eHam Forums / Emergency Communications / RE: Ham Radio at School for Emergencies
on: March 08, 2014, 05:52:36 PM
Just heard on NPR (here: PRI = Public Radio Int'l)
that there's a documentary film:
. "Kids for Cash"
on the Judges (now in prison) who sentenced kids
to long sentences in privately-run youth jails, in
Luzerne County, North Eastern PA.
One or both judges claimed (in an interview with
the filmmaker) that the money received for jail-
ing kids were only "finders fees" (ie, not bribes).
eHam Forums / Computers And Software / RE: Nice Adriod Tablet
on: March 08, 2014, 05:16:39 PM
In AU, K-Mart's have embraced AudioSonic as a new "home brand." Under that banner, they import at least 3 Android tab's:
2x 7" (eg, dual- & quad-core, resp): AU$ 79 & AU$ 99, resp
1x 10" (quad-core, shaped like an iPad): AU$ 199
The only one we've looked closely at is the 10" which has a non standard charging / power plug, but seems OK otherwise.
No need to pay shipping & there's a K-Mart at hand in case of issues, within the 1 year warranty period.
Of course: e. & o. e. = Errors & Omissions Excepted.
Also: I have -no- pecuniary interest in K-Mart or any mentioned product(s).
eHam Forums / Computers And Software / When will Radio Hams share more Software (ie, as Open Source S/W)?
on: March 08, 2014, 05:07:04 PM
We Hams like to help other Hams... and this warm tradition has lead to many Hints & Tips like articles & shorts, in QST & Club newsletters alike.
Entire schematics, with detailed parts-lists, are distributed, as part of articles, in either type of publication... but Software is often offered sans (without) source-code.
Why should this be so?
Although some (OK, even a great deal of) Open Source software is available for Ham projects, some is held, as if "Company Confitential" even when there might be those able & interested in reading & possibly extending or customizing a project's software.
Why don't we let clever folks extend / customize the software modules of a larger project, just as we do its hardware moduled?
If not NOW, when? :-/
eHam Forums / Emergency Communications / RE: Ham Radio at School for Emergencies
on: March 08, 2014, 04:52:37 PM
Luzerne County (Pa.)'s Tropical Storm AGNES (1972)
By some luck, the County had funded a Ham (who -
by day - sold Ham & other electronic gear) to give a
Technician Class license course, with exam FREE to
anyone interested. (Starting with 40 places, but this
was doubled, after twice that many turned up for it!)
Years earlier, its Civil Defense had placed Amateur
Gear in an underground equipment & plant room, at
a semi-rural High School: HF (SSB AM CW) + 6m AM
with an Inverted V or 2 supporting a mast-mounted
6m Vertical on the roof.
These 2 events combined to increased the readiness
of the County's RACES operators.
A Flood soon followed Agnes (1972) into 2 cities near
the County Courthouse, in who's sub-basement Civil
Defense's offices & RACES station was located.
During the Flood, RACES-trained Hams were dis-
patched to the High School's RACES station, and a
nearby private Catholic college.
Flooded folks were sheltered both at the High School
(in a vast array of army cots, set up in the gym) &
the College (presumably, on similar sports flooring,
& possibly in any empty dorm rooms).
To answer your question, RACES operators were
needed because Flood waters wiped out the cities'
telephone exchange, reportedly just after it had
been upgraded in some way.
So, Red Cross (who might have been set up on the
College's beautiful campus) & others service pro-
viders used RACES' stations to send & receive
lists of supplies needed by their shelter folks.
Since the College & High School were outside
the flood-plane, both had electricity, but the
service providers in or nearer to flooded areas
(reportedly) didn't always have power; so, they
relied on portable radios to get the orders in.
Early-on there needed army cots, blankets, etc.
later, it was canned water & food stocks, in var-
ious forms (initially, ready to eat; later, chang-
ing to larger quantities of ingredients, ie, when
cooking facilities near them were able to cook.)
(Folks staying at the High School enjoyed the
benefit of the School's -huge- industrial kitchen,
used to prepare school lunches for several of
the District's primary schools, as well as itself)
(back to radio ops)
Of course, at random times, someone would
be directed to one of the RACES stations, &
come in to ask if they had comms with who-
ever they needed to speak with, at one of
the shelters or a coordination center.
