I thought I'd include this since so many of you choose to make derogatory remarks about CBer's rather than stick to the topic. (Code vs. No-Code, Restructuring, etc...) I personally like the code but you guys use the issue to take cheap shots at 11m ops. You should realize that many 11m ops visit these forums seeking to learn about ham radio, NOT be insulted. 73.
Hello fellow 11 meter enthusiasts,
I have a new idea. So much has been made of the fact that we (11m ops) have no real representation in DC while the amateur community has the ARRL. The USCBOA was a nice idea but seems to lack the organizational skills to get airborne. I got this idea while reading a ham forum thread where many amateurs were complaining about the ARRL allowing "chicken banders" to infiltrate the ham bands and vowing to cancel their membership. Well, here it goes.
JOIN THE ARRL! That's right; make them live up to their name. The AMERICAN (NOT Amateur ONLY) Radio Relay League. In the mid 60's, the number of CBer's outgrew the number of licensed amateurs. The price is $39.00/yr. and you need NOT be a licensed amateur to become a FULL member. You DO, however, need to be licensed for voting privileges though. I know that $39.00 is steep, but I've spent more on a power mic and this money REALLY does makes my voice louder. The 35 multiple choice Technician exam takes approx. 5 minutes to complete and the practice exams can be found on www.qrz.com
as well as other popular ham sites. I'm sure there would be a bit of resistance in the beginning but the ARRL is made up of hams who are basically...politicians. That's right folks, let the first official lose "a close one" at the hands of an 11 meter "swing vote," and see how our "concerns" take on a little more importance. Here's a bonus, when you hear an old stodger cry "I'm canceling my membership," rejoice...that's called a two-for-one sale. Your vote no longer opposes theirs, it REPLACES it.
The kicker is that if you plan to be as vocal as I am, you need to run legal. I'm NOT preaching. I freebanded for over 10 years and LOVED it. However I send letters to my representatives and the FCC, so my house must be in order. Riley Hollingsworth himself can come to my QTH for a surprise visit. I sent a letter to my reps re. RM-9807 and asked why the FCC admitted that the MAJORITY of CBer's were in favor of dropping the 155 mi. limit rule, yet the ruling was swayed by "private interests," namely the ARRL and NAB. Not only did I receive a reply, but it included a reply from the FCC to an inquiry by my rep. Did it really make a difference?... maybe, maybe not, but I know at least three more souls know about this "voter's" displeasure. (An election year to boot!)
I sent a letter to Radio Shack (Tandy) in Fort Worth, TX re. their HTX-10 and its inability to be modified at their (RS's) request. I explained that there are some who may want the capability to "monitor" (;-P) the 11 meter band as well. I returned mine and told them that I would gladly pay the extra $50.00 to RF Ltd. for their Magnum 257(the modifiable version of the same rig) and will now purchase all my ham study material and 2m h/t elsewhere due to their policy. Again, did it make a difference...perhaps not, but at least they know that they’ve lost approx. $450.00 in sales plus restocking costs.
Remember, to be this vocal, you need to fly right. I miss freebanding and it gave me many many hours of pleasure over a ten year period, this is the best way I can give back to 11 meters. If you don't plan to quit freebanding, don't be too vocal and run a "common sense" set-up. Your ARRL vote still counts! I never ran amplifiers and worked the world with a Clear Channel Ranger AR-3500 (30 watt model) and a two element yagi. I also successfully encouraged many of fellow 11m ops to do the same. (Tech license, ARRL membership, & write reps.) It kills me when I hear hams flame us and there's little we can do because we don't want to attract the unwanted attention. Well, sometimes you have to defend yourself with the weapons the opposition gives you. The ARRL rates recently went up, you should hear the hams crying and threatening to cancel...go for it I say!
73 de Mark