Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Uneasy Alliance: Hams & SWL

Recently a Ham said to me, “You know, I don’t think anyone has put Hams and SWL together before; at least not to my knowledge. And you have, with HamFanz.”

Yet it seemed to me (5 years ago), to be a marriage made in heaven and the next logical step in the hobby. I have never understood those that cannot recognize that the two ‘hobbies’ are but different sides of the same coin.

The sentiment that Hams and SWL have no business walking on the same ground has come up many times before. Here are some quotes by Hams you might or might not know that have been posted in recent years at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HamFanz :

11.4.05 Bill Houlne wb6bnq
“There is NO MORAL or LEGAL requirement for ANY Amateur radio operator to provide ANY service of ANY kind to ANY party that is listening in ANY incidental manner of ANY sort. So your position that ANY said Amateur radio operator deserves a lashing or is a BUM is totally without ANY merit. The fact that some people provide receivers listening to Amateur radio frequencies in NO WAY infers ANY liability on the part of the unsuspecting Amateur Radio participants.This seems to be a common attitude of non-participating listeners. For some reason they feel they have a right to be included in an Amateurs pursuit of HIS hobby. Clearly, this is errant behavior on the part of the non-participating listener.If the non-participating listener desires to be included in such activities, then they are welcome to study the relevant material necessary and get their own license. This way they can PARTICIPATE in the hobby in any allowed manner as they so chose.”11.4.05 Bart Baily km6rf
“I agree totally that the participants in an ongoing QSO incur no obligation to parse and explain any QSY movements solely for the benefit of SWLers. I can also understand, and to a degree sympathize with theirfrustration at having their vicarious activities thwarted. Having once been a somewhat high profile rag chewer, as you well know, I can state that frequency changes are more often a matter of accommodating the vagaries of propagation and/or curious technical whimsy, rather than any efforts to cloak and obfuscate the content of the conversation.”

5.27.06 Pete Slagle k6xl
“SWLs can listen whenever they want, but, IMHO, that is unrelated to whatmakes ham radio unique and valuable.”

2.8.06 Carl Richardson kb5fjx
“...Well I have to respond to this one, and I want to make something very clear. Amateur Radio Operators are not on the air to entertain SW Listeners...”

What the above opinions have in common (other than being totally self-serving and niggardly) is that they do not take into account the fact that many Hams not only want to be heard, want an audience, but also want their own fans. Many (certainly not all) Hams found their way into Amateur Radio in because of thwarted, cut short, or fantasized broadcasting careers.

Many SWL’s found the world of Amateur Radio because they WANTED to listen to live productions. They craved the drama, and vicarious living that used to be a part of broadcast radio (talk shows?).

A number of these SWL are elderly, ill, disabled, poor, and perhaps even alone. Exciting or boring, there is nothing like that voice from the radio to help you get through the night.

Then there are the SWL’s who are actually licensed Hams, and just do not have the equipment or circumstances to currently be on air.
What many Hams (like those quoted above) do not realize, is that they too, could easily be in the position of being a SWL by any number of common life circumstances.

As one SWL stated recently in an email; "Do you know of any place online to hear 3840 streaming? Do you know where www.smeter.net was getting it from, the URL or IP number? I think it was some HAM in Ogden, UT. www.smeter.net is down and they usually have it. I have MS and I'm in bed a lot and up all night with pills. It's the highlight of my night to hear that crowd. LOL"

I had to reply that I did not. Since Jim Southwick n7js, has decided he has put enough time, money and effort into his online tuner, it is SWL like the one quoted above that suffer, with no choice except to listen to Art Bell w6obb, Pahrump Receiver (I for one, am grateful to him for streaming the audio of 3.678.)

The thing I do not understand is the uncompleted syllogism of 1) Hams like to talk 2) Hams want listeners 3) (uncompleted) Every frequency (Ham) or group streams their audio to listeners.

As one Ham (requesting anonymity) put it: “It really would be nice if someone just did a dedicated streamer for 3.840 (a fifth grader can figure that out although most hams probably can't unfortunately).”

So where ARE the audio streams for 3.740, 3.840, and other frequencies??? HamFanz is still trying to put Hams and SWL’s together!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Titles, Topics & Comments

More and more comments are being 'posted' that have absolutely nothing to do with the TITLE (or 'content' if you do not understand the word TITLE) of the article to which it is being attached.

Such 'comments' will NOT be published. Which is too bad as some are really well thought out and cogent. (And then some aren't!) Since I have no way to contact ANON comment posters, these comments are just left hanging in limbo.