While flood victims were well looked after,
in the temporary shelters, ie, until trailer-
pad could be built, along with needed infra-
structure build (ie, water, sewage & power),
& some "HUD trailers could be set up on the
'pads, at least one of the flooded cities seems
- by all reports - to have faded a bit.
Ethics, in the County, may also have changed,
for the worse, in some sectors:
Elected Judge(s) took steps to close County's
public youth prison(s), allowing new, private-
ly -owned & -run youth-prisons to be build.
Two (2) judges were later found to have been
unduly sentencing any youth, who attended
court -without- lawyers (since their offense
were so minor as to reasonably expect - at
worst - a fine & - if sentenced at all - to re-
ceive only -suspended- sentences, rather
than a stay at the new youth prison) to sur-
prisingly LONG periods in (privately-run)
youth-prison (who were paying kickbacks
to the judges, for each cell filled due to the
judges' harsh sentencing of a young person).
You'd never expect Judge Judy to play such
depraved games with young people. :-)
eHam Forums / Emergency Communications / RE: Lets encrypt ham radio cause we are special!!
on: March 08, 2014, 03:45:02 PM
To many non-Hams (&, possinbly, some Hams, also),
D-STAR's Digital Voice (DV) is a sufficiently high "fence"
around our Ham Comms, IMO.
Of course, with the very cost-effective IC-7100 HF-UHF
(where I mean "through" by that last "-") D-STAR's DV
can be used on HF (local Ham reg's & License permit'g)
OTOH, low cost aftermarket D-STAR decoders bring my
D-STAR wall down, a bit... ;-)
eHam Forums / Emergency Communications / Zello? Yes, free version of Zello, for Emergency Service use.
on: March 08, 2014, 03:22:30 PM
I don't know where it comes from, but - judging from what I've seen, so far, in Zello - it should be very handy for ES use, at leasr, in those possibly rare situations, in which most comms stations & operation centers have internet connected computers.
While point to point comma is possible, Zello seems at last as useful connecting users via "channels" which can support ~ 100 concurrent users (more, if an agency wants to use the non-free version of Zello.
(Here, however, I will focus entirely on the features & possible uses of the cost-free version of Zello.)
Any user can create any number of Channels, & each can be given a name, in very reader-friendly ways, eg: Foreground WEST; Strike Team 7; Murgas ARC; Debate Energy from Thorium (LFTRs); etc.
Each Channel has a Profile page, with fields for a good size image (eg, fire truck; club logo; Thorium's symbol & atomic number (from the Periodic Table of the a elements; etc., a web address, & a lot of easy-to-change info, as well as owner's name & eMail-address, if memory serve.
Each user has a similar Profile. Users can define several users names, under an account name. To use one or more Channels, one connects to each one, in turn, as you might do in EchoLink. However, one is NOT creating pipes between multiple Channels when connecting to more than one Channel, in Zello.
While connected to a Channel, along with other Zello users, one has a received Volume Control for EACH other user, ie, to to compensate for varying voice levels. (D-STAR gear could do this, eg, by dynamically assigning a user-settable volume level with each call sign heard over a period... Are you listening, ICOM? ;-)
Each Channel you create can let Anyone speak, No one (except owner & Moderators, eg, who can use thie Channel for 1-way Broadcasts), or Trusted users (A user wanting to be Trusted not to run amock on the Channel can only be heard by Moderators; when a Moderator identifies a user, s/he can Trust the see, thus, letting that user's late transmissions be heard by all Channel users).
Moderators can interrupt overly long-winded speakers, & if necessary Untrust some users, at any time.
Moderators know which user is transmitting, by the display of their user name and - if s/he is connected to multiple Channels, the Channel name also appears.
Lots of other useful feature make Zello (free edition) a cost-free, tool to enhance comms between responders, bases & other services.
During a directed net, net controls need to be given Moderator status, which allows them to Block interfering Channel members.
Among the Trending Channels, created by others, are several Channel names that suggest Amateur Radio connections to, eg, storm watchers / chasers, EchoLink, simulations (presumably for training purposes).
Channels may be closed to others (& optionally protected by password).
