PDA

View Full Version : ARRL CONFUSION ON MODIFIED RADIOS?



W6GQ
04-15-2010, 03:01 AM
To me the picture on the front page of the ARRL sure seems to show why there is so much confusion on QRZ with members asking to "mod their radio" for fire department use.

W0IS
04-15-2010, 03:07 AM
Well, at least it's shown tuned to an amateur frequency, 146.52.

In fairness, it's one of five pictures. If I had been in charge of designing the website, I probably would have made it the third or fourth one.

They probably couldn't find any pictures of old guys drinking beer at Field Day, so they had to use that picture instead. :D

WA6ITF
04-15-2010, 03:14 AM
Go look at the ads for ham gear in QST, CQ, etc. Most of the manufacturers are using similar photos to sell HT's, portables and mobiles -- stressing emergency preparedness as the theme of ads.

AG3Y
04-15-2010, 01:51 PM
This is nothing new with the A.R.R.L. After all, what do the initials stand for? American Radio Relay League. And what do they relay ? Emergency messages, that's what ! ! !

It seems that their whole purpose for existing, from their formation, has been to encourage their members to learn how to do this ! Anything else is just ancillary !

N7WR
04-15-2010, 01:56 PM
This is nothing new with the A.R.R.L. After all, what do the initials stand for? American Radio Relay League. And what do they relay ? Emergency messages, that's what ! ! !

It seems that their whole purpose for existing, from their formation, has been to encourage their members to learn how to do this ! Anything else is just ancillary !

Not quite true and that's where the problem is. In the beginning and up until 15-20 years ago the ARRL did not narrow its focus to just one aspect of amateur radio and even more important did not distort the supremecy of any one aspect. Because they see it as a ticket to survival and growth they have fixated on Emcomm to the point of ridiculous. They have lost sight of the balance and diversity which historically has made the amateur radio service great.

AF6LJ
04-15-2010, 02:01 PM
Emergency preparedness is a good thing especially these days.

WA6MHZ
04-15-2010, 02:11 PM
Emergency preparedness is a good thing especially these days.

Especially here in SoCal.

With the Flurry of Earthquakes we have had lately, the BIG ONE is just around the corner, of epic proportions. Ham Radio will TRULY be needed once all the Cell towers are laid waste to and the 800Mhz Govt freqs overload. All the Emcomm detractors will have to take off their hat to the hams who step up to the call of duty and provide Communications in a time of GRAVE EMERGENCY!

But that demands being ready. And just grabbing a HT as you run out the door when the building crumbles is NOT being ready. Readiness means training and planning for the worst, so that we are not overwhelmed when it truly does happen.

K4KYV
04-15-2010, 02:13 PM
I recall reading that the original ARRL constitution required a member to actively operate a station. I think this was pre-licensing, so the candidate had to give a description of his station and its operating capability. Part of the membership agreement was that the candidate would be willing to accept messages and relay them, either directly to the local recipient or by radio for a further relay.

This was before the discovery of long distance propagation via skywave on wavelengths below 150 metres, so it was assumed that a station's range was limited to a few hundred miles at most, and messages had to be relayed across the country by several stations.

Those who did not qualify as ARRL members were listed as (QST) "subscribers".

AF6LJ
04-15-2010, 02:23 PM
Especially here in SoCal.

With the Flurry of Earthquakes we have had lately, the BIG ONE is just around the corner, of epic proportions. Ham Radio will TRULY be needed once all the Cell towers are laid waste to and the 800Mhz Govt freqs overload. All the Emcomm detractors will have to take off their hat to the hams who step up to the call of duty and provide Communications in a time of GRAVE EMERGENCY!

But that demands being ready. And just grabbing a HT as you run out the door when the building crumbles is NOT being ready. Readiness means training and planning for the worst, so that we are not overwhelmed when it truly does happen.
One of the things I don't see in all of this preparedness is a discussion regarding food, water, and the necessities to sustain those carrying out emcomm.
A real emergency won't be anything like field day, you won't be able to waste power cooking if power is limited and you won't be drinking a lot of beer if your bathroom is a five gallon bucket in a tent....

If you grab an HT on the way out the door what are you going to eat?, What about a means of providing drinkable water?

When we have the big one here, you are not going to see a hot shower for probably a week. The first seventy two hours will be easy compared to the rest, just ask those who were in the middle of the aftermath of Katrina.

I would like to see more of this kind of preparedness to go with all that other emcomm training.

W3DBB
04-15-2010, 02:31 PM
If you look back through QST to about 1940 (where my collection ends) the emphasis on emergency communications was always there but not to the exclusion of most everything else. ARRL promoted radiotelegraphy for many decades, well after the popularization of 'phone on the amateur bands. In the 1960's ARRL had the major push on to promote SSB as the pre-eminent voice mode. They ignored FM and personal computers until they saw how many ads Wayne Green was getting.

There were something like 5 editions of "Single Sideband For The Radio Amateur". Recommended reading. For the ARRL the rush to SSB probably served twin goals of advancing the technical state of the art and placating their advertisers, not unlike the situation the League finds itself in today. Back then it was Collins Radio Company and single sideband. Today it's Icom and D-Star.

This business of letting the email robots loose on the HF amateur bands (ref: RM-11306) was clearly ARRL's way of trying to get back into the traffic game, which had been technologically ceded to the telephone company and it's offshoots.


Doug, W3DBB

KA4DPO
04-15-2010, 03:31 PM
Not quite true and that's where the problem is. In the beginning and up until 15-20 years ago the ARRL did not narrow its focus to just one aspect of amateur radio and even more important did not distort the supremecy of any one aspect. Because they see it as a ticket to survival and growth they have fixated on Emcomm to the point of ridiculous. They have lost sight of the balance and diversity which historically has made the amateur radio service great.