This is a LARGE blog. If what you wish to comment on does not pertain to the stated topic or title of THE CURRENT ARTICLE, then look to the 'links' or 'tags', in all likelihood you will find an appropriate spot for your comment.

Some 'comments' read like a press release! If you have something that you think would be of interest to the readers of The HamFanz Grudge Report, then by all means, email it to: HamFanz@cox.net and it will be evaluated.

Lastly, some of these comments belong in the realm of 'chatter'. In which case, feel free to join the HamFanz Yahoo Group (link is on this page). Where your gossip and chatter will probably find at least one or two other interested folks.

If you post a 'comment' and find it did not get 'posted', (and it is not full of death threats, foul language, or is otherwise unacceptable) in a reasonable amount of time, you might want to try re-posting it, perhaps it did not 'go through'. Then look to one of the above solutions.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Crash and Burn: 3840Hams.net

(The picture posted to http://www.3840hams.net/ got Jim Watkins banned from the site.)

It would seem that Steve Wingate w6txh, has banned what few posters of pictures he had left on his http://www.3840hams.net/ site. This reflects Steve’s constant, under the influence, on air antics. I would be surprised if the site itself will remain up much longer.

It is sad really, as the man (over 40!) is in dire need of help. But he has certainly worn out his welcome on more than one frequency. It is almost unbelievable that now, he is also not wanted when potted and ranting on 3.840, which has had a rep of ‘anything goes’.

I don't think anyone can tolerate Steve Wingate now, except perhaps Billy w6wbj, who perhaps finds too much entertainment in watching Steve crash and burn. And Bill Houlne wb6bnq, who is gratefull for any legitimate on air contact these days.

I knew the site would not last when it was unveiled in December of 2006. It was to be expected with Steve calling the shots and Bill Houlne wb6bnq, as his high-handed ‘enforcer’. Not to mention the basic poor content of the site (see the review http://hamfanz.blogspot.com/2007/02/review-of-3840hamsnet.html in The HamFanz Grudge Report of 2.13.07) But it hasn’t even been a year...

I can only wish that Trish k4ze, whom Steve initially STOLE the idea from, then got her blessing, is sitting back laughing. Perhaps she will even bring HER picture slot site back. (Hey guys, it isn’t easy running a HAM web site!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Power of Bill Crowell w6wbj

Last evening Art Bell w6obb, the lord of the loop, and some of his top loopies, Ben Gardner kd7bcw & Robolon ke7bbx, and others gathered on 3.720 for some very mundane audio checks and chat. Artie magnanimously had the Pahrump Receiver changed to 3.720 so all could hear.

This did not last very long. It only took about 45 minutes for Billy w6wbj, to find them and call “Breaker.” Immediately, everyone left the frequency, after making one excuse or another. Not one acknowledged Billy’s presence. Whereupon Billy and some Ham named ‘Bob’ (I didn’t get his call), had a brief discussion of hiking & biking.

I am no psychologist, but doesn’t the above scenario encourage Billy to repeat the process? Success breeds repetition, yes? And success brings with it power...

Can you not see what glee he must feel when he successfully manipulates you, and runs everyone off? He has accomplished his agenda, what about the rest of you?

I can certainly see not acknowledging him (though I think a ‘Hi Billy’, THEN ignoring him would be more effective). No one should talk to someone they do not want to interact with.

To let him (or anyone) completely shut down a QSO? Isn’t that letting him win? Is such a reaction to Billy’s presence on frequency putting your tails between your legs and running away? Denying that there IS a problem?

Instead of ‘empowering’ Billy (or anyone else), why not take the wind out of his sails? It would take a few times, for sure, because his actions have already been reinforced, over and over again. If you would acknowledge his presence, then reply with ‘no comment’ or some such pre-agreed upon phrase, to any stupid question he may ask, NEVER engage him in a conversation, eventually he would tire of the unsuccessful ‘game’ and go away, unfulfilled.

Yes, I think Billy would continue to ‘try to play the game’, for a long time to come. But it does take more than one person to play! If you all were adamant, the problem would eventually be solved (but then, who would you ‘hate’?).

(Depending on when you read this, audio clips may be available at: http://www.hamfanz.com/Current/Clips.html)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Next Professional Moves for Art Bell w6obb?

It will be Satellite radio, of course! My guess is he has wanted to do this for a long, long time. It would ‘cement’ his standing as a highly rated ‘Talk Show Host’. The only questions are when and what?

