Using Amateur radio in State Guard disaster drills

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kc5uta

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I am the Communication Officer for my State Guard unit. TXSG We have all been encouraged to develop our Amateur radio resources. The question is, if you are on duty for a drill (we do not get paid for drill, only if deployed) Is it a violation to use ham radio? In an actual emergency or disaster, I do realize, rules change. But in the case of disaster preparedness rather than real incidents, would we be in violation of FCC rules? Input to clarify the rules would be greatly appreciated.....Dave, KC5UTA
 

krokus

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What is "State Guard" ?
 

W8RMH

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I am the Communication Officer for my State Guard unit. TXSG We have all been encouraged to develop our Amateur radio resources. The question is, if you are on duty for a drill (we do not get paid for drill, only if deployed) Is it a violation to use ham radio? In an actual emergency or disaster, I do realize, rules change. But in the case of disaster preparedness rather than real incidents, would we be in violation of FCC rules? Input to clarify the rules would be greatly appreciated.....Dave, KC5UTA
Electronic Code of Federal Regulations:
 

kc5uta

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State Guard definition

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What is "State Guard" ?
State Guard, is a form of a State Govt. militia Loosely associated with the actual federal military, and has many similarity's. "State defense forces (SDF) (also known as state guards, state military reserves, or state militias) in the United States are military units that operate under the sole authority of a state government; they are partially regulated by the National Guard Bureau but they are not a part of the Army National Guard of the United States.[1] State defense forces are authorized by state and federal law and are under the command of the governor of each state." from the definition in wikipedia
 

cellblock776

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I was a SSgt/E6 in Louisiana State Guard and while I never used ham radio in official State Guard activities I reported for my monthly duty at the State EOC. A few times when I had caught up on most of my EOC training I would be directed to the RACES radio room to test the gear. It was mainly make work but I liked it. I knew all of the local repeaters so I was happy to spend my drill time chatting to my ham buddies on the State EOC owned radio gear. I turned in a report stating which repeaters I could activate and even some simplex contacts. I did the RACES radio tests off and on for a few months and was even told that besides my radio checks, the radios were rarely used.
I left the State Guard after getting involved with my local Volunteer Fire Dept. While you guys in Tx have a very active State Guard, across the border here in La we have very little State Guard activity. There are several State Guard employees who work as paid employees for the Military Department in jobs such as military post MPs, transportation officers and even cadre for Youth Challenge programs. These State Guard soliders work right alongside National Guard soldiers and are almost indistinguishable from the National Guard members they support.
I remember reporting to the State EOC for my State Guard drill time every month wearing my Class-B uniform with my nice shined dress shoes. Then I'd be assigned to a work alongside a National Guard soldier dressed in BDUs and boots which looked like they had never been shined. And THEY were being paid for their drill time. I was doing it for free.
I was never activated so I never got a cent from the State for my time in the State Guard. In fact, except for my ID card and a set of arm patches, I paid for everything myself.
 

kc5uta

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two years ago at AT we had a WADA team (wide area damage assessment) that all had HT's and tech class....but the CO told them they couldn't use them because they were getting paid. So my impression was you could use it in a real disaster, but not to train for a real disaster? So much for "train how you work" ethic eh? Personally I think I would be OK with a simplex and minimal power...but that would be "sneaking". Best to ask forgiveness than permission??? : )
 

LtDoc

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The FCC has revamped their thinking about using ham gear/frequencies during training. It's allowable with a few "but's" thrown in. Asking would be your best bet for clarification (FCC or maybe ARRL).
- 'Doc
 

kc5uta

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The FCC has revamped their thinking about using ham gear/frequencies during training. It's allowable with a few "but's" thrown in. Asking would be your best bet for clarification (FCC or maybe ARRL).
- 'Doc
You're probably right Doc...... I'll buzz the ARRL first. Thanks all. Dave
 

kc5uta

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Why? The State Guard has their own frequencies.
Safety in redundancy.... Lol. In cases of widespread disaster such as Katrina, Ike, with local Comms being out or if located in a austere environment, it is another option and adds to versatility, in case of failure of the main system. In disaster, the line between under control to out of control can be very fluid in nature.
 

