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Old February 29th 08, 06:47 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

On Feb 29, 10:20 am, Klystron wrote:

Michael Coslo wrote on Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:36:39 EST:
When a member noted that the ARS
frequencies were there for use after the normal comms weren't working,
he replied " Every thing we do is a matter of life and death, so we can


use your frequencies any way we wish".


It is not as simple as that. What constitutes an emergency?


"Imminent danger of loss of life, serious injury, or damage/loss of
property". Or verbiage something like that.

If an
ambulance crew is transporting a 90 year old heart attack victim, it is
certainly a matter of life or death for that one patient.


Agreed. But what if they are transporting several people - say, a
young family that was in a serious auto accident? Or suppose they were
transporting desperately-needed medicines, blood, etc., during an
epidemic?

However, if
the ambulance breaks down, they can't commandeer your car. For a
government agency to seize private property (a category that includes
repeaters, transceivers, etc.) for their own use, they must have a
declaration of emergency, declaration of martial law, or, in individual
cases, a court order.


I'm not sure what the ultimate legality is, in a case like that or the
others I described. I suspect that government folks would not seize
private property for emergency use unless they were desperate, because
of the possible liability.

OTOH, would you want to have it on your conscience that a person or a
family died because you wouldn't let the ambulance folks use your car
when it was desperately needed?

The fire department employee who claimed that the
FD could take over an amateur radio club's repeaters anytime that they
wanted to do so was dead wrong.


I don't think the FD person wanted the repeaters. He said they could
use the frequencies, not the repeaters. And the frequencies are public
property, after all. An amateur or club might own the repeater but
they don't own the frequencies.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that many if not most
amateur radio repeaters aren't installed on the owner's property. For
example, one of the repeaters I use is on top of a local hospital,
where its antenna shares rooftop space with antennas for other radio
services. (It's an excellent location and gives very good coverage).
It's connected to the hospital's backup power system, too. The
repeater club pays a nominal fee for the electric power and rent.
Given that level of community support, don't the repeater owners have
some responsibility to the community?

Like the situation of the broken-down ambulance, would any radio
amateur want it on his/her conscience that a building burned down, and/
or people died, because s/he wouldn't let the emergency service people
use an amateur radio repeater in an emergency when it was desperately
needed?

73 de Jim, N2EY


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Old February 29th 08, 08:12 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

In article ,
Klystron wrote:

AF6AY wrote:
Michael Coslo wrote on Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:36:39 EST:


When a member noted that the ARS
frequencies were there for use after the normal comms weren't working,
he replied " Every thing we do is a matter of life and death, so we can
use your frequencies any way we wish".

That was not only wrong, but scary that people that think in that manner
are coming into the hobby with such an attitude.



That person was more right than wrong. If one bothers to look,
the small-number Parts of Title 47 C.F.R. state clearly that
ANYONE can use ANY radio frequency to call for assistance if
a situation is really life or death...licensed or not. True.

Phil Kane could probably quote the Part and wording off the
top of his head but, not being an attorney, I would have to
search the Parts (all freely accessible). Besides, someone
in here would want to start a whole steamy argument thread on
that, arguing minutiae on the whichness of the what...:-)
Memory says it is the Part on commercial radio licenses but
undoubtedly someone in here will say 'I am wrong.' [sigh]



It is not as simple as that. What constitutes an emergency? If an
ambulance crew is transporting a 90 year old heart attack victim, it is
certainly a matter of life or death for that one patient. However, if
the ambulance breaks down, they can't commandeer your car. For a
government agency to seize private property (a category that includes
repeaters, transceivers, etc.) for their own use, they must have a
declaration of emergency, declaration of martial law, or, in individual
cases, a court order. The fire department employee who claimed that the
FD could take over an amateur radio club's repeaters anytime that they
wanted to do so was dead wrong.


