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. NI7I

    NI7I Guest

    I think that this months issue is the exception. You would have to go back at least 12 issues to see a trend. It's just a gut feeling, but If you did that, I believe you would find a decided trend towards "pushing" the emcom button.

  2. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, there's one column (Public Service) per month that I guess mostly is devoted to that subject. And there's one issue per year that seems to be largely devoted to that issue (although in that one, most of the articles tend to be along the lines of "how to build an antenna", "how to build a generator", etc., that are only partially in keeping with the issue's theme.

    I don't have 12 months' worth of QST in front of me, and I don't know whether the tables of contents remain online. Their internet-only articles do remain online, so if anyone believes that my figures are a statistical oddity, you can do the same thing that I did, and look through the material.

    As far as a secret agenda, I can't speak to that. And if it's really secret, then taking a poll won't do much to uncover it.

    There's a lot going on at the ARRL: DXCC desk, the contesting branch, the Technical Information Service, etc., etc. They publish a lot of books, most of which have little if anything to do with emergency communications. Emergency communications is one area of emphasis, but it's not the only one.

    If you like the contents of QST, then ARRL membership will probably be worth it to you. The value goes up if you use the outgoing QSL bureau or some of their other services. If these things don't interest you, then it's probably not worth the money to join, but that fact has very little to do with secret agenda(s).

    Incidentally, here's a list of their public filings to the FCC:

    I'm sure there's something in one of those 145 filings that I might disagree with, but in general, I'm satisfied with their efforts. In particular, they did a Herculean task to keep pressure on the FCC regarding BPL. I'm pretty convinced that BPL will fail for economic reasons, but the added pressure has certainly been helpful in hastening the economic failure.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  3. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did not mean to make it sound like a secret agenda. My apoligies if it came across that way. I have no doubt the the ARRL wants to advance the hobby and represent its membership and protect ham radio in general. Having said that I believe I also explained the goal of every ham I have ever met who loved this hobby.

    I am just wondering if the ARRL is using the Em Comm topic to help with their mission. I would want a organization that promotes us, to show us in the light of who the average ham is, a hobbyist who is licensed to perform under good operating guidelines and to help advance technology and promote international good will. I dont want them to make us sound like a volunteer division of FEMA or any other public safety entity.

    I want to be promoted as a ham operator and hobbyist, not Rescue 51.

    73's W1MRK
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  4. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry--I didn't mean to put words in your mouth!

    As you've probably gathered from my comments, I think the ARRL does, indeed, promote our emergency communications abilitites just about the right amount. Occasionally, they might go a bit overboard, but they're fairly balanced.

    I guess my main objection over the years would be that they've been too much in favor of the "served agency" as being the beneficiary of our skills. IMHO, we would be more useful if we were promoted as a resource available directly to the general public. In the event of an emergency where outside communications were not available, there's absolutely nothing stopping me from handling traffic on behalf of my neighbors to their friends and relatives in other states. This does not require me to go anywhere where I don't currently happen to be, and other than traffic nets, it does not require any sort of outside agency. It's not something I can plan to do, because I don't plan on having a disaster in my neighborhood. But if I did, it would be the best way for me to serve my community.

    Now, I don't know if the powers that be in Newington agree with me completely. But I don't feel particularly neglected with my point of view, either.

    I get most of my money's worth from the magazine and the other services that I occasionally use. From an institutional point of view, I think I got my money's worth from the BPL fight, even if I don't necessarily agree with every other little thing they've done.

    At one time, I ran for director, only because I thought nobody else was running. Fortunately for me, the incumbent director ran (he forgot to file the first time around, so it was listed in QST as vacant) and soundly defeated me. I imagine that particular job has a lot of headaches for the amount of pay you get (which, the last I checked, was zero).
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  5. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    As far as the ARRL's direction...'s still northeast from me, just like it always was.:p
  6. K1CD

    K1CD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL is its members. It is not a 'them' but rather an 'us.' Hyperdemocracy is ideologic but not practical (See Claremont Institute paper on California). The members elect the ARRL Governance and it delegates to them as a means to express vox populi. The membership as a whole is responsible for what the organization does and how it does it. There are process, well established and with a history of effectiveness behind them, for managing these responsibilities. Too often these days, such history in proper governance are ignored and failed process used instead. The result is failed organizations or failed states. The ideas of hyperdemocracy such as polling all for everything are symptoms of an illness in our society as is the near obsessive demand for them.

    What I see in this thread is are things I see discussed about many organizations. The value of membership is being evaluated from an 'us vs them' approach, a narcissistic approach, one where an individual is very crass about personal benefit. Matters of obligation, responsibility, loyalty, duty to something beyond self and such truck are treated with disdain.

    Why join ARRL? The classic idea is the membership is just a subscription to QST. On the other end of the spectrum are more abstract concepts that involve belonging and civic participation and support for the basic mission of the organization.

    Why join with others in a formal way? That is the question for joining any organization or association. In essence it is saying 'I am not alone but rather one with my fellows.' It is a recognition that we don't live alone and an expression of a responsibility to something more than one's self and that one is dependent upon others. Those are things many seem reluctant to do these days in 'birds of a feather' groups.

    That's a lot of hi' fallutin' ideology and maybe even some big words. If you can get it past the eyeballs, take a gander and do some thinkin' - the question goes a lot deeper than it might appear.

    Why join? It is a first step. If you like what the ARRL is doing then you are supporting the effort. If you don't then joining is where you start to make changes. Meanwhile, enjoy the publications and other benefits you might find.
  7. NN4RH

    NN4RH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The ARRL works on behalf of it's own revenue stream, just like any other large membership organization.
  8. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    So far from what I have heard simply by joining I can not make any changes.

    Mike W1MRK
  9. W1MRK

    W1MRK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do appreciate all the comments. This has helped answer some questions that were nagging at me.

    Mike W1MRK 73's
  10. W0IS

    W0IS Ham Member QRZ Page

    By joining, you get exactly one vote when your Section Manager or Director comes up for election.

    On average, you get a ballot once every ten years or so. There are elections much more frequently, but nobody wants the thankless jobs, so they are rarely contested.
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