Howdy_All

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I will add my reply here.

It has been my experience that Amateur Radio was intended to be Amateur.
Now - if a Amateur is involved with a real emergency - they are allowed, as a individual, you use what ever means is necessary.

The down side to this is that any form of government is not allowed to use Amateur Radio for their own use..
The Government has their own bands and frequencies - such as MARS and GMRS and LMRS.

Now I think that I understand the question - it was that they were told that if they had a Amateur Radio License, that they were being asked to use Amateur Radio Frequencies to hone their Amateur Radio Skills. That would be totally permissible.
But to hijack amateur radio frequencies for use for military exercises - would be illegal.

What wouldn't be permissible would be to take over a group of frequencies on a regular basis.
Even with ARES and RACES - there is limits as to how many hours a week, month or year that they are allowed to operate - without a real emergency.

I'm steering the boat here - so I hope that I do not get too far off course here.

Because they are a form of military, that does not give them any RIGHT to take over any amateur radio service band, due to the fact that our rules states that all operators must possess a Amateur Radio License of a appropriate class for which you wish to operate.

There are some places where you could operate in which you would not get into much trouble. As long as you did not displace amateur radio communications...
You could use digital forms of traffic on 30 meters.
You could use certain portions of the 6 meters - as long as there are no contests and as long as you did not interfere with any 6 meter repeaters with your signals and as long as you stayed away from the SSB and the DX portion of the band.

You could use digital modes in the lower portion of the 2 meters band - as long as you did not interfere with the Amateurs using that portion of the band for amateur use.

The reason I say this is because there is certain bands which are used on a continuous basis.
Packet, APRS , CW, PSK etc - which you wouldn't want to use - because you would upset the people who technically belonged there.

You can't operate phone on any portion of the bands which are not allocated for phone.
You can't interfere with Amateur Radio Communications.

But - as long as it was one amateur talking to another amateur - for the purpose of experimenting, communicating, the transfer of non military data etc - it would be totally legal.

If you was to jump on a 2 meter / 440 repeater - or any band with phone such as 10 / 20 / 80 / or 160 meters and try to tell someone to leave because you were using it for a military exercise - you would get into a lot of trouble. Not to mention you would upset the apple cart and they would probably start to jam you.

Come to think of it - if you all held a General or Amateur Extra license you could use parts of the 40 and 60 meters band - which are allocated for government use - but you would have to have a government license and not a amateur license.

I have seen a trend here where I live.
There are these people - lets say that they call themselves a Sheriffs association or TEA party etc.
They are looking for a form of communications - where they can operate - away from the CB radio and GMRS / LMRS - where they can have global communications.
They don't really understand how communications works, but they think that the day might come when another country or world might come and try to take over the USA and that the telephones and cell phones won't work - hence they are looking for wireless communications, without having to petition the government for their own frequency, where they would have to purchase a license - LMRS might be as much as $80.00 a year, then have to build their own repeaters and maintain their repeaters and licenses.

Ham radio for these people seems to be a simple solution.
So they come to me and they ask - when we get a license, where can we get a channel, which we can use - for our communications.
When I explain to them - all the bands and frequencies which are permissible per your license class, it just blows their minds.
So then they say - well we are looking for a place where we can operate - for the lack of a better word - scrambled, where no one could hear them.
I just shake my head and explain to them that all Amateur Radio Communications must be in plain English and not codes or secret messages.
This kind of upsets them - because they cannot comprehend the fact that anyone with a radio, that happens to just tune to the frequency for which they occupy, can listen to anything that they send or receive.

The bottom line was that a friend of mine who has been in communications for 40 years told them that there is places in the 440 band where you can tune between frequencies and no one would notice.
We all know the band plan and the frequencies allocated for simplex and the frequencies allocated for repeaters, and technically he was right. You could use some obscure frequency and unless someone was using a scanner or a frequency / signal locator - you would never know that they were there.

