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Author Topic: When was your last activation  (Read 12119 times)
KB8VUL
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2013, 04:32:05 PM »

To those that replied with specific call out info.  Thanks. 
The request was to create ideas and provoke thought on what to prepare for and how to prepare.
There are no lines drawn.  I was looking for honest answers, and I got them.

CJS... read the post then comment.  As far as tactical calls.. if needed.. ok whatever.   But if you are going to use them, do it right.  Again, I comment on direct experience.  VUL and CJS are not tactical calls.  They are FCC issued cal sign suffixes.  That's what the local groups refer to as tactical calls.  And when you are trying to sound like your something special by having people rapid fire them in as they are signing into an ARES net. Especially when you can only deal with about 4 of them before you get confused and lost you start sounding stupid.  When you are requiring them to be in ITU phonetics and can't copy more than 4 or 5 then you are really getting out there.  That covers the tactical call sign thing.

Explanation of holster sniffing wacker.     Holster Sniffer is a term used to describe a cop wanna be.  They will typically drive a Crown Vic, or other retired police vehicle.  They have replaced most if not all the removed electronics including the radios and sirens.  They may or may not be a ham operator.   They will mimic police uniforms or wear other "tactical" clothing. 
Wacker of course is a holster sniffer who is a ham.  They may also be a hose licker (fire fighter wanna be).  These are the folks that don't just participate in ARES for the idea of assistance when needed, they take it to the next level and then keep going.   I have heard any number of comments from these types that included one trying to tell me they had their private residence classified as the backup EOC for the county.  They not only want but demand recognition of their actions.  Weather spotters will sometimes take things to this level with light bars, corner strobes and Full lettering of their vehicle that they are weather spotters.  Again, I have no issue with weather spotting, or weather spotters as a whole.  Most guys take it seriously and do provide a needed service.  When they decide to go running down the road at 90 MPH with their lights flashing, they are typically creating a bigger safety hazard than any storm they might be chasing.

Lastly.  The best description I have seen to date,,, "license by assignment".  That right there sums it up.  At no time is ham radio to be used to replace another radio service.  That includes SAR and CERT which are not hobby radio people.  Sure some have interest, and if they like ham radio great.  But being required to get a ham license by their local group is unacceptable and if it's being done.  Frankly it's illegal.  CERT and SAR are both eligible to have LMR licenses.  And in truth, access to public safety if the local served agencies prefer it.  FEMA has already setup specific search and rescue VHF and UHF frequencies for these groups.  The only real reason to have them on ham is to communicate with other hams who may be ARES.  Incident commanders are going to have communications officers who are not hams but have commercial radios that would have access to these frequencies as well.  Going directly to those communications officers and dispatchers is a better use of resources and people. 
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K1CJS
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« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2013, 05:08:53 PM »

'VUL,  I'm just going to say this.  You either don't tell the whole story or you don't fully explain yourself, then you still insist on backpedaling and making your own assumptions as to what others mean.  For example, I never said 'VUL and 'CJS WERE tactical calls.

Stop already--and reread YOUR posts.  I'm not the one who changes horses in mid stream and tries to say he never said what he said.

Get your act together, straighten out YOUR facts and then post--because all you're doing right now is making a fool of yourself.  BTW, when you do you can argue with someone else because I won't answer you at all from here on.  73.
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2013, 06:28:59 PM »

Yeah, I went around a couple things and didn't nail them down.
I speak from local personal experience and don't always take into account the fact that not everyone is listening to the same group of people. 
Around here the tac call signs are nothing more than call suffixes.  Not locations, not predetermined designators, just call suffixes.  And it gets funny when the net starts and people are rattling off suffixes and after only about 4 net control has to stop to catch up.  Now the whole reason they state for using tac calls is that it's faster.  Faster than WHAT?  If you can't copy more than four calls at a time as net control then you need to get someone that can. 

I do tend to piss off the group by indicating that I am going to Tee Jay's Command when meeting fellow hams for coffee on Friday nights.  Which by true definition would be a tactical call sign. 

