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Old 01-30-2005, 07:37   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Houston
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Actually, USP, most hams don't mind CBers who follow the rules and regulations. In fact, many very knowledgeable and active hams started as CBers.

What irks amateur radio operators the most is those who modify and/or use their radios in an illegal manner, or who conspire to and buy illegally imported, configured or modified units. Why? Well here are a couple of reasons.

1. Those who run excessive power or use illegal frequencies usually cause major interference to consumers, and, with the increasing dependence of modern society on its electronics, this interference becomes ever more costly in time and productivity. And who gets blamed for the illegal interference? Hams. Why? Because most not involved in the hobby don't know the difference between licensed amateurs employing good amateur practice and the ignorant or malicious illegal radio user. I remember many years ago getting threatened because it was thought that I was interfering with some Sunday afternoon football broadcast, when, after calming the guy down, it was found that not only wasn't my radio on, but that the interference was coming from a friend of his on the next street using an illegally high-powered CB amplifier that was improperly matched to the antenna.

2. Amateurs are just that...amateurs. The word comes from the French, and roughly means one who does something for the love of it, not for any personal, professional or pecuniary gain. True amateurs are genuinely saddened to see people take up precious spectrum space with the profanity, verbal abuse, poor operating technique and illegal activities that seem to proliferate in the 27 MHz band. We realize that not all CBers are that way. Unfortunately, the good guys with their legal 4 watts out are being covered up by the "band bosses" with who-knows-how-much power, with the included unsupressed harmonics.

When Citizen Band first came to be in the 1960s, it was designed as an inexpensive, low-cost method of communications for families and small businesses. I remember when the two taxi companies in the small town I lived in at the time use CB to dispatch their taxis. Then, in the 70s, I believe, there were those that wanted CB opened up to hobby use for the folks who just couldn't get their amateur licenses because it was too hard for them to learn what was necessary to do so. Most amateurs fought the proposal, but lost. And, since it took place at a near peak in the sunspot cycle, and because CB - including illegal operations - had spread to other countries, most administrations were forced to abandon enforcement attempts in the 27 MHz band worldwide, except for the most egregious offenders who were causing interference to other services. (That enforcement, by the way, continues today, even with limited resources.)

You know, with testing for amateur radio being made easier, and the requirements for knowledge of Morse Code being pretty much done away with worldwide (although I will continue to renew my 2nd Class Radiotelegraph - it was too hard to get!), perhaps CB should be cleaned up and returned to its original purpose of a low cost family and business communications system, and remove its "hobby" use from the rules. Of course, since other services have come to the fore because of technology advances such as the Family Radio Service and GMRS, I doubt that this will be done, even if it were remotely feasible.

No, hams have no quarrel with legal CBers, and even help them when they need it. It's those who break the rules that we despise.

Oh, and if you think a corps of trained communicators has no value in these modern times of internet and cell phone, just ask your friends in Indonesia, India and Thailand about the value of amateur radio.
uhlawpup - deep in the heart of Downtown Houston

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