70 CM band plan -

442.00-445.00 Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)

445.00-447.00 Shared by auxiliary and control links, repeaters and simplex (local option)

447.00-450.00 Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)

Lets say you chose 445.7825 Mhz and nothing else was around that frequency.
Technically - if no one knew that you were there, you could use it and no one would hear you.

Technically there is nothing in the band plan which states that you cannot use SSB on 70 CM.
That would make it even harder for someone with nothing more then a programmable scanner to receive your transmissions.

Personally - it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
These arse clowns, who only obtains a Technician Class License.
Who does not operate on the repeaters.
Who does not obtain any type of training on how to properly operate amateur radios or how to talk on amateur radios.
Comes along and gets a license, just in case the world comes to an end - some type of apocalyptic type event - and thinks that they are going to be of some use to the government - just because they have a amateur radio license.
My personal opinion - the Technician Class License was never intended to be a stopping place.
It is the Amateur Radio Kindergarten of Ham Radio.
The simplex and the repeaters are designed for a person to get their feet wet.
A place where you can talk and learn how to be a good amateur radio operator - while you are studying to obtain your General and your Extra license.
Even with that - the General license was never intended to be a stopping place either.
 

Token

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The bottom line was that a friend of mine who has been in communications for 40 years told them that there is places in the 440 band where you can tune between frequencies and no one would notice.
We all know the band plan and the frequencies allocated for simplex and the frequencies allocated for repeaters, and technically he was right. You could use some obscure frequency and unless someone was using a scanner or a frequency / signal locator - you would never know that they were there.

70 CM band plan -

442.00-445.00 Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)

445.00-447.00 Shared by auxiliary and control links, repeaters and simplex (local option)

447.00-450.00 Repeater inputs and outputs (local option)

Lets say you chose 445.7825 Mhz and nothing else was around that frequency.
Technically - if no one knew that you were there, you could use it and no one would hear you.

Technically there is nothing in the band plan which states that you cannot use SSB on 70 CM.
That would make it even harder for someone with nothing more then a programmable scanner to receive your transmissions.
Kind of forgetting a few chunks of 70 cm, aren’t you, maybe like all of 420.000 to 442.000? Since you opened it up to SSB (and presumably other modes in that statement) there is no reason to stay in the 442.0 – 450.0 range.

Not sure what to make of that statement about technically there is nothing saying you cannot use SSB on 70 cm, I don’t know of any band, other than 30 meters, that SSB is not allowed, or even encouraged, on. How about 432.100, the designated (by band plan) weak signal mode (SSB and CW, for example) calling frequency? And 432.100 to 432.300 and 432.400 to 433.000, designated mixed mode and weak signal? Operating in the 432.1 to 433.0 region in SSB would not only be “technically” possible, that is part of what that section of the band was set aside for.

Do not confuse a “band plan” with a legal barrier to emission types or to having the weight of law. Just because the band plan says FM in different uses from 442.0 to 450.0 does not mean you cannot use other modes. As always it is up to the operator to deconflict. Band Plans are developed based on FCC-mandated band segments (often protecting things like satellite sub bands), sound engineering practices, and traditional usage.

The FCC does support band plans, rather strongly at times. However, as far as I know, no one has been cited for violations of a band plan that was also not some other violation, such as causing interference with coordinated stations or causing interference with stations abiding the band plan.

Personally - it leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
These arse clowns, who only obtains a Technician Class License.
Who does not operate on the repeaters.
Who does not obtain any type of training on how to properly operate amateur radios or how to talk on amateur radios.
Comes along and gets a license, just in case the world comes to an end - some type of apocalyptic type event - and thinks that they are going to be of some use to the government - just because they have a amateur radio license.
My personal opinion - the Technician Class License was never intended to be a stopping place.
It is the Amateur Radio Kindergarten of Ham Radio.
Rather short sighted and opinionated there, isn’t that? Of course, you did say it was your opinion, but at least part of it is indeed incorrect.

