Re: A bit more information about the possible removal of a repeater in Shingletown

Jef - N5JEF

I watched Bob K6UDA's video and share many of the sentiments expressed there--the imperative to plan, prepare, and act to protect ourselves and the expanding circle of interdependent individuals around us, the foolishness of depending upon third-party "authorities" to meet our needs, and the inescapable inefficiencies of bureaucracy, ...

I also watched the reasoned and thoughtful explanation of why there is "no such thing as free rack space", the many internal and external costs involved in building, maintaining, and justifying taxpayer-funded radio towers and vaults, and the unintended consequences that can arise in terms of intermodulation, increased noise floor, site safety and security, and even damage to colocated equipment if such colocation is not well-thought-out and executed.

Both sides make good points.  And there is much work to be done to make things better--two steps forward, one step back.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

But I would like to point out that fighting City Hall (usually) tends to be a losing battle, even though it may be worth fighting.

But let's not forget the very realistic, tangible, near-at-hand, benefits of preparedness in general and communication preparedness in particular.  We can and do use a great number of repeaters that are not housed in government vaults.  Our repeaters can be networked with UHF and microwave links making them _much_ more powerful.  We can prepare portable repeaters (like what we use in Placer County SAR) that can be placed on short notice where they will do the most good during an incident.  And we have powerful HF technology--voice and digital--that can provide reliable regional communications with no need for permanent infrastructure.

I point this out because it's human nature to be offended and ready to fight over offenses by a third party, but also human nature to passively accept a slowly approaching threat, and fail to build, prepare, and practice with what _is_ already available to us.

In other words, why don't we already have highly developed networks between our repeaters?  Why don't we already have a regular HF NVIS net and an NVIS chat group?  Why is it taking so long to get more of our members on digital modes for message-handling?  Why don't we already have a couple portable repeaters ready to go (one VHF, another crossband)?  

And if we really think we need rack space in a vault owned and/or operated by someone else, then why shouldn't we pay for our share or at least make a case for the value being added in that particular case?

As maybe you can tell, the unreasonableness (but reality) of these situations gets me a bit riled up.

For what it's worth,

- Jef  N5JEF

On Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 9:45 AM Jim - N6MED <n6medjim@...> wrote:

There is sooo much more to the initial story ...

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: A bit more information about the possible removal of a repeater in Shingletown
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2019 22:16:49 -0700
From: greg Kruckewitt <kg6sjt@...>


Here is a bit more information about the possible removal of a repeater in Shingletown

Our Section Manager Carol, Milazzo, KP4MD,   contacted Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, Pacific Division Director and he replied:

…This issue arose in Socal 5 to 10 years ago. They have been able to address the issue as follows:
Overall -

The State of California has not made any determination we can find  "that Ham Radio [is] no longer a benefit."What happened is that CAL FIRE has transferred responsibility for its communications sites to its property management department.  That department has the task of evaluating each site, its condition, use and tenants.  If a repeater not known to be associated with the emergency management function of a local jurisdiction is found in a CAL FIRE vault, the default action is to move it out or subject it to commercial rental rates.

Our contact in the California Office of Emergency Services suggests that, if any affected repeater is in any way involved with local emergency or government support activity, they should ask that agency to engage with CAL FIRE concerning the repeater.  If the agency makes the case, there is a good chance that the repeater will be unaffected.

Their advice is not to elevate this to State Legislators or the Governor's office. In Southern California, wherein sites managed by the U.S. Forest Service have required repeater owners to post bonds to cover the dismantling of their sites if they cease operation. Negotiation has resulted in considerable easing of the original requirements and a modification of terms to help mitigate the short-term financial impact on those repeater owners.

Hope this helps.

Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT
Pacific Division Director

Thursday Evening David Goldenberg W0DHG and Jim Aspinwall NO1PC discuss this issue on Ham Radio Now.

HRN 414: There Is No Such Thing As Free Rack Space! 
David Goldenberg W0DHG and Jim Aspinwall NO1PC discuss this week's BIG California ham radio story. Was the repeater kicked out of the CalFire vault, or did the state just decide that it needed to be "official"....



Greg Kruckewitt, KG6SJT
ARRL Sacramento Valley Section 
Section Emergency Coordinator

530-219-0611 cell
530-753-3296 home



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