Well actually AF6AY, and Mike are reading more into those passages of
Title 47 than they were, and are, intended, by the Commission. Phil,
being an ex FCC Lawyer can expound on the intent, but when I was a
Resident Field Agent, it was understood within the Commission, that
Amateurs, operating within their Licenses, are NOT restricted to
Frequencies, modes, or just about any other restriction, of operation,
during Safety of Life situations, that are authorized by the PART 97,
but this does NOT Allow them to use Frequencies NOT Authorized under
than Part.
The same is true for Licensees operating under other Parts like 90, 87,
and 80, where that Specific Language is used in the Part. The fact of
the matter is, that you only get in trouble, IF someone complains, or
has a problem with your operation, and is willing to go on the Record
with their objection with your operation, and Force an investigation, of
the incident. Sometimes Common Sense does prevail, but sometimes it
turns into a very BIG Deal.
Case in Point, a few years back, there was an incident in California,
where a young fellow used his Mod'ed HT to beak into the Local Sheriff's
Frequency to report an injured Hiker. The Sheriff took offense to that
intrusion, and there was a GIANT BrewHAHA, that as I recall, Phil was
involved in. We had quite a discussion about the situation, between
ourselves about the incident, and again, as I recall the issue was
settled out of HQ by some of the BIG GUN Lawyers back there.

--
Bruce in alaska
add path after fast to reply

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Old February 29th 08, 08:13 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

AF6AY wrote:
Michael Coslo wrote on Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:36:39 EST:

AF6AY wrote:
Michael Coslo wrote on Wed, 27 Feb 2008 09:00:40 EST:


Do we HAVE to 'attract new blood?' Serious question.

We do need new people to replace those who leave for one reason or the
other. I want someone to talk to on the other end, and don't want the
Amateur radio community to become closed and eventually die out.


That seems a tad premature to me. At present there are 722K TOTAL
licensees and the expiration rate is roughly 27K/year. If that
keeps up without any newcomers, it would be 26.7 years before all
were gone. [of course there will be newcomers...but how many
depends on the attitude of the old-timers they come in contact with]

... We are NOT required to DO certain
things in the hobby just because some old-timers say we MUST
do those besides the regulations that all must obey.

I'm fortunate that I never had that experience. Of course, if someone
ever did tell me how I was supposed to use my time in the hobby, I think
I would politely decline, and go do what I wanted to do. 8^)


Well, from my experience (at work or at play) I've had some
who INSISTED on telling me what I 'should' be doing. Some
of those got rather antagonistic about it. "We don't DO that
kind of thing in fill-in-the-blank" kind of comment. It was
so prevalent among amateur radio licensees that I encountered
that it turned me off of bothering to get a license for a long
time. That's been my experience over the last half century and
I spent that time working IN the electronics industry.

I'll have to say that the above attitude was reflected in the
older amateur-radio-interest newsgroups and was partly due to
the creation of rec.radio.amateur.moderated.

... I don't know if you were watching
the group a few weeks ago, but I related a story about an emergency comm
person speaking at a club meeting.


I was 'reading the mail' but didn't bother with it much. :-)

When a member noted that the ARS
frequencies were there for use after the normal comms weren't working,
he replied " Every thing we do is a matter of life and death, so we can
use your frequencies any way we wish".

That was not only wrong, but scary that people that think in that manner
are coming into the hobby with such an attitude.


That person was more right than wrong. If one bothers to look,
the small-number Parts of Title 47 C.F.R. state clearly that
ANYONE can use ANY radio frequency to call for assistance if
a situation is really life or death...licensed or not. True.


It has to be life and death, and keep in mind that Law enforcement is
happy to make that determination after the fact - and has in some cases.
The thing that had people concerned in this case was the "anything" message.

some snippage

Radio amateur licensees are not bound JUST to what Part 97
says. The whole of Title 47 applies, even if 99+% has nothing
directly to do with the amateur radio service. But, with REAL
life-and-death situations, anyone can use any frequency at any
time with or without any license.

