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Manager - N2MG
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Survey Question

Question

As a licensed Amateur Radio Operator, how do you feel about the possible shutdown of NIST Radio Stations WWV, WWVH and WWVB?

Results (967 answers)

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Survey Comments

Closing of NIST

In order to fund NIST all you have to do is to stop Trump's campaign trips that are costing us millions. That SOB is talking 5 Billion dollars for a Mexican border wall when the rest of this country is literally falling apart. Just a short time ago all the Republican's were chanting a mantra like they all were hypnotized "Spend, spend, spend, that's all they do". Look in the mirror guys!
Posted by K2STV on 2018-12-22

A Parts Barter Forum

You're working on a project and are missing
some X parts that I happen to have some of,
left over from this or that. I'm working on
a project, too but am missing some Y parts
and you find some of them in your junk box.
We each post what we need and what we'd trade
to get some of them. We'd all leave contact
info and do our bartering off-forum. The
forum would just be for the tippers and asks.
Unless X:Y are way out of proportion in size,
weight, rarity or value, we'd each cover the
outgoing postage. Just an idea... I see
really cool-looking homebrewed stuff online,
and would like to try building one myself but
haven't any of this toroid, that transistor
or the other IC. Too much to ask?
73,
Ray KA8SYX
Posted by KA8SYX on 2018-10-17

I wish there were more options in this poll. No I don't listen to listen to WWV and WWVH all the time but they'll sure be missed if they are shut down. For the average person using their internet and their smartphone, time signals mean nothing. For amateur radio operators and radio enthusiasts, it means a whole lot. These signals are useful (and in some cases essential) as frequency markers in older radios and they also function as a propagation tool as well as keeping time on clocks that rely on them.

So if they are gone, what will we have left? CHU in Canada? The way it's going, I'm surprised that Canada still keeps it on the air. Even so, according to Wiki CHU cannot be received in Western Canada and those who live in that region depend on U.S. stations WWV and WWVH in Western Canada.

I've read some comments here that private contractors could run it for $2 Million instead of $6 Million. So how would that work? Would the government give $2 Million to the private contractors. Or, will the new operators run commercials (lol) to finance the operation? When it comes to government finances and expenditures, $6 Million isn't a whole lot of money. By simply cutting down on waste and fraud in a typical government agency alone that would pay for the time signals for another 10 or 20 years.

You know this whole notion that these time stations are outdated because we now have the internet to do all this is foolish. This reliance on the internet for communications and information is gonna bite us in the a$$ one day when the internet goes down for several days or weeks because of a bad storm, earthquake or worse. I thought the whole idea of amateur radio (and the radio hobby itself) was this notion that we can communicate anyplace, anywhere totally independent of commercial power or the internet.

Lets not forget that some digital modes need perfect time in order for it to work correctly. So explain how well that is going to work when our time stations go off the air and you are out in the field in an area with no cellphone coverage?

Just use CHU? Sure...maybe... That is of course if Canada doesn't follow the United States lead and decide to take THAT off the air 'to save money'. And...if Canada decides to keep CHU on the air then you'll be fine assuming that you don't live in Western Canada] and have the internet/cellphone service. However if you are in an area with no cellphone service or if the internet and go down for long periods...well I guess you'll just be out of luck unless you can use GPS to keep time. But what's wrong with this picture? Again, amateur radio relying on another technology in order for it to work.

What is the old saying? "You don't know what you got, till it's gone". We as hams need to stop depending on other technologies in order to communicate. For decades we as amateurs did fine without the internet, smartphones or GPS. We relied on nothing but radio waves all those years (and generations). Somehow we lost the big picture over the years, and someday it will come back an bite us. Don't get rid of time signals, while they may mean nothing to the average person...They remain still an important adjunct to radio and unto amateur radio itself.


