Sunday, June 23, 2013

Ham field day

Yesterday was Field Day for hams. It is a day they take their rigs outside.

For me it's a walk in the park because my military rig is designed for outside use as there are few heated dwellings for the troops in time of war.

Yesterday someone made a comment about how the government was getting into everything and looking at what people are doing which is none of their business.

Ham radio is really one of the things that can't be shut down because any ham that knows what he is doing can pick up and go portable.

While the government can legislate it out of business it will have one hell of a time knocking it out of commission when you think about it. A good ham can get a message out and be moving in seconds and catching him is difficult at best.

The government can shut down the internet and cell towers but shutting down hams with rigs isn't all that easy. Every ham with a rig does not need infrastructure because they are self contained radio transceivers.

One of the things that hams had going for them during Hurricane Katrina is that there were other hams that were forwarding information to the people in New Orleans.

While the government was telling people to go to the sports arena there were hams in places like Iowa that saw the news in the mainstream media that the sports arena was NOT the place to go because it was torn up there.

A bunch of smart hams and the people they knew simply made other arrangements and ignored the government plan because they found out it was bogus.

Someone asked me what would happen if they outlawed ham radio and I replied that it would simply mean that the hams would not be restricted to the present bands they use. After all, they stick to the assigned bans because they want to keep their licenses. If you take the licenses away they no longer have to follow the rules.

Of course many will obey the law but many won't. They'll just start setting up mobile pirate stations, transmitting messages and then moving before they can be apprehended.

One of the things most hams do or have done is ECOMM (Emergency communications) drills.

A retired army sergeant and I put a drill together one night and simply scrambled every ham on a website to get a message across the country fro Pittsburgh to a guy in California.

When we scrambled everyone it was an organized zoo and the message got from Pittsburgh to California letter perfect in minutes.

I got it out to New Mexico in a couple of minutes and the New Mexican shot it straight up to Washington State and the Washingtonian shot it down to California. Total time if I recall was about 25 or 30 minutes.

It should be noted that I was working under field conditions.
The part about ham radio that is precious is that every operator with a rig is self supporting, self sustaining and needs nothing from anyone. He is simply has the equipment and skill to go on the air as an individual.

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