California Officials declare Ham Radio no longer a benefit; Demands Ham radio repeater infrastructure to be Removed

Ham Radio

The People’s Republic of California is at it again! Reports are coming in that through unelected state officials, California is trying to sever ties to ham radio repeater owners throughout the state, jeopardizing the lives of millions of Californians who depend on these repeaters  to operate during emergencies.

Last month, repeater operators were sent emails telling them the State would no longer allow them to operate repeaters on public land without paying substantial rental fees. In the letter sent by CAL FIRE, the state claims Ham operators no longer provide a benefit to the state or public safety. They claimed that “constantly changing technological advances” has made Ham radio obsolete during an emergency.

Keep in mind; this was done while the state was shutting power down in 34 of its counties because its infrastructure cannot handle 20-30 mph winds without risking wildfire breakouts throughout the state.

What is a Ham Radio Repeater

An amateur radio repeater system is a two-way radio system that takes weaker or low-level amateur radio signals and retransmits them at a higher level or higher power so that the radio signal can cover longer distances without degradation. It is a vital part of the local emergency communications system, and Ham Radio operators have been using them for decades to provide support during disasters that take out local communication infrastructure.

Why would they remove something that is the last line of defense during a disaster?

What is infuriating here is people are going to die because of this decision. It costs the State of California nothing to allow these repeaters on public land; in fact, Ham Radio Operators pay for the equipment and maintain the equipment at their own cost. Ham Radio operators also make nothing from running these radio repeaters; they do so as a service to the public to help ensure the public’s safety during natural disasters and emergencies.

Here is a good explanation of what’s going on from a Ham Radio operator in California

While paying billions of dollars a year to cater to illegal immigrants and welfare bums, California is now targeting hard-working Ham operators who provide critical and vital Disaster Emergency Communications. These people have absolutely lost their minds!

There is a nationwide effort to Kill Ham Radio

My off the grid ham radio

Even most Hams haven’t taken notice, but in 2012 the federal government launched FirstNet, a public safety nationwide broadband network that many in the government think will make Ham radio operators obsolete. In reality, its nothing more than a $47 Billion Federal Cell Phone Network that itself is already obsolete. In fact, it needs LOTS of infrastructure to function, and it creates multiple, single points of failure.

The real story here is Ham Radio is a threat to the government. We make them look stupid! They spend billions on infrastructure that breaks down, while we can literally take a hundred bucks in equipment, some random wires, and in minutes set up a radio system that can communicate with anyone in the world. Hell, I’ve used my kid’s slinky, some Television Coax Cable, and a solar battery system to build a mobile rig that I’ve used to talk to people around the world — You can check out the Radio Rig Here.

They don’t want the public to realize that we can take care of ourselves, and do a much better and cheaper job doing so!

UPDATE:

Over the last couple of months, a bunch of so-called Ham Radio operators from the ARRL have been trying to debunk the facts of this article. Unfortunately, The American Radio Relay League is full of shit and is hell-bent on not upsetting the FCC or any other government agency.

The truth is the ARRL is about as useless as the NRA when it comes to actually defending the rights of their members. They are only interested in maintaining memberships and fundraising money.

But let’s look at the argument these people and some of the sellout hams are using to try to pretend this didn’t happen in California. They claim that this is a non-story or it is being blown out of proportion because it was a repeater on public land.

FIRST, Public land is OUR land. It’s not the government’s land! And it sure as hell isn’t CAL FIRES land!  

It’s beyond sickening that these ARRL assholes and the hams defending California’s actions have never seemed to have heard the phrase WE THE PEOPLE. It’s amazing how many have allowed the government to become their parents, believing they need the government’s approval for everything.

They are forcing repeater owners off public land by increasing fees to levels that no repeater owner can afford. Land that you and I pay for, land that WE THE PEOPLE pay with our tax dollars

Second, these repeaters that are on “public land” are everywhere. They are the backbone of the communication network in some of these remote areas. Ham Radio would not exist without these public land repeaters. These repeaters, as well as the public land around them, are paid for, managed and usually maintained at great expensive by the repeaters owner.

Third, even in the ARRLs fake investigation basically admits this happened but they say they can’t determine how many repeaters it affected or who was actually affected by these actions– yeah great fucking work ARRL, way to spend that membership money supporting hams! They claim this has all been blown out of proportion, but to the dipshits saying the ARRL said it’s not true – how can it be both not true and blown out of proportion?

And one last thing for the people who keep citing the ARRL article, maybe read the quote where they admit this has been happening in California for years while then again trying to tell you there is nothing to see here and that it’s all being blown out of proportion.

To learn more about Ham Radio:

Shirts of Liberty
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide
Newsletter

20 Comments

  1. About 100 years ago, my grandfather, Hugo Gernsback, best known as the Father of Science Fiction for whom the Hugo Award was named, was instrumental in Amatuer Radio Advocacy in its early days. It was not just a hobby or a good thing for young boys to become involved in, it had a place in public service that has evolved over the years. Ham Radio operators have provided handling message traffic during emergencies as well as providing communications during local events.

    Ham Radio is as American as apple pie. Only in California could such an absolutely insane idea be promulgated by politicians.

