32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 17, 2013
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Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 11:32:13 -0500 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: CPB Board hears troubling predictions Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <20131216024718.GA3886@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, bill@horneQRM.net says... > The 220 band never enjoyed the popularity of its neighbors at 2 > meters (144 to 148 MHz), and 70 cm (420 to 450 MHz), because almost > all the equipment used by early VHF enthusiasts had been converted > to the ham bands from use in public safety, taxicab, commercial, and > other uses, either in the "VHF High" band (152-172 MHz), or from the > "UHF" bands (450-470 MHz). Since there was no commercial equipment > for 220 MHz, hams had to do a lot of extra work to use it, and that > meant that the band languished for years as a poor relative of the > more popular bands on either side. Indeed - but now at least you have the inexpensive Chinese radios that cover the band quite nicely. I picked up a 1.25m KST V6 for just $30. Of course my VX-7R does 1.25m but because of a spectral purity issue with the PA it's limited to 300mW of power. > Ham radio is trying to redefine its role in the public mind, since > Amateur Radio operators are no longer a major factor in emergency > communications, and the ever-more-hungry mobile service providers > are eyeing the ham bands as the next big thing. Stay tuned. Part of the problem for the mobile service providers is that when push comes to shove their networks simply don't work. That was amply demonstrated not so many month ago with the attack in Boston. People were saying they shut the cell networks down. The truth is the cell networks couldn't handle the traffic. So there is still a role for amateur radio beyond the ragchew. Plus local Emergency Management sort of has a use for us.
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2013 19:36:01 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: CPB Board hears troubling predictions Message-ID: <20131217003601.GA19441@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 11:32:13AM -0500, T wrote: > In article <20131216024718.GA3886@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, > bill@horneQRM.net says... >> Ham radio is trying to redefine its role in the public mind, since >> Amateur Radio operators are no longer a major factor in emergency >> communications, and the ever-more-hungry mobile service providers >> are eyeing the ham bands as the next big thing. Stay tuned. > > Part of the problem for the mobile service providers is that when push > comes to shove their networks simply don't work. That was amply > demonstrated not so many month ago with the attack in Boston. People > were saying they shut the cell networks down. The truth is the cell > networks couldn't handle the traffic. The common carrier networks, i.e., the cellular networks, were never intended to be a substitute for emergency communications. They get overloaded because they're not designed to handle mass-calling events, but even if that were not the case, we need to remember that landline phones weren't designed for it either. A typical digital office is able to deliver dial tone to 50% of subscribers at the same time, but the call routing capability is nowhere near that number. Although some users (such as elected leaders, physicians, and shut-ins) are given priority obtaining dial-tone, the network was never designed for the prioritization and usurpation capabilities that are built-in to the military phone network. > So there is still a role for amateur radio beyond the ragchew. > > Plus local Emergency Management sort of has a use for us. I disagree: the current Incident Response System playbook lumps almost all radiomen into the same "communicator" category, which requires nothing more than an opposable thumb to use the push-to-talk switch. Ham operators, long accustomed to being guaranteed a place in EmCom just because it required equipment and skills not usually present in municipal networks, have found themselves bypassed by the very technologies that they helped to create, such as portable repeater stations, real-time geolocation reporting, and field-programmable radios. I have written on this subject elsewhere, but it bears repeating: during most of the 20th century, Amateur Radio operators were a reserve corps of morse code operators that the military could put into service quickly if a war broke out. When morse code died, so did the hams' privileged position at frequency-allocation conferences. If we Amateurs can't find different - and more effective - ways to justify the frequencies we enjoy, we're headed for a place next to spark transmitters and crystal receiving sets on the museum shelf of history. Bill, W1AC -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) I've been up and down this highway Far as my eyes can see No matter how fast I run I can never seem to get away from me - Jackson Browne
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