The ‘when’ will not be until he bores of playing checkers with his child bride and changing baby diapers. Art does not seem to tolerate ‘retirement’ well, having retired so many times, this is a given.

Will he do a ‘clone’ of Coast-to-Coast AM, or strike off in a new direction when he signs with Satellite? My guess is that he will stick with the ‘paranormal’ but only cover people and topics of HIS choosing, as in his early shows from Vegas. We shall see...

Then there are always ‘cameo’ TV & movie rolls. No doubt, the offers keep rolling in. (Or maybe they do not – now that his true character has emerged.)

Finally, it has been a long time since he has composed a badly written, ghost authored, book. I have been telling him for years that I know what his next book should be, but he has never contacted me! Wonder why? It is moot now, as the content of his next book should be obvious. I just hope that this time he contracts with a better ghost author.

If Art Bell wants to promote (brag) about any or all of the above, or get any valid American input from peers, he will have to get back on Amateur Radio – it just isn’t the same vicariously, though your newest wife, Airyn Bell, or your brother-in-law Carl Richardson kb5fjx.

As for the rest of you Hams and SWL’s, your professional lives might be of interest also if it in some way dovetails into ‘radio’! If so, at least post a comment.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Steve Wingate w6txh, and the FCC (continued)

I doubt that there is anyone who has not seen this (3 emails of this from 3 different folks in my inbox this afternoon).

From: http://www.fcc.gov/eb/AmateurActions/files/WINGA07_07_14_1100.html

Steve Wingate may get a ‘slap on the hand’ from Hollingsworth. Maybe, or perhaps Hollingsworth just did not have anything better to do that day...

Of interest to me would be the 14 (14!!!!) enclosures.

Note that SteveO has to reply within twenty days of receipt, and notice is dated 6.29.07, so he must have gotten it sometime during the week of 4 July.

No wonder SteveO and billy w6wbj have been absent from the bands and emails lately, the accused and his pro-bono attorney are probably holed up somewhere composting (yes, you read correctly, I said COMPOSTING) a response! Hope we get to see that, it ought to be good!

And, is my memory completely gone? It seems to me that the FCC already has an ‘un-enforced’ action against Steve already...



FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Enforcement Bureau Spectrum Enforcement Division 1270 Fairfield Road Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325-7245 CERTIFIED MAIL - RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED June 29, 2007 Steve L. Wingate P. O. Box 6741 2009 Munson Court Eureka, CA 95501 SUBJECT: Amateur Radio license K6TXH; Case #EB-2007-2548 Dear Mr. Wingate: Enclosed are complaints filed against the operation of your Amateur station. The complaints allege lack of station control and deliberate interference. Section 308(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. S: 308(b), gives the Commission the authority to obtain information from applicants and licensees about the operation of their station and their qualifications to remain a licensee. Accordingly, you are requested to respond to this office within 20 days of receipt of this letter addressing in detail each of the complaints. You are directed to support your response with a signed and dated affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and accuracy of the information submitted in your response. To knowingly and willfully make any false statement or conceal any material fact in reply to this inquiry is punishable by fine or imprisonment. See 18 U.S.C. S: 1001; see also 47 C.F.R. S: 1.17 (copy enclosed). Failure to respond appropriately to this letter of inquiry may constitute a violation of the Communications Act and our rules. In an inquiry of this type we are required to notify you that under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. S: 552a(e)(3), the Commission's staff will use all relevant information before it, including information that you disclose in your reply, to determine what, if any, enforcement action is warranted in this matter. Such action may include license revocation, suspension of your operator privileges, or monetary forfeiture (fine). If you wish to review the recordings referenced in the complaints, please contact me at 717-338-2502. Sincerely, W. Riley Hollingsworth Special Counsel Enclosures: 14 cc: FCC Western Regional Director See SBC Communications, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 7589 (2002); Globcom, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 19893, n. 36 (2003), forfeiture ordered, 21 FCC Rcd 4710 (2006); World Communications Satellite Systems, Inc., 19 FCC Rcd 2718 (Enf. Bur. 2004); Donald W. Kaminski, Jr., 18 FCC Rcd 26065 (Enf. Bur. 2003).

Friday, July 13, 2007

Art Bell w6obb, A Charitable Foundation?

Now that artie has ‘paid’ for three Philippine women to be wives of Hams (Carl kb5fjx, artie w6obb, and now Ben kd5bcw), I cannot help but wonder if artie is setting up a charitable foundation of some type?

If so, I wonder if artie is now formally taking applications for this service? (OK, fess up! Who is next?) Has he applied for the proper state and federal credentials? Tax Exemption Status?

