W4H Sticky

W4H - 2nd Anniversary of the 470 Amateur Radio Group
Start Date: November 1, 2009
End Date: November 15, 2009
Frequencies:Voice - 24.450, 14.260, 7.260, 3.860
PSK31 - 14.070, 7.070.
QSL Info: Note the amateur's name and send QSL to the call that is working the W4H event. For example if you work me as W4H I will also give you my home call and tell you to QSL to me AJ4IJ.
More Info: The 470 Amateur Radio Group website

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Save the Mt. Mitchell Repeaters!!

This is an outcry to the amateur radio community, even to those not in this area and even other parts of the world.

The Western Carolina Amateur Radio Society needs your assistance.

They have been asked to remove the multiple repeaters (53.63, 145.190, 224.54, 442.225, 443.600) from the Mt. Mitchell location by July 31, 2009. The reason for this is quite stunning.

I quote... from the letter I received:

"The only explanation given was that Amateur Radio was outdated technology and it no longer fit with the direction the station was going and that the only equipment that will be permitted would be FBI, CIA or Homeland Security UNLESS, they wanted to pay $1,000 per month per antenna at the site."

**Could someone please explain how radio waves are old technology?!?**

I'm not going to reinvent the wheel here, so you can read about this on this forum:

http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php?t=206595

And I'll add part of the letter I received at the end of this post. It's too large to add it all really. I'll post the important parts.

These repeaters have been in operation since 1982. They have an AMAZING coverage, with the 2 meter repeater being the highest repeater in Eastern America, and located specifically on Clingman's Peak. I don't think I've ever tuned into the 2 meter repeater and not heard someone.

I just wanted to pass it along. You can help, possibly, by public outcry. Be courteous, and email Mr. Franklin Graham by his secretary, here: rwinkler@samaritan.org

He's not the cause of this, so don't be rude. He's quite possibly the only person with any pull on the subject.

Thank you, all of you, for assisting.

Here's the letter I received:

Ladies & Gentleman,

There have been a lot of phone calls and emails today regarding the pending demise of the Mt. Mitchell repeaters.
Some of you may be hearing this for the 1st time.
Let me summarize the facts and then suggest some action items for everyone.

1. To recap, regarding the amateur radio repeaters on Clingman's Peak (Mt Mitchell), WMIT General Manager, Alice Knighten has informed Ken Woodard, WA4BVW to..."Please plan to remove all of your equipment from the site and return the access keys to our office by July 31, 2009."

2. Randy Johnston, KE4RQL who maintains the 3 WA4BVW repeaters and Jimmy Johnson, K4YR owner of 2 other repeaters located there have attempted to discuss the matter with Ms. Knighten. Her decision seems irreversible and there is nothing to discuss about the issue except to remove the repeaters.

3. I have spoken with Randy and Jimmy and they are appreciative of any assistance the amateur community can bring to bear to reverse this decision and have requested WCARS take a lead in coordinating assistance. We have the support of NWS, SKYWARN, ARRL and WCARS and I believe EOC managers.

From my conversations today, the consensus seems to be:
1. Find an alternative site with the Forest Service on Clingman's Peak. No guarantees this is possible and would be Plan B.
2. Generate enough attention to this issue with the people who may be able to appreciate the value of amateur radio on Mt. Mitchell and reverse this decision.

We think Franklin Graham is the person who can resolve this issue.
Jennifer Mauney, KC4LWX has obtained the contact information for Franklin Graham's executive secretary who screens his email. She spoke with her today about this issue and believes that he is not aware of this decision, and that we should contact him.

We need County EOC directors, ARRL representatives, SKYWARN representatives, NWS representatives and Amateur Radio Affiliated Club Officers to respond. Anyone with or without adjectives after their name needs to contact Franklin Graham.

I have attached a letter that you might consider using as a template to send. However, nothing will substitute for your own words.
Please keep your communication professional and to the point. There are no personalities in this issue. Simply a great deal of lost value to the amateur community if these repeaters go away. Lets keep that our message.

Time is of the utmost importance.

Dean Blair ~ K2JB
WCARS

2 comments:

TandR said...

I've sent my email in support of keeping the Mt. Mitchell repeaters on the air. I sent it to Mr. Graham as well as CC'd Ms. Knighten on it as well. Her email in case you or anyone wants it is: aknighten@brb.org

73 de AJ4JD

goody said...

Obviously the comment about amateur radio being outdated technology is ignorant and wrong, but the $1K per month rent at a tower site is unfortunately a reality that many repeater owners are going to have to contend with in the future. Ever since the cellular companies started selling off their tower assets in the late 90s, tower collocation has become a big business. There are now about four large tower collocation companies in the US and numerous regional players. Even the "mom and pop" companies who own a few little towers and were happy doing free collocation for years learned that they can get big bucks from cellular and PCS companies wanting to rent space, so prices have gone up there as well.

73
Goody
K3NG

Scavenger Hunt Sticky

Thanks to all for helping me with the Scavenger Hunt!