That was well stated, I agree 100 percent that they have lost contact with the amateur community and put almost all their time and effort into promoting one aspect of the hobby that is more lucrative than the others. They no longer represent my intersests.

N9LYA
04-15-2010, 05:07 PM
When your motivation is Primarily $$$$ All else becomes secondary...

Here is the rankings @ HQ
1 $$$$
2 ARRL BOD
3 ARRL Staff
4 Everyone else. Exclusing #5
5 Amateur Radio Operators

K9XR
04-15-2010, 05:22 PM
I imagine you are including the manufactures in #1?



When your motivation is Primarily $$$$ All else becomes secondary...

Here is the rankings @ HQ
1 $$$$
2 ARRL BOD
3 ARRL Staff
4 Everyone else. Exclusing #5
5 Amateur Radio Operators

N8YX
04-15-2010, 05:46 PM
I imagine you are including the manufactures in #1?
Yacht operators, most likely.

W5HTW
04-15-2010, 08:01 PM
It may be that there is more money in Part 90 systems. Perhaps the ARRL would like to represent Part 90 communications?

I wish we could go back to being amateur radio, and only assist in emergencies when needed, instead of making it a career. I don't think that is going to happen, unless and until DHS decides hams are not what it wants. Then the grants (money) will disappear, and maybe amateur radio will have a chance. As long as the money is out there, though, there will be no change.

I remain a member of ARES, on call for emergency communications, if and when needed. But I am not going to dash down to the EOC and demand entrance, and access to their dispatch center. If I am called upon, I will do what is necessary within the FCC rules for Part 97, not for Part 90. I have no modded radios and would not use them if I did.

I much prefer the professionals handle the professional communications. Having had the occasion to ride in an ambulance a few times (unfortunately) I have heard their very efficient communications, and have heard them send EKG data to the hospital while enroute. This tells me they know what they are doing and they have the equipment with which to do it.

I'm glad.

Ed

KD5J
04-15-2010, 10:36 PM
Every month Icom and other manufacturers purchases thousands of dollars of advertising in QST.

As my ARRL section manager recently stated in an email: emcom carries the freight in amateur radio.

Now put two and two together. When we was the last time you saw someone purchase an Icom 7800 for emergency communications purposes? The advertsiing is going after DXers, contesters, experimenters, and everyday hams who want to enjoy amateur radio as a HOBBY.

I really wish the ARRL would understand people get into ham radio as a hobby and get out of this emcom rut they have been in since 9/11. As someone else said somewhere else on this forum the quality of the level of services the ARRL provides to its members is not as good as it once was because of the push for emcom. I agree.

WA6MHZ
04-16-2010, 03:11 AM
EMCOMM is very important to Amateur Radio in the fight with communities to allow antenna towers. If we say to them, when asking for lenient ordinances, that we just use if tor a "HOBBY", the angry homeowners will say it is not fair for their view of the sky to be interfered with.

The justifcation successful so far is that Ham Radio is used for Emergency Communications. When addressing city councils, Hams point out all the great work by them in Firestorms, Hurricanes and Floods. Saying they like it so they can talk to some foreign country wouldn't work at all. The HOAs and Cities will say FORGET IT!!!! and impose highly unreasonable antenna ordinances.

So, while the majority of Hams just do use it for relaxation and enjoyment, the ONLY reason they can put up a tower is because of the PR image of EMCOMM.

K7SGJ
04-16-2010, 03:14 AM
It may be that there is more money in Part 90 systems. Perhaps the ARRL would like to represent Part 90 communications?

I wish we could go back to being amateur radio, and only assist in emergencies when needed, instead of making it a career. I don't think that is going to happen, unless and until DHS decides hams are not what it wants. Then the grants (money) will disappear, and maybe amateur radio will have a chance. As long as the money is out there, though, there will be no change.

I remain a member of ARES, on call for emergency communications, if and when needed. But I am not going to dash down to the EOC and demand entrance, and access to their dispatch center. If I am called upon, I will do what is necessary within the FCC rules for Part 97, not for Part 90. I have no modded radios and would not use them if I did.

I much prefer the professionals handle the professional communications. Having had the occasion to ride in an ambulance a few times (unfortunately) I have heard their very efficient communications, and have heard them send EKG data to the hospital while enroute. This tells me they know what they are doing and they have the equipment with which to do it.

I'm glad.

Ed

That was then. Think about now. In order to have enough medical personal available in the emergency vehicle, along with required radio ops, a new course is beig offered by a group in CT. The people will be doing double duty and will be known as PARAWHACKERS. Kind of like the PARA-JUMPERS that assisted on the MM medical situation that occured at sea last week. They had orange vests (actually life perservers) and batman belts with goodies on them, too. The only difference was they used their favorite hang out frequency. The one THEY always use. It might be worth it to give up one, JUST ONE, more frequency for the PARAWACKERS. Then while they do their practice or save the world, the rest of the bands and frequencies are available for DX, Rag Chew, Contests, you know....Real Ham Radio.

NN4RH
04-16-2010, 10:41 AM
EMCOMM is very important to Amateur Radio in the fight with communities to allow antenna towers. If we say to them, when asking for lenient ordinances, that we just use if tor a "HOBBY", the angry homeowners will say it is not fair for their view of the sky to be interfered with.

The justifcation successful so far is that Ham Radio is used for Emergency Communications. When addressing city councils, Hams point out all the great work by them in Firestorms, Hurricanes and Floods. Saying they like it so they can talk to some foreign country wouldn't work at all. The HOAs and Cities will say FORGET IT!!!! and impose highly unreasonable antenna ordinances.