Posted by W4KYR on 2018-10-17

WWV and WWVH

I use WWV for radio alignment in a simple way for short wave. I also listen for propagation. 6 million is but a drop in the bucket.
Posted by KB8DNS on 2018-10-16

WWV/WWVH

If it costs Unca Donald $6 million, farm its
operation out to a private contractor and it
would probably cost only $2 million.
Posted by K3CXG on 2018-10-16

WWV

I have a very strong feeling that IF WWV actually goes, that they will learn the HARD way what useful purposes it actually DOES serve!!!
Posted by WD8OQX on 2018-10-07

Keep it running

WWVB - works indoors. GPS doesn't always work
indoors.

Old Technology - So is ham radio. So are cars.

Curious where this "$6,000,000 per year" figure
comes from. Probably actually costs more like $2M if
it weren't the government doing it.


Posted by K5TED on 2018-10-07

WWV

Don't understand why it costs so much,( or
maybe I do...) put it out on bids... someone
could probably do it for a third the current
cost. It is useful for me. Some clocks use
it inside building, where there is no GPS
signal. Check your radio freq VFO and can
check propagation.
Posted by KK4SHF on 2018-10-07

WWV

I voted "It's an old technology", but the comments
provide some convincing arguments for keeping it. The
most salient ones were 1. It is a good lower tech backup
2. It is a victim of budget cuts from an anti-science, anti-
truth administration - this latter argument meaning that
the proposal to close wwv is not based on well
considered facts.
Posted by N3ZY on 2018-10-05

WWV

Amateur Astronomers use the time signals too....
Posted by K1AH on 2018-10-04

WWV WWVH

Hope they keep them operational and on the air.
Posted by N3KO on 2018-10-02

Yea

Stop telling me what I can talk about and
what I can't. I know many would like to
control our freedom of speech, but it is
guaranteed by the constitution. A document
that is just as valid today and it was in
1776.
I wish they would leave WWV on the air!
Posted by W5NM on 2018-10-02

Old joke about ma bell's timekeeping

Reminds me of an old joke wherein the local
operator's clock on the wall, used by telephone
operators to tell the time to callers, being set
to the municipal clock on the tower but the clock
maintenance worker was setting that clock to the
operator's report to him about the time.
Posted by WA3KVN on 2018-10-02

Politics on eham

Now now everyone.

I do not know if some of the newer hams know the unspoken rule, but amateur radio operators should not talk politics.

The partisan divide is getting so large, that amateur radio should be the "great escape"

I know that there are divides of pro-ARRL versus ARRL haters. Code versus no-code, radio sport versus contest haters. Civil versus uncivil on-air behavior.

My two cents.

73
Posted by KB6QXM on 2018-10-01

KB6QXM

"...But amateur radio operators should not talk politics..."

Tell THAT to the crowd on the 75- and 20-meter phone
bands, who regularly violate the etched-in-stone rule against
broaching ANYTHING on-the-air related to "...sex, religion,
or politics"...! :o)
Posted by VE3CUI on 2018-10-01

Just Another Example...

Oh well, and ho-hum...

Just another example of the U.S.A. being small-minded &
capitulating on its leadership role in yet another field, and
deferring whatever prestige / noteworthiness it once
enjoyed to another entity / foreign power.

It was things like WWV that imparted a noble spirit of
America's greatness in "showing the way" for the rest of
the world to follow --- but I guess the U.S. simply got
tired of being "first" on a global scale, & is happier now
just to settle into 2nd (or lower) place, all in the name of
what's REALLY driving things both here & abroad anymore,
i.e. the almighty coin...
Posted by VE3CUI on 2018-09-30

Backup

They to keep WWV and WWVH as backup to GPS
time.
Posted by W2XAB on 2018-09-30

w1xyz

Bad timing for the USA to relinquish the radio waves in
the Pacific while China has plans to increase its
influence. Oh and China also has a 10 MHz time signal.
It is a reflection on our current administration to be so
acquiescent and narrow.
Posted by W1XYZ on 2018-09-28

Funding suggestion

Do what the politicians have been doing for
years, steal (sorry, re-appropriate) the
funds from OUR Social Security and leave a
note saying IOU.

