[AMRadio] "My ARRL, Right or Wrong...!!!"

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Thu Apr 24 09:56:05 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 6:39 AM, EP Swynar <gswynar at durham.net> wrote:
> Hi Paul et al,

>  I honestly HAVE tried to engage the folks in Newington in the matter of
>  League policy on several occasions, before ultimately letting my membership
>  lapse --- and all I ever got back for my efforts was the proverbial
>  "stonewall", or the usual "party line."

My experience as well, Eddy. Tried membership when I was first
licensed in the early 80s, got discouraged and dropped it after a few
years. A decade or so later, some big promises about the League
listening and acting on the member's wishes were promoted ("you need
to be a member to have a voice" and other BS), gave in another try for
3 years. Ended up feeling like I'd been lied to in order to raise
membership numbers.

Not only were my reps not listening, they were openly hostile to
anything involving tubes, AM, and so on. When asking one Tom Frenaye
why they wouldn't run some basic articles on a simple 1 or 2 tube 40m
CW transmitter or such to teach newcomers the basics and offer them a
means beyond buying a new Yaecomwood to get on the air, I received the
ARRL official eye-roll, explanations about no one being interested in
'that stuff', new rigs being too complex for users to maintain
themselves, and so on. This happened on several occasions, generally
accompanied by the 'oh, great - another one of them' comments between
the ARRL rep and the guy at the table selling ARRL books. They just
shook their heads in disgust and talked down to me, apparently hoping
to discourage me from pursuing my current interest in amateur radio.

It had the exact opposite result, of course: it made me see just how
broken and backwards the ARRL had become, and made clear to me why
some 80% of licensed hams opt *not* to be members. As Irb used to say,
"That's quite a message!"

In all my years, I've never heard any AMer or classic gear user
suggest or support the banning of any mode - SSB, CW, or otherwise.
Not once. I have heard many complaints about the level of
intelligence, sloppy operating habits, etc of some SSB users, but that
issue is not mode-specific.

We've all heard folks from other modes call for the banning of AM, and
despite the occasional 'pay no attention to that man behind the
curtain' remarks from the ARRL, it's quite clear that they do not
support the mode of AM to the same level as, say - SSB contesting - if
at all.

The fact that QST is no longer promoted as a technical publication is
a clear indication of the path taken by the League, and no doubt helps
explain why some of us refer to them as the Amateur Radio Retail
Lobby. Not only do they not promote the basics of amateur radio like
homebrewing (old or new technology), they downright discourage it.
That is not an opinion, it is based on factual comments by the ARRL
director for our area and others.

IMO, it's not up to us to go back and give them yet *another*
opportunity to kick us in the teeth. It's up to them to demonstrate to
us that they clearly support all modes and interests in the amateur
radio theater equally, regardless of numbers involved or advertising
revenue. Only then will they get my support and membership again. Lip
service won't cut it.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ

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