[AMRadio] Petition Pending

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Thu Jun 23 10:44:52 EDT 2005

On 6/22/05, peter markavage <manualman at juno.com> wrote:

> **Yep, and besides old radios, they also like old fire trucks, police
> cars, airplanes, toy trains, etc. too. Just liking old radios does not
> prepare them for the amateur radio of today and tomorrow. They may be
> great to look at, but they sure don't prepare them for the technology of
> today.

Prepare them how? To work on their radio gear, or even understand a
simple circuit? How is the plug and play mentality more difficult to
prepare for than actual hands-on experience and knowing how something
works? My point was, and still is, that kids in general have little
interest in something that resembles the plastic throw-away gadgets
they already have or CB radio, and that old radios seem (at least, in
my experiences) to connect with them more and spark their interest in
learning and doing more with radio. I think the idea is to get them
interested in ham radio, not just another appliance, because radio
actually does involve a lot more than flipping a switch and turning a
knob - or buying a G5RV antenna.

> **Maybe you should offer them some alternative suggestions to generating
> additional revenue for fighting BPL, Emergency Communications Training,
> ARRL services, Salaries, general operating costs, etc., etc. I don't see
> where they have many revenue generators at this time.

And maybe the league should be less concerned with commercial success,
salaries, commercial grade Harris gear, and what seems to amount to a
$10m per year publishing house. I've tried offering suggestions to Mr
Frenaye and others through the years, suggestions of how to get more
hams involved with the league not how to run their business. They
weren't interested in any of the basics like a simple one or two tube
CW transmitter built from currently available parts - in fact, they
weren't interested in anything related to basic radio. Only the big,
important 'potential future uses'. A lot like their current reasoning
for regulating by bandwidth. I was even told at one point that you
didn't need to know this stuff because no one repairs their radios
anymore: it's not possible due to such advanced technology. Therein
lies the problem, in my view.
> **I see more amateurs today "putting it down" than "dumbing it down".

Are we talking about Amateur radio or the ARRL? (o:

> There is a point to teaching history in the classrooms.
> But, "glowing tubes and dancing meters" is what it is, a piece of
> history, kept alive by a small group of dedicated amateurs that we're
> both part of. It does not reflect the future of amateur radio and the
> direction that we should be pointing the future amateur radio members.

It doesn't? How do you teach the basics of radio, Pete? By saying
"It's all surface-mount technology and can't be fixed by you, so don't
bother"? If not for the so-called 'small group of dedicated amateurs'
you speak of, ham radio would be in far worse shape today then it now
is. I suspect the 'future view' of the league hadn't planned on so
many people getting involved with hands-on radio in the last 20 years
or the resurgance of AM. I wish I could remember who it was that
quoted the statistic to me that vintage gear/AM operators were the
fastest growing group in amateur. This was several years back, and I
think it was a league member. So much for the league's view of the
future. They finally had to admit it was a force, though. John Dilk's
column reflects this.

I realize that we all move on, Pete - progress and all of that. I'm
not against the advance of technology, I just don't think that the
organization that proclaims to represent all of amateur radio should
forsake virtually everything else about it in favor of their future
view. Regulation by bandwidth to favor potential new technologies not
widely (or currently) in use, with special 'exemptions' that can more
easily be revoked for any current mode is not, IHMO, representing
amateur radio as a whole: it's catering to one aspect at the expense
of others. Let's face it, we can co-exist as we have for decades with
other modes that don't randomly wipe out communications. We can also
exist fine without the League trying to create more of a perceived
role for itself in regulation.

> **It sounds better then listening to a digital packet burst. CW has
> audible rhythm, a packet burst doesn't.

Absolutely. How is HF packet doing, btw? I don't hear much about it these days.
> **I bet this is the perceived back-door politics and alleged conspiracies
> that several people have alluded to over the last few years.

Not in my book. Just bad 'business' and too much emphasis on the money
aspect (which approach will do the best job of filling our coffers?)
while not placing enough emphasis on representing all amateur radio
interests equally, as they claim to. Claiming that they only went
after BPL because the damage to amateur radio would have meant the end
of the ARRL (all of those careers and salaries you eluded to) might
fall into that category, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of
the doubt.

I don't base my remarks on some deep suspicion of organizations or
anything else beyond first hand experiences with the League
representatives and leadership itself. If they were to state that "We
represent the segment of amateur radio that best reflects our view of
how it should be and is likely to bring in the most money", I'd have
more respect for them. I still wouldn't join again, but at least I'd
have a clear, honest statement that reflects their current path to
refer to.

I suspect it's time to move onward, so this is will be my final on
this topic. Sorry for belaboring the point, but there is more than one
view that deserves consideration. Blindly following *any* cause or
organization 'just because' is never a good idea IMHO. It could even
be that we're not as much in disagreement as it appears from certain
apsects, Pete.


~ Todd  KA1KAQ

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