Friday, January 17, 2020

Not-Wikipedia: Ham Radio Racists and Loons of the 75 Meter Band

One of the elements of amateur ("ham") radio that isn't really known outside the hobby is that there are certain frequencies that are considered unusable, not because of electromagnetic issues, but because of the ham operators that use it. Over at the Wikipedia Sucks! forum I began a thread on the 147.435 megahertz repeater in Los Angeles that blurred into a discussion of what goes on in the so-called "75 meter band" (3810 kHz-4000 kHz), which is the top portion of the 80 meter band, which begins at 3.500 kilohertz. I don't want to make this more technical than it needs to be, but 75 meters is the part of the band that mid-level ("General class") amateur operators can use for voice communication, most commonly through AM mode or lower sideband, though you can do Morse code throughout all the shortwave bands. What has happened to 75 meters since the 1990s is a degeneration into Citizens' Band (11 meters) style behavior, with jamming, operating without stating FCC-given station call letters, cursing, and the occasional racial epithet. Some of this stuff has to be heard to be believed.

3840 kHz is the ruins of a former Art Bell hangout (I think) that existed at 3845. This is where William Crowell holds court with a number of less-than-stellar operators, all of them Amateur Extras, which means (in America) that they are the top level of amateur radio - they passed all three of the multiple choice tests and they have years of experience. Crowell himself was an Advanced operator (a grandfathered-in sub-Amateur Extra level) when former FCC ham radio overseer Riley Hollingsworth locked Crowell's license in 2007 between his old callsign N6AYJ and the vanity callsign W6WBJ, hoping that he would go away after causing years of issues at the Art Bell frequency. Did I mention that Crowell is an ex-lawyer? So he should know that using the W6WBJ callsign for a decade and counting while jamming the three-nights-a-week Western Amateur Radio Friendship Association (WARFA) net all because Moody T. Law (WQ6I) is involved with WARFA (and Law had been an on-air associate of Art Bell for a number of years) - that such behavior would look pretty awful in a court of law. If Mr. Law were to resign from WARFA, the jamming on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays might end....or not, Crowell has nowhere else to go, he has spent a decade-plus jamming this one ham radio net.

Crowell talks to a number of people on 3840, many of them with long histories of similar behavior...

(post under construction.)