The never ending CB vs. Ham controversy

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SCPD

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I do not intend for this post to rekindle any sort of Ham vs. CB (or vice versa) argument.

I am simply throwing my "2 cents" in to provide food for thought.

I have been both a ham and cb'er for decades, and have had an opportunity to view the hobby from different "angles". Having said that, It doesn't make me smarter, wiser, better, or more right than anyone else in our hobby. O.K. , with all the disclaimers out of the way, now a few observations.

Ham ops have made a "contract" with the government. They agree to obey all the spectrum rules and in turn, gain "legal" and exclusive access to specified frequency bands.

CB'er have made no such "contract" with the government, and thus have no access to the exclusive frequency bands. They generally operate on the "40 channels" the government says they can have. Some operate outside the "40", many run more than the allotted power, many operate equipment that interferes with other CB'ers and sometimes other services.

I wanted a ham ticket as a young man, got it, and obeyed the rules while licensed. After many years, I thought about the situation of having to be licensed to use a radio, and that it didn't seem to be something that sounded like freedom, so I gave them back my license. I no longer have access to those bands, and that's ok. I accept "what is"... right or wrong.

I believe in a concept, a place called "the commons". In this radio situation, I'm refering to the fact that there should be a "commons"... a place where a free man can use a radio without asking permission from an "authority". That exists now in what we know as the "citizens band". Yes, the "band" is out of control. I don't mind it at all. It is what it is. I just "jump in" and extract what "fun" I can have from making contacts with the meager equipment I use. Do I wish more people would grow up and clean up their act... yes. It would be more fun for all then. But it is what it is, and I don't want the commons to go away. People are always going to act like people... sometimes irrational... they're very diverse... sometimes "good"... sometimes "bad". I like freedom. Having freedom sometimes entails risk, and unpredictable and/or negative outcomes. That's ok, I can live with it. Freedom is good.

To my ham friends:

Don't worry so much about what goes on outside your given "realm". Allow others to have the freedom to use other spectrum. Don't try to "sic" the FCC on non-hams. Let them be. If you wish to play policeman, you can hold each other to the rules you were given, and aggressively "root out" the offenders. Or you can relax, realize that people will be people, and just try to have as much fun anyway... even if your realm is imperfect because people are imperfect. If a CB'er operates in your bands, or causes interference to you with improper equipment, then that is wrong... you have a legitimate case against that one individual.

To my CB friends:

We can all have more fun on the band if we operate our stations in a manner that doesn't decrease the enjoyment of others in our "commons". Stay out of the licensed ham bands, you don't belong there. Make sure your equipment doesn't cause interference to those using the amateur bands, and only transmit "energy" where your signal belongs. Some of you won't do that. I have no control over that. I know, and all I can do is simply try to improve the commons and not contribute to the problem, even if some of you won't.

Yes, I can hear the "rumblings" now... dreamer, idealist, Pollyanna, foolish, rose-colored glasses, etc. ...

Again, I'm not trying to start another "war" of words. If it starts in this thread, I'll just "move on". After all, mine is just an opinion... nothing to get upset about. I just thought I'd try to find a little "common ground" between two groups that have a great hobby (radio) in common.
 

robertmac

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I'm not certain why yet another post on this subject has to be posted. Nothing will change. We have to accept that as much as we are individuals, we are bond by a set of rules, whether from government of just from respect towards people. If one does not like the "rules" "license" there are many other hobbies one can get into. Everything has already been said.
 

VE3WTV

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Priceless

Lowfreq, to me, your views are golden. I too believe in the commons. I wish that more people did. If they did, we could get the government out of our lives a little more, and that is always a good thing. The more the better.

Unfortunately, I live in the despotic land of Canada. I'm not allowed private health insurance, or to carry a gun for protection, or to *not* pay into the government education system. I hate it, but it is what it is.

