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Old May 9th 08, 12:19 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Phil Kane wrote:

On Wed, 7 May 2008 00:10:29 EDT, AF6AY wrote:


The AN/PRC-25 was solid-state except for the single vacuum tube
in the PA. AN/PRC-77 was its fully solid-state version. Both
were VHF with channelized tuning (considered abhorent by a few
hams) but turned out to be mainstays for Vietnam field radio use.
Both are now obsolete.


And we will never see them on the commercial surplus market available
to hams, like the WW-II stuff was decades earlier.
--


A quick Google search show several surplus outfits selling these things.

Having used them in the military, I can't imagine why a ham would
want one these days.

They are also overpriced in my opinion.

--
Jim Pennino

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Old May 9th 08, 05:35 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On May 8, 4:03�pm, Jeffrey D Angus wrote:
Bill Horne wrote:
Phil Kane wrote:


It's a shame, but it's also easy to understand: the
FCC was _very_ badly
burned by the Citizen's Band fiasco, and I'd bet other
government
bureaucrats in and out of the military had that fresh
in their minds as
Vietnam was winding down and the PRC-25's were
filling up warehouses.


I'm interested in more detail about how different people see "the
Citizen's Band fiasco.

IMHO, what happened was that FCC created UHF CB in 1948, and it went
OK except that its popularity was limited. This was because, in those
days, the good UHF equipment cost too much and the inexpensive UHF
equipment had pretty dismal performance.

So in 1958, FCC created 27 MHz CB, with the idea that the
equipment would be simpler and less expensive, while still giving
adequate performance for the intended uses. And it worked - for a
while.

But what FCC never counted on was that large numbers of people would
buy CB sets and simply ignore the regulations for CB. FCC could not
begin to adequately enforce the rules once the CB culture had become
one of simply ignoring them.

How do others see it?

It's really more simple than that actually. At the end of World
War Two, every one thought, "Well, that's the end of that. There
will NEVER be another war now."


Well, the WW2 veterans I have known didn't think that way. But that's
really a minor thing.

The military planners were looking at another 8 years of combat
in the Pacific and on the island of Japan to bring a conclusion
to World War Two. When the second atomic bomb was
dropped, Japan
threw in the towel and quit.


Do you have a source for the 8 years figure? From what I have read,
and veterans' accounts, the invasion of Japan was expected to take a
year or so, with enormous casualties on both sides.

But as you said, the atomic bomb, plus continued conventional bombing
and the near-blockade by USN submarines, made all that pretty
academic.

One WW2 veteran I knew well, who was in 7th Air Force B-24s, had 13
missions to Japan when the war ended. It took 40 missions to get
rotated home, and he said that even in mid-1945 the chances were 1 in
3 a B-24 crew would not survive 40 missions.

With the rather sudden end of the war with Japan, that left stocks
for the planned additional 8 years of warfare with no place to use
it.


Agreed, whether it was for 1 year or 8 years. Plus a lot of stuff was
being made for Lend-Lease.

So there really was more "war surplus" stuff available at the end
of World War Two.

Most of the equipment used in Europe was left behind or just thrown
off of ships etc rather than bring it back. Or we would still be
seeing equipment for sale.


I don't know if that's really true. From the veterans I have known
some stuff was left behind, of course, because occupation troops still
needed some things. But after May 1945, usable stuff from the European
and other theatres was shipped back to the US for use in the invasion
of Japan.

When the war ended suddenly, there whole supply chain was full of
stuff in all stages of completion.

Remember that while the war ended in 1945, we were still seeing WW2
surplus for sale 25+ *years* later.

By the time Vietnam was over, the military, having found
themselves
fighting an enemy that didn't have any problems using our own
equipment, they decided "No, that's not gonna happen again" and the
move towards "demilitarizing" equipment rather than just
auctioning
it off by the pallet, or disposing it like the last time around.


Yep - but there's more to the story.

WW2 required enormous quantities of equipment, and American industry
was almost totally dedicated to war production. For just one example,
almost 20,000 B-24 bombers of various suffixes were produced in less
than 5 years, which means 20,000 complete radio sets plus spares for
them. And that's just one kind of airplane!

Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts were simply not on that scale.

