The biggest lie in ham radio

StaticDischarge

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This guy doesn't have a clue... Sad!! Just someone looking in from outside and using all that useless statistical information and drawing his own conclusion without actually getting involved and learning about it face to face...
 

MTS2000des

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He has valid points. At the end of the day, ham radio's biggest resource (it's people) are also it's worst enemy (it's people).
The value ham radio can potentially provide isn't in hoarding equipment, ready bags, or ARES badges, it's about people with the right skill sets, the right attitude to serve and know their place, and the right training and vetting. Often times, the whackerism comes out in some with the "Here I Come to Save the Day" and speaking from the standpoint of someone who works in public safety, nothing is more of a turn off and liability than that mindset.

Come to serve, with the right skills and the right attitudes.
 

jwt873

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Not sure what he was getting at... Especially the long explanation dealing with the odds of people dying. I can't think of any ham radio emergency groups that claim they save lives.

For the last few years, I've been a paid emergency coordinator for several municipalities. We have all sorts of emergency equipment in storage that's never been used. (Like generators, blankets, cots etc). Does that mean we don't need this stuff?

I don't understand why some people are so down on communities having a pool of volunteers who are willing to provide communications during an emergency when the local infrastructure is out. Ideally people should be hoping that these groups are never needed.
 

laidback

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Fact is there could be more deaths if not for the operator. Skywarn, for example, people putting themselves out there to make on the ground reports.
No I am not a ham I am a certified weather watcher that uses cell phone to call in reports.
 

NC1

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Fact is there could be more deaths if not for the operator. Skywarn, for example, people putting themselves out there to make on the ground reports.
No I am not a ham I am a certified weather watcher that uses cell phone to call in reports.
I must agree about the Skywarn aspect. I do have my Amateur license and have participated in Skywarn in the past and have found it to be very useful. Once I was working in a manufacturing facility and was listening to the local repeater during a flood watch during lunch hour. There was a small brook that ran right by our warehouse next to the long driveway that leads to the parking lot. I heard a report that the very same brook was overflowing it's banks about 10 miles upstream and people have about 2 feet of water in their yards. Noting this, I went to the loading dock and saw the water level was already at the brink and beginning to follow the driveway into the parking lot (which was below grade). I notified the management, who dismissed us all for the day. By the time the last few vehicles left, one of them being me, the water was about 6 inches up my doors - and I was driving a pickup truck. I would venture a guess that had I not been a member of Skywarn, there would have been a lot of ruined cars and all the employees would have been stranded. As it turned out, that was one of the 100+ year floods and people all over said they have never seen the water so high in their lifetimes.

That is probably one of the most valuable services in the Amateur Radio community in my opinion.
 

MTS2000des

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No I am not a ham I am a certified weather watcher that uses cell phone to call in reports.
This kind of illustrates a point: commercial communications are more efficient and robust than relying solely on ham radio. FWIW, I gave up on the local "Skywarn net" because one will have to wait 20-30 minutes for all the gas bags to shut up talking about "it's raining" or the net control simulcasting the same weather warnings available on 162MHz, local media, and dozens of weather apps. Hard to pass any relevant traffic and actual damage reports when one can't get airtime. But a quick email or EMWIN entry and NWS Atlanta has what they need, ham radio not required.
 

W5lz

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Ham radio is probably one of the last communications service I would rely on in an emergency. My first reaction would be to use services that handle that sort of thing regularly, that are trained for it or are at least have the resources (and authority) that hams don't typically have.
Ham radio sort of takes the small stuff, not the biggies. It can be a relief for services that do handle the biggies. If you just have to assist in those biggies join the military, PD, FD, whatever. Getting into ham radio so you can participate in those biggies, you need to re-think it, 'cuz it's very rare to do stuff like that. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't participate! It means that don't expect to. And when you're told to shut up, get away from here... do so.
 

mmckenna

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I agree. The days of needing people who's only skill/job is to operate a radio are behind us. If amateurs want to be involved, they need to have more tools in their tool box than just knowing how to work a radio.

As for the radio hoarding, I've often looked at that with a bit of interest. I understand collecting, sort of. What I don't understand is the amateurs with caches of radios to hand out. It's good to be prepared, it's even good to have a back up radio. But there's a few that take it way too far.
Sort of reminds me of preppers and the zombie apocalypse folks. Some of it just seems to be used as a justification for consumerism.

But you guys do whatever you want. Just don't get in the way.
 

trentbob

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I didn't get the point of the video and he certainly didn't make his point but it's food for thought and discussion.

No, when a tornado pops up and kills 20 people in a town and turns over a lot of mobile homes there are plenty of resources available that ham operators don't need to play a part.

If a real National Emergency was to occur or a very serious Regional problem was to occur then those ham operators with the resources of adequate equipment, alternate power supply, Superior antenna Farms and the proper networking could be of Public Service and vital in relaying information regarding the well-being of family members and the status of remote communities.

I imagine organized clubs and organizations would be the ones involved and not every single ham operator would participate.

I don't see any problem with ham operators believing that they could be a public service if needed, even though in reality they may not be.
 

kayn1n32008

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If a real National Emergency was to occur or a very serious Regional problem was to occur then those ham operators with the resources of adequate equipment, alternate power supply, Superior antenna Farms and the proper networking could be of Public Service and vital in relaying information regarding the well-being of family members and the status of remote communities.
MSAT, Iridium, Global Star, VSAT

All independent of terrestrial infrastructur. Iridium even offers PTT, one to many service.

The military offers satellite based data and voice communication with the added benefit of type 1 cryptography. Something ham radio can’t offer in the US.

The author of the video hit on some hard to swallow truths.
 

vagrant

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A local amateur club passes radio traffic for local walks, runs and bike rides. Actually, while one club spearheads it, amateurs from other clubs also assist. I believe several of those rides are over 100 miles and cellular service does not work in certain areas in the Sierra Nevada range where the course can take the riders. If there is an emergency, a cellular phone is used first if it works as time can be critical when an injury occurs.

While amateur radio is fun, educational and allows one to work some local and DX stations, the other half of amateur radio service is to provide public service communications in support of community activities. Clearly, amateur radio operators play a support role when tasked. Even then, it is to pass traffic. First responders are doing their thing and the two are not the same.

There is clearly a place for amateur radio service and that is to pass traffic. In an emergency it is obviously not the first choice when cellular or Iridium service are available. Additionally, with amateur radio one never knows if someone is monitoring whether simplex or via a repeater. My tax dollars were used to build the professional infrastructure and I like it that way. Using amateur radio to pass traffic is also where I have spent money and I like it that way.

If you are unsure of where you stand on this, ask yourself if you would ever say, "We have an emergency situation here and we need to call in amateurs".
 

k6cpo

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First, hams over-react about the "demise" of amateur radio in California citing information gleaned from agenda-driven websites (K6UDA's YouTube channel and the Off Grid Survival website) and now they're quoting disaster statistics from an amateur radio operator that isn't an American and doesn't even reside in the United States. It's a sad reflection on ham radio in this country that we're relying on these kind of sources and conveniently ignoring our own organization in the process.
 

StaticDischarge

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First, hams over-react about the "demise" of amateur radio in California citing information gleaned from agenda-driven websites (K6UDA's YouTube channel and the Off Grid Survival website) and now they're quoting disaster statistics from an amateur radio operator that isn't an American and doesn't even reside in the United States. It's a sad reflection on ham radio in this country that we're relying on these kind of sources and conveniently ignoring our own organization in the process.
Hence my posting... This should not even be allowed on the internet and let fools drool over it like it's candy...
 
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