Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 2 [3]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is E-Comm a fallacy?  (Read 16547 times)
KA9OFN
Member

Posts: 2




Ignore
« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2017, 06:30:18 PM »

Ok, I'm a little late to this party, but I approach EMCOMM from a totally different angle.

While I don't wholly agree with some of the harsher criticisms expressed in this topic, I do understand & appreciate how folks like KK5JY and KG7LEA came to their conclusions.

And yeah, I do agree that the average ham is more likely to require assistance rather than provide it. The image of the fat old dude wearing a reflective vest with a bunch of patches on it and three handheld radios strapped to his ass is not exactly an uncalled for stereotype, nor does it inspire confidence.

Anyway, my angle is that EMCOMM is not as much for volunteer/community service as it is for my own personal benefit. I have extensive "off grid" ham radio capabilities, and I'm not doing it for community service reasons. My goal is to be able to communicate with family/friends/neighbors, and more broadly, monitor what is going on in my locale. In other words, I haven't much to say, but I'm very interested in what everyone else is saying. Call it "intelligence gathering" if you will.

Now if my skills and equipment can be incidentally helpful to others, then I'll cheerfully pitch in. But you will never see me driving around looking for adventure in a hamsexy faux cop car with 20 antennas and a dozen SKYWARN/ARES/CERT/When All Else Fails stickers on it.

I'll be the guy you never see, discreetly listening to the world and minding his own business.

Logged
KC9PWT
Member

Posts: 89




Ignore
« Reply #31 on: October 10, 2017, 05:11:07 PM »

ham radio is an old tool in the tool box, now at one time it was a very prominent tool, now it is an older low tech but very reliable tool.  there are times for high tech and times for low tech, we continue to keep up our net practice and skills in case the tool is needed, Puerto Rico has need for the tool until phone service is restored.  then it will go back to the tool box again.  just keep your equipment ready and skills at using your equipment up to date, you never know when someone will ask for the tool.

alex
Logged
KJ4RWH
Member

Posts: 212


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2017, 12:24:06 PM »

My goal is to be able to communicate with family/friends/neighbors, and more broadly, monitor what is going on in my locale. In other words, I haven't much to say, but I'm very interested in what everyone else is saying. Call it "intelligence gathering" if you will.

Now if my skills and equipment can be incidentally helpful to others, then I'll cheerfully pitch in. But you will never see me driving around looking for adventure in a hamsexy faux cop car with 20 antennas and a dozen SKYWARN/ARES/CERT/When All Else Fails stickers on it.

I'll be the guy you never see, discreetly listening to the world and minding his own business.



Precisely my position. A very good measure of Ham gear and AOR scanners keeping track of my world.
Logged
AE5GT
Member

Posts: 68




Ignore
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2017, 02:00:41 PM »

Thats not EMCOMM thats just Short wave listening.
Logged
N9AOP
Member

Posts: 667




Ignore
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2017, 09:22:06 AM »

Having that tool is important but equally important is the tool operator.  Back 30 or more years the ham was a young sturdy fellow that could function in almost any climate.  At the latest hamfest I went to in Sept.,  almost all the hams were old men that would find it hard to function in Puerto Rico unless billeted in an AC environment.  New young folks are being licensed but few get involved.
Art
Logged
K6AER
Member

Posts: 4683




Ignore
« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2017, 09:13:01 PM »

I have opined numerous times on this forum, "where's the beef"?  If ham radio was such a valuable and instrumental resource, why aren't there more documented cases of anything ever actually happening?   A few check ins on a net or linking repeaters in an area with a storm is hardly a result, but that's what gets written up month after month in the ARES newsletter.

Read QST, and for any given ARES event the extent you read about is some woefully small number of hams deploying to an EOC or shelter, and the accompanying photo is the signature stern-faced ham holding a clipboard, clutching a mic and wearing the League-issued safety yellow emcomm vest.  But, little about what got *done*.  15 hams deploying to a handful of shelters during a disaster which may have affected hundreds of thousands of people, what is that?  This only serves to illustrate that normal communications channels *didn't* go down because if they had, a dozen guys even with the most advanced equipment and modes available in amateur radio would be overwhelmed instantly.

Just in the last few days the League announced it's annual ARES report.  Read it:

http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Public%20Service/ARES/ARES%202016%20Report.pdf

The majority of the report is the "value" of the service based on volunteer hours.  Very little about what of any substance got *done*.   Did amateur radio ever actually supplant or replace critical communications "when all else failed"?  Where are the action reports of manpower and equipment deployed, agencies served, messages passed?  Why would the League leave stuff like that out of an ARES report?   My guess is because there's nothing there to report.  They abstract the activity into time and assign a specious value to it, because they have nothing else.   