For the paid edition, familiar radio interconnects (eg, USB interfaces) are listed, suggesting that one or more Hams were involved in Zello's development. :-)
PS We tried to list Zello among eHam's other Ham Software reviews, but either its generic nature or my Aussie callsign seems to have lead to it being quashed/never published...
Oh, a user can monitor traffic arriving over several Channels (if s/he's connected to each one), or - with Solo mode selected - only 1 Channel will be heard, ie, the one you've most recently selected, from those connected to.
eHam Forums / Mobile Ham / RE: Hard to hear radio in truck, need help with mobile setup.
on: January 26, 2014, 05:45:02 PM
If earphones don't suit, or laws forbid them while driving,
you might consider mounting speakers on either / both
sides of your driving position, eg, above head-level, hang-
ing from the top, inside the cab.
Be sure to run 2 pairs of audio leads, as if you were wiring
up 2 stereo speakers, since TM-710's are dual-receive,
so you can use R & L sound sources to indicate which
band & side of the radio (A or B) the caller is on.
Also, on the earlier TM-D700A, the 2 radio sides had
noticably different tone characteristics. Maybe switch
radio side to try the other tone, ie, if your model also
gives 2 tones, for the 2 speakers, resp.
PS I assume you haven't connected the audios from
2 radio sides together, ie, without also changing the
audio setting so that radio is prepared for that way
of connecting speakers...?
eHam Forums / Clubs / RE: china's transceiver museum will be inaugurated
on: July 13, 2013, 08:51:05 PM
Will there be an on-the-air Ham Station
in the Museum? If so, operating times &
frequencies would be of interest.
It would be good if some vintage radio
can be heard / worked on-air.
(Sweden has a Museum, which features
an operational Ham station inside... and
a nice tower-mounted antenna outside.
Licensed Hams are scheduled for demon-
strations of the hobby, & I think licensed
visitors could operate, when a volunteer
Ham staffer was present.)
From a location, high in a mountainous
region, I hope the Chinese station can be
heard around the planet.
If the location offers low-noise reception,
perhaps it will someday have a radiotele-
eHam Forums / Clubs / Can Ham Clubs & peak bodies "kill" Hams' -creative- spirit?
on: July 13, 2013, 08:05:46 PM
When I compare the levels of creativity by Internet hackers (by which I mean folks - usually programmers - who create new on-line technologies) to those shown by some our local Ham Radio hackers, I sometimes wonder if these locals Hams are being short-changed.
I recently heard a local Ham (who is very active in promoting Amateur Radio as a secondary source of trained Emergency Service communications volunteers, etc.) -bemoan- the fact that he's found it -harder- to get several of our State's emergency services to recognize & (even formally) open the doors to participation by Hams from his civil emergency network, despite past participation by its members in helping to facilitate large community events (car-, bike- & foot-races, etc.)
Reflecting on what Radio Clubs & the larger Ham Radio peak body seem to ask / expect local Radio Amateurs to do, I'm starting to understand why, eg, Radio Hams are -not- always welcomed to work beside our [paid] emergency services, at least in South Australia.
After -each- regular Sunday morning WIA broadcast, upwards of 60 Radio Hams line-up, for chance to "thank the relay operators" for the broadcast. Oh, they can also say, eg, "Good morning to all," too, if they wish... but almost -no- thoughtful (or other) -conversation- goes on, during the 20 - 30 minutes of "call-backs" on the most -popular- repeater in the State of South Australia, after those morning broadcasts!
This week's WIA broadcast brought news that a local Ham Club was about to hold a -second- technical night on the construction of -one- particular VHF / UHF antenna. (I gather that the task -couldn't- be completed in the -first- of the two tech' nights...)
Making identical copies of a -single- antenna desigh is like being in a "Technical Arts" class & being asked to fold a given length of metal into a -specified- triangular shape, to serve as the base for a 3-candle holder, where each student fastens -identical- candle holders (with -identical- wax-catchers), onto -each- of those -identical- bases, using -identical- fasteners! Oy!
Each level of Ham organisation seems to be positioning a -diverse- group of individuals into a group of "factory workers" ...ie, rather than into a group of curious, experimental individuals, prepared to take [small] Risks, eg, making small changes to a design & comparing the results of all the variations produced in the group.