So, while the majority of Hams just do use it for relaxation and enjoyment, the ONLY reason they can put up a tower is because of the PR image of EMCOMM.

In other words, lie about what your tower is for, and hope everyone else in the neighborhood is too stupid to know the difference?

Great plan.

NN4RH
04-16-2010, 11:20 AM
So when the HOA board members, after hearing your pitch about how you need a 75 foot tower and 20 meter beam to save the neighborhood in the event of an emergency, Google "amateur radio" and see the ARRL web page with the "Public Service" graphic with fire engine and the little hand-held radio with the rubber duckie antenna, they won't say "Hey, wait a minute, this doesn't like that thing the guy in the neighborhood just asked us to let him put up"? A little more digging and they find out that a 75 foot tower and 20 meter beam is pretty good for talking to Madagascar but useless for talking to the police or fire station half a mile away. Then when they ask you why you need to be able to talk to New Zealand if a tornado hits the neighborhood, what do you tell them?


How will all that affect the Public Relations image of amateur radio?


I can't remember ever seeing a 20 meter beam and tower on a police station, fire station, hospital. At least not around here. What do you say if someone on the City zoning commission board asks about that?

W5HTW
04-16-2010, 02:35 PM
That's the thing. All these people move into antenna-restricted neighborhoods, then want to get waivers so they can save the world. You are correct. They don't need 20 meter beams. An HT with a rubber duck will do the job. The lie is they are trying to convince the HOA that the tower and beam are necessary. "Gonna save the neighborhood with that antenna. Better let me have it."

It really isn't new. We have for decades had people move in next to the airport and then say "I'm here now, shut down that noisy airport." Or they move in next to the railroad and then say "get that railroad out of here, I live here now."

But I think it is less honest when people use the excuse of EMCOM to try to get the HOA variance for that tower and beam so they can work DX on 20 meters. And that is precisely what happens.

Ed

WA6MHZ
04-16-2010, 04:42 PM
Lies, scams, whatever works. San Diego City was planning on an antenna Ordinance to limit towers to 30 feet!!! I have rose bushes almost that high!!
But the Hams got well organized, spoke at the Planning Commision meeting and swayed the bureaucrats to rethink their omnious plan.

I have always said that if you want a spectacular antenna system, you need to move to an area that has no restrictions, like Crest. I can put up anything I DARE up here. 1000ft tower??? Notta problem!

OH, speaking of antennas, some cellphone company just put up a new tower near the Store at the top of the hill, completely disguised as a Flag Pole. No one noticed that it was a foot thick. Until someone did, and graffittied "WELCOME TO RADIATION NATION" on the side of the equipment building.

Glad they haven't vandalized my house with the same things. Actually, the only transmissions out of there are the 10 meter beacon on 24/7, and an APRS wide node. I would set up a WINLINK VHF node too if I could figure out how to do it.

N7WR
04-16-2010, 05:15 PM
EMCOMM is very important to Amateur Radio in the fight with communities to allow antenna towers. If we say to them, when asking for lenient ordinances, that we just use if tor a "HOBBY", the angry homeowners will say it is not fair for their view of the sky to be interfered with.

The justifcation successful so far is that Ham Radio is used for Emergency Communications. When addressing city councils, Hams point out all the great work by them in Firestorms, Hurricanes and Floods. Saying they like it so they can talk to some foreign country wouldn't work at all. The HOAs and Cities will say FORGET IT!!!! and impose highly unreasonable antenna ordinances.

So, while the majority of Hams just do use it for relaxation and enjoyment, the ONLY reason they can put up a tower is because of the PR image of EMCOMM.

That's all well and good and at one time I wrote QST articles and several books on how hams could and should use their public service contributions to leverage elected officials on antenna ordinances, etc. However that was based on the actual, not exaggerated, contributions amateurs make. What is objectionable these days is the fact that too many amateur radio Emcomm groups have gone far beyond their needed role and place more emphasis on their prestige as first responders (which they are not) than needed communications assistance. Plus there is far too much exaggeration of the role amateurs play to the point where incidents in which amateurs have a minimal or even zero role are portrayed as if amateurs saved the day.

AF6LJ
04-16-2010, 05:34 PM
Emphasis mine.......



TITLE 47 - TELECOMMUNICATION

CHAPTER I - FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

SUBCHAPTER D - SAFETY AND SPECIAL RADIO SERVICES

PART 97 - AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE

subpart a - GENERAL PROVISIONS

97.1 - 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.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communication and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

Read more: http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/97-1-basis-and-purpose-19857102#ixzz0lHkKgqmW


Read more: http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/97-1-basis-and-purpose-19857102#ixzz0lHkLIbwH



You can see from above that the first and foremost purpose of amateur radio involves emergency communications. As you can see our value as ambassadors of good will is the least of those purposes

Take note of what the second purpose of amateur radio is. We have over the years always managed to pull something out of our collective hats before industry has. :)

In defense of the ARRL they have their priorities in order.

ND6M
04-16-2010, 06:28 PM
Emphasis mine.......



You can see from above that the first and foremost purpose of amateur radio involves emergency communications. As you can see our value as ambassadors of good will is the least of those purposes

Take note of what the second purpose of amateur radio is. We have over the years always managed to pull something out of our collective hats before industry has. :)

In defense of the ARRL they have their priorities in order.

thats an ASSUMPTION on your part.

they are ALL listed in the same 97.1 section.
where does it state that item (a) has more priority than item (e)?

there is no (as you say) "first", "second" "least" (ect) purpose , they are all of equal value.

KA4DPO
04-16-2010, 06:33 PM
Lies, scams, whatever works. San Diego City was planning on an antenna Ordinance to limit towers to 30 feet!!! I have rose bushes almost that high!!
But the Hams got well organized, spoke at the Planning Commision meeting and swayed the bureaucrats to rethink their omnious plan.