Another thought, has N.O.W. contacted him regarding equality of opportunity? I mean, what about FEMALE Hams? Along the same lines, why has artie not sponsored SWL’s needing to find a woman of servitude? I am sure there are a lot of old sicko male pedophiles SWL’s out there; are they not eligible? (And, let’s face facts, a 60 something male marrying a 20 something female IS a pedophile of sorts.)

So in future months, are we going to see a .pdf application for a FREE Philippine wife available on the Coast-to-Coast AM website? Would the requirements be: An uneducated divorced white male who has nothing to offer any woman except a green card, been brown nosing artie for years, and whose only thoughts for a wife and companion are spurious and sexual?

Craig’s List would be a lot cheaper, simpler, and straightforward...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Addendum To: Jim Southwick n7js, Shuts Tuner Down

Would just like to add a couple of things I feel either were not included in the original article, or were not made clear enough (It was written on the ‘fly’).

1) Jim has every right to decided how he spends his time, money, and effort.
2) When you provide a service that folks depend on, it is better to NOT discontinue the service without notice. It is also preferable to set up an alternate if possible.
3) When you are in the ‘public eye’ of ANY circle, expect to take flack on ANY decision.
4) Perhaps if Jim had gotten support in the way of donations, the tuner would still be available. (How many of you have ‘donated’, even ONCE, to Jim’s Tuner during the last five years?)
5) If Jim reincarnates his online tuner (or if anyone else sets one up), I feel that it should be on a subscription only basis (affordable, of course!), and I have told him that many times.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Jim Southwick n7js, Shuts Down Online Tuner

Copied and pasted directly from Jim’s site http://www.jimandleah.com/

After 5 years and much thought and consideration - JimAndLeah's User Controlled Online Tuner is no longer. Due to increasing costs, equipment issues, age of computers (requiring eventual repairs and upgrade) and most of all - time debt, I have made a decision to take things down. I may re-visit the whole thing in the future, but I would like to tackle other learning curves at this time. The online tuner was fun, but I took it about as far as I could take it (including 2 major published articles). I simply don't find joy unless something is progressing and advancing. It is unfortunate that the whole hobby of user controlled online tuners has taken some massive hits as of late. With the demise of DXtuners, a great resource was lost and I am hesitant to throw more water on it. It is the technical aspects, costs, and upkeep that separate these unique mechanisms from mere audio streaming - hence the commitment level is much much greater. It's this aspect that frankly makes them overly abused while being under appreciated. I do want to say however, that I have appreciated those that have supported me over the years. This came in the form of encouragement, links, and financial support. I am grateful. I'm not one to just completely yank the carpet, so my site will still exist and will be a dynamic ever changing medium - depending on my whim. Within the next few days it will be converted to display live weather data from sensors around my home. I will also be streaming live police and fire for all you excitement fanatics. It may not be as entertaining as 75 meters, but it will have to do for now. I may expand this to include other audio streams from those interested in participating and ultimately push it all at my forgotten site - www.hamstreams.com In the meantime, don't forget about www.smeter.net which is probably one of the last (if not the last) site that has a focus on consolidating controllable radio's. I know that was his ultimate goal, and it is my hopes that the future holds more of these vs. mere audio streaming.

Well, it seems that is exactly what Jim has done “yanked the carpet” and added to the demise of both Ham Radio, and Short Wave Listening.

Though I have ‘sensed’ this was coming for a long time, as Jim just hasn’t seemed interested in providing this ‘service’, (and that’s what it was, a service) for quiet a period of time.

I did notice that the above statement is all about ‘Jim’, his costs, his time, his fun. There seemed to be no concern for others, or the effect such a move would have on anyone but himself. Is everyone involved in Ham Radio a clone of narcissistic artie, w6obb?

Wonder how many will be interested in ‘live police and fire’ from Ogden UT? Or weather data from Jim’s home? I guess Jim will...
Should we all just pack it in? (This includes both HAMS/SWL’s many of whom have equipment, but just get poor reception.) Or will there be folks out there who will set up dedicated, live streams of their fav frequencies?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

MORE on artie's w6obb Latest Retirement

Wow, it would seem there is an epidemic of ‘warm fuzzies’ going around.

Twenty-year Premiere Radio Networks veteran Kraig Kitchin announced he’ll leave the network as president/COO IMMEDIATELY (Charlie Rahilly is taking over for him on 7.11.07) and will exit the company later this year. Kitchin cited the desire to focus on “family, friends, and new challenges” as reported in TALKERS MAGAZINE http://www.talkers.com/main/

Rumors have it that Kitchin was involved in padding the ‘ratings’ for some of Premiere Radio’s shows, including arties. Which, supposedly was revealed AFTER Premiere Radio hired Arbitron, and the discrepancies were found.

