Re: ARRL Recommended new Band Plan

Kevan Nason

Good points Jim.

Although I have been critical of the ARRL in the past, I find it easy to support this plan. The big thing about earlier proposals that I found objectionable was the push for allowing automated traffic handling stations unfettered access to the bands. It is clear to me that expanding the use of those stations is essential to maintaining Amateur Radio's relevance in the modern age, but the word that has recently become the embodiment of evil - compromise -- is needed to satisfy the needs/wants of the ham community. The frequencies available to those types of stations should be limited. This proposal seems to be a good compromise. Encouraging entry level licensee's to upgrade by giving them a taste by expanding HF privileges seems an overall good thing too.

Here's an old curmudgeons viewpoint against expanded HF access though. It's a variation of "A No-Code or Multiple Guess earned license will destroy Ham Radio", which by the way I did not believe to be true back then when those were being discussed. However, I've been listening quite a bit to VHF/UHF FM communications and there truly has been an increase in activities reminiscent of "operating" styles from other radio services in the past couple years. Perhaps this is more of a comment about how society has changed, but the amount of disrespect towards other people and ham radio traditions that I hear on a daily basis (primarily from newer licensees) has risen to the level that I have begun to follow Riley Hollingsworth's advice to exercise the big VFO knob. Only in this case I have begun blocking certain repeaters from my FM radio's scanning list. Sometimes I can't help myself and voice my opinion to them, but usually the response from the other stations is... let's say not very accommodating towards the wishes of others. I am finding myself becoming so disgusted with what I hear that I often turn the 2 meter rig off and retreat to HF or a non-radio activity. I'm afraid that allowing a larger number of less committed people expanded access to the HF bands will only encourage even more poor HF operation than already exists. I envision that happening in the same way that Facebook, Twitter, CNN/MSNBC or Fox News cliques has divided our society. By "less committed" I am not referring to everyone. I am talking about those people did the minimum amount of work necessary to get a license, but not enough work to strain themselves by learning enough to pass a multiple guess General or Extra class test AND that seem to enjoy talking for hours trashing other people rather than encouraging the Amateur Radio principle of promoting good will Greater audience area (HF propagation geographies vs. VHF localized repeater networks) means the few folks who are instigators can band together easier and cause more problems than are already happening. I'm selfish enough to wish that old time values can hold on for a few more years, but it doesn't appear like that is going to happen -- so I am a bit cautious about broad expansion of entry level licensees' HF privileges.

Kevan N4XL

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