I guess it really got under my skin when ARES started using federal grant money for ham equipment.  We have radios in all hospitals paid for with tax dollars.  They are actually required to be there and be functional.  There are ham antennas in all fire houses.  Again, tax payer money at work.  I finally put a stop to it when the local EMA was going to take grant money and replace a failed ham antenna on the local UHF repeater.  I called the county commissioner about that deal and got it stopped.  When that fell apart the same group approached the city that owned the tower to have them pay for the  replacement (not just the cost of the antenna but the tower crew as well).  The director of communications was ask about it by his boss and he told his boss he should really consider his freedom because misappropriation of government funds is a crime in Ohio and people serve time for it.  Of course it ended right then. 

Point is that I only have exposure to the crap around here.  And I figure that it's probably worse elsewhere. 
From your other posts, we do seem to be on the same page about ARES and specifically the wacker mentality. 
Sorry for the confusion.   
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GREGWTH7MMMAG
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2013, 07:58:54 AM »

With two seperate threads running at the same time by the same author about more or less the same thing, it really begs the question, do you have an ax to grind?  I know this will come off as an attack, and its not really meant to be, but you made a thread that has gone on about pushing emcomms, and now this thread, which is a side show of the other thread.  If you aren't interested in ARES, RACES, or whatever, then don't participate.  If you don't like what they do, then don't associate.  What I see when I read these posts, you don't like this, you don't like that, this way is stupid, and anyone driving a crown vic is a nutjob.  Don't be a negative nancy in my rainbow world, lol. 

There are some strange people in your neck of the woods, as I've seen when I visit family just south east of you.  Not everyone in the country works backwards.  Perhaps relocating would do you good.  Where I am, we use suffix call signs during weather nets, etc, only after you have signed into the net.  During special events, we use tactical callsigns to make it easier to identify what location you are at.  That makes more sense than everyone trying to remember who is at what every time.  The vast majority of our work is public events, providing comms in the mountain areas for bike races, marathons, etc.  In more than one ocassion, it has flipped into an emergency net, when a forest fire has erupted.  I'm not sure what your involvement is in your area, however your take of things is polar opposite from the area I reside, and how they do things.  That leaves me to ask, do you really participate, or have alot, or do you not like your favorite repeater being taken over for an ARES or RACES net? 

Remember, if we do not at least show a need to keep us around, the FCC will gladly sell our bands to the highest bidder, and then you will have nothing, unless you want to become an outlaw freebander.
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KD0PWN
K1CJS
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Posts: 5875




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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2013, 08:21:00 AM »

I wish that bit of propaganda would stop--the FCC is not just 'going to hand the bands to the highest bidder.'  The only bands that are likely to get handed over are the higher frequency bands, ie, over 400 mhz.  Nobody wants bands lower than that for the telecom purposes that bidders are pushing for.

Other than that, Greg, I agree with you!
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 08:14:49 PM »

Greg, yes, to be blunt I have an axe to grind.  It's a huge axe, and the grinder is equally large.  This has to do with the growing number of non-ham hams out there that get a license for some reason other than being interested in ham radio as a hobby.  Getting a license for other endeavors is crap in my opinion.  CERT / SAR, hospital employees (issue around here), and there are other groups that have come storming in and are forcing members to get licensed so they can use ham radio for their group communications.  I have had people even admit to it saying that it just costs too much to get a commercial license and operate legally.  Ham radio is not the poor mans version of commercial radio.  ARES groups push this crap and are primarily responsible for it because it allows them to create a problem that they are the only solution for.  If you have a lost child in the woods, and all the SAR members are only carrying ham radios, there is a problem. Trained SAR members need to be in the woods conducting the search, so in walks the ARES clowns to save the day be becoming the liaison between the local LEOS and the SAR team.  They do the same shit with CERT.  During any sort of disaster, or mass causality event, once CERT is activated by the served organization, they become first responders.  They go through specific training for that.  Not just radio training, but fire fighting, basic SAR, triage medical assistance and a number of other things.  But they are fire fighter/EMT lite basically.  So once again, and this is EXACTLY what happened with the local CERT groups here, the ARES hacks come running in screaming they are here to save the world with their 15 dollar 35 question cure all for communications.  So the minute that they get activated, once again, we have some fool, but not just any fool will do, he has to have a hammie ticket so he can talk to the first responders that have nothing but ham freaking radios to talk on so they can get their self importance fix on.  And once again ARES clowns have pushed their way into the fold by creating a problem that only they are the solution to.  And it pisses me off to no end.