With the current state of deployable cellular and computer network equipment, the need for a narrowband point to point service is virtually extinct.  Not that ham radio can't be useful for niche purposes in selective situations, but the idea old fat guys are going to show up with a "go box" and accomplish anything meaningful in a "disaster" is delusional, and a fantasy.   Also a myth perpetuated by the League to justify their own existence and amateur radio as a service.  Hams are just a group of useful idiots that show up at a shelter and count things, or serve as go-fers so that public safety personnel can focus on other tasks.   As hams, who has so little to do in life than to delude ones' self that what they're doing is a worthwhile effort?  If the goal is to volunteer and "give something back", there are numerous legitimate aid agencies that can use volunteers which actually get something tangible accomplished. 

I'd be interested to see a public safety official or emergency manager that wasn't a ham who actually believes ham radio has any value in any emergency plan as communicators.  What I see in the League field organization is the role of EC's and DEC's to reach out to served agencies and "sell" them on the idea of including hams in their emergency plans.  How do you sell a group of volunteers using limited equipment and capability into any role other than "support", if at all?  What does it say about a served agency that would incorporate ham radio volunteers into a safety plan when in the event of a real emergency they would likely be among the affected population and couldn't serve?  Pulling shelter duty or being a go-fer is about all you can assign because hams can't be counted on being there when all else fails.

Direct to the OP's question, there was a time when the dynamic and ad-hoc nature of amateur radio was a useful tool contrasted to the rigid inflexible public safety and commercial communications systems of the day.  That was a generation ago.  Public safety networks now are much more capable and robust than they've ever been, and are now the status quo.   There are portable/deployable networks now that relegate every radio and mode in the amateur service as irrelevant.  Yes, there will be someone that will post a link here about a ham that relayed a "critical" message during a disaster.   But it will be a woefully low number of minor events contrasted to the vast numbers of affected populations in multiple disasters of late.  It can also be said "signal mirrors save lives" but you don't see groups of people selling the idea of incorporating signal mirrors into public emergency plans.  In my view, ham radio and signal mirrors offer about the same degree of portability and utility in an emcomm role.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM


Mark is dead on. I ran the ARES communications in the middle 90's for the LA County Sheriff Department (DCS-1). We mostly supplemented the Red Cross locations. With cell phone communications, hams radio is obsolete. Now you ask what if the phone go down. If the ham on the other end has no one to call what different does it make. All cell phone sites have a minimum of two weeks of generator power.
Logged
W0AEW
Member

Posts: 20




Ignore
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2017, 06:21:01 AM »

I wonder if we are looking at this animal from the wrong end.  Rather than hams dragging their gear and operating techniques to the agencies, would it make more sense to find out if these agencies could train hams as volunteers to support the communication procedures and gear they already use?  That is, you might be a Red Cross volunteer who drills with Red Cross personnel in the situations they normally encounter locally or when deployed to other areas, using their frequencies, their equipment, and their procedures?

Our local police, for example, use trained auxiliary personnel to direct traffic during major events. They also use volunteers with other types of backgrounds and training for office work or other duties to release sworn personnel for tasks only they can do.  Would FEMA, Red Cross, or whoever be able to do something similar?

Years ago, ARES volunteers I knew hated being "attached" to any particular agency, preferring to be a fits-all component inserted into whatever agency needed them at the time.  But it would seem to me that if I were responsible for the emergency operation of an agency that I'd want people who knew my organization, my problems, my equipment, my communications procedures and my mission rather than a "black box" with whom my agency occasionally drilled.

P.S. I was involved for a short time with ARES decades ago when hams came in useful for interagency comms (e.g., big forest fire with several volunteer FDs involved who couldn't communicate with one another).  Maybe missions like that are less useful given the equipment that agencies now deploy?

Logged
KB2WIG
Member

Posts: 360




Ignore
« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2017, 01:22:28 PM »



Good points....

Google Satern, the Salvation Army's radio comm group.

KLC
Logged
KK6AUI
Member

Posts: 5




Ignore
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2017, 08:00:58 AM »

Sheriff thinks its still useful.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/business/article183722791.html
Logged
KG7LEA
Member

Posts: 36




Ignore
« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2017, 09:19:09 AM »

Rather than hams dragging their gear and operating techniques to the agencies, would it make more sense to find out if these agencies could train hams as volunteers to support the communication procedures and gear they already use? 


Our group trains in a variety of roles with the OEM that do not involve amateur radio. For some events we are given municipal radios to use (more secure?). All our served agency cares about is skilled communicators and some sort of vetting. We work in the EOC in Planning (intelligence) and Logistics and our main and auxiliary stations have GMRS and the ability to net with city agencies on their commercial frequencies.
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 [3]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!