See, then they will never have to pay it back
and people will eventually forget it was
stolen.
Posted by K0CBA on 2018-09-27

What is the alternative?

If the NIST shuts down the radio stations, then what is the alternative for frequency and time standards?

I think that there is many other places that the government can cut fat other than these stations.

Has a risk analysis been completed on shutting down these stations?
Posted by KB6QXM on 2018-09-26

Check CHU

Canada's CHU stations will continue although who knows how
long. Give them a try!

https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/services/time/short_wave.html
Posted by VE1YY on 2018-09-24

Fight for WWV !!

I am in Canada so can't "write my
congressman" to get this stupidity reversed.
But I sure hope a whole BUNCH of American
hams are doing so right now!

I believe the answers to this survey all
presume the outcome is a foregone conclusion.
But there should have been another choice or
two such as "I want to stop this stupidity!
Let's kick some butt!!"
Posted by VE6EI on 2018-09-24

WWV

WOW!! I am not sure if this is what is meant by
that MAGA thing...but then again some people
do not believe in Science and do not care.
Posted by NA4RA on 2018-09-24

Good propagation beacons

...but if they're gone, we'll be able to hear BPM and RWM better. Too bad JJY isn't still on the air...I remember hearing it repeating "J-J-Y...J-J-Y..."
Posted by N3EG on 2018-09-24

NIST budget cut

The proposal is a small part of a general
reduction of funding for the NIST. If you
look at the entire proposal you will see that
the administration wants to eliminate some of
the funding going toward climate change
research. WWV and WWVH will be collateral
damage.
Posted by W9DZ on 2018-09-21

WWV etc.:

I am sure there will be feedback when we go
back to sun dials and/or sticks for local
time. I think someone is out to lunch if
those cutbacks are done with radio time
tracking.
Posted by K0IC on 2018-09-20

WWV and WWVH

I'll miss them. I use them to set the clock in my shack and on my SW receiver before every contest.
Posted by AE6YB on 2018-09-20

Trolls

One significant solar flare and the entire GPS
constellation could be gone. It always stuns me how
the most enthusiastic and vocal users of the products of
our technological society are completely unaware of how
fragile it all is.
Posted by K2PI on 2018-09-19

I'll miss both

I use the HF stations, and several of my clocks are kept in sync with WWVB. I've also listened to the 60.Hkz station on my Kenwood TS-590S, and decoded the signal with the clock program from http://f6cte.free.fr/ (aka MULTIPSK web site).
Posted by AJ4LN on 2018-09-18

WWVB Forever!

WWVB is well utilized time synchronization infrastructure. Whoever is proposing this budget change surely knows this will negatively impact a huge number of users (millions?). How many people have Casio, Citizen, Seiko, etc. watches that are set by WWVB? WWVB set wall clocks are common. Not to mention many timepieces for the visually impaired use WWVB. WWVB receivers continue to be far more power efficient than GPS receivers in portable applications.

There just needs to be one powerful solar storm pointing our way to render all the GNSS constellations inoperable. Obviously this would have a far more profound impact than just time keeping, but maintaining an HF time source cannot be a bad idea.

I regularly tune to WWV to gauge propagation.
Posted by VE7JMR on 2018-09-18

This was expected

You vote for a bunch of people who don't
want to pay for anything and then get
upset when they cut services.

You're to blame as much as them.

I guess one way of "making America great"
is by cutting services like
this...afterall....the rest of the world
benefits from it and they can't have that
with an "American First" attitude.

