Issue #27: Building our Radio Future -- Together!

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Sep 8, 2023.

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  1. KW4TI

    KW4TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    A while back, I complained that ARRL's response to the FCC's NPRM regading the Ray Baum act was quite anemic, having actually read it, and that their efforts to engage the membership was almost nonexistent. It produced quite a controversial thread as you can imagine here on the zed:

    ARRL provided only a brief note in QST regarding this NPRM. They could have written an article explaining the Ray Baum act to the membership, explained to them how to effectively and politely advocate for their views on the matter, and coordinated expressing these views as a response to the NPRM. I think they did the very minimum needed to inform the membership, and their response to NPRM really didn't address the NPRM very much at all. After seeing how they handled this, I decided that their advocacy efforts were quite wanting.
  2. W1YW

    W1YW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    A (yours) legit response, IMO.

    My opinion is that they are understaffed at the technical end of such petition responses, althugh they have good group of attorneys to wordsmith and deliver.

    IOW I think the priorities are resource-constrained.

    But I could be wrong.

    Chip W1YW
    W7DGJ likes this.
  3. KB9MWR

    KB9MWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This kind of transparency I feel would do the league some good. And if the belt has to be tightened due to falling membership numbers, let the members still on board have a bigger more direct voice on which services they feel could be curtailed, and which they feel are essential.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  4. M1BNH

    M1BNH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave,
    My name is Patrick Walton and my callsign is M1BNH. From my perspective you are, sadly, proposing loyal support for what is becoming nothing more than a totalitarian organisation. As you point out, there's no-one else to vote for... In my country the RSGB appears to be heading down this road, as evidenced by its apparent indifference, ineptitude and indecision, but still with the unquestioning support of its disenfranchised yet still-hopeful membership.

  5. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks f0r posting Pat. It's not at that stage yet, and hopefully will not make to the full "Totalitarian" profile! But I'm sorry to hear that the RSGB is heading in the same direction. Dave
  6. KW4TI

    KW4TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think what is at work here is not malice, but institutional sclerosis ( ). Not to stray so far from OP's discussion, but ARRL is one of many institutions of American society that were originally established to serve public interests, but now largely serve themselves for self-preservation, and in many cases, self-enrichment. For example, many universities were established by religious orders, state governments, charities, etc. to serve the public, but now have become enormously expensive with towering administrational complexes and excessive bureaucracy. Many hospitals and health care systems are also similarly affected, having been established by religious orders or service organizations to serve the public but again now part of giant hospital systems designed to maximize profit for the minimum service provided. This is a much larger discussion than amateur radio but I think what is happening here is a symptom of a much larger problem that occurs when there are perverse incentives or management structures that can't or won't be held accountable. The checks and balances needed for a functioning society weaken and so power devolves to those who exercise it.
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  7. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Daniel, I'm sure you'd agree with me that this issue is bigger than simply "America" and the way we do things here. The same issues can (and do) come up in global organizations that seem to devolve into self-serving institutions instead of their original charter. I say this having just deleted a post this morning (I hate to do that and rarely if ever do . . . ) that was simply directed to America and Americans, that this is somehow related to how we do business around the globe. I don't think that attitude was fair nor is that statement correct. I invited the author to come back with more but to delete the "hate" comments which were sprinkled throughout. Dave, W7DGJ
  8. KW4TI

    KW4TI Ham Member QRZ Page

    This could be true, and is likely true, that institutional sclerosis is a much wider phenomenon than America, but being American that's mostly what I have experience to talk about.
  9. W1YW

    W1YW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    When the balloon is moving sideways, you jab at it to continue to move it forwards.

    Popping it or deflating it doesn't get the air molecules where they need to go.

    Red or blue or anything else, the balloon is still a balloon. They are all somewhat amorphous and ultimately delicate.

