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Today I joined the ARRL again...




 
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K1JJ
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"Let's go sailing, Tommy!" - Yaz


« on: February 03, 2020, 01:18:26 PM »

After many years I joined again...

The email below to Bob Allison at the ARRL pretty much tells it all.  I am proud to become a member again after witnessing and participating in the AM Rally success this weekend. The League is walking the AM walk and talking the AM talk.  The ARRL is the best ally AM could have. If you're not a member, please consider joining.

T

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email to Bob Allison, WB1GCM at the ARRL:

Hi Bob -

I want to let you know what a great job you and the people involved in the AM Rally did!  What a success. I was so impressed by the ARRLís overall support for the event that I became a member again. Please tell upper management to keep it going and AMer support for the League will pay big dividends over time.
 
After years of anti-AM sentiment by the ďold guardĒ (now mostly gone)  Iím pleased to see the League embracing the mode again. Itís been several years now of good AM press so you have stood the test of time.

I will be doing some posts encouraging others to renew their memberships as well as talking it up on the airwaves.

BTW, Ed Hare, W1RFI  was my first novice CW contact in 1964. We became buddies back then. Tell him WN1DGK says ďhiĒ  to WN1CYF (The Kid) and that he has done an impressive job as ARRL Lab Mgr over the last 30? years.  Ham Radio has played a big role in many of our lives.

73 and all the best,

Tom Cathey, K1JJ
Marlborough, CT

------------------------------------

February 03, 2020 11:38am CST

Thank you for joining the ARRL!

Membership for Thomas T Cathey (K1JJ)

Your payment of $49.00 has been received.  (xxxxxxxxxxxxxx59)

The transaction confirmation number for your order is: #xxxxxxx6963

Please save this e-mail for your records.
    
225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111-1400 USA
860-594-0200 or Toll-Free 1-888-277-5289
Questions? call: 1-888-277-5289
or e-mail: membership@arrl.org

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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 01:30:52 PM »

Many  things old are being rediscovered by the younger generation. Vinyl music and film cameras have been experiencing an uptick in popularity over the past two years! The scary thing is, that in so many ways, we are now "the old guard" so who is the younger generation suppose to learn from? I can see the AM Rally becoming a larger event. The radio manufacturers need to take notice and start emphasizing a radios AM capability.
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WD8KDG
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 01:40:11 PM »

I'm not that young! Can still remember the ARRL, FCC, & John Johnston.

NEVER!
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K1JJ
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2020, 02:03:51 PM »

I'm not that young! Can still remember the ARRL, FCC, & John Johnston.
NEVER!


Yep, I was at that FCC docket 20777 meeting in the 70's in Dayton.  Don, K4KYV was there too.  Johnny J was hostile to AM like a prosecutor trying to make AMers look foolish and out of touch.    The ARRL was not in our corner either.  

Those were dark days for AM and we almost lost it due to bandwidth restrictions. We could be using 3.5KHz ssb today with AM gone forever.

But somehow AM stayed alive and the enemy was defeated. But it could happen again if we are not well organized and have some Washington clout behind us that believes in AM.

Fortunately, the bands are not crowed like in the past, so the grab for bandwidth is not there as it was. In the 1980's on a Saturday night (before the internet attraction) there was not a single spot to operate due to heavy ssb 3KHz ssb spacing on 75M. Now, we can plop down almost anywhere. In addition the phone bands have been expanded. So bottom line is we will probably live our lives out in peace with no bandwidth threats to AM.

So, we have a choice. We can go it alone and remember how poorly we were treated in the past, (and we were) or move forward and utilize the forces that are now willing to help. I joined again, but it's easy enuff to suspend my membership again if things change. I remain optimistic.

T
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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2020, 02:31:10 PM »

Tom:

I hope you continue to be rewarded. I am a live member and the EMA TC. The ARRL is trying to:

1. Keep our bands
2. Reach youth to keep the service viable
3. Keep QST timely.

There is a lot to enjoy in our hobby/service, and the ARRL is our main advocate.