As a matter of fact Technician Class was intended as a “stopping place”. When the license structure consisted of more than three classes, Novice, Technician, General/Conditional (my first ticket was Conditional), Advanced, and Extra, the Technician was the stopping place for people interested in VHF and up communications and experimentation who had no interest in HF. This is why there were very few power or privilege enhancements above 30 MHz (after 1979, prior to that date there were some restrictions to T class, especially on 2M) in obtaining a “more” than Tech license.

Today, since Techs are more unlimited than ever above 30 MHz, it fills the same purpose. Yes, it can be an entry level into the World of HF ham radio, but it can also be all that is needed into a World of radio experimentation and technology application.

Amateur Radio Kindergarten? Well, why don’t you join those Kindergarteners and design and scratch build some microwave equipment. Maybe come up with a new modulation technique to apply to a home built TWT transmitter. How about designing, building, and fielding a planar phased array steerable communications antenna? Tell ya what, how about an easy one, just transmit an SSB signal on 10 GHz with say 1200 Watts PEP?

I am an Extra myself, because I like or am interested in pretty much all aspects of ham radio and want all the freq ranges, and the test is a breeze (I never would have bothered in the high speed CW requirement days, 15-17 WPM was all I was good for unless I put real effort into it). But I know some positively brilliant individuals who carry the soul of amateur radio to technical extremes…all with a “lowly” Technician license.

The simplex and the repeaters are designed for a person to get their feet wet.
A place where you can talk and learn how to be a good amateur radio operator - while you are studying to obtain your General and your Extra license.
Even with that - the General license was never intended to be a stopping place either.
Simplex (I assume you mean FM simplex, and not something like SSB or CW simplex on 20 meters) and repeaters are not designed for a person to get their feet wet. They have specific applications and fit specific needs. Among other things they are particularly well fitted to mobile and portable application and fixed to mobile communication.

If you honestly believed what you said, and since you have an Extra class license, you must not use FM in any way now? None of that “getting your feet wet” FM Simplex or repeaters?

With a General class license a person can operate every legal ham mode, on every legal ham band. There simply is not a need to go higher than that. The Extra gives a VERY small expansion of frequency ranges, but no new modes, power levels, or bands. The General might be the ultimate stopping point, the most bang for the work required. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Extra, but really the extra 400’ish kHz (over General) might not be worth the effort to some people. Of course, I do love the fact that those ranges are less occupied, and also that some DX stations like to use those ranges.

T!
 
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Howdy_All

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Kind of forgetting a few chunks of 70 cm, aren’t you, maybe like all of 420.000 to 442.000? Since you opened it up to SSB (and presumably other modes in that statement) there is no reason to stay in the 442.0 – 450.0 range.

Not sure what to make of that statement about technically there is nothing saying you cannot use SSB on 70 cm, I don’t know of any band, other than 30 meters, that SSB is not allowed, or even encouraged, on. How about 432.100, the designated (by band plan) weak signal mode (SSB and CW, for example) calling frequency? And 432.100 to 432.300 and 432.400 to 433.000, designated mixed mode and weak signal? Operating in the 432.1 to 433.0 region in SSB would not only be “technically” possible, that is part of what that section of the band was set aside for.

Do not confuse a “band plan” with a legal barrier to emission types or to having the weight of law. Just because the band plan says FM in different uses from 442.0 to 450.0 does not mean you cannot use other modes. As always it is up to the operator to deconflict. Band Plans are developed based on FCC-mandated band segments (often protecting things like satellite sub bands), sound engineering practices, and traditional usage.

The FCC does support band plans, rather strongly at times. However, as far as I know, no one has been cited for violations of a band plan that was also not some other violation, such as causing interference with coordinated stations or causing interference with stations abiding the band plan.