Why you people are upset is beyond me.
They way I see it....you should be glad
they're cutting the 6 mil from the budget.
Posted by NQ4T on 2018-09-18

WWV and WWVH

WWV and WWVB are used by clocks in the western
hemisphere to sync to exact timing. Many commercial clocks
sync with them. As a broadcaster, all our studio clocks at 40
radio stations are tied to these time standards. Since they are
tied to multiple cesium standards, they are the most precise
source of frequency and time standards.
Posted by W0LD on 2018-09-17

WWV and WWVH

A great propagation indicator and good enough for me frequency standard.
Posted by K5BM on 2018-09-17

WWV

Have not used this service for like 20 years now. Modern instruments have long replaced the need for such a service. If it falls silent, I would never know the difference.
Posted by W9FIB on 2018-09-15

The Amateur Code

§1 - The amateur is considerate. Doh!
He never knowingly uses the air in such a
way as to lessen the pleasure of others

§2 - The amateur is loyal. To himself!
He offers his loyalty, encouragement and
support to his fellow radio amateurs, his
local club and his national association,
through which amateur radio is represented

§3 - The amateur is progressive. NOT
He keeps his station abreast of science. It
is well-built and efficient. His operating
practice is above reproach

§4 - The amateur is friendly. Not on EHAM
Slow and patient sending when requested,
friendly advice and counsel to the
beginner, kindly assistance, cooperation
and consideration for the interests of
others; these are the marks of the amateur
spirit

§5 - The amateur is balanced
Radio is his hobby. He never allows it to
interfere with any of the duties he owes to
his home, his job, his school or his
community

§6 - The amateur is patriotic
His knowledge and his station are always
ready for service of his country and his
community

Posted by SSBER on 2018-09-13

WWV/WWVB

This is an effort by the Obamahole holdovers to make people as uncomfortable as possible. When they had the budget shutdown, they closed the National Parks and monuments, but didn't shut down the rest of the government. When the last shutdown hit, I tried to find evidence of it, but was unable. (Disclaimer, I receive Social Security and a small govt. pension, and they didn't stop).
Posted by W0BCG on 2018-09-12

a hoot

Trump shuts down NIST and dimwits blame the
great and powerful O'. What a joke.
Posted by SSBER on 2018-09-12

a hoot

Trump shuts down NIST and dimwits blame the
great and powerful O'. What a joke.
Posted by SSBER on 2018-09-12

CHU?

My computer isn't connected to the
internet and is only used for digital.
Without a time source over the
telephone I'll have to search for CHU.
Posted by BURGERLOVER65 on 2018-09-11

WWV, WWVH, WWVB

I agree with many of the comments stated previously. 6
million is chump change to keep this still useful service
around.
I enjoy demonstrating WWV to non hams. Most "normal"
people have no idea this sort of service exists.
Posted by KA9HXD on 2018-09-11

WWV and WWVH

I agree about the poll. I use WWV to set my older Tymeter clocks. I also use it to align some of my radios. It is old technology but WWVB is the atomic clock standard and required by many clocks.

Dave K4JRB
Posted by K4JRB on 2018-09-10

WWV and WWVB

Although the HF distribution of time is not as accurate as
we now have with GPS, the GPS system is highly
subject to a single point of failure. Imagine the chaos
that would ensue to our modern society if time
synchronization and distribution were lost. Indeed,
without GPS, it may not even be possible to restore a
lost GPS service if 24 satellites needed to be rebuilt and
launched. It would take many years to restore that
system if lost. WWV and WWVB should be retained as a
backup, not quite as good, system for time distribution.
Posted by W3SEH on 2018-09-10

WWV

I agree with an earlier reviewer, this was a poorly designed
pole.

I occasionally use WWV to check radio propagation when I first
turn on my radio.

This is a good, inexpensive backup to our GPS systems which
are subject to EMP disruption of service. Analog still works
when digital fails. This is well worth the $6 Million price tag.
Posted by KN7AT on 2018-09-10

Biased selections

Once again this Survey sucks as over half of the selections are NEGATIVE to the subject. It is obvious the position of the survey maker.

eHAM what is your agenda here?
Posted by N6JSX on 2018-09-09

WWVB, WWV, and WWVH

We need another check box for those use all three stations.

I use WWVB to set my clocks, and WWV to check propagation.