I have always said that if you want a spectacular antenna system, you need to move to an area that has no restrictions, like Crest. I can put up anything I DARE up here. 1000ft tower??? Notta problem!

OH, speaking of antennas, some cellphone company just put up a new tower near the Store at the top of the hill, completely disguised as a Flag Pole. No one noticed that it was a foot thick. Until someone did, and graffittied "WELCOME TO RADIATION NATION" on the side of the equipment building.

Glad they haven't vandalized my house with the same things. Actually, the only transmissions out of there are the 10 meter beacon on 24/7, and an APRS wide node. I would set up a WINLINK VHF node too if I could figure out how to do it.

I'll be visiting you in couple of months and was thinking a nice sign in the front yard that reads, Black Widow Breeding Area, would be nice. It might also keep the curious and the mischevious away..:D

AF6LJ
04-16-2010, 06:38 PM
thats an ASSUMPTION on your part.

they are ALL listed in the same 97.1 section.
where does it state that item (a) has more priority than item (e)?

there is no (as you say) "first", "second" "least" (ect) purpose , they are all of equal value.
Actually it's the order that counts.
They would never put the least purpose first and the most important last. There was a lot of careful thought that went into Part 97.

K0RGR
04-16-2010, 08:54 PM
Why don't we just establish a new website for bashing the League? It's getting pretty old folks.

To be honest, I don't like that graphic on the ARRL site, either. Of course, their new server must have crashed again, you can't get there right now, so I'm not offended right now, but I did want to see the detailed SS scores from last November.

I don't agree that ARRL has focused too intently on public service, but in some cases, they have made what I think are some poor choices, driven by requirements from some that they consider to be 'served agencies'.

Now, I see real steps to correct a lot of this. The new DOU between ARES and Red Cross spells out some very fundamental shifts in the way ham radio might be utilized. Now, RC recognizes that ham radio can fill the gap in the first 24-72 hours of a disaster, before RC can get their own communications in place. And RC also recognizes that after RC use for ham radio subsides, ham radio might still be involved in providing assistance to other VOADs and the general public. Instead of trying to turn all the hams into RC volunteers, they recognize ARES and other groups as a separate endeavor.

There are still some stubborn sticking points. RC demands that any communication involving names be done over encrypted communications.
ARRL has tried to address this by embracing some questionable technologies that don't provide encryption, but are so difficult to decode that it's beyond the means of most - i.e. WINLINK. I'd prefer to see other methods employed to achieve the same end.

But, what's needed to make ham radio useful in those situations is enough hams, trained well enough, and equipped well enough, to do the job. To be effective, the hams have to be 'on the spot' right after a disaster strikes - events where ham volunteers will be needed weeks afterward are rare.

What's needed to make that happen is 'grass roots' recruitment. Guess what works for that! 90+ % of our new recruits are there for SKYWARN and public service work. Personally, I really, really want to see that change. I want people who are either interested in radio for it's own sake, or are at least interested enough to use the radios enough to know how to use them in a disaster. I DO NOT want to see police and fire departments getting licensed.

How do we change that? We get agencies that want our services to help us, by providing space for recreational club stations, help with repeaters, maybe surplus gear that we can turn to our own use.

K9XR
04-16-2010, 08:59 PM
Aren't You the First-Vice-President of the WORLD RADIO RELAY LEAGUE who's main purpose is to promote EMCOMM? I'm a little confused.




That's all well and good and at one time I wrote QST articles and several books on how hams could and should use their public service contributions to leverage elected officials on antenna ordinances, etc. However that was based on the actual, not exaggerated, contributions amateurs make. What is objectionable these days is the fact that too many amateur radio Emcomm groups have gone far beyond their needed role and place more emphasis on their prestige as first responders (which they are not) than needed communications assistance. Plus there is far too much exaggeration of the role amateurs play to the point where incidents in which amateurs have a minimal or even zero role are portrayed as if amateurs saved the day.

W9VER
04-16-2010, 09:20 PM
EMCOMM is very important to Amateur Radio in the fight with communities to allow antenna towers. If we say to them, when asking for lenient ordinances, that we just use if tor a "HOBBY", the angry homeowners will say it is not fair for their view of the sky to be interfered with.

The justifcation successful so far is that Ham Radio is used for Emergency Communications. When addressing city councils, Hams point out all the great work by them in Firestorms, Hurricanes and Floods. Saying they like it so they can talk to some foreign country wouldn't work at all. The HOAs and Cities will say FORGET IT!!!! and impose highly unreasonable antenna ordinances.

So, while the majority of Hams just do use it for relaxation and enjoyment, the ONLY reason they can put up a tower is because of the PR image of EMCOMM.

Exactly and since there are so many hams in So. California, they should be represented well.


If you grab an HT on the way out the door what are you going to eat?, What about a means of providing drinkable water? When we have the big one here, you are not going to see a hot shower for probably a week. The first seventy two hours will be easy compared to the rest, just ask those who were in the middle of the aftermath of Katrina. I would like to see more of this kind of preparedness to go with all that other emcomm training.

:eek: That quote is just *reality* and completely true.

How many hams have a good first aid kit? Emergency Contingency Items?

A REAL emergency, not just a fun field day.

I am betting that almost all hams will fail the ENDURANCE of EmComm.

I must admit being "prepared" is quite costly in time and money.

PERHAPS we need the Equivalent to what the survivalist have, a "BUG OUT BAG" for Emcomm operations, what would we have in our pack, how heavy should our pack be and what types of items should be in the pack?:confused::confused:

KD5J
04-16-2010, 09:28 PM
I did want to see the detailed SS scores from last November.