Dan
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Carl WA1KPD
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2020, 03:50:14 PM »

Bought a $400 Life Membership in 1976, I think the NPV ended up with a payback of 17 years, or 1992. Clearly I have done well and hope to do well from an actuarial measurement too.
My feeling then was they were the only game in town fighting for Ham Radio, and better to be fighting strategy from the inside then to not support our only clear ally.
Welcome back Tom,
Ex (and now) WA1KPD   Grin



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Carl

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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 04:41:21 PM »

40+ years is a long time to hold a grudge, especially when you've outlived your enemies. When we were young, AMer's had to fight some of the old crows at the League. Now, AMer's are some of the old crows at the League. Wink

Savor the win. Victory is ours! Muahahaha!!!
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2020, 05:12:59 PM »

Have been a Ham forever, at least forty years now and have been a member of the ARRL on and off several times, mainly for QST but the last couple years QST has not had anything beyond maybe once or twice a year now that I have been interested in. The Classic Equipment section has been just about the only thing worth reading. Somehow just get the impression that if you are not out there pushing the envelope in the latest digital or buying the new craze like SDR receivers youíre an incomplete Ham, but maybe thatís just me. Assumed they push the newest stuff being they want their advertisers to be happy although I will admit that they did have one vacuum tube project in the past five years that I saw.
I also collect and restore military vehicles. We have a organization MVPA Military Vehicle Preservation Association and do many similar things, we have a national convention, regional get together and are version of Ham Fest where we sell each other parts and vehicles.
We do a different form of public service in taking part in parades and other events like car shows and we also have suppliers that as amazing as it sounds market reproduction or NOS items to the collectors.
Have no issues paying the same amount to them annually because they appear to work, write and head in the same direction I do, just canít say that about the ARRL.
If the ARRL were more interested in the past and vintage equipment I would be more inclined to take part and join again, but somehow I feel they just keep beating the drum for you got to have new or do the public services stuff so unless I see more of a change in their direction I just donít see myself buying back in.
But maybe I never fully understood what Ham radio is or what the majority of modern Hams do?


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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2020, 08:01:38 PM »

I'd like to thank Tom for using himself as an example and suggesting that the ARRL deserves a fresh look by rejoining as a member. It means a lot when someone who has lived through the "dark ages" recognizes when the sun comes back out.

My interaction with the ARRL began recently in 2016 when I was in conversation on 3885kc and a new voice joined the QSO. Tom, the op, mentioned being in Newington. "That's so funny" I commented, "You're in the same town as the ARRL. Are you a member?". QRN and QSB took out much of the response but I did hear him mention that he loved the sound of AM, particularly good quality AM. He eventually signed as W1INF and the QSO continued.

Later that night I received an email from Tom thanking our group for speaking with him as this was his first time back on AM in a while. His email signature read: Tom Gallagher, Chief Executive Officer, ARRL.

Well, it seems that he was very familiar with the ARRL.

We ended up exchanging several emails when he asked about my 1BCG interest. This was the amateur station that sent the first message across the Atlantic during the ARRL's "Transatlantic Tests" event in 1921. I mentioned that I lived 3 miles from where 1BCG was located and was planning a special event, basically me with 100 Watts and a dipole.

Tom asked "How would you like the ARRL to help out?"  I was stunned. He continued "I'd like to put our resources behind this and set up a day-long event there in Greenwich, as close as possible to where 1BCG was, and operate CW, SSB, and AM".

"AM? You want an AM station?" I asked surprised. "Of course" Tom wrote "we can bring down the Johnson Viking Valiant and NC-303 that Joe Walsh (Eagles guitarist) donated to The League. Would that be okay?"

Not only was that event a global success with numerous amateur organizations throughout Europe involved in the anniversary, but it shattered any suspicions I had about the ARRL and AM. This is not to say that the ARRL is completely focused on AM, but instead, they now see it as an equal to every other mode and one that had been improperly treated in the past.

While obvious to us, this is now also obvious to The League. There are countless AM operators who don't want anything to do with the organization based on the past, but with the rapid growth and usage of the mode, it's simply a wise decision to embrace it and try to set the wrongs of past years right.

I have been involved in four AM Rally events, all of which were not only encouraged by the ARRL, but openly supported in numerous ways. Tom Gallagher was directly responsible for the acquisition and conversion of the Gates BC1T broadcast transmitter for use on 75M that is now installed in the ARRL Lab. I have also come to know several key staffers, and from countless conversations, I am convinced that this enthusiasm is not a fluke but the new way of business in Newington.