(So, even if a -single- antenna design is all that's on offer, for a Radio Club's technical night, why couldn't a range of rod -diameters- be available (eg, to see / show how rod diameter might affect the width of the resulting "low-SWR" band of frequencies, for that antenna design)? Why couldn't various metals be offered, or even some some mixed-material solutions (eg, fibre glass or carbon fiber, covered with, say, a layer of cheap aluminum foil, copper foil, etc.)
Why couldn't several groups work on as many different antenna designs? Perhaps, after creating antennas of each design, the groups could compare the performance, across the design types.
I suppose that -younger- members would be more likely to be -limited- in their habits of thinking than older ones, by such "single-idea-in-mind" regimentation.
Let's compare "the way we are" today with how we might become, in future, eg, by examining some recently published additions to the cost-free Khan Academy library of tutorial videos, eg - in the Science / Project catagories:
Consider the mind-expanding:
a. "Reverse Engineering" sequence (in which various household items - from a cheap wall-clock to a more costly digital camera - are take apart & their components examined for a better understood of each)
b. a follow-on Robotics sequence (which -uses- a selection of components - which were exposed & examined in "Reverse Engineering" along with a few purchased modules - to build an Arduino-based robot toy for kids... also encouraging / enabling an older child or parent to try to build one for a younger child).
Is Amateur Radio just a Fun Hobby -or- can we continue to embrace its Self-Educational tradition, as Internet hackers seem to have done?
I - for one - feel we need -both- & it would be good to -consciously- make efforts to insure that Radio Hams' be encouraged to think a bit outside the norm, oftener than Radio clubs seem to be doing now.
Why do we need clever engineering skills in Amateur Radio, etc.?
After Fukushima's nuclear power plant near melt downs, we - quite rightly - began to ask:
+ Is nuclear power really safe?
To answer this type of questions, we need minds with more "granularity" that can look "inside the box" and understand the implications of each -type- of design... and the implications of each feature of these designs.
So, before we answer the above safety question, let's ask a similar one:
+ Are cars safe?
In each case, it depends on the design; we need to be able to understand & "fiddle with" (ie, improve, at least on paper) some of the important designs we come into contact with, in media & Life.
(I'm happy to say that there's a growing "movement" of very bright & clever people re-thinking th safety of nuclear energy...
Calls to promote "Energy from Thorium" are replacing calls to "Shut Off all Nukes!" ...because such people are analyzing & comparing different kinds of designs... and embracing -safer- ones.
A young [re-]thinker on a possible -safe- nuclear powered future:
A middle-aged thinker / engineer's thoughts on similar topics:
A mature-aged scientist covers related topics, more fully:
. "Thorium as Nuclear Fuel in the Molten Salt Reactor"
. - Prof. Dr. Eduardo Greaves (from Venezuala)
(Want more details - from a wider range of sources?
So, search YouTube.com for "Thorium Remix 2011")
eHam Forums / Licensing / RE: Volunteer Examiners - I have a few questions for you!
on: April 06, 2013, 08:39:32 PM
Hi Rose :-)
Well, the further you're willing to travel
from centers of Ham radio activity, the
more likely you are to be one of the few
VE's ready to give exam's there... ;-)
In AU, there are lots of smaller towns &
some indigenous communities where
radio hobbyist might be wanting to be
examined, eg, after preparing, by way
of leaving CB behind (or just adding a
new hobby to a growing list: SWL, CB,
(Of course, any time there's an existing
radio club, you can ask for a chance to
go along - as if in "training mode" - as a
willing extra helper. Who would say No?)
Today - more than ever - women would
be welcomed, so you should get a chance
do more than pass-out or collect exam-
papers... but even if you must do that -
at first - I'd say you'd be able to get a
good feeling of a well-run "exam day"
operation, if the one you pick is well-run.
Of course, you could also create a team
of your own, ie, rather than waiting for
an elderly examiner to "fall-off-the-perch"
at an existing team.
Best experiences: Just seeing the faces
of the folks who've -passed- one or more
of their exam elements, when I tell them
the good news.