This thread was created to basically enforce that.  I ask what sort of activations there had been and what did you get out of them.  I got two responses.  TWO.... out of 650000 ham operators I got two responses.  What the hell is that?Huh??  Recently we had Katrina, the east coast hurricane, hurricane Ike that tracked from the south clear up into Canada.  We have had numerous issues that these save the day heros all gush about and dream of happening so they can fire up their light bars and go out and get their 15 minutes and I get two responses.  ARE YOU SERIOUS.  CAN YOU HONESTLY SAY THAT HAM OFFERS ANY FREAKIN THING TO EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS AFTER TWO RESPONSES?!?!?!? REALLY!@?!?!?     DAMN YALL!!!!

I think my head is going to explode. 
Look, ham radio is a hobby.  That's it.  It's not glamorous, it don't get you hot chicks... hell it don't get you any chicks.  I had more luck getting women back in the CB days.  Sure they were skanks but I was young and they were willing.  But it's a hobby.  You want to be a hero, do something else.  Go join a fire department and save lives.  Go read to the elderly at the nursing home.  Go volunteer at the local food pantry.  If nothing else, give blood and become an organ and tissue donor.   Or you could work with CERT and SAR to do fund raising events for real public safety radio equipment.  Push your local government officials to file for grants to provide first responders the proper equipment they need to conduct operations and have  interoperability with public safety. 
Nothing a local government is going to have is going to provide them with long distance communications like ham can, well other than the news media and their sat uplinked trucks interviewing the local officials as the rain is falling for what they need.  FEMA gets more intel from CNN and FOX News on major disasters than they do anywhere else.  And there is video running right there for proof of the seriousness of the situation.  There are no fair weather reports from CNN like on the local weather spotter nets we all enjoy so much.
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KF7GFL
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Posts: 44




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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2013, 12:35:36 PM »

KB8VUL, you need to seriously relax and take your stress medication. You need to ask yourself why you care so much. Don't tell me or anyone else on the forum because you've already done that with your two separate topic posts over the past couple of weeks. Anyone who has hung out on this forum for more than 2 days knows that defending EComm is going to get labeled a "Wacker" with assumptions made about magnetic signs and yellow lights on your car. With such a hostile attitude, do you think anyone is really going to respond to your question about "last activation"? If you are serious about getting an answer to your question, try picking up any QST magazine and reading the section on EComm. There is one in every issue, and contrary to the opinions of most posters on this forum, it is a small section of the magazine as other aspects of this hobby are given equal coverage.

Everybody gets in to ham radio for different reasons. I got a degree in Electrical Engineering, yet that wasn't enough to push me to getting my ticket. Quite honestly I wish I had done it back then as a number of my courses would have made more sense. Eventually I took up long distance sailing and bringing Transpac yachts back to the mainland from Hawaii. You would think that using marine SSB to do e-mail and check into the sailing nets would have given me the incentive to get my ticket. Nope. It was only when my neighbor volunteered me to join him as the emergency communications person for the neighborhood that I bothered to take the test. My youngest son joined me as it gave the both of us something to do together.

Do I participate in EComm? Yes, there is a neighborhood net I participate in every Sunday night and an ARES net on Mondays. Have I ever been activated? Probably not, given your narrow view of EComm, but I do help out with radio support for ultra marathons (all are run on trails in remote mountains where mobile phone service is minimal or non-existent) and a few other public service events. While you and others may not consider it true EComm, the injured lady that I helped get back to civilization a few weeks ago sure did.

I don't have a magnetic sign for my car nor do I have a flashing yellow light. I also don't live under the delusion that given a catastrophic event like a major earthquake, that I will be able to pick up my phone and dial 911. While their redundant communication systems will probably survive, they will be swamped with so much traffic that my nor my neighbor's emergency won't matter to them. They will be too busy focusing on high-profile events. Personally I hope I never get "activated," as it would mean something really bad has happened. It also means that I am relying on amateurs to help because the professionals are all to busy.
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KB8VUL
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Posts: 105




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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2013, 07:07:06 PM »

I don't disagree that if something major happens that trying to call someone on a phone, cell or landline will be futile.  Nor do I think that doing standard public service things like bike races and such means you are a uber wacker.  Again, what I see locally is about all I see with EMCOMM.  And yes, the local clowns send me over the edge. 

