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Author Topic: Is the arrl worth it?  (Read 9831 times)
N0IU
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2013, 05:02:47 AM »

They do all the work the FCC doesn't want to do, including handling the testing, VECs, study guides, and other important things.

Nit-picking time...

Its not like someone at the FCC woke up one day and said, "Gee, I am tired of giving amateur radio tests. Let someone else do it." It was due to budgetary issues during the Reagan administration that led to the creation of the VEC system.

I know this sounds like Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day, but the ARRL is A VEC (Volunteer Examiner Coordinator), not THE VEC. While they are the largest and most visible, they are just one of 14 VECs around the country.

And while their study guides are very popular, there are other organizations out there that provide excellent material, namely the W5YI Group... the second largest VEC. Their books feature Gordon West WB6NOA who is probably one of the most popular authors of study materials around. As a matter of fact, I learned Morse code using his cassette tapes. (Now I know I am dating myself!)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_Cassette


OK... back to your originally scheduled ARRL bitch-fest!


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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2013, 05:19:19 AM »

What I mean is, the ARRL seems to effectively be the outward/public facing organization for amateur radio in the US, on behalf of the FCC, as a volunteer organization that is charged with funding its own operation.  They do all the work the FCC doesn't want to do, including handling the testing, VECs, study guides, and other important things.  My question is, without the ARRL, how long would amateur radio in the US survive? Perhaps I am misunderstanding their role, but when I came to this hobby and asked some hams where I need to go to get my books and tests, I was pointed to the ARRL site without fail. 

No, the FCC doesn't look at the ARRL as their 'public outlet' to hams, they expect hams to keep up on what they want by themselves--and directly to the FCC.  The FCC simply sees the ARRL as the largest association supposedly representing amateur radio interests.

Testing?  There are a small number of testing organizations--again with the FCC as the largest one.  The W5YI group seems to be the second largest.  The FCC doesn't have a monopoly on that either.

Most people point to the ARRL when just about anything about ham radio is asked.  That doesn't mean that the ARRL is the only source, just that it is the largest.

Quote
I understand no one is forced to support the ARRL, and I'm not arguing their effectiveness in the areas complained about in the original post here, but I'm asking what the alternative is without them.  I'm trying to get a better understanding of their role and importance as far as facilitating amateur radio.  If the alternative is that if the FCC may decide the whole thing is too much hassle in the absence of an organization like the ARRL,  then I find membership to be "worth it" on that basis alone. Your mileage may vary.

There is a mistaken assumption that without the ARRL, ham radio in this country would cease to exist.  Maybe that is true on the newer XHF (gigahertz) bands, but for ham radio to totally disappear, the governments of the entire world would have to agree to eliminate the ham bands, and that is very unlikely to happen.

There is also an assumption that the IARU would shut its doors tomorrow if the ARRL either withdrew its support or ceased to exist.  Such thinking is typical American arrogance--that we're the center of everything and anything, and that if the Americans aren't there, nothing happens, or if the Americans won't support a thing, that thing will fall apart.  Maybe that used to be--I don't think so--but Americans better smarten up.  The world is changing, and the US isn't what many people believe we used to be--not anymore.
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K9IUQ
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2013, 05:27:03 AM »

Before you all tell me how important the legal representation is they provide... think about this.

I have been a member of the arrl since the day I got my ticket.

Over the years, I have tried to use their website numerous times to order books and other materials, also to look up info.
Their website is a disaster and seldom works. I have had to call my order in on the phone every time, after wasting time on the site. Don't think it's me.... I run a 3.4 quad core with 16 gigs of ram and high speed DSL.

Ordered the 2011 Handbook and paid for a HARD COVER. I was notified two weeks later, they were sold out.

I didn't insult her or the arrl, but she said to me that I'm a miserable person, and I must have a terribly hard time in life because my "violent temper" !!!!!

I don't know about you being a miserable person but judging from your post you do have an "Attitude" which is probably why you have problems with the ARRL.

Why not just do the ARRL a favor and dump them. You can buy their Books on Amazon at a discount and free shipping too.

Stan K9IUQ
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WB1FFI
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Posts: 19




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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2013, 07:23:13 AM »

Whenever I find myself in the Hartford area and think about visiting the ARRL station, they are closed. It would be nice if they were open for visitors on weekends and holidays, at least for a few hours.
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W1JKA
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Posts: 1716




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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2013, 07:45:15 AM »

Re: WB1FF1

   Forget weekends and holidays, the Hartford crew are probably over in Geneva enjoying a $25.00 hamburger and beer. Wink
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K8AXW
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« Reply #20 on: August 30, 2013, 09:36:31 AM »

Quote
There is a mistaken assumption that without the ARRL, ham radio in this country would cease to exist.  Maybe that is true on the newer XHF (gigahertz) bands, but for ham radio to totally disappear, the governments of the entire world would have to agree to eliminate the ham bands, and that is very unlikely to happen.

There is also an assumption that the IARU would shut its doors tomorrow if the ARRL either withdrew its support or ceased to exist.  Such thinking is typical American arrogance--that we're the center of everything and anything, and that if the Americans aren't there, nothing happens, or if the Americans won't support a thing, that thing will fall apart.  Maybe that used to be--I don't think so--but Americans better smarten up.  The world is changing, and the US isn't what many people believe we used to be--not anymore.