In addition, much of the hardware produced for WW2 was essentially
obsolete when the war ended. Piston-engine propeller fighter aircraft
were already being replaced by the first-generation jets by 1945, for
example. The use of HF for short-range radio was being replaced by
VHF. Radar had gone through several generations during the war; in
1941 a 112 MHz radar was state-of-the-art, while in 1945 there were 10
GHz sets in mass production.

So there was a lot of old stuff in warehouses and in the supply chain
to be disposed of.

Perhaps the biggest factor is simply this: A lot of WW2 surplus gear
was easily adapted to ham use. A BC-342 receiver, for example, could
be easily adapted for use in the ham shack. While it might not have
been state-of-the-art even in 1946, it was a dern good ham rx for
$50-70.

But later surplus, when we hams could get it, wasn't so easily used as
ham gear. And it wasn't nearly so inexpensive.



73 de Jim, N2EY

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Old May 9th 08, 04:34 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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wrote:
On May 8, 4:03�pm, Jeffrey D Angus wrote:
Bill Horne wrote:


It's a shame, but it's also easy to understand: the
FCC was _very_ badly burned by the Citizen's Band fiasco,
and I'd bet other government bureaucrats in and out of the
military had that fresh in their minds as Vietnam was
winding down and the PRC-25's were filling up warehouses.


I'm interested in more detail about how different people see "the
Citizen's Band fiasco.

IMHO, what happened was that FCC created UHF CB in 1948, and it went
OK except that its popularity was limited. This was because, in those
days, the good UHF equipment cost too much and the inexpensive UHF
equipment had pretty dismal performance.

So in 1958, FCC created 27 MHz CB, with the idea that the
equipment would be simpler and less expensive, while still giving
adequate performance for the intended uses. And it worked - for a
while.

But what FCC never counted on was that large numbers of people would
buy CB sets and simply ignore the regulations for CB. FCC could not
begin to adequately enforce the rules once the CB culture had become
one of simply ignoring them.

How do others see it?


I think the Citizen's Band was a good idea, but at the worst possible
time. As you point out, the FCC took 11 meters away from hams because
commercial equipment was still using vacuum tubes, and they wanted CB to
have inexpensive radios.

In retrospect, the cynic in me wonders if the commissioners were
preassured by an industry that could see the sunset coming for vacuum
tubes, and which wanted to clear the shelves before it got stuck with
millions of 12BY7's. No matter: whatever the reason for the decision, it
worked surprisingly well for about ten years, and then went downhill
quickly when invaded by yahoos of all types.

What started the decline is open to question, although the sunspots
cycle certainly played a role (1): in the end the small businesses who
employed the Citizen's Band as it was intended to be used, and the
people who used CB because they wanted to imitate hams, were both
overwhelmed by foul-mouthed trailer-trash who sought out CB as a
pipeline into a captive audience whom could be forced to listen to their
delusions of grandeur. In the end we all learned anew that a few rotten
apples really _do_ spoil the barrel.

Which brings us to the question of why the FCC got burned: a
psychologist would say that it was compensation for Vietnam and the
civil unrest of the 60's. The FCC was so roundly criticized for CB's
decline because the government minions in other bureaus, who had found
out the hard way that a million people really _can't_ be wrong, wasted
no time blaming the FCC for not getting on the new bandwagon.

After all, the FCC was the most staid of federal bureaus, responsible
for issuing licenses to, and assessing fines on, a public thoroughly
cowed by the 50's Duck-and-cover drills and McCarthyism: between
mild-mannered ham operators and cautious broadcasters and conservative
business-band licensees, it simply wasn't in the commission's world-view
to imagine radio users who wouldn't follow the rules.

When the Citizen's Band went from a well-intentioned "service" to an
uncontrollable nightmare in less than two years, the commission had to
take abuse from everyone else in and out of the government who were
still smarting from _their_ earlier revelations that they could predict
or control the actions neither of the ungrateful whelps who had picked
up placards and told a nation of their elders to shove the American
Dream, nor of the froggy little native boys who had picked up AK-47's
and said "No, Daddy Warbucks, you *won't* do that here".

73, W1AC



(1) There were other factors, as well: the FCC never counted on "Smokey
and the Bandit" and other films, which were rushed into theaters to take
advantage of the CB craze, and in the process helped to spread it. The
first "Bandit" was produced so quickly that the actors didn't even learn
how to use two-way radios, with the result that Jackie Gleason was
always talking into a CB microphone without pushing the PTT button:
industry spin control quickly spread the word that the car was equipped
with a "floor switch", and _that_ bit of B.S. resulted in third-party
add-on floor switches being quickly rushed onto shelves for sale to
Bufford T. Justice wannabees.

