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Sins of our brothers (was Query, please)



Fellow sat ops,

I don't think too many hams will touch this one.  I will.  Many are
afraid they will be flamed or told they've sold out.  And what would
they be afraid of?  Zealots.

The sins of our brothers are many, and varied.  As with any cross
section of the human race, hams have selective morality.  But, given a
cause, a very vocal, minority element of the ham community can become
zealots.  And given the technical knowledge many possess, can even
become something akin to high tech terrorists in their zealotry. 
Witness some of the actions called for by SOME operators, on THIS
reflector, in response to the Swatch debacle.  Mail bombs, intentional
jamming, server tie ups, spam, we saw it all folks.  Hams acting in a
most uncivilized manner.

Why do I say we have selective morality?  Well, we do.  

Which one of us protested when the previous Sputnik model was tossed out
the window of the MIR?  It carried, by some zealots definition, third
party traffic.  OK, fairly benign.  I'll give another example.

Which one of us would not have talked back to the MIR cosmonauts before
Jean-Pierre arrived aboard the bus?  We ALL knew neither of the
cosmonauts had ham tickets, but we looked the other way.  Would we talk
to a pirate on our local repeater?

How many operators, at home, at schools, and at very public demos
anxiously awaited the next pass of MIR so they could copy the SSTV
images?  ILLEGAL images.  Illegal transmissions on the 2 meter ham
band.  Illegal transmissions by unlicensed operators.  It is not within
the jurisdiction of any sovereign country to supersede the ITU in this
regard.  There MUST be a licensed control operator.  I didn't complain. 
Neither did you.  We ALL waited for the next pass, and were silently
miffed if the SSTV transmitter was silent.

Many analogies were drawn.  Many comparisons were made.  Threats were
made.  Chaos reigned.  The Swatch debacle will go down in ham history as
a victory, but in the public eye as a dark spot on amateur radio.  

Restraint, diplomacy, kindness and reason should be the bellwether of
ham radio.  Instead, we showed the public just how zealous we can
become.


> "Michael P. Olbrisch" wrote:
> 
>         He said that he could not see what the problem with the
> SWATCH satellite was...[snip]  His answer was "It didn't seem to
> bother hams in the past" How so I asked.  He used Uosat-11 as his
> example.  As he says, itwas built by SSTL, a commercial company.  It
> collects data that is"available" to hams, but not directed primarily
> at hams.  It has no uplink for hams to talk to it, but its downlink
> is in the ham bands.  He also assured me that it was not the only
> one, just his example.
 
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