Far as getting my ticket.  My personal experience with radio started when I was 12 with CB radio.  My first job out of high school was a CB shop working on CB radios.  I could never learn the code as hard as I tried, so when the FCC created the no code tech license I was elated.  I went out and got my ticket pretty quick.  I enjoyed talking to others that shared my interest in radio.  We had technical nets where we discussed radio, projects and the like.  Three years ago I got a job as a field tech for a commercial radio outfit and love my job.  I get paid to work on radio and I think it's great.  Yeah, I take radio pretty serious.  I take ham radio pretty serious.  So when I see the league trying to give ham radio away to folks that what nothing to do with it but use it for basically commercial radio it gets me fired up.  Sometimes I get overboard and really go off the deep end.  Hell there is an audio recording of me having a pointed discussion (no I wasn't flipping out) where I was raising these very issues to the Eastern District Director EC for the league at the ARRL booth at Dayton two years ago.   

Here's the hard truth.  EMCOMM happens every day.  It happens on ham radio, it happens on cell phones.  Even as little as it's used around here any more I guess not a week goes by that someone doesn't make some level of emergency call on an autopatch somewhere in the USA.  I am fine with that.  I support that, I support the idea that if something was to happen that hams could communicate if somehow everything else went in the toilet.  More over anyone that has their collective shit together that isn't willing to help in a time of need shouldn't have a ham license.  But getting a ham license to fill a need other than being involved with the radio hobby isn't right.  It's not what ham radio is about.  Ham radio is partly about emergency communications, but only a part.  And at no time was it ever meant to take the place of commercial or public safety communications except in the most dire of situations.  Yet it gets treated like the poor boys police comms.  And you know the funniest part.  As far as the light bars comments go.  I got one... Parked on top my SUV, my 1 ton truck has one too.  Of course the only time it gets used is when I am pulling a corn wagon down a state route, or pulling something that is big enough and heavy enough that I can't run near the posted speed limit on the road I am traveling.  I suppose I feel that I am justified using them for those types of things and I do.  I have more than once escorted a farmer home because all he had was a SMV triangle on the back of his tractor and was creating a hazard.  Thing is I don't go looking for it, I am not a solution in search of a problem as someone else put it.  I just do my thing and try to help as I can.  I realize to that ALOT of the ARES folks do their thing to help.  They aren't looking to be a hero.  Funny thing about real hero's, they are never looking to be hero's to other people, it just turns out that way.  I suppose it's the law of the 1 percent.  The one percent that act like dumb dumbs are the only ones that are remembered and give the 99% a bad name.  I try hard to remember that and keep it in the forefront as I chastise the one percent for being clowns.  I guess when I get rolling I forget that, and come off pretty harsh.
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W9FIB
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2013, 06:38:23 AM »

You know, maybe the reason you don't get much input as to activations is simply because the groups are not looking for "recognition" for what they do. So many times the preaching about self importance that everyone needs to know about is spewed at anyone who wants to say what they participated in.

The point is, when you say someone is bad for telling what happened, call them whackers or what ever, your never going to get much response. I am certainly not going to mention our activations just for that reason.

I do agree with the posters that getting a ham ticket to participate in some group without a structured training system is wrong.

But I disagree with the assumption that all ARES groups are run by someone with the most whatever. Our group practices message handling 3-4 times a year and trained by a STM. We are required to pass several of the ICS training courses to participate. Our county EC has us credentialed upon proof that we have received all the proper training. We participate with many agencies in a Statewide interoperability drills. And we participate in the State wide Esponder program. And we only use tactical designators in a specific net operation that is supporting what ever we do.

