We Get Comments…

And despite what some people think we publish them all with the exceptions of the white supremacist, racist, homophobic, illiterate, stupid, libellous or repetitive stuff that all sites attract.

BTW if you haven’t seen your comments here check the list above.

Anyway want to bring to your attention the comments received to posts including Peter Gamble’s posted this morning and Dave Hayes, Diane Bruce and Dave Hayes again in reply to Diane. John Bartlett also offered us a guest post on July 17. Thanks to everyone for their wisdom and for sharing them with us.

Here’s a few of my thoughts in brief:

  • I absolutely disagree that money is a deterrent to membership. Dinner out for two with your sweetie costs more than a year’s membership in RAC. (This precludes dinner at Harvey’s but you wouldn’t take your best girl or guy out to a hamburger joint would you?)
  • My membership in Toastmasters International (which I’ve held for 17 years or so) costs three times my RAC membership. But of course I get way more value from Toastmasters and there’s the point. RAC’s value argument is hard to justify.
  • I and a lot of members of my contest club (Contest Club Ontario) put out way more money in draw tickets at the annual BBQ than I pay in RAC dues. Same principle applies: I get way more value from CCO than RAC right now. Sad.
  • I’m buying 200′ of LMR400 which in retail terms could have paid for my RAC membership for five years. I’ll get more use of the cable!
  • ARES people seem to be under the delusion that we can create some sort of universally accepted credentials that will have police waving us through roadblocks.
  • I was a newspaper journalist/photographer and trust me during the early hours of anything when everybody knows nothing then nobody is going anywhere regardless of what card you’re waving around.
  • Even if we could get national or provincial agreement all of the members would have to go through police and security checks. Many won’t submit and some couldn’t pass. That’s just the way it is.
  • Amateur Radio will be called days after the “big” event when ordinary movement of civilians has been re-established and help is needed for the recovery period. We aren’t first responders although we have been the first on the scene (Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 was one our last moments of glory.).
  • What happened at 9/11 when untrained eager volunteers were turned away happened already at Elliot Lake when a self-appointed, self-trained “rescue” squad showed up and were promptly sent packing by the authorities who had to worry about little things like the law, litigation, chains of command, let alone the actual safety of the structure, possible loss of life and the viability of the rescue.
  • Few Amateur Radio operators have the time or inclination to take more than a smattering of formal training. It’s not why they’re in Ham Radio.
  • The Oakville ARES list is a good example. I’m looking at the call list and of the 41 names on the list a third I don’t know, a third are too old and infirm to be of much help (I count myself here) and a third might be capable of creating a half decent radio network at least on two meters. Sorry if this seems harsh but it is what it is and it ain’t pretty.
  • I really like what Peter Gamble says about the state of repair of most club repeaters. Here’s right on here but hand-talkies with home-made antennas up 20′ can provide sufficient coverage locally. 80 meters covers a region. Simplicity is key, complexity cripples.
  • Peter is also right on when it comes to Amateur Radio needs to be seen as a team player. That’s the role of the ARES leadership to establish these connections with the national, provincial, regional and local players.
  • I have my doubts on how well we’re being served here and that’s a big problem and I’m not alone in thinking this way.