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Ham radio?



HAM Radio Lesson?
 
Last week I was asked to accompany a project team of engineers and
managers to a special meeting.  Since we were all going 
en masse in 3 cars through Wash-DC traffic to a site we had never 
been to before, I pulled three miniature HT's from my pocket, one
for each car, so that we could coordinate enroute.
 
I had only worked with this group by phone, so I did not know them
personally.  Standing in the parking lot, when I handed out the radios,
I noticed a hint of a "ho-hum" response... not the "Wow, neat!" response
I expected.
 
Once we were underway, I understood why.  EVERYONE of the other
members of the team had a cell phone in their pocket.  In addition
everyone was carrying a laminated card with everyone's 4 phone
numbers.  Not only did they use them car-to-car, but also coordinating
those who were late and missed the ride, and those who arrived early.
Who needs 1 mile range radios, when you can communicate to anyone,
anywhere?
 
I still don't own a CELL phone,  and am only an engineer, not on the
road much, so I guess I had not realized how pervasive cell phones
have become.  LESSON to me was that you will never impress the public
with an HT anymore.  (Yes, these were not HAM radios, but FRS radios
to be legal for unlicensed use, but the public doesnt know the 
difference or care)...
 
So,  At least THIS week, I was able to stand in the same parking lot and
pull out my Kenwood HT and at just the right time, both send and receive
a packet message via MIR.  But again, ho-hummm...  Anyone can buy a
satellite phone too... And they can use it ANYTIME, not just during
six 5 minute slices a day...
 
Thus, we gotta DO something with HAM radio, not just HAVE one...  One 
idea is that we need more AMSATS that are designed for the mobile, 
portable and remote traveler use.  We are on the road.  Thats when we 
need to communicate (for real or for fun).

de WB4APR, Bob
 



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