Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by G4TUT, Mar 3, 2018.
Sorry, but we block scripts from Google to prevent it from spying on us.
I was one of those who say older hams are the problem. It seems to me they are the ones who holding back innovation in ham radio. For example no code licensee older hams grumble, cheaper radio: older hams grumble, DMR, FT8 or ham Brod-band : older hams grumble, higher baud rates on HF: older hams grumble.
I feel local ham radio should already moving to digital android based ham radio, be it we might want shift to microwave.
I feel the biggest threat is broadband and mobile development in emergency response and communications. I predict ARES will be driven to obsolescence with portable broadband and broad band satellites such as once just launch and being developed by Spacex. We all ready see the changes of battle filed tech in Afghanistan and Iraq.
On other issues it my be nice to ask questions on those who are employing tech in the radio hobby such as Software Define Radio, am micro controller systems such is Arduino, Raspberry PI. I do. This also one my own gripes abu the lack of software for person software development. For example I could only find a document on APRS and AX.25 from the 1990's and very little except some broken archives for c# and C++ development examples and SDK.
I sometimes get the feeling that the FCC treats ham radio as they treat CB radio: The violations are not "really" violations to the FCC since they only annoy other hams just like some CBers only annoy other CBers plus the FCC does not have time or manpower to police the ham bands.
I wonder how many in the FCC now actually listen to the ham bands...
When I went to the FCC office in Dallas in the mid-70's, several of the desk-jockey agents were hams. I wonder if such a thing still exists.
Considering the emergency aspect of ham radio operation, I would suggest that the head of the amateur radio division of the FCC must be a ham, one with long experience and active as much as time allows. Someone with a feeling for what is right and desirable for the ham bands and NOT some political hack who has been selected for strictly political purposes would best serve us. Like a Curtis LeMay (ex-w6EZV) type. If he/she did not actually do a great job representing hams' wants, wishes and desires, at least more hams would like to think that he/she did just that.
Also, like the Official Observer who was someone voluntarily that "self-policed" ham radio, the FCC could rely more on this kind of feedback if they had volunteers among the ham community that did this for them, much like the weather bureau that welcomes feedback from hams regarding the current weather in their areas. Just a thought. However, even a call-in hotline is not available for this at the FCC, as far as I know, not even a line to take recorded messages.
The FCC has reduced the number of listening stations. I don't think they actively listen at all; rather, they just act upon complaints. Hams are at the bottom of the totem pole. Commercial users get access since they PAY for their licenses.
One broadcast engineer I knew said he got a phone call from an FCC engineer who said he needed to check his radio/TV station. He asked the engineer when he was coming by and the FCC engineer said he didn't need to stop by, he was in a local hotel with his monitoring test set and asked the engineer to do some settings on the transmitter to set it closer to standards while the FCC engineer watched his test set. In 15 minutes the FCC engineer said it was set to standards and said it would be in his report and a copy would be sent to the broadcast engineer.
The FCC is no longer doing many things that they once did. Budget goals have no doubt done a job on a lot of Goobermint systems. This means, to me, that it falls even harder on the ham community to be even more serious about self-policing, just short of pinning a perp's coax even though this is sometimes what is needed.
I also suspect that it may be relatively easy to file a complaint with the FCC but as to how they react to one is a somewhat cloudy.
FCC used to make every complaint known and letters sent out in response as public information.
We used to know this process as the latest "FCC enforcement actions" which were usually published once a month. I also recall the ARRL used to feature this as a regular news item.
However, they changed this policy in recent years and they no longer do this with "everything."
This newer policy gives the appearance they are no longer doing anything like they used to.
So just because we don't hear about things like we used to in the past, doesn't mean they are no longer writing people warning letters or doing anything.
All of which should be public information since we are paying the bills.
It goes beyond "the appearance they are no longer doing anything" when there is no evidence/proof of it happening until a problem becomes so gross (ref 7200 KHz) that some person is targeted and this still does not solve the problem. Again, sometimes it does not seem wise to simply rely on some official office to do what they are sworn to do, sometimes we hams have to become the squeaky wheel and not let up until someone in their ivory tower notices and starts thinking it may bring some chickens back to their roost if they do not respond to the complaints. THEN we "may" see some results. But on 7200 KHz, that doesn't seem to make a difference, sometimes.
As an aside, a policeman/detective in Killeen, TX once told me that six crooks who are very busy can make it look like there are 200 thieves working in an area. This same effect is on 7200 KHz; I believe that there are less than half a dozen rascals there but sometimes it seems that it's many more. What complicates matters is when others make remarks trying to chastise and correct the madness but these good intentions result in more illegal activity and confusion.
I admire the FCC more than many other government agencies but they mist be made more aware of the problems in ham radio even though they may be few. It's their job to be informed and responsive to duty as regards radio communication.
By the way, I've had an FCC First Phone license since the late '60's and an extra since the mid-'70's so it's not something new to me. And I do not think I'm novel in this respect. But this is why it is so bothersome since I make every effort to be legal on the radio and I'm sure I'm not unique. Most old-timers are old-timers because they are conscious of and observe the Rules and Regulations.
The problem with "bad behavior" as exhibited on 7200 is that it isn't a codified FCC violation.
Other things like "bad language" is also not codified in Part 97.
The FCC can only enforce actual rules violations as written in Part 97 and nothing else.
Apparently, it's not against the Part 97 rules to act like a complete idiot on the air.
I don't like it either, but that's how enforcement works.