ
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W8AAZ
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« Reply #24 on: November 06, 2010, 02:34:16 PM »

Actually these days I hear little of it as what I do is this- I think of going in and turning on the rig to tune around some.  Then I forget what I was gonna do and never get to it.  Wish the highest bands would open up some more.  Less of that going on up there because the band fades or changes before you have a big ragchew, the subjects that offend apparently do not have time to come around in the QSO!  Maybe that is why some guys become DXers and contesters and never ragchew on phone. 
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WB4IUY
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2010, 01:08:06 PM »

"Can the group explain to me what happened over the years to HF ?"

Nope.
People will have their opinions, but that is all they are, opinions.
75 meters had weirdos, and angry child like ops when I got my first ticket in the late 70s.
I find plenty of delightful ops to chat with.
73
Bob

Like Bob said, it's always been like this. Got my ticket in '74, and if you hunted around, you could find bad ops, then. It's really a very small portion of spectrum that has this kind of activity. I simply spin the dial if I stumble onto it. Ops like that typically hang out in little clusters, here and there. I'm on the air nearly every day, and seldom ever hear this stuff. If I want to go looking for it, I know it's there, but I find plenty of folks to QSO with on all modes that know how to behave and I have a great time.

Don't let chatter on the internet paint a negative picture for you, of what HF is really like. It's kinda like trying to learn what a KISS (or any other band) concert was like without actually going to one. Get on the air, call CQ, and have fun.

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net
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K4DPK
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2010, 06:02:26 PM »

Others have said:  "Like Bob said, it's always been like this"

Absolutely not true.

In the mid fifties, we had our characters, like one who specified "No lids, no kids, no space cadets..." when he called CQ.

But we most certainly did not have the nearly continuous flow of profanity and, often, obsenity, that we hear nowadays on some frequencies.  My own observation and recollection is that things took a turn for the worse starting in about the mid-sixties, then worsened into the seventies.

Ham radio, at one time, was a very disciplined undertaking.  Its participants had in common a strong interest in electronics and communication, and most conversations consisted of those topics.  Groups became familiar and friendly, but never so familiar as to forget that profanity was against regulations.  Courtesy was commonplace, and most ops were well-mannered and well-meaning.

Disagree if you like, but that's the way I saw it.  I think it does ham radio a dis-service, and it confounds any attempt at improvement to simply say, "It was always that way".

It was not.

Phil C. Sr.
k4dpk
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K1CJS
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« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2010, 09:59:26 AM »

AS has been said, when the FCC monitored the bands they were somewhat better, but since then they have gone to the dogs.  Too many people think that free speech is the right to use gutter talk anywhere they want to.  That's really too bad, but there isn't much that can be done--especially since those people have their own 'cliques' that use the same language.

All that can be done is to turn the dial, switch bands--or shut off the rig.  It's unfortunate that it has come to that, but that's the way it is.
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N2EY
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« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2010, 04:32:19 PM »

I agree with what K4DPK wrote. He is right on the money about how it used to be.

Yes, we had "characters" like ol' Mike who would call "CQ, no kids, no lids, no space cadets, Class A operators only". But the reason they are remembered even today is that they were the rare exception, and the worst that could be found on the amateur bands.

I could write a long essay about why it changed so much, but that's another discussion. What I'm interested in is how things can be improved.

I don't know if on-the-air confrontation is the right approach. Some of the worst folks might actually enjoy it, having a target to cuss at!

OTOH I don't think the "turn the dial" approach is the right one, either. Here's why:

1) You can't un-ring a bell. You can only turn the dial after the fact. If you have visitors or family members in the shack, the damage is done, regardless of what you do afterwards. If a would-be ham with a receiver hears objectionable stuff, what impression does it make? Unlike broadcasting, you can't tell ahead of time what kind of "programming" to expect.

2) If you take the pro-active step of avoiding various frequencies and modes, you may protect yourself and others in the shack from the bad stuff. I rarely operate, or even listen to, 'phone for just this reason.

But if we all take that approach, we are essentially abandoning those frequencies and modes to the bad apples. And over time there will be more of them, and there will be more frequencies and modes to avoid. Eventually there will be nowhere you can go.

3) Amateur radio exists because The Government allows it. It's a privilege, not a right.

Some countries have no amateur radio, or have it so restricted that it's all but impossible to get on the air legally. Our rules could be made much more draconian if the FCC wanted.

And it's not just FCC. Imagine you're applying for a building permit to put up a tower, and somebody opposes it. Try making a case for amateur radio after the opposer plays a tape of somebody behaving badly on the ham bands. Sure. you can claim *you* don't do that stuff, but the damage is done.

