Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

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Martin
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Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby Martin » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:46 pm

Not a lecture here cuz... nobody will listen?... but a couple incidents in the last few months has given me an appreciation of why some of the Amateur radio people hate us.

Lets start off with a little bit about the Amateur Radio people (the Ham Guys... and gals....).

They are "into it" cuz it turns their crank. Tho I don't get all of the "why" part I do understand the attachment to communication independent of any other support is kind of cool. We all take our cell phones for granted not realizing the massive system it takes to make them work. The Radio people love the art of direct communication independent of all that stuff our cell phones rely on. You and I might not get "it" but its their gig and just like our stupid sport we should respect them as we would expect others to respect us.

So considering some of that mutual respect stuff, I have my basic ham licence (and its not that hard to get). I use the two meter hand held (HT) and I stick to the 2 meter simplex band frequencies, seldom transmit over 5 watts and most of the time at 2watts or less. I use my nerdy call sign and I try not to walk on others using these frequencies. I'm not perfect, my radio futzes up, I will spend the occasional call yakking about something really unimportant but I do try to respect theory behind operation on the 2 meter band allocation. Once in a blue moon I might even have a brief chat with a true Amateur Radio aficionado.

Not singling anybody out here but, for my first example a School was using 146.415 at Woodside. No call signs and a fare bit of chatter to do the job of teaching. I don't really knock the instructor but the fact nobody had their Amateur licence, nobody was even faking a call sign it was no wonder some Ham people that were monitoring got a little pissy and started to tell the School to get off the frequency. Here is the thing that blew me away.... one of the students more or less made the comment "who do these idiots think they are"? ... oh well.

The second example is another good example of ignorant use of the Amateur radios.

I spend allot of time flying in the Washington State. It's not uncommon to hear some flying chatter on 146.415 but something new was in the "air" a week or so ago.

I was getting up over 8,000ft on an XC flight when some very powerful transmissions were being made. They came booming in and it was pretty clear it had something to do with aviation. As to where the transmissions were coming from it was less clear. What was very clear was the signal was very strong but after attempting to contact the senders, it was pretty clear they were a long ways away (because they could not hear me clearly enough to respond). Not one used a call sign (by multiple transmission of various people). They must have been pushing a fare bit of power (50 watts?) or had some pretty amazing antennas to get out a signal that strong on the two meter band.

It was pretty obvious they did not give a damn about proper radio usage or how big a foot print they where creating of their broadcast area. (using this kind of power will just walk all over other users and unnecessarily render a frequency unusable by anyone else). So who where these idiots? (which is what I assume Amateur radio users would call them....?) .

The conversation created some clues.... Based on locations and names mentioned like, Mable Lake, Golf Course, airport, helicopters and "turning the corner at Osoyoos" (and the tell tale pilot give away "come on over for a beer") I'm betting the offenders were up in Lumby or nearby.

So, Mansfield Washington to Lumby BC.... got to be 175 straight line miles... no freak'n way these people should have been pumping out that kind of power when 2 watts locally is enough. BTW... not the only time this has happened. We have noted the same users on the same frequency on multiple other occasions (so it was not some freakish radio anomaly that created a one time event)

No respect for Amateur Radio people that enjoy their hobby and or people that try to work cooperatively the Amateur radio users.

If your using Amateur radio gear, get a licence and don't be an idiot! Show some respect for the people who enjoy the hobby that was started a long time before we came along.

Martin
VE7-IKT

briandu
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby briandu » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:34 pm

One thing I never understood.

In the US, USHPA has secured usage of 158.400 MHz (and also a few others such as 151.505, 151.925, 151.625, etc.)
At many sites down there (though not all) 158.400 is the standard "locals" frequency.

In Canada, HPAC has secured usage of the frequency 173.640MHz for "Hang Gliding club use".
https://www.hpac.ca/pub/?pid=100
Even the cheap Baofeng radios can transmit and receive this frequency.

Why are we using 146.415 MHz in the Fraser Valley and Pemberton? Or 146.460 MHz in the Kootenays?
Why not 173.640MHz?