Sorry about the brag, but it seems the only way to contest short ranged vision to outside the short ranged vision.
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GREGWTH7MMMAG
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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 11:20:52 AM »

Quote
I take ham radio pretty serious.  So when I see the league trying to give ham radio away to folks that what nothing to do with it but use it for basically commercial radio it gets me fired up.  Sometimes I get overboard and really go off the deep end.  Hell there is an audio recording of me having a pointed discussion (no I wasn't flipping out) where I was raising these very issues to the Eastern District Director EC for the league at the ARRL booth at Dayton two years ago

You need to listen to yourself.  You are on here, talking about whackers, and how they take things too serious, yet here you are, admitting that you go overboard, and take things too seriously.  It almost sounds like you have a self destructive personality, and you hate things about yourself, but you vent this frustrations on others that exhibit similar characteristics.  I'm in no way bashing you, I'm pointing out something.  There are no shortage of people with hero complexes.  My brother in law fits the bill to a T, and he lives out in your neck of the woods no less.  There are alot more though that do things to help others, not for recognition, but for humanity.  I dont run out to report a tornado, or tell someone we need more diapers at the red cross shelter for glory and fame. 

We face two options.  We can let all the SAR teams, etc worry about learning communications in poor conditions, as well as cramming all the SAR material in their head, or we can let them focus on their job, and we can assist and focus on what we know.  That is what a team does.  A team lets each person focus on their strong points, so that when put together they are stronger than a "john wayne" trying to do it all.  No member of a team is out looking for glory or fame.  They are merely doing their part.  For that, you will not get many responces by hams that have been activated.  They aren't going to feed a troll. 

I encourage you to either ignore the local activities, seek help, or move to another area.  Not all parts of the country work the same as where you are.  Make an excursion out west and you'll see a different attitude.
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KD0PWN
W0ALE
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 12:47:31 PM »

Our local group activated during the Waldo Canyon fire.   Mostly manned the Red Cross shelter locations to report numbers of evacuees to EOC.   We used VHF,  UHF,  Packet and HF/NVIS.   One fella has a crossband mobile repeater system built into a truck bed trailer,  so he could move that to spots where coverage was bad.

We support lots of bike races etc throughout the year which is great for developing comm plans and practicing them and getting some experience using our rigs.

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GREGWTH7MMMAG
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2013, 06:18:47 AM »

You know, maybe the reason you don't get much input as to activations is simply because the groups are not looking for "recognition" for what they do. So many times the preaching about self importance that everyone needs to know about is spewed at anyone who wants to say what they participated in.

The point is, when you say someone is bad for telling what happened, call them whackers or what ever, your never going to get much response. I am certainly not going to mention our activations just for that reason.

I do agree with the posters that getting a ham ticket to participate in some group without a structured training system is wrong.

But I disagree with the assumption that all ARES groups are run by someone with the most whatever. Our group practices message handling 3-4 times a year and trained by a STM. We are required to pass several of the ICS training courses to participate. Our county EC has us credentialed upon proof that we have received all the proper training. We participate with many agencies in a Statewide interoperability drills. And we participate in the State wide Esponder program. And we only use tactical designators in a specific net operation that is supporting what ever we do.

Sorry about the brag, but it seems the only way to contest short ranged vision to outside the short ranged vision.

I think this sums things up.  Some of us are involved, if not most of us on this thread in some kind of emergency service.  In that, some of us volunteer to assist in bike races and marathons, for training and community service.  Once in a while there may be a real emergency and we are asked to help.  Regardless whether its one case or the other, things happen that we can not control.  Most of us I feel do it not for the self recognition that the OP is trying to dig up, hence few if any are going to come out and brag about how they did this or did that. 

Basically to the OP, no one is going to fall into your troll trap of trying to label us all "whackers" if any of us come forward and discuss what we did during an emergency.  Just like the posers in the biker community, the whackers are the ones pointing the fingers, not the other way around.
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KD0PWN
KD8GTP
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2013, 11:07:29 AM »

Blame it all on yourselves but you all still are wackers to me-  I think I could put that to music Wink
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GREGWTH7MMMAG
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« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2013, 06:38:17 PM »

Blame it all on yourselves but you all still are wackers to me-  I think I could put that to music Wink
I rest my case.  You have proven my point, thank you. 
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KD0PWN
KD8GTP
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Posts: 57




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« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2013, 12:14:31 PM »

I get a kick out of you wackers Wink  keep the posts coming !
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