Ham (again)

Batman says:

Sooo again on the subject of ham radio operators, which Peach and I both are. Last time I posted about this was about how some hams have no (or little) in the way of manners when it comes to usage. Let me see if I can expound a bit but first let me explain who can do what on a ham radio.

There are three ‘classes’ of operators (the novice class for the most part doesn’t exist anymore)

The hierarchy goes like this from highest to lowest (in the range of frequencies you can legally use)

Amateur Extra

General

Technician

Now Peach and I are Technician class operators (studying to move to General) and as such we are extremely limited on what frequencies we can talk on (although there are proposals to open more up to technicians). We spend 98% of the time on what it known as 2 meter, sometimes we are on ‘simplex’ but it’s mainly line-of-sight so it’s use is limited.

2 meter however, if used through a repeater, can be used to talk all over town and to some extent, neighboring towns. Repeaters, basically take your signal and rebroadcast it so it can be heard farther (in a nutshell) I’m sure the technical geeks will pitch a fit and say it’s more complicated than that…don’t care really…it’s a signal booster, basically. Repeaters are put up by amateur radio clubs mainly, and sometimes by individuals, to be used freely by all (in most areas), and here lies the ‘rub’ so to speak.

Members, not all mind you, but certain few, seem to always be on the repeater, and when I say always, I’m talking pretty much 24/7. If they are not talking to each other, when they hear someone talking they find it necessary to get in on the conversation. Hams are generally social, so at most times this isn’t an issue, but when it’s obviously two family members conversing, the urge to butt in should probably be suppressed. It takes time for some hams to feel comfortable with their new skill set and they are mostly comfortable conversing with close friends or family, not strangers (in my line of work I speak on a radio all the time and for years it was able to be heard on scanners so myself it doesn’t bother).

We as hams are always trying to get more people to become hams, and join the thousands of others around the world. But here lately, the rudeness, the ‘taking over of the repeaters, has tainted some from wanting to participate. This type of usage is not what was intended I’m sure, and I hope for the sake of good radio it doesn’t last.

This type of behavior on basically the only frequency Peach and I can use is to be honest, the only reason we are trying to upgrade to General class. There we have many more ‘bands’ and frequencies to choose from if we need to do more than say ‘hello and I Love’ you to each other.

Now this sounds like I’m unsociable, and that’s not the case at all. I do like talking to others on the radio, I listen to the higher bands I’m not allowed to transmit on all the time, wishing I could talk to that guy in New Zealand or lady in Europe. But there are times I would like to say hi to Peach, see if she needs anything from town while I’m there, without being interrupted by the repeater hogs with hellos and who are you’s, don’t think I’ve ever heard you on here before and such, and if you are an unfamiliar female voice, it’s 50 times worse. Have some decency and radio etiquette at times and met some new voices talk to who they are comfortable with, and eventually they will expand their pool of contacts to maybe include even you.

Anyways, rant over, one day soon we will upgrade and be able to find a frequency where we can talk about the grocery list in peace…. I hope anyways