    But subject to constructive prodding and a path ahead.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2023
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  10. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Love a good analogy!
  11. KB6NU

    KB6NU Ham Member QRZ Page

    As I said in my blog post on this topic, "Is this good business or boneheaded?," the ARRL tends to act in what they think is in their best interest, and not necessarily what is in the best interest of amateur radio. I think that is what they're doing here. They fail to see that what's in the best interest of amateur radio, is in their interest, too, in the long run.
    KW4TI and W7DGJ like this.
  12. WA1ZJL

    WA1ZJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have read through the entire thread and something comes to mind. The "corporate mentality" and "bureaucratic mentality" seems to have taken over in most organizations in our country if not the world. I can't help but think back to the 1960's and early 70's when this country embarked on a mission to put men on the moon. Probably most folks don't know it but those engineers who made that happen were farm boys, the first generation of their families to go to college. They still remembered how things were done on the farm. You figured out how to do things with what you had to work with. If something went wrong you figured out how to make it work the same way. By the way my uncle was one of those "farm boys" who helped put us on the moon. Later I made it to be a nationally known broadcast engineer the same way. Unfortunately that ability has been lost. Elaborate and expensive programs have replaced what we always considered as "just common sense". ARRL perhaps needs to look in this direction. I was also First Selectman of a small town and we always tried to find ways to make the biggest bang for the buck. Throwing money at a problem never solved anything. It's innovative ways to bring out the desired result that's important.
    One person mentioned the power of the NRA in firearms related issues. The ARRL should aspire to have the same power, not for what they want but what is really the best for amateur radio. It seems that the common carriers are looking to grab spectrum wherever they can or cause enough interference to render portions of the spectrum unusable. This should be the primary mission of the ARRL.
    In regards to education, nobody has or ever will have the corner on knowledge. There are many good sources of information out there that are readily accessible. If five sources say one thing and one says something else, that should separate the sheep from the goats so to speak. Trying to suppress other sources will never work in the long run and shouldn't be tried.
    It's time to look back at some of the old ways of doing things. They worked back then and they'll work now. It's like technology on emergency generators. In this day of all electronic controls the top of the line generators still use points and a distributor. If it absolutely, positively has to work the old simple mechanical system is the best.
    I realize I've rambled on but isn't it time to get back to what's best for amateur radio and not what's best for the corporate mind?
    One other thing I should add. With the new standards for RF exposure I needed to be sure that I was legal. I have a doublet that I've used on 160 through 10. I searched the web but couldn't find info on the gain on the higher bands. I emailed the ARRL with my dilemma and got a reply back a few days later. One of the tech support folks ran a quick NEC run of my antenna and sent me the results. I was very pleased and made sure to reply with my thanks. That was probably worth my dues to me.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Harold, nice post. Great example of something positive and valuable back to you from an ARRL membership at the end of your post. Thank you for that. With regards to your earlier comments about the "farm boy" way of doing things, I've seen that myself. Yes, it's frustrating when "get it done" people hit the sandbagging of bureaucrats . . . I've faced this many times, it's frustrating but thank goodness there are people all over who also appreciate the "find a solution and get it done" ideas. Maybe someday they'll all disappear, but I hope not. I'm sure that people like this still exist in our hobby and in the ARRL - let's hope they can stay on track to preserve our bands and the Amateur Radio Services in general. Dave, W7DGJ
  14. 4Z1UG

    4Z1UG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    They said that they could no longer promote the QSO Today Academy as it competed with their Learning Center. In the past Expos, they were very generous with publishing our press releases in their weekly email newsletter to their membership. Over 100,000 hams.
  15. W1YW

    W1YW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    So you now have the base, whether they are pinged continuously thru ARRL or not. And frankly, many--most?-- members ignore the newsletter. They look at the ARRL webpage, and especially QRZed.

    I suspect that the ARRL web page would accept your advertising if you chose that route. And certainly you have your own active list from QSO Today.

    Another option is to trade content for ads in club monthlies.

    In any case, QSO Today has built a base already.

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