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Re: Internet/Satelite link?

On 6/23/98 11:31 AM BA Merrill (plpath@ucrac1.ucr.edu) wrote:

>I agree with David, in all aspects!  And I don't look at the Internet as
>being part of Amateur Radio either even if a radio is involved at both ends
>of a 'landline internet connection'.  I get the impression that those who
>get excited over the internet for amateur radio interactions never built a
>crystal set and don't have any technical hardware background to speak of.

You are very wrong there. My electronics bench has several thousand 
dollars worth of test equipment, I know how to use it, and do so 
regularly. I built my first radio receiver when I was 7. The thing is, I 
didn't let my imagination stop when I was a pre-teen. I continue to 
embrace advances in communication wherever they come from. I look at each 
and wonder "How can I use this to further the things I'm interested in?"

However, even if your statement were correct, so what? Why does building 
an obsolete technology have any bearing on ham radio in the 21st century? 
Did you built your HT or you mobile rig? If you were on a desert island 
with only palm and banana trees, could you build a radio? Amateur radio 
is about communication, not building crystal receivers. If you demand 
that as a rite of passage, amateur radio WILL die. Most people (including 
hams) just aren't interested in doing that anymore. Lament that if you 
wish, but it is true, deal with it!

When you built your crystal set, did you grow your own wheat, burn it to 
make carbon, and fashion it into your own resistors? Of course not. Yet 
because you bought or scrounged commercial resistors didn't mean that the 
set wasn't homebuilt, did it? Similarly, just because every piece of a 
communications technology is not based on amateur radio does not mean 
that it isn't a system that is useful to amateur radio.

When an NTS message is delivered these days, it is almost always by 
telephone. Does this mean that NTS is not amateur radio???

>You may not want to sit and read 300 names in front of a mike for health &
>safety messages but using a wordprocessing package and packet radio will
>take care of that issue.  Also, those that think cell phones and landlines
>will even be operable during a major disaster had better get some RACES

I have had RACES training, I'm an active member of Monroe County, FL 
RACES. I also lived through hurricane Andrew. I know that what makes hams 
useful in a disaster is their ability to fashion a system out of bits and 
pieces. They key is redundancy. No, the internet is not a tool that 
should be relied upon in an emergency. But neither is anything in ham 
radio, or ham radio iteself. To be useful, a ham needs to understand all 
communications technologies and be able to use any that may be available. 
The internet is most definitely one such tool, and any ham that ignores 
this potential of the internet is doing a disservice to himself and those 
(s)he serves. 

>That internet connection will be the absolutely last thing Ma
>Bell will devote time in bringing back up into operation when the lights 
>go out.
Wrong there. As the internet is more and more important to commercial 
interests, it will get a higher and higher priority in the recovery 
efforts. Ma Bell goes where the money is...

>P.S. Survey says. . . I'm petite, pretty, under 50 and smart too!

Again, I never said all hams fit that mold, only that many did.I dare 
anyone that has been to Dayton deny that! No doubt this list, and AMSAT 
in general has more young and vigorous hams than ham radio in general.  I 
sure wish more fit your description! 

Steve K4HG