Answer number 1



As a matter of fact Technician Class was intended as a “stopping place”. When the license structure consisted of more than three classes, Novice, Technician, General/Conditional (my first ticket was Conditional), Advanced, and Extra, the Technician was the stopping place for people interested in VHF and up communications and experimentation who had no interest in HF. This is why there were very few power or privilege enhancements above 30 MHz (after 1979, prior to that date there were some restrictions to T class, especially on 2M) in obtaining a “more” than Tech license.

Answer number 2


Amateur Radio Kindergarten? Well, why don’t you join those Kindergarteners and design and scratch build some microwave equipment. Maybe come up with a new modulation technique to apply to a home built TWT transmitter. How about designing, building, and fielding a planar phased array steerable communications antenna? Tell ya what, how about an easy one, just transmit an SSB signal on 10 GHz with say 1200 Watts PEP?


Answer number 3


I am an Extra myself, because I like or am interested in pretty much all aspects of ham radio and want all the freq ranges, and the test is a breeze (I never would have bothered in the high speed CW requirement days, 15-17 WPM was all I was good for unless I put real effort into it). But I know some positively brilliant individuals who carry the soul of amateur radio to technical extremes…all with a “lowly” Technician license.

Answer number 4



Simplex (I assume you mean FM simplex, and not something like SSB or CW simplex on 20 meters) and repeaters are not designed for a person to get their feet wet. They have specific applications and fit specific needs. Among other things they are particularly well fitted to mobile and portable application and fixed to mobile communication.

Answer number 5


With a General class license a person can operate every legal ham mode, on every legal ham band. There simply is not a need to go higher than that. The Extra gives a VERY small expansion of frequency ranges, but no new modes, power levels, or bands. The General might be the ultimate stopping point, the most bang for the work required. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Extra, but really the extra 400’ish kHz (over General) might not be worth the effort to some people. Of course, I do love the fact that those ranges are less occupied, and also that some DX stations like to use those ranges.

T!
Answers

1. - That all goes back to what I said before about being GENTLEMEN and GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENTS - something that has been lacking since they left all the CB radio people in 30 some years ago......

2. - Technician Licenses - is just a poor excuse for someone that isn't smart enough to pass a 35 question, multiple guess test to get their general......

3. - That is child's play...
My family is involved in the repair of microwave communications equipment / one of only two companies still located in the USA..
As my Uncle would say - we don't have the time to mess around with stuff like that.....
When you repair stuff for the television and radio industry, US Border Patrol, all of the telephone industry and anyone else that uses Microwave equipment - what is left to prove?

Here is a example- Uncle calls, says he needs to buy a good DTV converter box.
Question - why?
Answer - because he needs a digital signal for his test equipment.
So I give him the make and model of a acceptable model.
Question - what is a good DTV antenna?
Answer - what do you want to receive and what frequency is it?

So I give him a make and model of a good DTV converter box and antenna and he sticks it on the roof of the building and makes his own equipment to test digital equipment as opposed to spending $60,00.00 on a piece of equipment made by someone else.

So I look in the inventory, see all kinds of wave guides, power supplies, amplifiers, receivers - what ever you need to build your own microwave receiver. So I ask why don't we build one of these things and try it out. Answer was - because we are too busy making money!

4. -Like I said - the mentality of all you need is to get a General Class License, buy a radio and antenna and start blabbering on the radio like a idiot is CB radio mentality.

5. - 20 meters repeaters? You are just being combative....

Its your job as a licensed amateur radio operator to give back to amateur radio.
This involves being a active member of a club.
Becoming a Volunteer Examiner
Participating in VE Test Sessions
Promoting Amateur Radio as a whole
Participating in Field Days - which is the only event in the whole year which makes amateur radio visible to the general public..
Not hiding in some dark basement with your radios - in secret, listening to other peoples conversations - like the media would like the general public to believe, or a bunch of weekend warriors like the people who were involved with REACT who got shirts and flashlights and CB radios and tried to help out the local law enforcement / fire - rescue / EMS and were laughed at and ridiculed because they were not part of a larger group such as RACES or licensed like Amateur Radio people were.