K0RGR:

Try the temporary server:

http://aptos.arrl.org/contests/

N8YX
04-16-2010, 09:29 PM
You can see from above that the first and foremost purpose of amateur radio involves emergency communications. As you can see our value as ambassadors of good will is the least of those purposes.
Given the fact that the commented language was entered into federal record many years ago...when so-called "robust" Part 90 communications systems were few and far between, rather than being the norm as they are today...it may be time for a re-write of the 'Basis and Purpose' bit.

W4PG
04-16-2010, 09:40 PM
Given the fact that the commented language was entered into federal record many years ago...when so-called "robust" Part 90 communications systems were few and far between, rather than being the norm as they are today...it may be time for a re-write of the 'Basis and Purpose' bit.

Why??

Some folks will find anything to complain about. It really gets old after awhile . . . :rolleyes:

N8YX
04-16-2010, 09:54 PM
Why??
Simple - our basis and purpose has shifted. Most ARS members no longer focus on communications technology innovation, nor is the service as a whole needed to act as a "first guard" communications provider - regardless of what the League (or anyone else, for that matter) states. The amateur service is positioned rather well as a means of handling health and welfare communications on an as-needed basis but the days of our filling the role of primary emergency traffic handler has long since passed.


Some folks will find anything to complain about. It really gets old after awhile .
I'll agree with you on this point. Further, if anti-ARRL/anti-EmComm discussions are viewed as counterproductive by the Staff, why not prohibit them from taking place on the site?

W5HTW
04-16-2010, 11:31 PM
Simple - our basis and purpose has shifted. Most ARS members no longer focus on communications technology innovation, nor is the service as a whole needed to act as a "first guard" communications provider - regardless of what the League (or anyone else, for that matter) states. The amateur service is positioned rather well as a means of handling health and welfare communications on an as-needed basis but the days of our filling the role of primary emergency traffic handler has long since passed.




Agreed. We are no longer in the day of Broderick Crawford, when police radios were on 2 mc (yeah, cycles back then) or in the years that followed when they were on 45 mhz. We are in the day of extremely robust and redundant public safety systems. Hams are not needed. And they aren't wanted. DHS is forcing local emergency managers to accept hams, but in most cases, the hams will never be called to "duty." The PS systems can make it just fine. We are like a 48 Chevy sitting in the farmer's yard begging 'will someone please restore me?' For public safety we are obsoleted.

Health and welfare is a different animal, and we may be able to perform some in that arena for a few years to come. But note. SATERN's emergency net on 14265 sends traffic to the internet. In most of the populated world the internet is the primary means of rapid communication. Sat phones and cell phones provide world wide communication at the push of a button.

We are gasping for breath, and we won't admit it. We refuse to admit we have been replaced with technology. But we have.

Yes, I, too, think it is time to rewrite the Basis And Purpose, and get EMCOM out of there as any sort of primary purpose. Keep it as the 'rare, when needed' aspect, but this focus on EMCOM simply makes no sense, when PS systems are darned good and are getting better and better every month.

Ed

AG3Y
04-17-2010, 01:23 AM
"We are gasping for breath, and we won't admit it. We refuse to admit we have been replaced with technology. But we have. "

Ed, I said the very thing when we discussed the communications that came out of that poor little country, Haiti, when it was hit by the earthquake. Just hours or less after the ground stopped shaking, the networks were on the scene, sending out video of the scenes of distruction. Ham Radio never DID have an important or significant role down there. I dare say the same went for the earthquake down in Chile !

"When All Else Fails", is not reality any more. If anything, it is an outright LIE ! If "all else fails" we will probably ALL be DEAD !

AB8RO
04-17-2010, 01:58 AM
In other words, lie about what your tower is for, and hope everyone else in the neighborhood is too stupid to know the difference?

Great plan.

I don't think that they are "too stupid", but, they are most likely "too ignorant" and perhaps even "too lazy" to do much about their ignorance.

It's a sad state of affairs regarding HOAs and Zoning, but, in at least one PRB-1 case, perhaps more, not emphasizing the emergency communications aspect has resulted in a loss.

I don't think that you have to lie, but, as distasteful as I find this emergency communications business, it might behoove you to become at least minimallly involved if you want to put a big tower up in the city.

Personally, I'll just continue to enjoy the hobby with low profile antennas.

AB8RO
04-17-2010, 02:03 AM
Then when they ask you why you need to be able to talk to New Zealand if a tornado hits the neighborhood, what do you tell them?


I can't remember ever seeing a 20 meter beam and tower on a police station, fire station, hospital. At least not around here. What do you say if someone on the City zoning commission board asks about that?

It's for serving their sister city in Japan/Europe, or wherever.

AE5JU
04-17-2010, 03:25 AM
It is Amateur Radio, not Professional Radio.


We do it for our own personal enjoyment.

AG3Y
04-17-2010, 03:25 PM
It's a sad state of affairs regarding HOAs and Zoning, but, in at least one PRB-1 case, perhaps more, not emphasizing the emergency communications aspect has resulted in a loss.

I don't think that you have to lie, but, as distasteful as I find this emergency communications business, it might behoove you to become at least minimallly involved if you want to put a big tower up in the city.

Personally, I'll just continue to enjoy the hobby with low profile antennas.

My Son and his family lived in a newer HOA neighborhood, where you had to park your car in the driveway, not in the street, you had to keep the grass mowed to 2 inches or less, you had to put all your lawn equipment INSIDE a yard storage building when not in use, etc. etc. In fact, they were once admonished when they had a BIRTHDAY PARTY in the back yard! The HOA thought they were trying to run a NURSERY SCHOOL in their home!