Many have said that the ARRL isn't perfect but it's our only organized voice in amateur radio. Showing support by joining as a member, and citing a strong interest in AM in an email as Tom K1JJ has done, will help AM stand out as a significant part of both the growth in membership and in amateur radio as a whole.
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KA3EKH
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 11:31:57 AM »

Perhaps the question is in my mind whose interest dose the ARRL represent? And I ask this with no disrespect in any way but in the past when I was a member it appeared to me that they were mainly interested in pushing new equipment, digital modes and driving people to their web site.
If that is the demographic of todayís Ham that only makes sense, I have to work with new technology all day at work, the last thing I want to do is come home and spend time debugging issues with getting a new plug in to work with an existing app.
Possibly I am the issue and not the ARRL in assuming that they should embrace the past more and in that case itís not where I left the ARRL but where the ARRL leaves me.

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ka8gef
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 02:08:49 PM »

Well here is a stark comparison- Two weeks ago (January 18th), I received my December 2019 copy of CQ Magazine. That is two months late. Yesterday, February 4th, I received my January copy of CQ. This morning I received an e-mail from CQ, inviting me to purchase another year's subscription for the paltry sum of just $42.95. That is $42.95 for a magazine. No membership, no support, free technical archives, etc.

BTW the above delays in getting this magazine have been quite the norm for a few years. There is nothing more frustrating than reading contest and special event announcements a month after they have already completed. The only reason that I continued to renew is that I hoped that I (in obviously a very minute way) can somehow do my part in keeping CQ alive.

Many (myself included) complain about the ARRL's strategies, business objectives, QST, ARRL services and support etc. but FWIW, I cannot imagine ham radio without this organization. And yes...knowing that a large number of AM rally/AM enthusiasts' QSL cards soon will be adorning the halls of W!AW's AM station, certainly warms one's heart....

ka8gef
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KE5YTV
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 03:04:46 PM »

I have also been a member on and off over the years. I'm currently not. I love old things. Old coin operated antiques, old cars and yes, old radios. I operate mainly AM and 100% hollow state. To me, the ARRL lost sight of their heritage. I know that technology moves on and so do young people. I find about 5 minutes of interesting material in the typical issue of QST. I would like to see the ARRL spent a little time educating the new Hams on maintaining and using heritage and vintage tube equipment. Maybe recycle some vintage articles on home brewing simple Regen receivers or a MOPA or phone transmitter. There is a lot of pleasure in old vintage radios and AM operating. There is no one more qualified and in a better position for this information. It would be easier for me to shell out $49 a year if the organization was inclusive of my part of the hobby.   
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K1JJ
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2020, 01:48:10 AM »

Interesting comments.

Yes, the League is a business which makes a meager profit. Thank God the market has rallied and brought their net worth up to around $16 million. Fifteen years ago I was worried they might go under during the last mkt sell off.  Still, a 100 year old non-profit should be worth over $1 billion by now.  

They cater to their advertisers and none of them are selling boat anchors or profiting from hams building stuff. So modern technology fills the ads for revenue and articles to encourage new purchases.  After all, they are really a publishing operation.  

I haven't looked at a QST in some time, but I have no expectations to see much of interest. Digital has taken over the world - the League included.

The ARRL is good insurance that ham radio will continue to exist for the rest of my life. $49 a year is a cheap price to pay.  Heck, I send many times that to dog rescue shelters...:-)

Clark, you are a production manager extraordinaire!  Great job and good leadership for this event.

T

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Frank / WA1GFZ says when he's working near high voltage, as a warning he sings this song by Jay and the Americans: "Come a little bit closer, you're my kind of man, so big and so strong, come a little bit closer, I'm all alone and the night is so long."
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« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2020, 10:50:20 AM »

There is ARRL interest in AM and some interest in vacuum tubes. Hands-on articles are in short supply.

A few years ago, a QST article on building a vacuum tube regulated power supply appeared. It seemed well-received. Experimenters wanting to pursue tube projects would certainly appreciate making one at home.

I wrote to the magazine and complimented the vacuum tube article and asked if they would consider an article that was similar to the power supply in the article, but would also act as a series modulator
for a small tube transmitter. The magazine was enthusiastic, invited me to submit such material, and directed me to the author guidelines to write the article properly.

It was about that time I had some work changes going on so I didn't have time to make it and write the article so it was never done. There was no article.

I think this tale reflects one cause behind insufficient interesting classical articles and other specific interests. There can be no articles if none are submitted.