Posted by WB9TPA on 2018-09-09

WWV

Poorly designed poll.
Posted by CHALUPA on 2018-09-09

wwv, etc.

the thing that bothers me is that the rural
utilities service is over a billion per year.
it was a good thing in the 1930's and
1940's,but the work has been done. Why not
get rid of it and leave wwv,etc. alone.
Posted by N7TEE on 2018-09-08

WWV/WWVH

I could set my ship's radio room clock by one
of those stations wherever we were in the
world. I use it at home often. It's also
nice to have it going at the stroke of
midnight on New Year's!
Posted by K7ZX on 2018-09-08

CLOCKS & PROPAGATION

I use WWV to set my clocks and see what propagation looks
like. If I can hear WWV or WWVH then I know I can get some
QSOs so I fire up my rig. Are there other propagation
indicators out there? Sure. But a quick WWV check is VERY
convenient. Do I think fot one minute our fed will spend 6
million bucks to benefit me and other users? Why would they
do that when they can spend that much and more on things
which are totally useless? It is all about politics. Maybe they
will siphon that money off to the Clinton Foundation. Looks like
I will use my cell phone to set my clocks and listen elsewhere
to see if the bands are open to someplace or another.
Posted by K7NSW on 2018-09-08

A Drop In A HUGE Bucket

The Fed can fritter that amount away during a
long, lunch break.
Posted by KG4RUL on 2018-09-08

WWV, WWVH etc.

IMHO, these standard frequencies are
excellent propagation beacons, similar (but
not equivalent) to the well-known 14.100 KHz
AR transmissions around the world. We hams
can complain about their anticipated
shutdown, but what is the rationale behind
this planning? A matter of money only or the
result of a well-designed and well-
implemented international survey?
Posted by PA0HEL on 2018-09-08

WWV

your cell phone is a GPS clock.
Posted by K6AER on 2018-09-07

Shutdown WWV and WWVH ??

I hope if the Government decides to shut these Stations down-- that there would be an alternative to use and usable in the event that GPS goes down. And, what about the Time Stations in other Countries? '73 George AA7LX.
Posted by AA7LX on 2018-09-07

WWV and WWVB

Radio Amateurs who are "throwing stones" at NIST broadcasts because they feel they're "Old Technology" should be reminded that they are doing so from "glass houses", and that the same arguments about the virtues of cellular and internet technologies can be used to call into question the merits of the Amateur Radio Service in today's GPS/Cellular/Internet-driven world.

I routinely use WWV and WWVH to check HF propagation, and use WWVB as my primary frequency standard and to automatically set my PC's clock.

WWV provides Solar Terrestrial Forecasts that I find beneficial as an Amateur Radio Operator.

Over the years, I have employed both WWV and WWVB to conduct ionospheric propagation studies, and made use of WWVB during the 2017 solar eclipse to measure changes to the Earth's 'D' Layer.

Being able to LISTEN to the time broadcast by WWV while my eyes are focused on some OTHER event that I am actively observing is a great asset as well.

Taken as a whole, these (admittedly mundane) operations are in full alignment with FCC Part 97.1 (b), (c), (d), and (e).

To perform these tasks with GPS/Cellular/Internet technologies would either be impossible, impractical, or cost FAR more to any single individual than the minuscule tax burden imposed by WWV, WWVH, and WWVB operations to any single individual over a lifetime.

Posted by KD2BD on 2018-09-07

WWV

I use them occasionally for frequency calibration. I'm not sure my use is worth $6 million a year however. I can make do with my signal generator if I need to.
Posted by AA4PB on 2018-09-07

WWV and WWVH

They are useful and I like to find them when I Short Wave Listen when traveling, lets me know my radio is working. I do like getting the Solar Indices direct from these stations however.

Anymore I set my clocks using my GPS these days. When outside the US my clocks that use the time signals, usually do not set to the broadcast time signals, what a shame.
Posted by WA0TML on 2018-09-06