He (and some like him)
come in to talk to the people who will be building and maintaining
repeaters and infrastructure, and lay one like that on them?


Let's take that IN context. Consider that the attending radio
amateurs might ALSO have an 'attitude' going. Consider that
lots of government infrastructure radio facilities are kept
going 24/7 expressly FOR the purpose of life-and-death comms
needs. Amateur radio repeaters aren't. Amateur repeaters
are there primarily for the benefit of other amateurs.


One of the issues that has come up in the post Katrina world is that a
number of public service agencies have had their employees get Ham radio
licenses. All well and good, and probably an end run around getting
hobbyists to help, since the employee hams will already be on the job.

Problem is, the new hams in many cases are just looking for another
communication channel, and are not interested in radio as radio. Even
this is okay. But.. The problem that arises is that there is an
expectation the people who are interested in the hobby and its technical
issues are going to keep everything up and running.

Even then, many of us with that ability are willing to pitch in.


But the big question is who becomes liable if that repeater fails? I
think that in many ways, Ham radio emergency operations are tending to
become employees who also have a ham license. And their interests are
more in the line of what they do best - save lives, not put up repeaters.

- 73 de Mike N3LI -

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Old February 29th 08, 09:08 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

In article ,
wrote:

I don't think the FD person wanted the repeaters. He said they could
use the frequencies, not the repeaters. And the frequencies are public
property, after all. An amateur or club might own the repeater but
they don't own the frequencies.


I think there's a significant difference between a one-time emergency
use (if regular comms go down), and regular use of the frequencies as
a substitute for a properly-licensed/managed public service radio
allocation.

As I understand it, this issue came up in a big way some decades
ago, after World War II. During the war, normal amateur-radio
communications were all shut down (for security reasons). The whole
RACES system was set up to allow specially-licensed stations (part of
civil-defense organizations) to use the ham-radio frequencies for
communication.

Some years after that (after ham-radio communications were allowed
again) some controversy arose over the use of the ham frequencies.
From what I've heard, there were some public-safety organizations in

small towns (police and fire) which started using the ham frequencies
regularly... they got ham licenses and set themselves up as RACES
stations and tried to justify their full-time tactical use of the ham
band under the "RACES training and drill" rules.

Hams complained. The FCC agreed with the complaints, deciding that
this was not an appropriate use of the ham frequencies, and instituted
new rules which strictly limit the frequency and duration of RACES
training drills that any given RACES organization can undertake
(basically, the equivalent of two long weekends per year). These
rules still exist today, and I imagine that many of us here had to
answer at least one question about this on one of our ham exams :-)

The Rules in 47 CFR 97.113 specifically forbid "Communications, on a
regular basis, which could reasonably be furnished alternatively
through other radio services" as well as communications for hire or in
which the operator has a pecuniary interest. I think that the first
of these prohibitions would probably be ruled to apply to a fire
department which (as a matter of course or regular practice) makes use
of the ham band or repeaters. The FCC would (I believe) certainly
rule that there are other bands and radio services which are
specifically intended for public-safety use, and that these are
reasonably available to fire departments and etc.

Real, short-term emergency use, when a regular fire-department or
other radio service fails for some reason, is a different matter...
but this isn't a "regular basis" of communications.

--
Dave Platt AE6EO
Friends of Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
I do _not_ wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will
boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!

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Old February 29th 08, 10:24 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

On Feb 29, 4:08 pm, (Dave Platt) wrote:
In article .

com,

N2EY wrote:

I don't think the FD person wanted the repeaters. He said they could
use the frequencies, not the repeaters. And the frequencies are public
property, after all. An amateur or club might own the repeater but
they don't own the frequencies.


I think there's a significant difference between a one-time emergency
use (if regular comms go down), and regular use of the frequencies as
a substitute for a properly-licensed/managed public service radio
allocation.