I'm considering joining again for a variety of reasons.
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« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2020, 06:57:01 PM »

  A vacuum tube series mod article in QST - I'd be happy as a pig in poop!  While I've got no illusions about QST ever publishing lengthy, multi-chapter articles on building 813 rigs and such, I could see them printing some smaller articles, like maybe a homebrew power supply or even the occasional "pine board" AM transmitter.
  Even rudimentary articles on vacuum tube theory might entice a technically minded newcomer away from what might otherwise be a lifetime of cheap Chinese HT's and digital modes.
  There will be inertia - the League is irrevocably committed to the "with knowledge abreast of science..." bit; not a bad thing at all if not carried to an extreme that excludes our heritage.
  Anyone remember Wayne Green, of 73 magazine?  I remember him once writing - back in the late 80's I think it was - "Not into Packet?  Shame on you!"
  The league is like any other bureaucracy, private or government: their policies and philosophies change with the winds of internal politics, and right now those winds seem to be in our favor.  To me, holding a grudge based on winds that have long since blown themselves out isn't productive, and only serves to diminish the value of an ally that we truly need.  Like democracy itself, it's not a spectator sport; communicate with the League and make your feelings known.  Nurture the current sprout of AM interest within the league, and it'll bear fruit; ignore it out of bad feelings from the past, and it'll wither.
 
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« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2020, 10:28:58 AM »

Everyone has their own reasons for joining or not joining the ARRL and I respect their decisions. Personally, when they announced about 30 years ago that they had formed an alliance with REACT, I was nauseated. I had suspected for some time that their goal was to convert a once proud technical hobby into another citizens band. To me, theyíve succeeded. Iíve never been able to get over my disgust.

Darrell
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« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2020, 08:00:50 PM »

  There was no "alliance".  The League has several times in the past entered into "Memorandums of Understanding" with public service groups including REACT, Boy Scouts of America, the Civil Air Patrol, and SkyWarn.  If you view anything associated with CB as "nauseating", well that's your thing, but REACT was a fine organization which provided much needed emergency communications and aid to countless people back in the day before cell-phones.  It was REACT who lobbied the FCC to mandate CB channel 9 as an emergency traffic only channel, and this way back before the big "good buddy" CB boom.  REACT itself entered into a Memorandum of Understanding of its own with the American Red Cross.  If you feel that the League has contributed to a general lowering of standards in Amateur Radio, again, that's your thing, but it's got no more to do with REACT than it does with Civil Air Patrol or Boy Scouts of America.


Everyone has their own reasons for joining or not joining the ARRL and I respect their decisions. Personally, when they announced about 30 years ago that they had formed an alliance with REACT, I was nauseated. I had suspected for some time that their goal was to convert a once proud technical hobby into another citizens band. To me, theyíve succeeded. Iíve never been able to get over my disgust.

Darrell
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« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2020, 09:17:06 PM »

REACT still monitors channel 9, but its main operations around here are on commerical UHF and licensed.

If the ham bands are too 'CB-ish', it is the fault of those few hams who provide CB-like and other types of "content" appropriate to their own quality of person. They know better but have little decency or self control. That is only part of the much wider issue of societal degeneracy more than anything having to do with CB or ham radio.
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« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2020, 02:31:10 PM »

There has been article on vintage TUBE gear in nearly every edition of QST for the last 5-10 years. Many of the reviews of modern gear includes some words on how well it worked on AM. There are plenty of articles on antennas, most of which would work for AM. QST is not all digital and new stuff.
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« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2020, 04:23:39 PM »

All very true, the monthly Classic Radio and the 100, 50 and 25 Years ago columns are the only reason I have renewed the subscription over the last five years, but a year or two ago that just was not enough for me to pull the trigger again.
Like I said before, think in my case I was what changed and not the league. Back in the seventies and eighties could not wait to get my hands on the new QST, remember back then there was no internet so all you had was printed material like magazines, books, mailed out stuff like the old yellow sheets and Ham Fest. Today we have this, a forum wherever how specialized your interest is a web page or email reflector exist for you. In the face of this new world can any organization like the ARRL be what it once was? Donít know what the roll of the league will be in the future but somehow donít see how new management software will solve their problem of how to get me to pay up, but then again being just over sixty have to wonder if I have become one of those cheap old so and so that I despised so much in my youth.

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