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Current direction of the ARRL

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by W1MRK, Jan 11, 2010.


Is the ARRL still strongly supporting and pushing Em Comm?

  1. YES

    49 vote(s)
  2. NO

    9 vote(s)

    22 vote(s)
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  1. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello all.

    I have been tossing around wether or not I would find value in a membership in the ARRL. I do not keep up to date on them but I do know that they have been making a very large push recenlty to show Ham operators as emergency communicators. I have heard many beneifts to membership and have talked to many who find great value in not being a member. My main thought is that I have no interest in supporting them if they are still on the emergency communications bandwagon. Before anyone says anything I served for numerous years in my local EMA unit as a responder. Not in a ARES or RACES function but in Public Saftey band comms.

    I commend the fact that some people wish to volunteer their time and effort for ARES or RACES and other types of relief communications. I however do not agree with anyone categorizing the ham bands as a emergency radio service of any kind. We can provide assistance, time, effort, and skill to a crisis and help with effective communications. But in the end we are hobbyists using frequencies that were allocated to our service to promote international good will and to help advance technology. I served and was very proud of what I did. But I don't put the two into the same category, cause then its not a hobby anymore. I just don't want it to be branded as such.

    I am not posting this to start a flame war. I have genuine intrest in the path the ARRL is going and would appreciate others thoughts on its current direction.

    Thanks in advance for you time.

    73's Mike W1MRK
  2. N2RJ

    N2RJ Ham Member QRZ Page

  3. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for that link but that I believe was a comment from the FCC. I wanted to know from the average member where they feel the ARRL is currently headed. Also why I threw in a poll.
  4. W4PG

    W4PG Super Moderator Lifetime Member 279 Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL is one of few if not the only major ham radio organization that lobbies Congress on behalf of ham radio. As such, they contribute significantly to maintaining our privileges. The RF spectrum is limited and there are countless of other folks who would just love to take ours away from us. So from that standpoint, they are invaluable.

    I also think it's a bit unfair to judge an organization based on ONE issue (EMCOM). There are any number of issues that could be important to any one person. Additionally, the ARRL provides numerous resources for hams, way too many to list here. A quick look at their web site shows many of them.

    Clearly the ARRL can't be everything to everyone. BUT, without our support they won't survive and without them, we're left to fend for our own against those who want our frequencies.

    It's important to examine ALL that they do in considering membership, IMHO.

  5. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I appreciate and respect what you said. I am also looking at a larger picture regarding membership that includes other aspects of the ARRL. That is why I wanted to poll other Hams about what they feel the main drivng force and direction is at the moment. My biggest concern is wether or not Em Comm is their primary objective. If it is I have no interest in supporting till the advancement of our hobby becomes the driving force.

    Mike W1MRK
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  6. KE7VLC

    KE7VLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well personally I don't care if they are on the Emcomm bandwagon or not. After all it's been a hot topic because FEMA is still having a hard time creating their system and getting it up and ready. After all the assistance that Hams had during Katrina it's no wonder why it's a hot topic. FEMA is pretty much a brand new organization still trying to figure out how to do their job.

    I agree that AR shouldn't be the first responders into a disaster, but we should still be there as a backup to a backup. We should be there ONLY if FEMA's system and the local Emergency workers systems go down and ONLY then.....end of story. For us to paint our cars and put lightbars on our vehicles is not needed in our hobby. If you have a lightbar please take it off and use it ONLY if you are doing a public service event or in an actual emergency. You don't need it for everyday use.

    Am I happy that the ARRL is there? Yes because if they wern't then we probably wouldn't be around long...especially since there are company's and military branches looking to use the radio spectrum for their benefit. Just look at our 70cm band....we are secondary users on that it goes to show if we didn't have someone knocking on the FCC's door everyday we probably would be left with just one or two bands.
  7. KD5PME

    KD5PME Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree, Bob.

    ARRL has been my first source of ham radio technical subjects over many years. I subscribe primarily for the technical information in QST, QEX (when I can afford it), and their archives are invaluable.

    We do need their lobby in Congress, too. Though I am not at all into EmComm, I think that is just one part of the service they provide.
  8. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    Actually, they lobby in their own behalf. They seldom poll the membership about issues they are pushing. They actually do nothing towards maintaining our ham privileges. Those are mandated by law and the frequencies are mandated by international treaty. Should we not have our privileges, the frequencies would still be ham frequencies.

    It is not unfair to judge them by one issue. It’s an important issue and I don’t believe that what they are pushing in this regard is in accordance with the majority of hams.

    Of course you will see a lot of reasons to join the ARRL on their website… duh..

    Fending for our selves wouldn’t necessarily be such a bad thing. As I said.. the frequencies are not our government to give away.

    It is important to consider everything when considering a membership. Just make sure that you do consider all that they do.. consider as well the percentage of hams that they do represent.

    Yes, I am a member
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2010
  9. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rather than taking a poll, which I didn't answer, because I really don't understand the question, it seems to me that you'll get more objective information about how strongly they are "pushing" something by looking at what they actually do "push".

    From the table of contents of the most recent issue of QST, it would appear that they're not "pushing" it very much:

    Out of 23 items listed there, I saw 3 with any reference to emergency communications.

    Out of the 15 news items on their web page, there was one that referred to emergency communications.

    And out of the 17 items on their "What have we been up to lately" list, about 3 of them related to emergency communications.

    And of the several dozen names and e-mail addresses on this directory:

    It looks like only about 3 relate to emergency communications (although from another article, it looks like they plan to hire one person with responsibilities in that area).

    IMHO, it doesn't seem like all of their efforts are "pushing" in this one particular direction, although I don't think my opinion is particularly relevant.
  10. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for eveyones response so far.

    In response to your post W0IS, my concern is more the back door behind the scenes politics that the ARRL is rumored to do. I hear that they do a lot of lobbying placing us in a "necessity to homeland security" and "ready to go 24/7" category. What they post in QST is irrevelant as only hams will see that. I want to know more about their goals. If they are our voice in Washington, how are they presenting us?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
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