Agreed. The discussion in question was about use of amateur
frequencies in an emergency situation only.

As I understand it, this issue came up in a big way some decades
ago, after World War II. During the war, normal amateur-radio
communications were all shut down (for security reasons). The whole
RACES system was set up to allow specially-licensed stations (part of
civil-defense organizations) to use the ham-radio frequencies for
communication.


During WW2, the system was called WERS (Wartime Emergency Radio
Service). WERS used the prewar
112 and 224 MHz bands (2-1/2 and 1-1/4 meters) for local
communications. Post-war, WERS evolved into RACES.

Some years after that (after ham-radio communications were allowed
again) some controversy arose over the use of the ham frequencies.
From what I've heard, there were some public-safety organizations in
small towns (police and fire) which started using the ham frequencies
regularly... they got ham licenses and set themselves up as RACES
stations and tried to justify their full-time tactical use of the ham
band under the "RACES training and drill" rules.


Sounds plausible. The difference in cost of amateur gear (which could
be converted surplus or even homebrew) vs. commercial land-mobile VHF
equipment was probably one reason for it.

Hams complained. The FCC agreed with the complaints, deciding that
this was not an appropriate use of the ham frequencies, and instituted
new rules which strictly limit the frequency and duration of RACES
training drills that any given RACES organization can undertake
(basically, the equivalent of two long weekends per year).


And the need for a declared emergency to activate RACES.

Good points!

73 de Jim, N2EY



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Old February 29th 08, 11:19 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

wrote:
On Feb 29, 10:20 am, Klystron wrote:
Michael Coslo wrote on Thu, 28 Feb 2008 09:36:39 EST:
When a member noted that the ARS
frequencies were there for use after the normal comms weren't working,
he replied " Every thing we do is a matter of life and death, so we can
use your frequencies any way we wish".


It is not as simple as that. What constitutes an emergency?


"Imminent danger of loss of life, serious injury, or damage/loss of
property". Or verbiage something like that.


There are fringe elements in all aspects of life, including ham radio.
I've seen hams get much too caught up in the particular aspect of the
hobby that they enjoy, be it emergency communications, DX, contesting,
whatever.

Someone went to a club meeting and got carried away with what he was
saying about emergency communications. This has evolved into a
discussion about what constitutes an emergency, what hams can do during
this emergency, and the possible ramifications of all that. It has been
an interesting discussion, from which I have learned something.

But let's not assume that the statements of one individual represent the
guiding principles of an entire segment of ham radio. Yes, there is a
fringe element in the emergency communications interest group, but the
same is true for the contest interest group, the DX interest group, and
even the segment of the hobby who only wants to ragchew. You're not
going to find a mainstream emcomm guy who will say "everything we do is
a matter of life and death."

While this has been an interesting discussion, we need to realize that
it applies to a minuscule part of our operating. If there are a
thousand people reading this newsgroup, it's likely that not a single
one of you will ever be involved with a real life-or-death emergency.
If you are, Part 97 is likely to be the last thing on your mind, which
is exactly as it should be.

Still, an interesting discussion. I hope I never have to administer
CPR, but I still got the training.

73, Steve KB9X

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Old March 1st 08, 02:14 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

wrote:
Klystron wrote:


If an
ambulance crew is transporting a 90 year old heart attack victim, it is
certainly a matter of life or death for that one patient.



Agreed. But what if they are transporting several people - say, a
young family that was in a serious auto accident? Or suppose they were
transporting desperately-needed medicines, blood, etc., during an
epidemic?



If you want to COMMANDEER something, re-read my previous post. It
doesn't matter if there are 99 people in the ambulance, they are all
having heart attacks and the ambulance is on fire.


However, if
the ambulance breaks down, they can't commandeer your car. For a
government agency to seize private property (a category that includes
repeaters, transceivers, etc.) for their own use, they must have a
declaration of emergency, declaration of martial law, or, in individual
cases, a court order.



