[AMRadio] Petition Pending

peter markavage manualman at juno.com
Thu Jun 23 13:47:01 EDT 2005

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 10:44:52 -0400 "Todd, KA1KAQ" <ka1kaq at gmail.com>
> 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.

**I guess you're making the assumption that anyone getting into amateur
radio today is doing it for the technical aspects. i.e. work on gear,
understand circuits, be a future engineer, etc. I believe many of the
amateurs coming into the service are more interested in the communication
aspects rather than the technical aspects.  The talking to people, random
at times, and communicating with them about their respective cultures,
interests, etc.,  around the world in real time without wires is very
appealing, interesting, fun, and challenging. The interest in contesting,
with all its competitive spirit, is showing great strides with amateurs
who have been in the service only 5 or 10 years. The integration of
amateur radio, the Internet, and wireless technologies are slowing
evolving and probably will hit main-stream amateur radio in under 5
years. The need for technical and hands-on circuit experience is good to
have if you desire that background but, for the "communicator interest"
it's not necessary.

> 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. 

**The above statement makes no sense to me. My simple question was, if
they don't sell books, memberships, Ad's in QST, etc., how to they
generate revenue to fund all the activities to support amateur radio and
its members?

> 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've seen simple tube circuits in QST in recent years.

> Are we talking about Amateur radio or the ARRL? (I said, "I see more
amateurs today "putting it down" than "dumbing it down".

**You said in an earlier e-mail,  "If 'saving amateur radio' means
dumbing it down..."

> 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 resurgence 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.

**Back in the middle and late 90's vintage gear and AM were the rage.
Hams that were licensed 30, 40, 50 years ago were running around grabbing
up all that vintage stuff they couldn't afford when they were first
licensed. With the intro of Ebay on the scene, it made it even easier to
find this stuff, and more importantly, this activity help drive the
demand prices way up making it even more attractive for sellers. "fastest
growing group" maybe several years ago, but I doubt you'll see our ranks
swelling to great heights. John's column reflects "Old Radios" and not
just AM.

> 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.

**Radio and technologies are moving forward. Amateur Radio's future is
dependent on us moving forward. If we decide that the "status quo" is
fine or vintage amateur radio is where we want to be at, then most
likely, amateur radio has no future.
> I said, " I bet this is the perceived back-door politics and alleged
> 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. 

**They are a non-profit org. They have to recover their costs. Emphasis
on money or revenue generation is essential.

> 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.

** This is a silly statement and makes no sense.
> 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
> aspects, Pete.

**Having more than one view is fine. So is supporting any cause or
organization that you feel will ultimately serve the best interests of
the amateur radio service going forward.

**Sorry guys if Todd and I beat this too long. Anyway, it's all Paul's
fault. He started it (tongue sticking out).

Pete, WA2CWA

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