28 February 2012

I can't stand "HAM"

I saw the below image today on FB, It's an add for a "Ham radio social network!" You know what really bothers me, the phrase "ham radio".

Historically this phrase was first used as a pejorative by professional radiotelegraph operators to describe unskilled and incompetent amateur operators but today "Ham" radio is more commonly used then "Amateur" radio. For a lot of operators the phrase is embraced, and usually fits because many times good intentioned "Hams" are unskilled and incompetent operators, and the title "Ham" even matches their physical appearance.

You know what else bothers me, "Ham radio operators."

I have heard several time someone in LE say something like, "Are the hams going to be involved with this event?" or, "Can the hams help with traffic control?" and I wince. I know amateur radio can and should be a important part of a community's emergency operations plan but when your Aux Comm team is made up of obese seniors that don't know the difference between ICS and CTCSS they can end up being a disservice to themselves and their community. "Beware of the Ham radio operator," how apt.

Sorry, an HF rig, is not a disaster plan, you are not a cop, you are not first responders, you are not going to be the community's savior, you are a hobbyist that can assist with communications during a local event, until then please stay out of the way until the city calls on you. In the mean time learn how to use your radio, learn about ICS, and stock up on food and water.

No comments:

Post a Comment