Worst experience: When a well-liked &
hard-working Radio Scout adviser took
some of the exams, that he hoped would
get him a license... -didn't- pass... First,
it hurt to check his exam paper; later, it
hurt again to have to tell him the news. :-/
eHam Forums / Licensing / RE: CENSORSHIP and Amateur Radio
on: April 06, 2013, 08:19:03 PM
Now, I'm -not- one to use "swear" words,
except in my own company - very occas-
ionally - ie, if I whack my sore knee on the
underside of a table... OUCH!
But we all -hear- more "swear" words in
our TV shows & cinema movies, -much-
more often than I -ever- heard, as a kid
on the same screens.
The Internet has more, yet, at least in
some places. (I don't see these, mostly,
-unless- they "pop-up" in my browser.)
If a person doesn't have a good, rich,
civil social circle or three to balance-
out all those "expletives" out of their
consciousness, they might get the im-
pression that we -all- talk like those
we hear in movies, etc.
My solution: Be just as selective in
choosing items for my "media diet"
as I am about my -food- intake.
So, I'll choose a lovely music enriched
Bollywood movie (despite culturaly dif-
ferences, I manage to get a -lot- from
carefully chosen Hindi movies, provi-
ded, of course, they have English sub-
When local current event shows or
interviews seem either noisy, dim,
or "impatient," ...No problem!
I'll just "go to Canada" (or California,
etc.)... via Podcast! :-)
Using Juice 2.2 on an old XP-based box
(or iTunes on any other Win ot Mac OS
boxes that are handy), I fetch podcasts
like these, which take the time to hear
lots more views, while keeping partici-
pants cool & collected (mostly), or I
just tune to something else.
. + Forum (two 1-hour topics / weekday)
. + Perspective (almost anyone's words)
. + As It Happens (warm, calm cur. events)
. + The Current (warm, in-depth cur. events)
Around the edges, I may have BBC, DW =
Deutsche Wella (sp?) or Radio Netherlands
content (often via an ABC AM-station).
If I'm using an Android device, "the World's
my Oyster" using the Internet radio feature
of "TuneIn" or (if I want to record, say, an
episode of "News from Lake Wobegon") the
non-free "TuneIn Pro" (Android app's).
If one or more are tying up a repeater with
uninteresting topics, I try another or just
As one who tries to archive the more inter-
esting podcasts, until I've listened to them,
or storage is exhausted, G-d knows I have
much more interesting content around to
And... I don't waste my time trying to set-
tle folks down on-air... I go off to "greener
fields of content" - sometimes "Greener"
ones, eg, Electric Vehicles or Thorium-based
Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR's),
eg, currently being promoted (eg, in TED-
talks, at TED.com) by the likes of:
+ Shai Agassi (on battery-swappable EV's)
+ Kirk Sorensen (on safer, 4G LFTR's)
Easy fix to evaporating problems, eh? :-)
eHam Forums / Licensing / RE: AU: As Gov't Election approaches, ACMA (AU's "FCC") visits big HAM clubs
on: April 06, 2013, 07:33:27 PM
Thanks for that...
It was good to confirm that CA's Ham tickets cost $0
...reminding me that, in at least 2 N Amer lands,
+ "The best things in this Life are Free"
. (rather than profit centers for gov'ts)
I'm not surprised that CA's Ham regulators have
seen fit to show their user-friendly IT capabilities,
eg, in a free-to-use IT call-sign selection we app.
(Skype used to let you choose your own phone-
number (DID #), in pre-Microsoft-merger days.
And at least one of our on-shore VoIP providers
lets one choose phone-numbers from short lists
which can be generated until you find one you
can relate to or like.)
ACMA's online RadCom search facility is only for
looking-up -existing- license data, & - if you for-
get to renew - access to your details disappears!
While you can search for unused call-signs, this
"quick-loss of call-sign" due to belated renewal
seems harsh, eg, if ACMA or AU Post loses the
payment or misapplies it to another account.
I think we do it -much- better when our ID is
stamped on metal plates, eg, Motor (vehicle)
Registration... you'd keep your plate number
if your payment comes in a bit late.
Licensing agencies should adopt the example.)
Your no-cost Morse & Basic exam experience
shows that some examiners aren't doing if for
I've seen 3-digit dollar costs for WIA's Exams,
-PLUS- another 3-digit cost for examiners, ie,
when exams in AU began to cost money.