As a Libertarian, I have struggled with the issue of amateur bands being regulated by Industry Canada, and my participation in it when I get my license. And also my submission to these spectrum regulations by having an ROC-A and an ROC-M. As a Libertarian, I think these should all be regulated by a private entity. But how would that work? How could it work without the powers of enforcement and punishment (fines, seizure, imprisonment)?

My perspective is two-fold:

1) Referring to Jesus and Paul, both faced immoral and/or unjust laws, such as unlawful taxation (of the Jews by the Romans) and slavery. Neither had a conquest mentality. Neither sought to overthrow the systems they disagreed with. Jesus would not give the support to Ceasar that the Romans wanted, but also would not support revolution. The implication seems to be "Yes it's wrong, but just pay the tax to not cause offense." He told someone to go catch a fish. He did so, and found the tax in it's mouth, implying "I'll even give you the money to pay the tax."

Paul, in dealing with Philemon, did not encourage revolt, but simply said "If you can be free, be free." (John Robbins wrote an excellent commentary on this, and slavery, in his book "Slavery and Christianity," available from The Trinity Foundation.)

2) After thinking about IC and its rules for a long time, and reading a lot of material on their website, I have come to the conclusion that all they are doing is keeping order so that all of us can use radios without getting frustrated and throwing them against the wall. I work in a factory where the company is licensed for several frequencies. I occasionally use a two-way myself. I would not want a guy who lives a block away interrupting our communications from his living room where he's playing around with his transceiver. It could be tempting for any bored troublemaker to get on the radio and impersonate a stock foreman saying that production will cease because we are out of widgets, and the next truck wiped out on the 401. Then the plant gets sent home. Several years ago similar interference happened with a drive-thru restaurant. It resulted in a criminal charge and conviction. As a Libertarian, I have to support laws against tresspassing, and I also think there should be some form of 'ownership' or specific, individual allocation of frequencies. I think it is rational to treat spectrum as property, and to protect it.

These are not nonsense laws, like our contraband laws. (I can't think of a contraband law that I agree with. Try me.)

Also, for reasons mentioned above, IC laws are largely at the request of amateur radio operators. Amateurs want it this way, and I understand why. It is hard to argue with them, because I understand what they want and it is not unreasonable.

When an opportunity arises to support the commons, I will do so. But I don't see it here.

My goal is to get my basic qualification and use my abilities to make the amateur world a better place. My fear is that by doing so, I may unwittingly - maybe in a time of war, or some other crisis - become a servant of the state. I want to serve 'the people', not the government. I'm saying I will not be commandeered as an informant. I hope my fear is unfounded.

Some recommended reading:

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-commons-tragedy-or-triumph#axzz2rNlrgbDk

http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/on-the-need-for-social-coercion-excerpt#axzz2rNlrgbDk
 
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Fast1eddie

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Very well stated!!! Although I quickly scanned the page, I feel the same sentiments should extend to broadcast radio. The biz majors have screwed everything up!!! One FM station is just as bad as the next, especially here in Pittsburgh. I can set my watch to the repetitive play list and the endless moronic chatter from the "air personality". Got several additional names but let's not incur the wrath of the moderators.

Think it is time to build a low power FM transmitter and have some fun. I no longer care, I have paid my dues and then some.
 

SCPD

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Robertmac,

I like radio, it is my hobby. I shouldn't be told that if I don't obey all the rules made up by others, and I must agree to be licensed to even use a radio, then I should get another hobby. You have your rules on the amateur bands, and I stay out of the amateur bands and don't "mess with your turf". BTW, all the rules on the amateur bands have still not brought peace and harmony (because people are people). I am bringing up the issue of a "commons", as a natural right, and not asking for a privilege to use my radio. I don't think all has been said.

JackDaniels,

I'm glad you agree of the need for a commons. I disagree that all the spectrum should be privatized. I have no gripe that there exists a structured service such as the amateur service. Hams can operate there to their hearts content and can make up and enforce as many rules on each other as they wish. Have at it.

