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Ham Radio is "faintly embarrasing?"

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KV9Y, Dec 28, 2004.

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  1. KB1KIX

    KB1KIX Ham Member QRZ Page


    I haven't seen much that passes for journalism in that rag for quite some time.

    This comment though........ I don't think much of it to be honest.

  2. K4ACT

    K4ACT Ham Member QRZ Page

    i think he didn't think before he wrote old cronic foot in mouth syndrome
  3. AC5WO

    AC5WO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ham radio IS at least faintly embarrassing. I'd never admit to being a ham on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or even 5th date. However, good people participate in many worthwhile activities that are also at least faintly embarrassing.

    Hams should be more concerned about Amateur Radio being irrelevant than "faintly embarrassing". Many non-hams help provide emergency communications and the lack of a license doesn't prevent them from helping at the local EOC. Other non-hams experiment with radio communications, taking advantage of the large amount of unlicensed spectrum available under Part 15. Sure they can't transmit 1500 watts, but when was the last time a member of the general public asked you "How far can you talk on that?" In addition, "Advancement of the radio art" is now largely a corporate R&D activity with Part 5 Experimental licenses and STAs, not Part 97, providing access to the radio spectrum. To be blunt, ham radio is about as relevant to advancement of radio communications as model railroading is to advacement of transportation technology. They've both become old-man nostalgia hobbies.

    George AC5WO

    Sec. 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.
    © 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.
  4. N9CJT

    N9CJT Ham Member QRZ Page

    [Here's a copy of my letter to TIME]

    Dear Time:

    I'm wondering if I should break my 24-year streak of service as a severe weather spotter for the National Weather Service because of your determination that my quarter-century of licensure in the Amateur Radio
    Service is "faintly embarrassing." Who knows, maybe your article will convince my patients, who are impressed if they discover that I volunteer my time to help protect them from tornados here in Indiana, that I'm a quack
    intead of a good doctor. Oh, the heartbreak of sore I-ass-is......

  5. W6EM

    W6EM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dear Editor:

    Subject:  Lev Grossman's "Faintly Embarrassing" Utterance

    In your latest issue, Lev Grossman struck a nerve.  Not just with me, but with many who share an interest in ham radio.  Somehow, Mr. Grossman saw fit to characterize ham radio operators as somewhat of an embarrassment to society.  Who knows why.  I won't waste time trying to speculate as to why.  Here's his exact quote: “Before this year, blogs were a curiosity, a cult phenomenon, a faintly embarrassing hobby on the order of ham radio and stamp collecting."

    While to me its not important what a "Blog" is, it certainly is very important that amateur radio not be perceived as embarrassing.  What 700,000 Americans have chosen to pursue certainly is not quirky or nerdy enough to be broad-brushed as an embarrassment:  Faint or otherwise.

    Its true that hams need to learn something about electronics and radio technology to obtain a license to operate their equipment.  I guess that's a little nerdy.  Or, that we have established communications during disasters where no other normal communications media were available.  Yes, I suppose that too is nerdy.  But, I'm not embarrassed to be a ham.  But, then, maybe I'm not an objective judge.

    I just wanted to let you know that in voicing his spear in your magazine, you've labelled the likes of Walter Cronkite, Ronnie Milsap, Barry Goldwater, Arthur Godfrey and Marlon Brando as having actively enjoyed the faintly embarrassing  pastime of ham radio.


    W. Lee McVey
    Bradenton, FL
  6. K1MH

    K1MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are taking the wrong approach. I never mention ham radio. Unless I a specifically asked I never mention that I am a ham. That comes later.

    Tell them you ocassionally experiment with RF in the VHF and UHF portions of the spectrum. You can also tell them that depending upon the atmosphere, you sometimes bounce signals in the HF range off of the ionosphere. Its a "totally" all natural satellite.

    "Wow do you need a license for that?"

    THEN you tell em your a ham. Brainy chicks love it!


    Mike - K1MH
  7. N9YB

    N9YB QRZ Administrator QRZ Page

    Not that it hasn't been said before, but journalism has taken quite a few kicks in the chops this year. Let ye cast the first stone...
  8. N2IXA

    N2IXA Ham Member QRZ Page

    My E-mail to time


    To whom it my concern

    I am offended by Lev Grossman's characterization of ham radio as a "faintly embarrassing hobby" in his Blog of the Year.

    Ham Radio operators, of which I am one of the 670,000 US amateurs and 3 million amateurs world wide, are currently providing emergency communication in the aftermath of the earthquake. Similar public service has been provided in many other situations, including the recent Florida hurricanes. The "embarrassing" Ham Radio operators equipment include thousands of repeaters throughout the US and the world, many with interfaces to the Internet, TV, data communications, microwave systems, and our own earth-orbit satellites, and more.

    I have communicated with well over 1,630 hams in 264 countries.

    Here are to name a few of the "embarrassing" amateurs; Chet Atkins W4CGP, Ronnie Milsap WB4KCG, Patty Loveless KD4WUJ, Joe Walsh WB6ACU, and Sen. Barry Goldwater K7UGA.

    President George H. Bush called amateur radio operators "one of his 1000 points of light"

    Sir please do not call amateur radio embarrassing, were we embarrassing at the world trade towers or when the space shuttle burned up. We provide communications when others can't, including when your cell phone goes down. If we are so "embarrassing" then why are amateurs helping to provide communications in Thailand, why aren't you and Lev Grossman down there with your cell phone?

    Thank you for your time.

    Robert E. Moore
    amateur radio call N2IXA
  9. W1RON

    W1RON Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before you criticize the spelling of another, maybe you should check your own spelling before posting a message!  The word is notable....not noteable.
  10. KC9ECI

    KC9ECI Ham Member QRZ Page

    You all are embarrassing me. You people would argue over the color of snow.
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