The largest ARC in Adelaide publishes -their-
fees (see URL below), but I've not seen any
table of -all- fees, across examiners in AU,
that might help a traveler to "shop around."
. (Adult: AU$ 181 & Under 18: AU$ 149)
(Fees seem to include AU$ 64 license fee,
charged by ACMA, if enough exams are
passed to earn one. AU$ 41.80 f. upgrade)
More bureaucracy is to be found in "training"
for an Ham exam, that seems -analogous- to
the "lengthening" of mode codes; remember
the old days of A1, A3, etc.? Compare these
abbreviations to the longer ones (sometimes
with excess 0's within) seen today, at least
in AU, eg:
+ VKS737's SSB license mode: "3K00K3E"
. as found in ACMA's online RadCom database
Wasn't that something like A3J, earlier?
I guess international standards changed 'em.
'happy to hear you didn't have to pay for a
Ham license, during your visit to AU. (This
seems better than the situation for driving;
when I first visited, on a tourist visit, I was
advised to have an "Int'l drivers license,"
which cost (from memory) about US$ 10,
AU's gov't tends to be "nice" to folks who
have paid so much to get here.
(German tourists don't even need a visa to
visit AU for 3 months, last time I checked;
while those from, eg, China, etc. require a
visa, or so I've been told.)
Thanks, again, for the leads to CA's info.
eHam Forums / Licensing / AU: ACMA's High Power by "Poll Tax" ...comes with "Training Wheels"
on: April 06, 2013, 05:19:19 PM
Australia's FCC-counterpart is:
- Australian Communications & Media Authority
Soon after Radio Amateurs in neighboring New Zealand
were authorized higher transmit power, ACMA -finally-
got the idea, that Australia's Hams should have similar
However, ACMA could not see itself to "trust" AU's Hams
to use high transmit power, ie, without "training wheels"
attached, in the form of a "trial" of unspecified duration
AFAIK), and without a clear indication of what might lead
ACMA to (someday, maybe) -include- that privilege into
at least the Advanced Class licensees' Conditions list.
By contrast, New Zealand's Radio Amateurs were deemed
to be sufficiently responsible & technically competent to
merit automatic granting of Higher Power privileges, ie,
en masse (presumably, if their license class was high
No trial period... but wait, there's another nuisance to
endure, only in Australia:
Perhaps to effectively -reduce- the number of AU Ham's
who would have the privilege to use the new Higher
Power transmit privilege, Australia's regulator required
an insulting Application to be in their "trial."
Adding cost to the undue insult of a "With Your Leave,
Your Highness" Application requirement...
Being "overcharged" AU$ 60 per year, by ACMA,
for their Amateur license alone (while US & CA's
hams enjoy Cost-Free licenses)...
Aussie Hams well & truly deserve at -least- some
improved additional value to be dropped into the
But no... it was not to be... Instead:
ACMA required any Advanced Class Ham, wanting
to "trial" the new higher power levels, to pay a
"Poll Tax" - in the form of an Application Fee -
to support an undue "make work" administrative
check - by ACMA - on each applying Ham...?
(Their more -trusted- mates, across the Tasman,
got High Transmit Power privileges as a cost-free
"Value-Add" to their license privileges.
I recently learned - via ABC's Radio National, or
a sibbling service - that NZ's colonial history was
"fairer" on one point:
The British in New Zealand negotiated -treaties-
with the land's indigenous peoples; there was
-not- imaginary "Terrus Nullus" myth in NZ, as
was used to justify pushing Australian aborig-
inees from their lands, as more settlers arrived
or moved across AU.
"Past is Prologue" - by which I mean to suggest
that New Zealand seems to have a Tradition of
If you doubt me, on this point, I would mention
& compare the ways NZ & AU treated earlier
waves of Asylum-seekers ("boat people" or
"queue-jumpers" in AU), in recent decades.