Needless to say, they decided to move out of that neighborhood rather quickly. Good thing they did NOT buy the house!

If we have to resort to LYING in order to get permission to erect a tower on our OWN PROPERTY, I believe that too many of our freedoms have been taken away from us.

Good grief! Now I had better go take my "happy pills" before this thread gets moved to the PJ forum!

KA4DPO
04-17-2010, 03:45 PM
"We are gasping for breath, and we won't admit it. We refuse to admit we have been replaced with technology. But we have. "

Ed, I said the very thing when we discussed the communications that came out of that poor little country, Haiti, when it was hit by the earthquake. Just hours or less after the ground stopped shaking, the networks were on the scene, sending out video of the scenes of distruction. Ham Radio never DID have an important or significant role down there. I dare say the same went for the earthquake down in Chile !

"When All Else Fails", is not reality any more. If anything, it is an outright LIE ! If "all else fails" we will probably ALL be DEAD !



Agreed. We are no longer in the day of Broderick Crawford, when police radios were on 2 mc (yeah, cycles back then) or in the years that followed when they were on 45 mhz. We are in the day of extremely robust and redundant public safety systems. Hams are not needed. And they aren't wanted. DHS is forcing local emergency managers to accept hams, but in most cases, the hams will never be called to "duty." The PS systems can make it just fine. We are like a 48 Chevy sitting in the farmer's yard begging 'will someone please restore me?' For public safety we are obsoleted.

Health and welfare is a different animal, and we may be able to perform some in that arena for a few years to come. But note. SATERN's emergency net on 14265 sends traffic to the internet. In most of the populated world the internet is the primary means of rapid communication. Sat phones and cell phones provide world wide communication at the push of a button.

We are gasping for breath, and we won't admit it. We refuse to admit we have been replaced with technology. But we have.

Yes, I, too, think it is time to rewrite the Basis And Purpose, and get EMCOM out of there as any sort of primary purpose. Keep it as the 'rare, when needed' aspect, but this focus on EMCOM simply makes no sense, when PS systems are darned good and are getting better and better every month.

Ed

It is kind of distressing that there are so many amateurs who can't, or don't want to understand the above paragraphs. The ARRL is like the great hypnotist who's influence only works on the uninitiated. There is an article in the May issue of QST on page 75, the Public Service section, that is entitled "Why I got into ham radio - Hurricane Ike". If this is the only reason someone got into ham radio in my opinion they made a mistake.

AB8RO
04-17-2010, 10:07 PM
My Son and his family lived in a newer HOA neighborhood, where you had to park your car in the driveway, not in the street, you had to keep the grass mowed to 2 inches or less, you had to put all your lawn equipment INSIDE a yard storage building when not in use, etc. etc. In fact, they were once admonished when they had a BIRTHDAY PARTY in the back yard! The HOA thought they were trying to run a NURSERY SCHOOL in their home!

Needless to say, they decided to move out of that neighborhood rather quickly. Good thing they did NOT buy the house!

If we have to resort to LYING in order to get permission to erect a tower on our OWN PROPERTY, I believe that too many of our freedoms have been taken away from us.


I don't disagree. I wouldn't live in an HOA neighborhood either. I'm sharing some information that might help someone play the game to win with people who love to play the game.

Do with it what you want.

We've long ago lost the "freedom" to do anything that we want with our own property. That's not going to changed by one or two hams trying to fight the good fight. The problem is much larger than just ham radio antennas.

K0RGR
04-18-2010, 12:28 AM
No, ham radio does have a legitimate role in disaster communications. It's filling the gap before all of that great communications technology arrives on the scene, which for the Red Cross could be 72 hours away.

If a disaster happens on a Friday, the orders for communications gear won't hit the RC warehouse in Austin until Saturday. If the gear gets shipped Saturday, it will be delivered on the first business day - Monday.

I'm sorry, but they haven't devised a Part 90 system that 100% foolproof. After our 2007 floods, the state spent a king's ransom on a portable radio system to provide coverage for their 800 Mhz. radios in the event of another event like that, which took out the bridges that carried the optical fiber link that run the Part 90 system. There's one of the mobile systems in the state, and it's parked up north. It will have to be programmed for whatever area it's deploying to. How many folks do you suspect are trained to do that? On a Saturday night?

After the big RC satellite trucks arrive, there is little need for hams to provide basic communications. But RC doesn't handle health and welfare traffic - that's where we might contribute, as well. In most cases, that won't be needed - but in big disasters like hurricanes, it certainly will.

W4XKE
04-18-2010, 01:20 PM
... the "freedom" to do anything that we want with our own property.

Actually property "ownership" is more like a conditional lease. All of the previous "owners" have either moved on or passed away. Yet, the changes they made to the property during their brief lifetimes, while they "owned" it continue on.

The farmer who bought a 130 acre tract and plowed his land in the fall for 50 years, let the topsoil blow away in the wind all winter. He has been dead for decades but that 130 acres will forever be nothing but hard clay and thorns because he could do whatever he wanted with his land.

When I look at the deed to my property, I consider that this place (for all practical purpose) really belongs to the United States of America and my deed gives me the right to live here for a time (under conditions).

If I drill a well, pour a concrete base for an antenna tower or install an underground gasoline storage tank, those actions will affect all those people who come after me... long after I'm gone.

My short span on this earth doesn't allow me to actually "own" anything. The best I can have is a conditional lease. That's why the original inhabitants here couldn't understand these intruders who came and insisted that they owned the mother earth. "How can anyone "own" a tree or a river?"

All is vanity. A fool will inherit all that I have worked for. ;)

NN4RH
04-18-2010, 03:55 PM
No, ham radio does have a legitimate role in disaster communications. It's filling the gap before all of that great communications technology arrives on the scene, which for the Red Cross could be 72 hours away.