Last year I sent a couple of repeater owners this - Amateur Radio Code of Ehtics
It was written in 1926 and still holds true today...

One modification to that list - is this list -
Good Amateur Radio Practices
 
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reedeb

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2. - Technician Licenses - is just a poor excuse for someone that isn't smart enough to pass a 35 question, multiple guess test to get their general......
Personally - it These arse clowns, who only obtains a Technician Class License.
Who does not operate on the repeaters.
Who does not obtain any type of training on how to properly operate amateur radios or how to talk on amateur radios.
Comes along and gets a license, just in case the world comes to an end - some type of apocalyptic type event - and thinks that they are going to be of some use to the government - just because they have a amateur radio license.
My personal opinion - the Technician Class License was never intended to be a stopping place.
It is the Amateur Radio Kindergarten of Ham Radio.
The simplex and the repeaters are designed for a person to get their feet wet.
A place where you can talk and learn how to be a good amateur radio operator - while you are studying to obtain your General and your Extra license.
Even with that - the General license was never intended to be a stopping place either.
I bet when they went to No Code Tech you had many sleepless nights. You are what my Elmer [who is an Extra BTW] would call a radio snob. I've thought of moving up to General, BUT now I think I'll stay as a arse clown Tech Just the very thought of leaving a sour taste in your mouth. makes me very happy!!

I am very offended by these statements. I value my license and I'm proud of the fact I studied and passed the exam, and recieved my call. I have used my radios to help friends, family, and community, in times of trouble. I'm done withthis and with YOUR snobbish attitude!!
 
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Token

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2. - Technician Licenses - is just a poor excuse for someone that isn't smart enough to pass a 35 question, multiple guess test to get their general......
Now you are saying something a little different, and even more condescending and insulting to Techs . What I responded to was when you said that in your opinion Technician class was never intended to be a stopping place. Your opinion was wrong and I was pointing that out. The truth of the matter is that the Technician license was original intended for just that, a stopping point, a final goal, for people who have no desire to work HF, but want to technically expand in the VHF and up region. It was indeed a stopping place and was touted as such when the system originally changed from the A, B, C license structure to the Novice, Technician, General/Conditional, Advanced, and Extra format.

3. - That is child's play...
My family is involved in the repair of microwave communications equipment / one of only two companies still located in the USA..
As my Uncle would say - we don't have the time to mess around with stuff like that.....
When you repair stuff for the television and radio industry, US Border Patrol, all of the telephone industry and anyone else that uses Microwave equipment - what is left to prove?

Here is a example- Uncle calls, says he needs to buy a good DTV converter box.
Question - why?
Answer - because he needs a digital signal for his test equipment.
So I give him the make and model of a acceptable model.
Question - what is a good DTV antenna?
Answer - what do you want to receive and what frequency is it?

So I give him a make and model of a good DTV converter box and antenna and he sticks it on the roof of the building and makes his own equipment to test digital equipment as opposed to spending $60,00.00 on a piece of equipment made by someone else.

So I look in the inventory, see all kinds of wave guides, power supplies, amplifiers, receivers - what ever you need to build your own microwave receiver. So I ask why don't we build one of these things and try it out. Answer was - because we are too busy making money!
There are many more than 2 companies involved in the repair of microwave communications equipment in the USA today. At a guess I would call it hundreds. Just in Pennsylvania alone I can think of a couple, Amplifier Research Corp and Locus Microwave Inc, I am sure a web search would turn up more, and that is not even getting close to the microwave work hot spots in NH, MA, MD CT, etc. Up around the MIT area there are more companies who do microwave technologies than you can shake a stick at, although admittedly microwave communications is a bit beneath most of them.

And your comment about “we don’t have the time to mess with stuff like that” goes against the other stuff you claim to support. You say ham radio is not just about buying a radio and talking, and I agree, but then you say you do not have time to experiment and expand your knowledge of RF…despite your claim to have access to the materials needed to do so.

The statement of “that is childs play” to my questions, and then leading into some unrelated examples of hardware indicates you have no idea the levels of effort required to do what I said.