Please, just throw a scrap of spectrum to the rest of us that wish to have a place we can go to without having to ask someone for permission to use a natural right. If one of us acts irresponsible in the commons, and harm's another, then that one should be subject to penalty. I have no wish to interfere with someone else's communications, make false "maydays", or otherwise cause others mayhem. The spectrum I am asking for will not include critical services such as law enforcement, public service and utilities, etc. It's just a place to interact with others in a social manner.

I hope the rest of the posts to this thread leads to an understanding of the desire for a commons, and not accusations that "anarchy" and the end of civilization will result if we have a small amount of spectrum that is free from the need of an "authority" to regulate and control it.

I'm not asking for the radio equivalent of:

"I assert my right to be able to drive 90 miles an hour down mainstreet mid-day during the rush hour" sort of thing.

Fast Eddie,

Your situation about broadcast radio is the result of predatory capitalism where the dollar is the bottom line, sanctioned by "law", and all the spoils go to the highest bidder. Yes, there is no "commons" for the little guy to broadcast. The spectrum has been sold to the highest bidder... winner take all.

-------------------------

Edit and update:

I wrote:

"I hope the rest of the posts to this thread leads to an understanding of the desire for a commons"...

On further consideration, I think that any further discussion of the "commons" should be taken to another area of the forum, and not follow this post.

With the original post, I was simply trying to find some common ground between two groups. I've done that, so I'll leave things as they are and not deviate from the original intent. I really don't have anything more on the original topic to contribute.
 
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rapidcharger

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CB is not license-free.
CB is license by rule.

You want to talk about freedom? You are under a more stringent set of rules and restrictions. You can do a lot more on the ham bands and have a lot more fun. Run more equipment, different modes, different bands, higher power. Of course if you're not going to play by the rules either way a piece of paper is not going to stand in your way.
 

JustLou

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Your post is very confusing. I'm not sure why you consider not requiring a license gives you more "freedom" on 11 meters. You gave up your so-called "contract with the government" for the "freedom" to operate on 40 specific frequencies, not running more than 4 watts, and to follow many of the same general courtesy rules that HAMS should follow.
 

N8IAA

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lowfreq, this was the type of thinking back in the 60's when the Hippies wanted their own utopia and no one to govern how they lived. You've seen how that has worked:roll:
Societies have to have rules to live by, or anarchy will prevail. Sorry you didn't like the rules that the FCC has for ham radio, but, dude, a lot more frequencies and a lot more modes of operation.
If you think that when people who don't care about the rules will follow them, you be drinking the crazy cool-aide.
Larry
 

pgnsucks

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I was just listening to the CB bands today the guys just seemed to want to have a good time.

I also have an older Icom 735 may get my ticket soon. If either group is snotty then I will of course go with the other no one down here was cussing or being vulgar, fyi.
 

SCPD

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I think that to reply to the latest comments I'm seeing in this thread would be to go off on another direction than my original post. This means that I would rather answer them by PM to those that wish to discuss this further.

As I wrote previously:

"With the original post, I was simply trying to find some common ground between two groups. I've done that, so I'll leave things as they are and not deviate from the original intent".

It seems I ruffled a few feathers concerning my point about the creation of a "radio commons". If someone doesn't understand that concept, or disagrees with it, I'd discuss it by PM.
 
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rapidcharger

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I think that to reply to the latest comments I'm seeing in this thread would be to go off on another direction than my original post. This means that I would rather answer them by PM to those that wish to discuss this further.
I was one of those people you PM'd and I'm afraid I just don't understand.
If you're getting numerous replies you deem off topic then perhaps it's time for a brief (5 sentences or less sans any SAT words) clarification.

I have nothing against CB. You did not ruffle my feathers. If I had more room in my truck for one and could run any more electronics, I'd have at least one there and possibly another in the shack.I was merely commenting on the misconception that license by rule does not equate to license free. It was probably the remark about "freedom".
 
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