--
(Remove QRM from my address for direct replies.)

  #44   Report Post  
Old May 9th 08, 06:25 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Bill Horne wrote:
When the Citizen's Band went from a well-intentioned "service" to an
uncontrollable nightmare in less than two years, the commission had to
take abuse from everyone else in and out of the government who were
still smarting from _their_ earlier revelations that they could predict
or control the actions neither of the ungrateful whelps who had picked
up placards and told a nation of their elders to shove the American
Dream, nor of the froggy little native boys who had picked up AK-47's
and said "No, Daddy Warbucks, you *won't* do that here".


I remember participating in the last 11m contest to
save the band for hams - don't remember the year.
Wonder what would happen if the FCC re-opened the 11m
band to amateur radio operators as a shared band under
conditions similar to 60m operation?
--
73, Cecil http://www.w5dxp.com

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Old May 9th 08, 08:34 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Cecil Moore wrote:

I remember participating in the last 11m contest to
save the band for hams - don't remember the year.
Wonder what would happen if the FCC re-opened the 11m
band to amateur radio operators as a shared band under
conditions similar to 60m operation?


I'd welcome the chance to find out: I think it would influence a lot of
CB operators to copy the practices used not only by hams, but also by
"outband" CB'ers, who run SSB above 27.455 MHz, use "Q" signals, and
sound more like the ideal ham than many hams.

Outband is a place where a newcomer who is used to a "Children's Band"
mode of operation is quickly told to "Lose the echo", "Back off the
power", and "Wait your turn". Some of the outbanders are more courteous
operators than hams, and allowing amateurs operators to interact with
them would be a good way to influence CBers' choices and encourage them
to join the amateur ranks.

--
Bill Horne

(Remove QRM from my address for direct replies.)



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Old May 9th 08, 11:04 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On Fri, 9 May 2008 00:35:21 EDT, wrote:

So in 1958, FCC created 27 MHz CB, with the idea that the
equipment would be simpler and less expensive, while still giving
adequate performance for the intended uses. And it worked - for a
while.

But what FCC never counted on was that large numbers of people would
buy CB sets and simply ignore the regulations for CB. FCC could not
begin to adequately enforce the rules once the CB culture had become
one of simply ignoring them.


How do others see it?


That's a decent Readers' Digest version of what happened. Part of the
problem was a turf war between two Bureaus - the one that issued the
licenses and levied the penalties, and the one (that I was in) that
did the grunt work of finding and citing the offenders. Throw into
that mix the one-and-only attorney in the latter bureau, someone who
didn't believe in doing anything that took work (I had many run-ins
with her), and a Congress that was short-changing the agency in the
number of field personnel authorized because "we weren't supposed to
be in the surveillance business" according to a specific congressional
committee chair echoing the "man behind the curtain", one JEdgar
Hoover, who was dead set against anyone doing law enforcement
investigative work except his hand-picked crew at the FBI that he
could control with an iron hand.

The ham community fared a little better, because many if not most of
the managers who had any responsibility for the ARS and even some of
the Bureau Chiefs at the agency were well-known and well-respected
(feared ?) hams and they tried really hard to get the ARS to keep its
skirts clean. Eventually, though, these fine folks retired or died
and the nickel-nursers and "bright young folks" who succeeded them
fell into the pattern exemplified by one of my favorite phrases from
the biblical Book of Exodus "There arose in Egypt a new Pharaoh who
knew not Joseph...." I can count the number of active and experienced
hams who are decision-makers about the ARS on the fingers of one hand
now.

My personal opinion.
--

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 May 10th 08, 02:29 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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"Bill Horne" wrote

No matter: whatever the reason for the decision, it

worked surprisingly well for about ten years, and then went downhill
quickly when invaded by yahoos of all types.

Sounds just like most internet newsgroups!

N7SO


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Old May 11th 08, 02:17 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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In article ,
Phil Kane wrote:

How do others see it?


