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HAM radio = Group Comms



> IMHO....if we continue to launch satellites that don't offer much more
> challenge than that of a poor cell phone, and we remain 20 years behind
> in satellite and digital technology,...

Unfortunately, In today's global electronics market place, there is just
no way that we can do anything that is techincally superior to anything
that is in the billion dollar consumer market place..

THe one thing I still see that HAM radio has over all these tinkertoys is
net-style operating where one is participating on the air in a group
communicating.  I notice that even NEXTEL's nationwide walkie talkie
feature charges you on the order of a DOLLAR for everyone more than one
that you add to a "walkie talkie group".  THus to do a morning's commute
would cost you 10's of dollars a day...

I am not being fatalistic, I just feel that trying to impress kids with
more tinkertoys is net-loss game.  Better to focus on what we
do best.  Show the power of a radio group.  Outfit your kids group of
friends with radios (FRS or whatever) so that they can experience the
one-to-all style of communications and it might get them interested.

I had proposed Wednesday nights at 9 PM as the universal FRS night net.
Just tune to channel 1 tone 0 and put out a call.  (Of course you need to
get all the kids in the area to be aware of it...)..  Then when they want
more range, introduce HAM radio.

See my web page:

  http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/frsnight.html

Again, nothing wrong with new gizmos and toys for us to do exciting
things... but lets not overlook the fun of just being in a group of
like-minded individuals that can freely communicate amongst the group.
Thats also why instead of the free-for-alls on the FM birds, I'd much
rather see "net-style" operations on the same FM channel with a purpose...

> Let's build SATs that do something, take pictures of the Earth on demand,
> broadcast pictures of the Galaxy, measure radiation, gasses, population,
> vegetation...the mind's the limit...

IT SURE IS inspirational to the guys that get to dream it up and build it,
but after the first picture, but I'm not so sure that is quite as
inspirational as one might think to someone who just walks up and wants to
push all the buttons...

> Sure we can get pictures of the wildfires in California off the Web or on
> TV....but what if we could receive them ourselves directly, what if we could
> watch a storm closely, live? "see" the Poles?, watch Aurora from above?
>
> The world is getting smaller, in 20 years things that we take for granted
> today will be obsolete...let's reach out with our missions and make them
> important...then the kids will listen......

I think they might rather listen to each other..

Again, not denegrating the original post.  I AGREE WITH  the need to get
on with doing neat things.... I'm just using his post to offer a
flip-side commentary.

 Thanks
 Bob

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