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Almost embarrassed to be a amateur radio operator

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KG5TED, Sep 12, 2017.

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  1. KG5TED

    KG5TED XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have been a Licensed amateur operator for about three and a half years, so this might be my own ignorance. To let you know a little about me and my equipment. I can work HF, DSTAR, DMR, and Fusion. Living on the Central gulf coast one reason I Got Into amateur Radio is to use during hurricanes. Well, being in between the last two hurricanes I searched for DMR talk groups, DSTAR reflectors and really couldn't find anything. But then, using equipment everyone has access to, smart phone, I downloaded Zello and can find anything I want. IMHO, this is almost embarrassment for amateur radio Community. You might say, "Well DMR and DSTAR uses the internet and wouldn't be working when it goes down". Well Zello uses internet and is very Active and is being use to help. I went through hurricane Rita here and never once Lost Internet connection. That was a category 3 storm when it made landfall. Is it just me or is amateur radio losing to new technology? Should I just trade all my radios for a smart phone?
    Ted KG5TED
    KK4HPY and W5TTP like this.
  2. KB9UWU

    KB9UWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been a ham for 18 years and have no idea what DSTAR DMR or Fusion is... maybe we're the ignorant ones.
    N3AB, K1TGX and W4IOA like this.
  3. KG5TED

    KG5TED XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That's is what's great about ham radio there is something for everyone. My favorite is HF, but, just wanted more tools in the toolbox.
    Ted KG5TED
    N3AB likes this.
  4. WN2C

    WN2C Ham Member QRZ Page

    What ever floats your boat. Using Dstar, DMR or any other digital mode when you need help you can only get it from someone who has that capability. I guess this applies to SSB too or AM or CW. If they cant copy you might as well be speaking another language. Oh wait... you actually are!
  5. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Don't know if your expectations are misplaced. I've been a ham over 50 years, live in Florida, and never wanted or depended on ham radio for anything other than entertainment. I did listen for a few minutes to one local "hurricane net" as the storm passed central Florida and was treated to some guy droning on about weather reports as though it was news to anyone.

    The first thing which fails during a storm is ham radio.
    KC9VFO, KD8EDC, VE6NS and 7 others like this.
  6. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Resiliency in other communications systems does not take away from ham radio. Not being needed to provide emergency communications is a GOOD thing.

    Not sure how that would make you feel embarrassed.
    KX4O, KD8EDC, KK5JY and 2 others like this.
  7. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I prefer Amateur radio technology that does not rely on a lot of add ons to work - computers, internet
    all that jazz. I am not impressed with DMR and all the funny digital modes that are the thrill of
    a lot of the no code, HT set. FM works fine on VHF. FM simplex will get you long distances. We did really
    well in my part of Florida this weekend in Irma with FM and a Battery powered repeater - it kept me in touch with our community club, shelters, hospital etc. If the repeater failed simplex would have worked. I was able to know about local water levels, damage , power outages and other things that even with the internet it would be hard to get immediately
    if at all. HF was of little to no value to us I will have to admit.
    KX4O and N3AB like this.
  8. K0MB

    K0MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Three years, and NO opportunity to be a hero yet? Man, that sucks!
    AI3V, VE3FI, K5AMT and 4 others like this.
  9. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went to local club meeting to learn something about X technology.
    The presenter did not show up.
    OK, thinks happen, but this was third time this club did not deliver.

    The MC announced alternate presentation - about how local hams participated in "communication" during Harvey. I offered to present my latest boat anchor find to "get away from Harvey" , and was told "maybe next time".

    So for next half an hour everybody listened how wonderful job ARES did during storm.
    How people manned the airways for hours...
    Keeping accurate records of "net checkings", being told to refer traffic to 911, emotional war story about rescuing a cat from the flooded mail box, telling blind ham how to turn off the electricity in his house. How the communicators managed to bypass powerless repeaters (!) and could not keep the "net" participants from stepping on each other with NO TRAFFIC ever passed.
    After I made a remark that the group would have been more effective participating in cleanup , I was told that "our job is to communicate , you are talking about recovery".

    There are oodles of citizens whose "job" is to go to church and you can see them on Sundays with shovels helping the "recovery" process.

    After that "we are communicators" I felt ashamed to even sit in the same room with these folks who are out of touch with today's community needs and have no clue how to handle simple H@W traffic .

    As I said before , you cannot clean-up Harvey's mess using HT.

    Not only that , they are 50 years beyond communication technology and as one of the OM on QRZ said - "should enjoy their nostalgic hobby " and STAY AWAY from the notion that they are a viable resource for emergency communication.

    73 Shirley - off the soap box

    KX4O, KE0EYJ, W0AEW and 6 others like this.
  10. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Trade them in for that smart phone if you are embarrassed to be a ham. The last thing I think about in an emergency is ham radio. Where ham radio does shine is in extended periods after an emergency . With modern cell phones short term and immediate responses and reports of emergencies are better use than ham radio. What is embarrassing is that many hams haven't caught on to this today, they are lost in a world of fantasy buying into the outdated "when all else fails" trope. Depending on propagation and such is not a good plan. FM repeaters are good but if they are up and operational more than likely cell phones are too.
    I think back a couple of years ago when that big earthquake took place in Europe and the nets popped up giving us exactly nothing that couldn't be passed on by other more effective means. The ham operators stayed on the air talking having nothing more to say than the recent weathermen who stood out in the wind and rain giving their report that it was windy and rainy. The nets were even asking for HT donations to send the the survivors like they would know what the hell to do with them. My rule of thumb is that if there is news-people on the air at the location of the emergency giving both audio and visual reports, ham radio isn't needed. I carry a cell phone everyday and so does everyone in my family and my friends. If I can't reach them by phone a HT isn't an answer (especially since the majority of my friends and family are not licensed hams).
    AF7ZA, W2AI, AA7EJ and 1 other person like this.
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