That's a decent Readers' Digest version of what happened. Part of the
problem was a turf war between two Bureaus - the one that issued the
licenses and levied the penalties, and the one (that I was in) that
did the grunt work of finding and citing the offenders. Throw into
that mix the one-and-only attorney in the latter bureau, someone who
didn't believe in doing anything that took work (I had many run-ins
with her), and a Congress that was short-changing the agency in the
number of field personnel authorized because "we weren't supposed to
be in the surveillance business" according to a specific congressional
committee chair echoing the "man behind the curtain", one JEdgar
Hoover, who was dead set against anyone doing law enforcement
investigative work except his hand-picked crew at the FBI that he
could control with an iron hand.

The ham community fared a little better, because many if not most of
the managers who had any responsibility for the ARS and even some of
the Bureau Chiefs at the agency were well-known and well-respected
(feared ?) hams and they tried really hard to get the ARS to keep its
skirts clean. Eventually, though, these fine folks retired or died
and the nickel-nursers and "bright young folks" who succeeded them
fell into the pattern exemplified by one of my favorite phrases from
the biblical Book of Exodus "There arose in Egypt a new Pharaoh who
knew not Joseph...." I can count the number of active and experienced
hams who are decision-makers about the ARS on the fingers of one hand
now.

My personal opinion.
--

73 de K2ASP - Phil Kane


Being one of those, who got RIFF'ed, in the Clinton/Gore
Gutting/Bloodletting of the Field Operations Bureau back
in the Day.... I agree with Phil, 100%. the public got
the FCC that they deserved, by allowing the Politicos
to politicize the Commission. It used to be run by Engineers,
now it is run by Political Wonks. Life is tough, and then you
DIE....

--
Bruce in alaska
add path after fast to reply

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Old May 15th 08, 03:27 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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I don't know for sure but it could be associated with the FM capture
effect. In other words the greater local FM repeater signal swamps the
PAVE PAWS radar return signal. Not knowing the sensitivity of the radar
or its ability to select out individual frequencies prevents me from
knowing if this is true or not.

Dave WD9BDZ


Bill Powell wrote:
Anyone with some level of technical knowledge might wonder why a
billion dollar (boondoggle) "radar system" can't discriminate between
a fixed, known "target" (like a repeater)and one that is moving, comes
from over the horizon which might be something nasty?

Sounds like some real shoddy engineering took place at taxpayer
expense. I can think of 3 or 4 ways to remove false targets w/o
loosing any system level accuracy or sensitivity. In fact, didn't
they perfect that during the cold war?

Gee... Thinking about it some. All Abdulah (or Ivan or whoever)
needs to do is buy a 440 rig, an amp and a yagi and go out as a
"rover"; 3 or 4 kW ERP down the bear's craw for a while then move.

Sigh....


On Sat, 3 May 2008 23:16:09 EDT, Bill Horne wrote:

Doug Smith W9WI wrote:
If I recall properly we're secondary to the military in
that [70cm] band as well. Indeed, 70cm repeater operators are learning that the
hard way... as many repeaters are having to reduce power or even go QRT
at the request of our military, to protect a radar system.

But the motorsports folks have no regular authority in that band at all.

I'm not sure I understand why they thought they needed amateur spectrum
for that project.


The Pave/Paws system that is pushing some repeaters off 70cm predates
the complaints by several decades, and I take the military's new
attitude to be another nail in the coffin of ham radio's former
"favorite son" status at the Pentagon.

It used to be that we hams were a corps of operators who could be
pressed into service quickly during a war or other crisis. Now, with
Morse as deeply buried as its creators and military electronics too
secret to be entrusted to soldiers and sailors who haven't been vetted
for security clearances, we're yesterday's news in the E ring.

We'll have to find another reason to justify the allocations we enjoy.
It's going to be hard work, and not nearly as easy as learning Morse
(not that that would help now). We're going to have to get better - in
fact, much better - at public relations: the Red Cross and other
disaster relief agencies have known the importance of image all along,
but now hams have got to get in the game and advertise ourselves as an
anlternative to traditional communications during hurricanes, floods,
earthquakes, etc.

Of course we've had this debate before. Older hams such as I feel that
we followed the program and did what was expected of us, and now I
resend being pushed aside in favor of a Federal Emergency Management
Agency which is, to my jaundiced eye, proficient only at promising what
others will have to deliver and claiming credit for what others have
done. It's a cold, cruel world, and we must get better at telling the
public and the their elected officials how much we do.

Bill





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