Maybe instead of "When All Else Fails", the motto should be "Before All Else Gets There". ?

N8YX
04-18-2010, 04:04 PM
Maybe instead of "When All Else Fails", the motto should be "Before All Else Gets There". ?
Which implies "First Responder" status and is inherently wrong. We as a service have no business whatsoever playing that particular game, and shame on Newington for even hinting that we do.

NN4RH
04-18-2010, 04:41 PM
Which implies "First Responder" status and is inherently wrong. We as a service have no business whatsoever playing that particular game, and shame on Newington for even hinting that we do.

So a ham in a town that has just gotten wiped off the map by a tornado has no business using his radio?

Under what circumstances do you think it would be OK to use amateur radio for emergency / disaster communications?

KA4DPO
04-18-2010, 04:42 PM
Maybe instead of "When All Else Fails", the motto should be "Before All Else Gets There". ?

I prefer "Pretend You're Special"....:D

AB8RO
04-18-2010, 07:53 PM
If I drill a well, pour a concrete base for an antenna tower or install an underground gasoline storage tank, those actions will affect all those people who come after me... long after I'm gone.

Cmon, you're not actually comparing pouring a concrete base to an underground gasoline tank are you? I'm not naive, I'm well aware of what property ownership means. What Jim and I are talking about isn't the right to "damage" the earth at a cost to future generations but rather to use it reasonably now.

A tower base can be easily removed without significant long term damage. Morover, in many areas, pouring the base isn't what you need permission for so that's a red herring. I might not even need a permit to pour a tower base so long as I'm, not putting up a tower. The tower itself, however, doesn't change the land permanently in ANY way.

Zoning, and more recently CCnRs have eroded the private property rights of individuals. Whether we call it ownership or a lease is immaterial. It is not going to affect future generations if my antenna is 10 ft higher than the city limit, now is it? That's what we're talking about.

AB8RO
04-18-2010, 08:06 PM
So a ham in a town that has just gotten wiped off the map by a tornado has no business using his radio?

Under what circumstances do you think it would be OK to use amateur radio for emergency / disaster communications?


Ham in town => ham tower in town
Tornado wipes town off map => town does not exist

therefore

ham tower does not exist

N8YX
04-18-2010, 09:00 PM
So a ham in a town that has just gotten wiped off the map by a tornado has no business using his radio?
There is a little bit of a difference between using amateur radio to summon help for one's self (or neighbors) and acting (amongst other things) as an initial whole-scale, de facto Part 90 back-up system, which presumably was the logic behind the statement


"No, ham radio does have a legitimate role in disaster communications. It's filling the gap before all of that great communications technology arrives on the scene, which for the Red Cross could be 72 hours away."

The above scenario cannot be "fixed" by the application of amateur radio. It can be fixed by a more comprehensive and effective communications back-up logistics plan on the part of a given agency.

Here's a good comparison:

Private businesses whose operations utilize data-processing facilities are required (by established regulatory standards or by law, in certain cases) to implement, test and maintain disaster-recovery plans and equipment to safeguard those facilities.

If we were to apply the 'When all else fails!' mantra to the example above, said plans and equipment would consist of hordes of amateurs descending on a stricken data center armed with nothing more than ZIP/JAZ drives (or their modern equivalents) and a vague idea of what they're supposed to do with them.

Ain't happening.


Under what circumstances do you think it would be OK to use amateur radio for emergency / disaster communications?
Certainly not in a 'first responder' capacity. In other words...unless actually employed by an agency, the 'ham on scene' has no police authority or responsibilities, no EMS/fire responsibilities and no business sticking around the premises after being told that the charged agencies have a given situation under control.

I've personally witnessed examples/violations of all three of the above. Believe, me, the ARS can do without that kind of a black eye.

As neat as this whole "Ham radio can save the day!" bit appears..if that's all which is standing between me, a disaster and total, system-wide communications disruption, then I as a taxpayer am going to start asking my elected officials and county EMA some very pointed questions about what my tax dollars are being spent on...and why they don't have sufficient, capable, tested fail-over systems in place.

K0CMH
04-19-2010, 08:14 PM
For those who pine for the old days when you could do anything on your property that you wanted, I will purchase the ground next to you, and since it is my property, I will set up a nuclear waste and hazardout waste disposal faciility.

AG3Y
04-19-2010, 08:31 PM
No reason to go crazy on us. There is a HUGE difference between installing a 50 foot tower to support a three element beam on your property, and setting "up a nuclear waste and hazardout (sic ) waste disposal faciility. (sic ) " ! And I'm sure you know that!

N8YX
04-19-2010, 09:38 PM
No reason to go crazy on us. There is a HUGE difference between installing a 50 foot tower to support a three element beam on your property, and setting "up a nuclear waste and hazardout (sic ) waste disposal faciility. (sic ) " ! And I'm sure you know that!
In the eyes of most HOAs, they're equally obnoxious. Sad but true.

WA6MHZ
04-19-2010, 10:49 PM
For those who pine for the old days when you could do anything on your property that you wanted, I will purchase the ground next to you, and since it is my property, I will set up a nuclear waste and hazardout waste disposal faciility.

Sounds like MY Property!!!

AB8RO
04-19-2010, 11:10 PM
No reason to go crazy on us. There is a HUGE difference between installing a 50 foot tower to support a three element beam on your property, and setting "up a nuclear waste and hazardout (sic ) waste disposal faciility. (sic ) " ! And I'm sure you know that!

Absolutely. I think that it's even perfectly reasonable to require permits for towers or even just masts that exceed certain heights. The purpose of the permit, however, is just to ensure that reasonable safety concerns are being met.