I'm not sure what the ultimate legality is, in a case like that or the
others I described. I suspect that government folks would not seize
private property for emergency use unless they were desperate, because
of the possible liability.



Look for definitions of terms like "declaration of emergency,"
"martial law" or "disaster area." This is heavily traveled territory -
we don't need to reinvent the wheel, here in this newsgroup.


OTOH, would you want to have it on your conscience that a person or a
family died because you wouldn't let the ambulance folks use your car
when it was desperately needed?



See bottom paragraph.


The fire department employee who claimed that the
FD could take over an amateur radio club's repeaters anytime that they
wanted to do so was dead wrong.



I don't think the FD person wanted the repeaters. He said they could
use the frequencies, not the repeaters. And the frequencies are public
property, after all. An amateur or club might own the repeater but
they don't own the frequencies.

Further complicating the situation is the fact that many if not most
amateur radio repeaters aren't installed on the owner's property. For
example, one of the repeaters I use is on top of a local hospital,
where its antenna shares rooftop space with antennas for other radio
services. (It's an excellent location and gives very good coverage).
It's connected to the hospital's backup power system, too. The
repeater club pays a nominal fee for the electric power and rent.
Given that level of community support, don't the repeater owners have
some responsibility to the community?



If you put your shoes in a locker at the gym, are they still YOUR
shoes?


Like the situation of the broken-down ambulance, would any radio
amateur want it on his/her conscience that a building burned down, and/
or people died, because s/he wouldn't let the emergency service people
use an amateur radio repeater in an emergency when it was desperately
needed?



There is a bit of difference between a civic minded amateur radio
club voluntarily making its facilities available and a government
employee with an inflated sense of entitlement believing that he can
seize whatever he wants to seize whenever he want to seize it because
fires and sick people in ambulances are really, really important.

--
Klystron

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Old March 1st 08, 05:47 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 21:18:18 EST, "Dee Flint"
wrote:

I don't think my path will be very useful to use as a tool. My second
husband dragged me to a class with the comment "Let's do this together".


My wife has been married before, and all three of her husbands (I am
the last and longest) were hams. She never was interested in ham
radio until a while back when she expressed an interest in being able
to "slide into the seat" when I did emergency hospital communications.
As an electrical power and instrumentation engineer of some 40 years'
experience, theory was no problem for her. She started to take the
three-session class offered by our radio club, using the ARRL's video
tapes which in my view are insipid.. Halfway through the second tape
she got up and left, declaiming "what the hell am I doing here" and
strode out of the room. She never became interested again and I'm not
about to press the issue.

The moral of the story - good wishes have to be backed up by solid
support.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net

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Old March 1st 08, 06:05 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Default What makes a person become a Ham?

On Fri, 29 Feb 2008 10:20:00 EST, Klystron wrote:

It is not as simple as that. What constitutes an emergency?


Gee, let's open that can of worms once again!

It's a two-prong test - it has to be a situation involving immediate
safety of life or property, AND no other means of communication are
available.

My job at the Commish' involved reviewing such cases before Violation
Notices were sent out, and in the vast majority of cases, both prongs
were not met. In fact, in one notable case, the radio tech of the law
enforcement agency upon whose frequency the "wanna-be" came up took
the transceiver that was used to the location and was able to bring up
several repeaters with "9-1-1" autopatch capability.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net

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Old March 1st 08, 06:13 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On Fri, 29 Feb 2008 15:12:10 EST, Bruce in alaska
wrote:

The Sheriff took offense to that
intrusion, and there was a GIANT BrewHAHA, that as I recall, Phil was
involved in.


The ham was a "wanna-be sheriff" and the department had had quite
enough of his antics. That's the situation that I referred to in my
earlier message this evening.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane

From a Clearing in the Silicon Forest

Beaverton (Washington County) Oregon

e-mail: k2asp [at] arrl [dot] net



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