- Brian
Not licensed, but I almost never TX

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Martin
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby Martin » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:11 am

Good point about the Baofengs, wonder how well they work on 173.640. Still ignores the point that the Baofengs are technically illegal (they are wide band open and you need a licence for band that you are using...oh and I'm pretty sure you are limited to 1Watt). Still, Industry Canada is toothless and could probably care less, it would be interesting to know how well the hacked wide ban Baofengs would work up on 173.640, might make for a viable solution for schools that would eliminate the issue that pisses off the Amateur people ?

BTW... thanks for your confession on the occasional TX. I'm not on a drive to get everybody licensed, just trying t make people think how its somebody else's passion that they are treading on. (You would be surprised that some of the Ham nerds think its cool how we use the gear.. some of them might even be helpful in getting your gear to work better!)

Now, get your licence.. share the band plan and be polite.. :wink:

Cheers

Martin

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BillB
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby BillB » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:12 pm

Just an FYI regarding the power required for line of sight transmissions on the 2 meter band. Back in the mid 90s a bunch of us hangies were out at Woodside on what seemed to be a turbulent ridge day and there were several mishaps including one pilot that went down in the Harrison river almost on a little island. I say almost because he overshot solid ground and got very wet. I was doing fine at about 5000 ft asl and I radioed down to the folks on launch to inform of the fellow in the river and to suggest that a call be made to search and rescue. I was using my Radio shack Htx 202 on low power ( 2 watts) with a lazy L type dipole that runs down the back and up the hang strap. The two responses that surprised me were one from southern Washington and the other from Victoria, both of which said they were reading me loud and clear. Altitude is a wonderful thing when it comes to transmitting on 2 meter. I believe the HTX 202 will put out up to 7 watts on high power if I use a 12 volt battery pack and I've only had to use that if I've had to bounce a signal off a mountain to reach a destination. I don't have any aircraft band radios so if I am using my 2 meters while flying I stick to simplex frequencies , I use my call sign VE7SOB, and I keep the messages short and to the point so I don't piss off the ham community. Just sayin, we need to be respectful. Cheers Bill.

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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby Amir » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:14 pm

One of the problems with the extended frequencies above 146 is that most regular ham radios can't transmit on these. One either has to use specific commercial radios that are tuned to that particular frequency, which would make them useless for other frequencies, or modify your current ham radio to expand the transmission into these frequencies, which is theoretically illegal though very easy to do.

I'm not sure of the regulations around using ham radios for air-air or ground-air communication. But I know when it comes to air-air, that 2watts is usually enough. Anything greater and you're transmitting much further than you need to.

What really pisses the ham guys off are those who use their truck mounted radio at 50W while parked on launch atop a mountain. On a clear day that could transmit half-way across the country. And you would never know since you wouldn't be able to hear the ham guys on the other end cursing at you for tying up their frequency.
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby silentflight » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:36 pm

What ever happened to FRS radios ? Are they not a viable option for air to air, or is every slack jawed yokel ,and their grandma on them ?
I understand for instruction you want a sterile frequency ,but wouldn't a hands free cell phone ,(with the telemarketer headset ) be better suited? Les

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BillB
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby BillB » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:24 pm

Personally I think FRS for instructional purposes is fine because the instructors always have the students in sight. Cell phone communication is a good idea too, and I've actually called my lovely wife to come and fetch me if I couldn't raise her on the radio.

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Martin
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Re: Why the Amateur Radio People Hate Us....

Postby Martin » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:51 am

Les, I thing Mark Dowset uses the Bluetooth headset option for his towing operation, praises it as being very reliable. Must admit, in most situations it does sound very reliable and cheap bluetooth headsets could be handed out by the schools with the students using their own phones).

Using the 173.640 might be a bit of a reach of cheesy Boafeng radios (the antenna is already compromised by trying to be usable in both VHS and UHF) but should be given a good test by the schools to see if its viable.

FRS... junk... pretty much under powered CB radio except for the fact a bunch of the extended range Boafeng's end up being used on the FRS (and variations) at high power and renders the whole band plan useless... along with kids, drunk adults, grandma (who is probably drinking?... )

So... if your using the 2 meter band plan there is some advantages to remaining civil and trying to follow Amateur etiquette... silly call signs and all.

Martin


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