Both of these statements are pretty much off the wall!  While there just might be an element of truth to the first statement, there's no doubt that our frequencies would take a substantial hit because of commercial needs and the restrictions, from power levels to even exposure levels would be increased.  In between these are many other points that our FCC aka, the government would change. 

Examples of this abound.  Just look at the many countries around the world.  The latest example is Australia.  They temporarily allowed amateurs to increase their power to 1KW. After a period of time, they decided that their amateurs didn't actually need 1KW of power and cut it back to the previous 400W maximum.  We probably enjoy more operating privileges than any other country in the world. 

Until the ARRL was organized (I encourage you to read the history of amateur radio) we were at the mercy of the U.S. Navy.  Then the government itself took over this electronic media and during these times it was very difficult for the hams in this country.

You've no doubt heard the expression, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."  The ARRL is our grease. 

The second quote above doesn't even deserve a comment or rebuttal.  This statement is ridiculous.

Except the last line: 

The world is changing, and the US isn't what many people believe we used to be--not anymore.

I agree here.  How do you like your "Change?"
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N0IU
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« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2013, 11:07:36 AM »

Whenever I find myself in the Hartford area and think about visiting the ARRL station, they are closed. It would be nice if they were open for visitors on weekends and holidays, at least for a few hours.

What's the matter... your dues aren't high enough?
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 619




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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2013, 01:07:40 PM »

Quote
Why not just do the ARRL a favor and dump them. You can buy their Books on Amazon at a discount and free shipping too.  Stan K9IUQ

Personal affronts are neither necessary not desired, by ANYONE!  One would do well to stick to the topic at hand and treat others in a friendly and respectful manner.  If you can't do that; at least keep it businesslike.

I had my differences with ARRL and "dumped them" eight years ago (2005).  Some of the thoughtful and intelligent comments on here had me to the point of reconsidering my decision.
THEN, ALONG COMES STAN!  Now, I'm having a difficult time acknowledging that they probably do deserve my support, just because of his attitude.  I'll probably get over it and reup but, let me tell ya, Stan, with friends like you, the ARRL don't need enemies!
Tom
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N9AOP
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Posts: 145




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« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2013, 01:16:22 PM »

Too bad Wayne Green didn't see this post.  I bet he would have had volumes to say.
Art
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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1831




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« Reply #24 on: August 30, 2013, 01:18:49 PM »

Personal affronts are neither necessary not desired, by ANYONE!  One would do well to stick to the topic at hand and treat others in a friendly and respectful manner. 

THEN, ALONG COMES STAN! 

Go back re-read the thread starters original post. Did it sound like he was respectful to the ARRL??

If you act like an ass, you get treated like an ass. How should I treat you? You seem to have an attitude too.

As far as the ARRL goes I neither like them or hate them. I have been a member forever even tho I had to live thru the incentive licensing debacle they started way back when.

Stan K9IUQ

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K9IUQ
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Posts: 1831




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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2013, 01:22:01 PM »

Too bad Wayne Green didn't see this post. 

Now Wayne had an Attitude. One I rather liked..  Cheesy
He would get the Hams more upset than K9IUQ.

Stan K9IUQ
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 01:25:10 PM »

'AXW,  It's obvious that you and I have different views of ham radio, but instead of calling what you said "off the wall" or "ridiculous," I would advise that you reconsider the way the world is reacting to US involvement these days.  They neither want or need it, unless its foreign aid--that they want.  The US isn't the all-powerful voice--or the world policeman--anymore, the world has changed.  Most of what we do here in our country does nothing to change opinions of most of the rest of the world--it just gives them something to laugh at--or cuss at, depending.
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WB6DGN
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Posts: 619




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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 01:27:43 PM »

Quote
There is also an assumption that the IARU would shut its doors tomorrow if the ARRL either withdrew its support or ceased to exist.  Such thinking is typical American arrogance--that we're the center of everything and anything, and that if the Americans aren't there, nothing happens, or if the Americans won't support a thing, that thing will fall apart.  Maybe that used to be--I don't think so--but Americans better smarten up.  The world is changing, and the US isn't what many people believe we used to be--not anymore.

Truer words were never spoken!  Americans need to wake up the the fact that, while Americans are doing their drugs, living for sex and imaginary games that have no meaning or purpose (the ball games, for example) and idolizing entertainers that are doing their level best to subvert the few remaining values left in this once-great county, the rest of the world has passed us by and isn't looking back.  
Denial only excaberates the problem and ignoring it WILL NOT make it go away.
I don't believe that all is lost, at least not yet, but Americans need to get their priorities in order and stop living in the past.  The past is gone and its NOT coming back.
Tom  
« Last Edit: August 30, 2013, 01:31:54 PM by WB6DGN » Logged
WB6DGN
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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2013, 01:40:48 PM »

Quote
How should I treat you? You seem to have an attitude too.

With respect whether you agree with me or not!  That's how these forums are intended to operate.  A well thought out. RESPECTFUL, rebuttal is always welcome and will be read with interest but calling me an ASS (as you did another poster) will get you promptly (and permanently) ignored.  That will tell me that you are incapable of making a reasoned, respectful argument so your future comments will have no value to me.
Tom
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KG6AF
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Posts: 357




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« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2013, 01:41:49 PM »

Too bad Wayne Green didn't see this post.  I bet he would have had volumes to say.
Art

...most of it about colloidal silver.
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