ISTM that too many folks get all worked up about their rights but forget that every right and every privilege carries with it a related responsibility. Being licensed to operate a radio transmitter carries with it the responsibility to do so with the highest possible standards, not the lowest.

So what do we do?

One possibility is to confront the bad apples off the air. We all can't be OOs but if we know who the bad behavers are, we can send them cards saying that what they're doing is simply wrong.

Another possibility is to record them and send the tapes and complaints to FCC. While The Government will never solve all these problems, if we don't complain and give evidence, they will never solve any of these problems.

There's also the force of good example and the power of numbers. Imagine huge numbers of us descending on the bands and operating in a courteous and appropriate manner. Imagine making the bad apples the rare exception by simply outnumbering them.

This past weekend I operated the CW SS. The lower ends of 80, 40 and 20 (and maybe other bands) were wall-to-wall with signals - and I heard nothing objectionable. Yes there was QRM, but folks didn't get in a furor over it.

All IMHO

I got interested in amateur radio at a very young age in large part because I heard hams on 75 using AM and having a good time. A G-rated, family-appropriate good time. That was more than 43 years ago. I see absolutely no reason we can't have that kind of amateur radio today. If anything, we can do better, because we have more and better technology and resources.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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WB4IUY
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« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2010, 05:33:12 PM »

Others have said:  "Like Bob said, it's always been like this"

Absolutely not true.

In the mid fifties, we had our characters, like one who specified "No lids, no kids, no space cadets..." when he called CQ.

Hi Phil and group,

Perhaps I'm a "greenhorn", since I only got my license in 1974. Perhaps as someone else said, maybe it's how _you_ remember it. I've known hams who got their tickets in the 40's and 50's. I've enjoyed many hours on the air with these guys, some who are now SK, talking about things from "back in the day". They have all had stories of exactly the same stuff we see on the air today. Perhaps not as many folks misbehaved, but there were a lot less hams back then as well.

Whatever... My point is, I don't hear this horrible and embarrasing chatter in my shack that some seem to fear. If I do...I'm a big boy. I move somewhere I feel comfortable. I doubt there's anything coming across ham radio that is any worse than what's on the broadcast TV these days. My shack isn't always filled with the general public whom I'm afraid such talk coming from my speaker would ruin ham radio forever. For that matter, I seldom even have someone in my home who is even slightly interested in ham radio. I guess we move in different circles. I'd be willing to bet that 99% of us on this forum do just like I am right now... reading the internet and listing to the radio in the radio room of my home, right here by myself, while the wife is watching TV and the kids are out doing something else. For most of us, it's a hobby, and we participate without it being a family activity.

I'm 51 years old. I'll probably only enjoy ham radio another 25 years or so before I die. I'm not going to spend it worrying about how someone else acts. We don't see loads of kids interested in the hobby anymore. When I got my ticket at age 14, there were lots of other young folks doing the same. No one recruited me. I simply had an interest in radio, as did many others. Nowadays, this stuff isn't interesting to most of the kids. At some point, many of us tire in trying to get everyone else involved in the hobby and simply settle down to enjoy it for ourselves. I've helped many many many people get a ticket along the way, and probably 5% (tops!) are still active. In looking back at it, I wasted my time for the most part and should have been doing something for myself. It might sound selfish, but it's the truth when I consider the amount of time took away fro family and poured into helping all those people who could actually care less for the most part, now. My wife AC4QD and I started a VE team in about '92. We taught classes at the tech twice/year, tested 80+ people every month, ran the local ham club, did everything we could think of to perpetuate the hobby. By the late 90's we were tired of trying to save the ham world, and some others picked up the VE Team to keep it running.

It's just my opinion, but I think ham radio will fade away within the next 50-75 years. I hope I'm wrong, but now I'm quite happy just working some DX, restoring old radios, and enjoying it for what it is before it's gone... a hobby to me with lots of friends to talk to. I try to help when there are situations that actually need it (ice storm, hurricane, etc), but it's not my focal point in life.
 
No one out there should be shaken up by hearing ugly talk or something they don't agree with on the air. Ham radio is full of folks from all walks of life. Most of us can spot a problem frequency within a few seconds, just move on. I'm on HF every night, and unless I'm trying to hang out on the upper end of 75 meters, I almost NEVER hear anything bad. That's way better than I can say for most resturants & clubs one might stop at, the local grocery store, etc. 

Ham radio is so loaded with great stuff, there's no need to get hung up on some little issues like this. Sure they're out there. They always will be. Get on the air, enjoy ham radio, and forget about these petty issues.

Dave WB4IUY
www.WB4IUY.net



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