  2. That’s the “California Dream?” (a wonderful piece) or do you go to the communist dictatorship so known in YO?
    I wish you better times dear Ham-i from CA. We are with you.
    73 de YO5AJR Miki

  3. While I don’t agree with the politics in California at all, I don’t see the issue. As an owner of multiple towers (and a ham) ,I no longer give away tower space to the amateur community. After vetting them, I’ll lease them space with a concrete signed agreement and possibly a discounted payment. Plus 2 million in liability insurance, and must have a real tower crew do the install. Have you seen some of the cobbled together rats nests that many hams call repeaters? Not to mention all the stuff they store in your building taking up floor space. It’s like most of them try to take over your site as their own. It’s been the experience of multitudes in the industry that hams usually are horrible tenants. That’s not to say there aren’t individuals and clubs that actually engineer a good system. I’ve just ran into way more junk installs than not.

    Image is everything with your landlord. Don’t go I’m with that entitled attitude that, because you’re a ham, the world owes you something.

  4. Do we know if any of these accusations are true? I saw no actual documented reports, only general accusations against the State of California. It could easily be someone trolling us. Don’t let yourself get worked up over undocumented wild ‘reports’ that someone could easily make up and publish. Why didn’t the writer cite specific cases or hams that were affected? Perhaps this story is just that – a made up story.
    By the way, I am a real doctor and a ham and this is the first I’ve heard of this craziness.

  5. Interesting how this post became a shit show about the parties.

    But food for thought if the government is moving against the band bare in mind division among us makes it easier for them.

  6. Victims of socialism. you WILL depend on the government for your every waking need. that’s the onlynway to ensure you keep voting correctly.

  7. That’s funny as hell…CA is and worthless state anyway…maybe the big one will hit and it drop off in the ocean.. nothing but bad shit comes from that state

  8. Oh for fucks sake… the guy in the youtube video is the last person anyone should look to for even a drop of useful amateur radio related information. Hes nothing more a three year licensed whacker with an misconstrued agenda seeking attention for his shitty youtube channel.

  9. Agenda 21/2030 – – “They” don’t want us (anyone) here. Learn about it and you will understand “they” want to drive everyone from the coast, make it all a park in the interest of the endangered species, the marine life, and make the whole shootin’ match a ‘World Heritage Site” a “National Park.” This is also tied to the Green New Deal, to support efforts to combat ‘climate change’, in the name of ‘sustainability’ BS. Back in 2007, I learned about ‘preppers’ and the value of HAM radio. It’s part of why I joined. I wanted to be prepared when the SHTF. Little did I know then I didn’t have to wait for the ‘big one’ – IT’s Happening !! This PG&E blackout, the deterioration of our larger cities is, IMHO, not an accident. I believe it’s by design. Even now they are talking about a typhoid epidemic days, weeks away, and a host of other diseases no one is sufficiently vaccinated for. The Spanish flu or any one of another influenza epidemic could wipe out millions. The pieces are starting to come together. I could go on, AND on. But again, IMHO, the time has come for 51, The State of Jefferson is only one solution, if not in fact, in deed. Ham operators will hopefully come to understand they are now, like or not, on the front lines.

  10. So, some official in an agency of CA sends out notices to some repeater owners that they want to have them pay for the space on public lands, and suddenly everyone comes unglued.

    This is not the State, this is just a bureaucrat, and it’s also just another manifestation of privatization of public land use. But it doesn’t have the weight of law behind it, and it hasn’t yet been challenged in court.

    If I were a repeater owner, I’d get together with others and form a group to sue the State. We must have a couple lawyers in the ham community who’d take this on.

    If not, then I guess it will be left to the complainers to petition, and to enlighten those who still think all we do is “play with radios.”

    As for those who like to pick on California as a knee jerk response, just remember – if it happens in California, it will probably happen where you live, too. Just later.

  11. Your a fool. We are talking about the current California goverment ran by liberal dems. Our president is the absolute best.too bad you dont know a thing about it
    Keep cleaning the Swamps President Trump.recall gavin newsome!

  12. CalFire and Amateur Radio Repeaters
    Posted October 5, 2019

    Section members may have heard reports claiming that “California declares Ham Radio no longer a benefit, severs ties across state” and “CalFire is causing removal of ham radio emergency communications infrastructure from entire State of California.” Our ARRL Pacific Division Director, Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, offers the following facts that explain the issue that has arisen with few amateur repeaters on CalFire premises that have not properly identified their association with local emergency support.

    “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.”

    73, Jim Tiemstra, K6JAT, Pacific Division Director

  13. Looks to me as a subtle move by the right to limit unmonitorable communication. After all, you cannot control the public when there is open access to news. Ham radio has been vital for emergency communications and will continue to be for the forseabale future. FEMA programs integrate ham into the emergency system, acknowledging that people on the ground with a ready made communications system is vital. Other parts of our government, such as the Senate and Executive branches recognize the reality of us being the on scene news casters when suppression is not possible. It’s easy to forget Radio Free Europe, many of us haven’t a clue. Remember, a free society does not fear free and open communication.

  14. Holup.. isn’t letting operators use the public lands free equal socialism?
    asking for operators to pay for hosting repeaters on the land is basically capitalism..

    So the liberal socialist government is being liberal and socialist by being greedy capitalists?

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