But, I’ve got to ask, what does your example of a DTV box and a DTV antenna have to do with microwave?

Building a home brew TWT based amplifier at microwave frequencies is indeed pretty easy, almost that child’s play you talk about, just buy a surplus TWT and build a power supply and interface. Modulating that TWT as a transmitter, in any usable mode for ham radio, and doing something other than just using it for an amplifier takes a lot more effort.

Designing, building, and fielding, a planar phased array steerable antenna for communications use would be a serious effort. If that is child’s play to you I hope you hold several related patents.

At 10 GHz EME is done with 100 Watt and less transmitters and a 10 foot dish. Making 1200 W PEP of clean modulation at that frequency is expensive and technically non-trivial. In fact, I cannot be sure, but I would not be surprised if there are no hams at that power level using privately owned equipment. If there is one or more, the number is certainly VERY low. I know there are a few dedicated players in the 400-700 Watt range though. The return on effort starts to get pretty small though.

If any of that is truly childs play to you, send me a resume, I am doing interviews for a position with similar skill requirements this month and would be glad to add it to the stack for consideration…but I rather doubt you send one. I would be glad to be wrong.

5. - 20 meters repeaters? You are just being combative....
Except I never said anything about 20 meter repeaters? What I said was that FM simplex and repeaters have valid uses, and are not just to “get your feet wet” as you put it. You said “simplex and repeaters”, I only stated that I assumed you meant FM simplex, and not simplex as used for SSB and CW contacts on say a band like 20 meters. My assumption is that you are aware that when you do not work split VFOs on an HF band, and both sides of the conversation are on the same frequency, that you are using simplex.

T!
 

Token

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Mojave Desert, California, USA
I bet when they went to No Code Tech you had many sleepless nights. You are what my Elmer [who is an Extra BTW] would call a radio snob. I've thought of moving up to General, BUT now I think I'll stay as a arse clown Tech Just the very thought of leaving a sour taste in your mouth. makes me very happy!!

I am very offended by these statements. I value my license and I'm proud of the fact I studied and passed the exam, and recieved my call. I have used my radios to help friends, family, and community, in times of trouble. I'm done withthis and with YOUR snobbish attitude!!
Don't worry about it reedeb, do what you want to do and ignore the hypocritical opinions of some forum posters. And you would enjoy the privileges of General or Extra. Not everyone is like Howdy_All.

Speaking of him, I am pretty sure he never passed a code exam either. I think we are dealing with a user who was banned in the past for multiple accounts, one Daniel_Boone. And if that is who this is he was not licensed until last year for the first time.

T!
 

zz0468

QRT
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Speaking of him, I am pretty sure he never passed a code exam either. I think we are dealing with a user who was banned in the past for multiple accounts, one Daniel_Boone. And if that is who this is he was not licensed until last year for the first time.
Pretty sure you're right. I recall that Daniel_Boone invoked his uncle in several posts before he was banned.

I'd classify him as merely annoying, except the technical advice is badly flawed, and the attitude is enough to chase potential hams away. Gentlemen, we have ourselves a troll.
 

Howdy_All

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
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Mar 1, 2012
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Now you are saying something a little different, and even more condescending and insulting to Techs . What I responded to was when you said that in your opinion Technician class was never intended to be a stopping place. Your opinion was wrong and I was pointing that out. The truth of the matter is that the Technician license was original intended for just that, a stopping point, a final goal, for people who have no desire to work HF, but want to technically expand in the VHF and up region. It was indeed a stopping place and was touted as such when the system originally changed from the A, B, C license structure to the Novice, Technician, General/Conditional, Advanced, and Extra format.



There are many more than 2 companies involved in the repair of microwave communications equipment in the USA today. At a guess I would call it hundreds. Just in Pennsylvania alone I can think of a couple, Amplifier Research Corp and Locus Microwave Inc, I am sure a web search would turn up more, and that is not even getting close to the microwave work hot spots in NH, MA, MD CT, etc. Up around the MIT area there are more companies who do microwave technologies than you can shake a stick at, although admittedly microwave communications is a bit beneath most of them.

