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Parity Bill

Dec 3rd 2016, 12:51


Joined: Jun 28th 2010, 14:35
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Sent to Senator Bill Nelson
Thank you for contacting our office. We appreciate receiving your input.
For your records, the following information has been submitted:
Date: 12/03/2016
Name: Mr. Burt Fisher
163 Cotuit Rd
Sandwich MA, 02563

Subject: S.1685 - Amateur Radio Parity Act
Do not let this out of committee for a vote. Keep your hold on it. I am a radio amateur (K1OIK). It is an attempt by the American Radio Relay League to abrogate agreements reached in good faith by Homeowners Associations. Radio amateurs are no longer what they once were, they invent nothing and the tests are so easy a child can and has passed the exam. Listen on the amateur bands and most of what you here is 30 second contacts (contests) where amateurs provide false signal reports. The frequencies are a vast wasteland.
Dec 27th 2017, 15:48


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
K1OIK: Speak for yourself. I am an old ham in a restricted community. I need an antenna to get me out of the back yard. I don't do contests except field day (when I can) and still rag chew with friends when I can get out on a wire in the garage. Maybe you should find a new hobby. n7lar
Aug 4th 2018, 07:41


Joined: Jun 28th 2010, 14:35
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Speak for myself? Who else am I going to speak for?
Did you not choose to live there?
Aug 6th 2018, 16:49


Joined: Jul 11th 2018, 12:26
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Well, the rule is we're not supposed to reply to old posts. But as the original poster has just replied, I guess I can chime in with my response to that reply, as well as to the original message.

>> Did you not choose to live there?

Reasoning like this has been used for ages to attempt to justify oppressive rules or laws. For example: "Well, if women don't like the fact that they can't vote, they don't have to live in the USA." Or: "All those people working in unhealthy conditions in sweat shops--what are they complaining about? Didn't they CHOOSE to work there?"

I live in a community with an HOA. The restrictions prohibit antennas. Even though I wasn't a ham when I moved in, I felt that this was an unnecessary restriction. But other needs--such as family, schools, work, and such--had to take precedence. In most ways this house was the only feasible choice available at the time.

To be a ham anyway requires that I jump through hoops--attic antennas and such. These measures compromise my ability to pitch in in the community. It's hard to volunteer to run a net when I don't know whether rain on my roof is going to hamper my signal on that day.

Many other people won't be as insistent as I. Given the restrictions, they'll simply conclude that ham is out of the question for them. Did they want the restrictions? No. They didn't make the rules.

I'll wager that a majority of people in my community probably care little about antennas. We wouldn't need an "anything-goes" policy to permit hams to operate here. All we'd need is something sane that lets us put a J-pole on the roof or a vertical on a pole in the backyard. This probably wouldn't concern 90% or more of the people who live in this neighborhood.

So the strict no-antennas policy favors a small minority at the expense of not only anyone in this community who wants to operate a ham station, but at the expense of the broader community, which doesn't get the benifit of all the community service some of these would-be hams would do, or the extra emergency preparedness that would result from having them in the neighborhood and in the city, or the exposure to science concepts that the neighborhood kids would get by interacting with operating hams.

Why don't we all just get the rules changed? Well, the rules themselves have (deliberately) made that a difficult thing to do. I'd sign a peitition, or show up and vote, if it came to that, but it would take more time and resources than I have to bring matters to that point. This isn't a new situation. Throughout history, people have been oppressed under rules and laws that they supposedly had the power to change, but in practical reality, as people who had to work and raise families, this was not really within their power.

In response to your original post, I'd like to point out that children could and did pass the novice exam decades ago when code was a requirement. This is not something new, nor does it reflect the ease of the tests. It reflects the intelligence and hard work of the kids.

I'd also like to point out that it would be difficult to find many hams who would concur that the general or extra exams are easy. Even the current technician seems to require going through a class or several weeks of self-study on average. Since I've been involved in this hobby, I've been impressed not only with the technical knowledge of the people I've met, but also with their persistence. Some people have been generals for years and are still working to try to pass that extra exam. These are intelligent and hard-working people.

Listen on the amateur bands, and what do you hear? Twice in the last month I've heard an emergency responded to when cell-phone communication was infeasible. Responsible hams with solid operating skills managed to get information and relay it to emergency services. Recently I also heard volunteers with well-developed operating skills provide communications for a charity bicycle event to benefit MS.

Daily you hear people check in to nets to ensure that their radios and antenna systems are functioning properly and their operating skills are continually practiced and honed. All this I hear on two-meters FM, which is generally considered the popular "newbie" band.

Contesting provides an environment and incentive to hone skills relating to specific kinds of antenna systems, modulation modes, propagation types, and so forth. This increases the amount of radio expertise in the world--a good thing.

When I was a young child and my father was in the military, stationed in Antarctica, my mom was able to contact him from the US using a phone patch to a local ham station. If not for the equipment and expertise of this ham, such contact would have been out of the question. It's easily conceivable that his or her DX equipment and skills were developed through contesting.

What we have here are not "agreements reached in good faith." It'd be a challenge to find a handful of people in any HOA that had any part whatsoever in negotiating the rules. What we all got was, "You can buy a house here if you want--but no antennas." This is an unreasonable rule when it keeps ham stations from operating in these neighborhoods.

In fact, federal law has already stepped in and overridden the rule for commercial microwave TV antennas, which allows certain companies to do business in the neighborhood, but which arguably does less for the community--either in or out of the neighborhood--than permitting ham stations to have usable antennas.

And, well, the claim that hams "invent nothing" is patently false to anyone who has been in this hobby even a very short time. I keep meeting hams in person who have invented lots of solutions to their station problems, and more broadly, the innovations in radio communications by hams even in the last few years are well documented.

I'm not here to start a battle. I just felt I had a few things to say in response to your post, by way of offering a contrasting viewpoint.

Best regards,

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