WA6MHZ
04-19-2010, 11:42 PM
Probably depends on the Tower too

A friend in the Rich part of town has a MASSIVE 85ft tower that weighs hundreds if not THOUSANDS of pounds and is a good foot in diameter.

If that fell and hit a house, it would slice through it like WARM BUTTER!!!

On the other hand, a tower like mine is so weak and lame it doesn't even damage the SHINGLES when it crashes into the roof!

KS4VT
04-22-2010, 10:30 AM
Absolutely. I think that it's even perfectly reasonable to require permits for towers or even just masts that exceed certain heights. The purpose of the permit, however, is just to ensure that reasonable safety concerns are being met.


Well the FCC has pretty much told the local jurisdictions that there will be no permitting requirements for TV antennas that can be mounted up to 12' above the roofline. So if you have a 2 story house that can be up to 32' AGL, so they feel pretty confident that a 40' push up pole, extended up to 32', is safe enough to be installed without a permit.


Q: What types of restrictions unreasonably delay or prevent viewers from using an antenna? Can an antenna user be required to obtain prior approval before installing his antenna?

A: A local restriction that prohibits all antennas would prevent viewers from receiving signals, and is prohibited by the Commission's rule. Procedural requirements can also unreasonably delay installation, maintenance or use of an antenna covered by this rule. For example, local regulations that require a person to obtain a permit or approval prior to installation create unreasonable delay and are generally prohibited.

Being a "real tower" is a much better structure than a push-up pole then the requirements should actually be less, in the eyes of the FCC. It's just a shame that AR isn't treated with equal rules. It's like we are the "bad guys" or something like that.

AG3Y
04-22-2010, 01:22 PM
Probably depends on the Tower too

A friend in the Rich part of town has a MASSIVE 85ft tower that weighs hundreds if not THOUSANDS of pounds and is a good foot in diameter.

If that fell and hit a house, it would slice through it like WARM BUTTER!!!

On the other hand, a tower like mine is so weak and lame it doesn't even damage the SHINGLES when it crashes into the roof!

Are you saying that you know that from experience ? ? ? :eek:

N7WR
04-22-2010, 05:21 PM
Aren't You the First-Vice-President of the WORLD RADIO RELAY LEAGUE who's main purpose is to promote EMCOMM? I'm a little confused.

Yes, but not the sort of Emcomm that the ARRL has been pushing. WRRL is committed to providing reliable, no frills, emergency communications on behalf of the public who needs communications support---not necessarily support for government agencies that don't really need comm support like the public does but tolerates amateur radio because it is PC to do so.

W5HTW
04-22-2010, 07:17 PM
For those who pine for the old days when you could do anything on your property that you wanted, I will purchase the ground next to you, and since it is my property, I will set up a nuclear waste and hazardout waste disposal faciility.

Or you could set up a shop in your garage for rebuilding and testing motorcycle engines. I think you'd get the attention of all those hams with waivered towers who live near you. They'd be pounding on the doors of the HOA President!

Or for restoring old motor homes in your driveway.

Or a bit of hobby body work on restorable pickup trucks.

Or testing natural fertilizers on the hedge between you and your neighbor?

Lots of ways to see if the HOA exempts everyone, or just hams.

Ed

AB8RO
04-22-2010, 07:43 PM
Being a "real tower" is a much better structure than a push-up pole then the requirements should actually be less, in the eyes of the FCC.

Yes, if errected properly, that's the point of the permit. If erected improperly then it has the potential to cause much more damage than a pushup pole.

KA4DPO
04-22-2010, 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by KS4VT http://forums.qrz.com/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?p=1922242#post1922242)
Being a "real tower" is a much better structure than a push-up pole then the requirements should actually be less, in the eyes of the FCC.



Yes, if erected properly, that's the point of the permit. If erected improperly then it has the potential to cause much more damage than a push up pole.


If the supposed purpose of the tower is to provide communications in the aftermath of some disaster then a push up pole is not a bad idea. Erecting a tower on the premise of emergency preparedness and then praying that mother nature doesn't mangle it is kind of ridiculous. A tornado or hurricane can destroy a tower in seconds no matter how well it's installed.

A true emergency setup would consist of antennas that can be placed out of harms way the maximum extent possible and then quickly and easily erected in the aftermath of some disaster. So if the purpose given is to support EMCOM then the push up pole is a smarter choice and the only one that makes real sense if you really are concerned and not just BSing to get a tower up.

AB8RO
04-22-2010, 10:26 PM
If the supposed purpose of the tower is to provide communications in the aftermath of some disaster

What is your point? Nobody is going to argue with what you put up after an emergency so debating the merits of tower vs pushup pole is a bit ridiculous.

Honestly, I don't care what really works and what really doesn't and I don't think that these invented megadisasters that wipe out all the towers happen all that often.

We're talking about poperty rights and permits. Although I have little interest in doing so, if I were arguing I might suggest that the tower would allow me to serve the citizens of "my community" by providing health and welfare traffic for their friends, relatives, and coworkers that may live in communities affected by emergencies. I'd then blather on about how each community needs to do its part to ensure that the brotherhood of prepared amateur radio operators can work together to serve each of their respective communities in time of need. I would further argue that in time of disaster hams need to be prepared and that in order to be prepared one must participate in the widest possible array of drills and exercises. In order to participate effectively with drills sponsored by neighboring communities a larger antenna is needed.

My point was not about what "is suited" and "is not suited" but that it has BEEN DEMONSTRATED that emcomm participation sometimes sways a decison in favor of a more significant antenna.

I'm not suggesting that these arguments are correct either, frankly, I don't care what's effective for emcomm.

Again, use the information however you see fit.

ad: Waters-2