And your comment about “we don’t have the time to mess with stuff like that” goes against the other stuff you claim to support. You say ham radio is not just about buying a radio and talking, and I agree, but then you say you do not have time to experiment and expand your knowledge of RF…despite your claim to have access to the materials needed to do so.

The statement of “that is childs play” to my questions, and then leading into some unrelated examples of hardware indicates you have no idea the levels of effort required to do what I said.

But, I’ve got to ask, what does your example of a DTV box and a DTV antenna have to do with microwave?

Building a home brew TWT based amplifier at microwave frequencies is indeed pretty easy, almost that child’s play you talk about, just buy a surplus TWT and build a power supply and interface. Modulating that TWT as a transmitter, in any usable mode for ham radio, and doing something other than just using it for an amplifier takes a lot more effort.

Designing, building, and fielding, a planar phased array steerable antenna for communications use would be a serious effort. If that is child’s play to you I hope you hold several related patents.

At 10 GHz EME is done with 100 Watt and less transmitters and a 10 foot dish. Making 1200 W PEP of clean modulation at that frequency is expensive and technically non-trivial. In fact, I cannot be sure, but I would not be surprised if there are no hams at that power level using privately owned equipment. If there is one or more, the number is certainly VERY low. I know there are a few dedicated players in the 400-700 Watt range though. The return on effort starts to get pretty small though.

If any of that is truly childs play to you, send me a resume, I am doing interviews for a position with similar skill requirements this month and would be glad to add it to the stack for consideration…but I rather doubt you send one. I would be glad to be wrong.



Except I never said anything about 20 meter repeaters? What I said was that FM simplex and repeaters have valid uses, and are not just to “get your feet wet” as you put it. You said “simplex and repeaters”, I only stated that I assumed you meant FM simplex, and not simplex as used for SSB and CW contacts on say a band like 20 meters. My assumption is that you are aware that when you do not work split VFOs on an HF band, and both sides of the conversation are on the same frequency, that you are using simplex.

T!
MY Elmer has 27 patents - how many do you have?

I never said I couldn't do microwave - I just quoted what I was told about doing it.

There is nothing uncommon about doing it today.

There is all kinds of microwave equipment and equipment suppliers in this world, but when it gets old or obsolete - and the user continues using it , you have to find someone who knows how to fix it.
As far as being a troll - it has been my experience that people that calls people trolls tends to be the trolls.

Anytime you have a post that has more then 3 replies - the intelligence level tends to go down and it turns into a debate....
Unfortunately - the only thing the ARRL is concerned with is reinforcing the pool of potential customers to join the ARRL - hence they do not turn anyone away and the only thing they talk about today - about Technician Class Licenses is the benefit of being able to use communications for ECOM and the ability of being able to obtain a cheap - less then $200 walkie talkie and get on the air.
Which in turn, in their book, makes you a Amateur Radio Operator.

I have a cell phone - does that make me a expert wireless technician?

So we give a exam and we get the person a license and then they buy a walkie talkie, and they do not learn any communications skills necessary for anything but local Ecom - or parade work and in time they put the walkie talkie away and the license expires and then we have to find a new crop of people willing to take the exam to take their place.

Or we could go back to the original precepts - and actually teach amateur radio communications and the real purpose of getting licensed and being a amateur radio operator.

The nearest thing I can find is the Part 97 description - and in no part of the Part 97 does it say all you have to do is get a Technician License and then you can stop.

§97.1 Basis and purpose.-
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:

(a) Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

(b) Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.

(c) Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.

(d) Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians, and electronics experts.

(e) Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

I believe that was the reason why we had to keep logs of our contacts, we had to practice CW, we had to advance our license privileges or loose our privileges...

The way to solve that problem would be to make it mandatory for everyone to be retested every 10 years..
That would weed out the people who were hams from the people who were not.
 
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