Friday, October 13, 2017

Another rant ..........

Sometimes I make the mistake of going over to eHam or QRZ and reading the forums.  I say "mistake" because of one type of post that really gets my blood pressure elevated. Those are the ones by Amateur Radio ops who dismiss the value of Amateur Radio in Emergency Communications.

I understand that some Hams feel there is too much emphasis on EMCOMM by the ARRL and other organizations. They usually dismiss the people they are speaking with by saying something like, "Yeah, When All Else Fails ....... like that's going to ever happen!"

I don't want to hear that from anyone, ever again.  I think over the past weeks, we have seen that not only is "When All Else Fails" possible - it can happen at anytime, anywhere.  The power of Nature laughs at our infrastructure.  The sin of pride fools us into thinking that as human beings, we are infallible; and that our edifices are indestructible.

The hurricanes in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean, as well as the wildfires in California are showing us that humans are no match for the forces of water, wind and fire.  All our finest efforts in building and engineering can be laid to waste in a matter of hours.  As we have seen in Mexico, in the case of an earthquake, that could be minutes.

When a disaster occurs, Amateur Radio operators are poised to go into the breach, volunteering their time and talent, or even their treasure by donating to the ARRL's Ham Aid Fund. Our brother and sister operators (when asked) will always be running towards where other people are running away from.

God bless them and the First Responders that they support!

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!


  1. Well said,Larry. Those of us on Hawaii Island are acquainted with the forces of nature, including earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes. Never assume that our digital communications infrastructure will survive anything these days. Our technology may be "old school", but it works.
    Aloha, Russ Roberts (KH6JRM).

  2. Yep, well said Larry. This is exactly why our club is keeping our analog repeaters going....we don't trust the current digital infrastructure out there, too many things to go wrong and fail.
    73, Bill VE3FI

  3. Attitudes to emergency comms is, though, a cultural thing. In the UK, there has been government direction to no longer bother with amateur radio due to perceived 'reductions in numbers and the ubiquity of the mobile phone service'. Try to introduce yourself to an official in the UK, and you will be politely or impolitely shown the door.

    Strangely, this morning, with the 'unprecedented' arrival of Hurricane Ophelia over the UK (which was, of course, seen as 'impossible' until now), the weather service is warning the mobile network may fail in some places.

    The emphasis on emcomms does appear a bit militaristic from this side of the pond. Perhaps it is best to be more educational. After all, the US suffers a lot of outages of services from hurricanes and general poor weather. So it shouldn't be too difficult to change attitudes, especially towards the 'infallibility' of the mobile phone/cell phone network.