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

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Fri Apr 25 09:10:19 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 4:10 PM, Peter Markavage <manualman at juno.com> wrote:

>  **Not my problem. You're the one that dropped your membership. I can
>  still vote when the time comes to elect a Director.

Which made it no longer my problem either. It seems the story for many
others as well, as in 'large percentage of licensed amateurs'.

>  ** I'm not sure what junk you're talking about. Or is "junk" things that
>  you're not interested in reading? QEX is a viable magazine for people who
>  want in depth technical articles and it is generating additional revenue
>  for them. Makes no sense to bring those types of technical articles back
>  into QST.

You missed the point, Pete. Why does the League publish two magazines
for a shrinking amateur population? Some of the junk I refer to
includes the rows of contest results. There are articles and other
things of no interest to me in ER as well as other places, but I don't
see that as junk - just something of no interest to me.

>  **I became a member to support an organization; I didn't become a member
>  because I wanted a magazine subscription. I would have become a member
>  even if they didn't have a monthly magazine.

I'd agree with that, except QST was always represented to me as the
face or voice of the ARRL, to its membership and by its membership.
Guess that says also says a lot about remaining members, save those
who bought life memberships years ago not knowing what lay ahead. But
again, I suspect many would do the same - join an organization to
support it - it it actually represented all it claims to, not just
some fraction thereof.

>  ** You're behind the times. Full contest results haven't been in QST for
>  years. They're in the members only part of the web site. In May 2008
>  issue, a total of 7 pages devoted to some type of contest activity
>  including one for contest calendar and one for upcoming Field Day. That's
>  7 pages out of 168 pages. You do the math.

Once again, Pete - you missed or perhaps avoided the point. Compare
the 7-8 pages of contest results to other modes of amateur radio,
keeping in mind that contesting is an activity, not a mode. Even at
the 'reduced level', it's still clear where their focus is.

>  ** Maybe you just haven't given them a convincing argument as a member to
>  make some specific changes.

Nor have the hundreds of thousands of others who choose not to
participate in a mute organization. They seem to hear at least one or
two groups clearly. The rest, well....

>  ** II think they only sponsor about 12 or 13 contests (phone and/or CW
>  and/or RTTY) in a year. Lots of amateur interest in contests based on the
>  number of participants. Some bad apples are bound to pop up. What's that
>  have to do with ARRL membership?

Not lots of interest based on numbers, more based on noise. It seems
to me (I'm sure I'm not alone) that the League prefers to focus on the
groups that best represent their advertisers - be it contesting,
digital, and so on. In my opinion, they should focus on representing
all of amateur radio, not focus on only what they deem is marketable
and likely to bring them more $. They were founded as an organization
to represent US amateurs, not as a publishing house. They shouldn't
forsake the former for the latter.

>  ** Membership is up; you should read the BoD meeting minutes. Actually, I
>  don't think the ARRL has lost their way. I think there are some amateurs
>  who resist change, like it the way it was "back in the good old days",
>  and believe they are being "short-sheeted" because their interest doesn't
>  command a high visibility as it once did.

You're certainly free to think that, Pete. But I don't see AM or
classic tube gear as being the only things short-sheeted over the
years by the ARRL. A good many CW folks have left as well. Sure - you
can point at the implied minorities as being the real problem, but the
some of the 'small parts' is what creates the big picture. I bet if
you add up the AM, CW, SSB rag chewers, DXers, RTTY and a number of
other groups, you'd find the contesters badly outnumbered. Yet they
are allowed to take over the bands for days at a time. A few bad
apples? More like a really bad idea. But it feeds egos, and egos buy
more new radios from the advertisers.

BTW - I tried to send this reply yesterday afternoon but our network
was down. So if it seems a bit dated compared to the current
conversation, that's why.

~ Todd  KA1KAQ

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