While NZ earned the respect of decent people
by settling their Asylums-seekers out in their
communities, where they could work & help
pay their ways, in what might become their
AU build costly "detention centers" with un-
friendly razor-wire fencing & undue restric-
tions on meetings between Aussies & their
Asylum-seeker arrivals... contracted with
foreign "prison operators" to run them... &
- later - watched reports of rampant suicide-
attempts, destruction of facilities, & children
growing up in psychologically-dangerous,
prison-like environments, eg, so that - in
then PM John Howard's words:
- "We [could] decide who will come to AU."
(I shudder when I recall -false- reports of
"children overboard" in AU's media, during
earlier, but still recent, periods in AU's
history... I'm sure many Aussies do, too.)
I feel these governments' "cultural" differ-
ences explain the contrasting actions of
AU's Amateur Radio regimes - over time -
in contrast to NZ's apparently more Amateur-
friendly radio communications regulators.
So, while -all- eligible New Zealand Amateurs
-now- enjoy High Transmit Power privileges,
if they choose to use them...
Last we heard, only 230 Australian Hams had
accepted ACMA's unduly -insulting- offer, ie,
to pay a "Poll-Tax" & complete a "May it Please
the ACMA" Application for "Training Wheels"
for High Transmit Power privileges, in the hope
that - someday - ACMA will have found some
reason to justify granting Australia's Hams the
same "Value-Add" that NZ's Amateurs got by
a stronger, friendlier Tradition of Fairness.
(Why haven't more of AU's Ham's applied...?
Perhaps the logic is: Let the "early adopters" open
the door for the, rest of us, to the Higher Transmit
Power privilege, assuming it might be added to ALL
Advanced Class license holders' privilege list.)
May such a Tradition "infiltrate" & "take-over"
ACMA & other departments of AU's Gov't soon,
so we in AU can begin to stand a little taller
as Radio Amateurs, rather than fearing that
our gov't is sufficiently unsupportive of our
Hobby & World Fraternity that it would rather
tax/charge & harass AU's part of it out of
existence, eg, by:
- treating Aussie Hams with prejudice, ie,
instead of respect, eg, when belatedly up-
dating Amateur license privileges, in light
of more generous World Best practice;
- retaining excessive License fees & raising
them all too frequently (in recent years);
- showing disdain to Radio Amateurs, eg,
by permanently -halving- multi-million $
License fees of -commercial- TV broad-
casters, in the light of excessive Ham
License fees (compared to cost-free US
& - recently - Canadian Amateur fees);
- labeling elements of License fees unduly
as taxes, thereby making them difficult
to negotiate downward;
- reducing frequency allocations unduly;
- maintaining undue & leftover restrictions
(eg, banning "auto-patches" & "phone-inter-
connects," enacted long-ago to protect its
telco monopoly, of that dark era);
"Past is Prologue" ...but only -until- we Hams
begin to "push-back" on undue fees, "make-
work" apply-for-trial nonsense, & insist that
AU's Radio Amateurs are afforded a World
Best Practice approach to privileges, and
eHam Forums / Licensing / RE: AU: As Gov't Election approaches, ACMA (AU's "FCC") visits big HAM clubs
on: April 01, 2013, 06:42:02 PM
(Below are excerpts from a reply to the more senior ACMA rep, who - after presenting his talks in Adelaide, South AU, eMailed me with changes.
As his eMail was longer & slightly more complex than that
rec'd from the AHARS president, I have asked his permis-
sion to publish his letter, which offers Corrections to some
details of my original post (OP), in this thread.)
- - -
Our reply to the eMail from visiting ACMA representative:
FYI, I managed to pen a -lengthy- reply to David Clegg, Pres. AHARS, ie, -before- noticing your semi-lengthy eMail - which cites a post on eHam.net, which you feel misrepresents some aspects of your arrangements to speak at several SA ARC's, etc. Thus, that reply (to AHARS Pres., <snip>) may, in part, be based on assumptions, which - you've advised - are false,
both in my reply to his eMail & a copy of that reply on eHam.
(I abbreviate freely above & elsewhere, assuming, that you may be <call-sign>, <snip>... and can easily decode
each such abbreviation.)
Rather than rely on a summary - by me - of your points-of-correction, in your eMail (below), I propose that - with your permission - I Copy & Paste the body of your eMail (or more of it, if you like) into a new Errata-post, at eHam.com, of course, with full attribution to yourself, by way of letting your voice be "heard" (in a new reply post, in the thread, which you cited in your eMail to me, et al.), eg, correcting any points in the cited post, which may suggest any misunderstanding on my part.
