[AMRadio] Katrina and BPL

Donald Chester k4kyv at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 2 14:46:24 EDT 2005

Bill NY9H posted an interesting take on the RFI reflector.  He mentioned, 
after listening to some of the emergency traffic nets on 40 (I would include 
75 and 20 as well), that hams should send e-mails and letters to their 
congressmen expressing concern for the potential interference that BPL, if 
widely deployed, would cause to the federal SHARES (whatever that is), MARS 
& ARES systems operating on hf.

I listened for a little while last night, and gathered from some of the 
messages, that amateur HF was about the only link some places had to the 
outside world.  No operational repeaters, too far away for VHF simplex, all 
forms of public telecommunications down. Some of the deployed NG units MIGHT 
have working HF facilities, but how high a priority has HF communications 
been in the military in recent years?

Maybe even make audio recordings of some of the emergency activity if 
something that sounds really worthwhile is heard, and send that to the 
appropriate state and federal legislators so they could hear for themselves 
what would be obliterated if BPL is  permitted to wipe out the HF 

Last night I listened to the net on 3872, and didn't hear any jamming or 
deliberate interference or any of the other usual 75m nonsense.  I DID hear 
someone on AM, about a kc/s down the band from the frequency, tuning up and 
saying "helloooo", but didn't catch an ID.  Some of the net people in 5-land 
mentioned hearing this.  They apparently thought it was simply someone 
tuning up their SSB rig, and made an announcement asking other net 
participants to please do their tuning up off the net frequency.  Hope 
nobody noticed what it actually was, so some A-hole can start bitching about 
"those goddam AM'ers".

We need to be very careful while this situation is going on, and give the 
emergency people a benefit of a doubt.  No doubt a lot of space cadets and 
hero wannabe's will try to take advantage of this to feed their egos.  Some 
of them will undoubtedly get obnoxious. But In the present situation, I 
couldn't think of a better way to give AM a black eye, than to be accused of 
willfully or carelessly interfering with any kind of emergency 
communications in and out of the devastated areas.

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