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Author Topic: Hurricane Watch Net - Why So Controversial?  (Read 6542 times)
AB9IL
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Posts: 4




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« on: September 11, 2017, 07:11:30 PM »

There seems to be a lot of griping on the bands about the nets which operate to help people during natural disasters.  Is there something in the water which is making hams forget how to tune away from activities they don't want to be involved in?

Linked here is a 34 minute example of the many hassles nets like the Hurricane Watch Net volunteers must endure just to help others in storm affected areas.  I tuned in to listen on 7268 and heard so much complaining from N3GKU, and one or two others, about HWN being a directed net.  Why work so hard to be obnoxious when you can just move up the band and operate your way?
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NA4IT
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Posts: 42


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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 03:29:02 AM »

Main problem is most hams have never read this...

"FCC Part ยง97.1   Basis and purpose.

The rules and regulations in this part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications."
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 06:39:54 AM »


I'd like to know how ham radio helps in an emergency anyway.

Fallen trees, power lines must be moved by people.

How does ham radio aid in that task?

Kraus

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K5BBC
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Posts: 98




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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 06:57:38 AM »


I'd like to know how ham radio helps in an emergency anyway.

Fallen trees, power lines must be moved by people.

How does ham radio aid in that task?

Kraus



Strawman post.  The examples are many and documented. If you'd seriously like to know, you'd research it.

It would be just as inane to say, "I'd like to know how I'm going to communicate using a chainsaw anyway."

Yes, all of that other stuff has to be done too. Been there, done that, about to do more.
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W0AEW
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Posts: 17




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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 08:13:27 AM »

After listening to 7.268, 7.265, 14.325, etc. for hours in the background while doing other things, I managed to miss any H&W traffic or any reports of storm conditions from the affected areas (Harvey, then Irma) during the storm or even up to now. The same for conference nodes, repeaters, and links on Echolink. Were telephones and internet connections intact? Are they still?  Maybe the action was all on Zillo (sp?).

That's very good news then.  One less hassle for the survivors. 
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 11:12:07 AM »


Herr K5BCC,

In any war, the winner writes the history. Cannot trust history.

Thus, anything positive of ham radio or of anything for that matter cannot be trusted as truth.

I don't fall for things so easily.

Kraus
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N0MKC
Member

Posts: 83




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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2017, 03:26:42 PM »


I'd like to know how ham radio helps in an emergency anyway.

Fallen trees, power lines must be moved by people.

How does ham radio aid in that task?

Kraus


Granted, this was back in 1990, but still...

An F3 tornado went through Limon, Colorado, taking out most of the center of town including the local telephone central office as well as the regional Colorado State Patrol office (& repeaters, antennas, etc.), among others.  Damage estimates were in excess of $20 million (remember, these are 1990 dollars);

Ham radio was the ONLY available communication out of Limon for about two weeks, until the infrastructure repairs (landline & radio) were completed.

A local ham used his camera-equipped model helicopter to do an initial damage survey to give the local authorities an idea of the affected areas in town before they sent personnel in - this was long before drones became a common item.
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KC4ZGP
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Posts: 1637




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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 05:35:54 PM »

Alrighty. Good news item.

Thank you.

Kraus.
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N9AOP
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Posts: 641




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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 06:48:44 PM »

In Sept. 1990 an F5 tornado ran through Plainfield Illinois.  Ham radio was the answer because nothing else worked.  Forward to 2017 and that is not so any more.  There are State and County comms assets for public safety communications.  I am one of the operators of a 45ft command and communication vehicle that has 18 computer steerable radios in several bands and the ability to mix, match, patch etc.  For the general public phone service, 3 different cell companies can have COW's up and operational within 6 hours.  We still need hams but not for primary communications and the days of ' shadowing someone' is long gone in this area which is the greater Chicago metropolitan area and the collar counties.  Your mileage may vary in other parts of the country.
Art 

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W9FIB
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Posts: 2097




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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2017, 12:56:39 AM »

Art is correct. The need and usefulness of HR is ever changing and dependent on what kind of damage the infrastructure has taken. And what kind of infrastructure was there in the first place.

But then when a major event comes along that covers a wide area, we all sometimes forget about those in need. Again the communications needs of today are less then yesterday and who knows what tomorrows requirements may be. But there is still a need.

Complacency has led to not only fewer volunteers, but also less respect for those who do. Is it really going to disrupt a few individuals because a net uses a frequency? In the grand scheme of things, no. Individually, yes. And those few individuals can't be bothered by the greater good. They gripe about their little disruption and everyone else is simply wrong. Which in turn impacts those who are doing their volunteer duties.

It gets to a point where each volunteer has to question why they should even give a ______________ anymore. "Is this really what I signed on for?" And some day that will hurt us all as HR falls to the dust bin of history.

HR is diverse and includes so many different ideas as to what is HR. In this case, volunteers step up to the plate while others sit on their hands. And that's fine. It is a big hobby. But it is sad to see those who do not volunteer or sit on their hands that simply must make trouble for those that do. And there in lies the controversy.

Kudos to all those who could be out doing their own thing but do step in and help. There are just not enough thank you's for the volunteers.
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Happy being an Amateur Extra!
Nothing says CB on my printed license.
Ares/Races but no lights or crown vic.
W6EM
Member

Posts: 1642




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« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 07:50:37 PM »

First, thanks to those who do volunteer to assist the NWS in its collection of data, including Skywarn spotters and others.  And in true emergencies, ARES, RACES, and other organized or ad-hoc amateur groups.   As a listener to 7.268 during Irma, in order to relay if necessary, I came away with an observation that might address some of  the controversy.

Calling it a "Watch" net, sort of implies any and all sorts of Hurricane-event-related traffic.  Nope.  Only weather data permitted and solicited from within or near the Hurricane track, per net control.  Perhaps Hurricane Weather Data Net would be a better name for it.  At least that way no confusion as to the purpose of the net(s).  Or, did I miss something?

At least one net control stated that any health and welfare traffic should be taken to SATERN, operating a few kHz away.
Just FWIW, I QSYed to that frequency and heard nothing.  It either wasn't in operation, or perhaps skip was such that where I am in Alabama I couldn't hear the impacted area in Florida.

Just my two cents worth, but I came away thinking it didn't rise even close to the level of the multi-faceted Maritime Mobile Service Net.
 
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KC2MMI
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Posts: 812




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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 05:33:56 PM »

"I'd like to know how ham radio helps in an emergency anyway."
 A ARES coordinator who was working in a county EOC. chock full of computer lines, VOIP, and satphones (which seem to go down as easily as two dollar whores on payday),  informed the county emergency operations manager that ARES still had communications with the state co-ordinator.
 The country manager turned around and said out loud "Someone please tell me why with all this expensive equipment we still have to depend on HAM RADIO?! to get communications?" This happened, just this past year. So yes, those weird people with the ham radios are tolerated and allowed to keep using a back room.

 Ham radio has no infrastructure. That's a major problem. And, when physical infrastructure has been knocked down and wiped out, it is also a blessing. Ham radio is old, slow, disorganized and obsolete. And sometimes, it is still the sole working means of contact when someone needs to pass an important message like "Expect 500 National Guard arriving your position with food and water at 10PM tonight."

Old, slow, disorganized and obsolete beats all hell out of "No communications at all."
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