First, let me correct a false point in your eMail: As it hap-
pens, I did -not- attend any of your SA presentations.
So, I have no idea whether you would have dealt -fairly-
with your topic(s), nor what that/those topics might have
been, eg, pointing out conditions allowing possession
of unusual devices, etc. (eg, as collectable objects,
rather than intending to operate transmitters inside).
Kindly send a copy of your PowerPoint(s) on a disc, or
- better - see that any video(s) of any of your SA talks
are posted on YouTube.com, eg, by -authorizing- the
Club(s) or person(s), who may have recorded them,
to -upload- them to YouTube.com, for those who,
like myself, were unable to attend, as well as for those
who may want to review any points missed, in the talk.
(As I trust you would know, YouTube is no longer "just
for cute kittens, doing funny things."
Eg, lengthy videos of talks & panel discussions on (future use of) -safer- 4th generation "Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors" (LFTRs) are -also- available there, & I would recommend them to you, if I knew you had interest in clean energy for AU), under keys like: "Thorium remix" 2011 (or 2012), with more to come.)
I intend to take-up the matter of "written questions, in advance" with at least one of the ARC's, at which you spoke, ie, since letting others -read- their questions could insult some askers (Even the -thought- of that restriction was a big slap-in-the-face for me...)
(Regarding you being "more than happy to call," I do not
require a visit by any ACMA Radio Inspector, at this time.)
My main concerns about ACMA's performance - vis a vis
Amateur Radio in AU - are clear (but also not mentioned
in your eMail, for some reason), eg, in my other public &/or private communications.
In a nutshell, -some- of these include:
- excessive license fees (with unduly mislabeled elements,
possibly so-labeled to preclude fair negotiation, eg,
by WIA, for long overdue removal or reduction of same)
(This point was made very clear after we learned of the
Gov't's -halving- of License Fees of AU's Commercial TV
Broadcasters, at a cost (from memory) of $42 million!)
We have just seen the Gov't call the likes of Abobe,
Microsoft, etc. to account for vast differences in the
cost of their products - ie, in AU, compared to USA.
How much -more- should AU's Ham's feel overcharged
when our counterparts in USA & (I'm told) CA, from a
recent change,.. enjoy Zero-fee Ham licenses?
AU Hams deserve "World Best," & ACMA needs to
show it understands this & join the N Amer fee model.
AU needs more young people to become & stay inter-
ested in STEM (Sci,, Tech'y, Engineering & Maths), &
Amateur Radio is an effective way to facilitate interest
in STEM subjects... & later careers.
High License fees will dissuade some from exploring
- unduly insulting & costly (in $$'s & time) entry-path to
higher transmit power, via ACMA's arbitrary & undue
"trial" of max. higher power transmit limit, in AU (unlike
neighboring NZ's ACMA-counterpart, which seems to
have - by default - granted high transmit power pri-
vileges to all, whose licenses class(s) allows.).
I say: Let AU's Hams' voices be heard, like USA's & NZ's,
by default, without undue "trials" of unspecified duration
& "Pass" criteria.
ACMA would intervene in any case(s) of interference,
just as it would today. There should be no extra cost,
to licensees for the higher power privilege..
- undue, residual restrictions from AU's era of monopoly-
telco's; ACMA should now -allow- "auto-patch" = POTS
telephone-interconnect, in the Amateur service, as it
does for Outback Radio (eg, VKS737 network).
- undue -reductions- of AU's Amateur service frequency
allocations (eg, 10 MHz from the 70 cm band, etc.)
(I understand that not all of these issues would be "in your Job Description.")
In short, ACMA needs to show more innovative -vision-
about AU's Amateur Radio service, not more insults,
omissions of privilege & years of overpriced Licenses.
(If you happen to be a Ham, I would expect that you would "get" most of the above, at least, when not wearing your Radio Inspector "badge." :-)
I await a clear "Permission to Publish" for your eMail, so
I can share your corrections on the eHam forum soon.
Kindly reply via eMail, thanks.
73, Chuck VK5CQ, etc.