It does seem to be strange that artie suddenly (rumor has it that he gave Premiere Radio ONE HOUR'S notice) decided to ‘retire’ almost the same day that Kitchin stepped down, or was asked to step down.

Both Kitchin and artie gave almost the same stated reasons for their actions. Artie specifically cited ‘that he had found love’ and wanted to enjoy whatever time he had left with his ‘family’. Did these two men confer and decide what they were going to say?

It would seem that artie has had 'love' and 'family' and has walked away from them many times before. He had love with his first wife, Sachiko Toguchi in the early 1960’s. He had a son, Vincent Pontius. He had a daughter, Lisa Pontius.

He walked away, from 'love' and 'family' leaving them to fend for themselves, according to a Philadelphia Weekly article by Steve Volk published online for the week of July 4-10, 2007 http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/articles/14998

Then there is Art Bell IV, (Scooter) born to artie’s second wife. He walked away from that 'love' and 'family' also. (‘Scooter’ Bell is reportedly living in Las Vegas.).

Now he has AGAIN, walked away from his show, Coast-to-Coast AM, leaving a lot of people (listeners, fans, radio execs) in the lurch. Did he do this for ‘love’, or did he do it because he was implicated in a ‘ratings’ conspiracy, or simply because with much lower ratings, he would be making much less money for his few hours of work per week?

And, As all of us know too well, artie has walked away from his 'life long love' Amateur Radio, seldom being heard on the bands any longer. Dropping people that thought they were his friends like a rock, folks who came running when he needed their help after Ramona Bell died (and that death is still a question in my mind).

Does this sound anything like a man capable of ‘love’? Or does this sound more like an egotistical psychopath? An immoral one at that (or is that redundant?).

Monday, July 02, 2007

Art Bell w6obb, Retires Again

Last night on Coast-to-Coast AM, artie announced his immediate retirement from the popular radio program. I am not sure that anyone actually knows how many times he has done this now, I have certainly lost track.

Yep, he is retiring EXCEPT for ‘fill-in’ shows and ‘specials’ he may be called on to do. (Now I ask, is that retirement?)

This time, his STATED reasons for retiring were (paraphrasing here):
- he has ‘found’ love.
(uhhh, love is NOT turned off and on like a faucet)
- he wants to spend whatever time left that God grants him, with Airyn and Asia
(in other words to keep Airyn on her knees, and I don’t mean in prayer, artie needs to placate her with travel and other un-boring things)
- he is eligible for Social Security
(someone out there needs to find out what Airyn and Asia will be eligible for Social Security wise, as a wife and child)

However, reading between artie’s lines, I hear:
- they needed the medical insurance, but now that the child has been born
- the rumors of LOW weekend ratings may well have been true
- perhaps he proved more of an embarrassment and liability then an asset to Premier Radio
- perhaps artie was ‘asked’ to retire
- artie has lost his Coast-to-Coast AM ‘touch’, for proof, just listen to a couple of his old shows and compare them to current shows. Recent shows sound forced, and seem scripted
- Airyn is leading him around by the uhhh, nose
- artie is in dire need of an antidepressant

While listening to his ‘announcement’ of his ‘immediate retirement from the week end Coast-to -Coast AM, I was struck by a couple of things. First off, I did predict this ‘ending’ weeks ago. Secondly, his reasons were all about HIM. Indeed, in any of his retirements, he did not consider the results of his actions on anyone but HIMSELF. I cannot remember that he ever a voiced a thought about his fans, the show, or its producers or owners, only what artie wanted.

Also during this announcement, artie claims to have a ‘small circle of close friends’. (Are three people a ‘circle’ and do relatives, even if only by marriage, count?) I cannot help but wonder who those would be, (especially if you eliminate those wishing to spend his money) as many of the people who once called him friend are not only disgusted, but also done with him.

But, cheer up folks, all is not lost! Maybe Airyn will enjoy traveling her new country in the death mobile RV! (She does not seem to mind living in Ramona’s house, on Ramona’s furniture, or stepping into Ramona’s life. How very, very sad for her; expect more babies and perhaps a nervous break down for her within years.)

Then too, maybe artie and the other members of the new ‘elite’ group that seems to be forming will show up on 3.720 with more regularity to enlighten and entertain.


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