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!


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

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. Many Counties work directly with amateur operators for emergency comms. Often their sites are much better than state sites. Hopefully this order will not impact this relationship.

  2. All this talk comes down to one inescapable conclusion.
    Eventually California will figure out this mistake and ask us back.
    Our obvious answer is to charge by the month!

  3. Gavin Newsom and his lackeys are mostly a bunch of booger eating morons, but they were elected by the voters in the People’s Republic of California and those people get the government they deserve.

  4. I have been an amateur radio operator since 1977. I hold an amateur advanced license and am proud of it. I live in Maine (another state going to hell because of the new liberal governor), I have supplied emergency comms during the blizzard of 78, several severe winter storms, hospital to hospital comms during Y2K, and not to forget the last major ice storm that shut down most of the northeast. I personally provided communications equipment for the local fire department when their generator spiked and took out their base radio as well as their power supply to it. I did (and do) this as a public service at my own cost. I am just a regular person, a working stiff so to speak. I have the ability to communicate world wide as well as locally on hf,vhf, uhf and shf . It is true that I no longer can calculate the resonance of a rlc ckt off the top of my head, but I know where to find the formula and own a calculator so I can figure out the answer with a little effort. And yes, I am proud of my Advanced License and will keep it till the day I die… and be warned, I have the ability to locate and target any airborne object overflying my property and have the ability to bring it down if it poses a threat to my property or my family. I have no love of drones as they invade the privacy of private citizens
    and should be outlawed…that is just how I feel about them. am not a prepper but I do have a six month supply of food if needed and yes, I own a few firearms for hunting and as a last resort defense. I feel saddened about the loss of more and more of our freedoms through acts like “The Patriot Act” etc. I own copies of the Declaration of Independence as well as The Constitution and have read and understand them. I believe it was Ben Franklin that stated “If an individual gives up personal freedom for security then he deserves neither.” We as a free people, need to hold accountable the very people that govern us and our affairs. Remember all public officials whether elected or not, work for us . We are their employers and can fire them for irresponsible or poor job performance. It is time we the people spoke up at the town meeting or ballet box and hold all of them accountable for their actions. It is time to not be so apathetic. To quote a cowboy comedian , ” We don’t get the government we pay for but we get the government we deserve.” My call is WB1GFF


  6. As long as the so called systems that are being implemented rely on internet they will not be reliable. Ham radio will allow point to point comms, propagation being favorable that is.

  7. How is it obsolete? It’s utilizing electro-magnetic frequencies which enable “joe public” to communicate vital information across great distances. What do they want us to use a chat service to send a text back and forth? I would have more respect if Cal Fire just “told” us they want us dead or living elsewhere (a la Paris, California) instead of the silly reason they gave. The repeater is on supposedly on “public” land and not “private”; wouldn’t logic dictate that the land belongs to the “pubic/state” and shouldn’t the public have a vote on whether or not they deem the repeaters important; after all, we do pay a state income tax, therefore, they are using our dollars against us. . How can “Cal Fire” make that decision. They tell the public to evacuate and then they let “it” burn.

  8. From: Son of Silent Key W6NBD
    My Dad, Malcolm “MAC” Parks got his Amateur “Ham” Radio License in 1935, when he was 19 years old. He became one of the fastest Morse Code senders and receivers in the U.S. During WWII he enlisted in the Army and was assigned to the Rado Relay Division, and stationed in the Yukon near the Aleutian Islands. He was the main man assigned to set-up a wireless radio relay system between the Yukon and the lower 48 States. He would intercept Japanese Morse Code transmissions and relay them to the “lower 48” for interpretation. After the war he established the San Mateo County, CA Emergency Radio Relay System (made-up of “Ham Radio Operators” they established, and conducted practice simulated catastrophic disaster radio relay system, coordinating emergency needs services to various parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, in the event of a major catastrophic disaster that shut-down all radio transmissions, other than wireless “Ham Amateur wireless radio” transmissions. He was also the main man responsible for establishing the “Alaskan Catastrophic Radio Relay System” (which he was awarded a “Commendation of Thanks” from the Alaska Governor. That “Alaskan Catastrophic Radio Relay System” is still used as the “Model” for emergency radio relay systems in any and all catastrophic disasters that happen worldwide. Many lives have been saved as the result of Amateur “Ham” Radio operators using the Catastrophic Emergency Radio Relay System, Mac Parks developed, to coordinate emergency help to the locations needed when all other radio communications was disabled. Whoever made the decisions described in this article have their heads up-their-ass…

  9. I guess the only thing left to do is to approximate a cost to the state of Ca for services rendered to the citizens of the state when the time comes that the only communications in or out to a devastated area will be ham hf.

  10. *sigh* well, between the telecommunications industry and blockheaded bureaucrats and politicians, Ham radio is getting pounded. Now, I have experienced firsthand what a disaster can bring to the various systems involved. cell phone networks will not be able to handle the load, even if it’s only text (sms). Most of the emergency backup systems have power for at most 7 days and in some areas, it will take a lot longer than that to get services back.

    Take for example the 1989 October Oakland bay quake. It left all the Bay Area in a shambles and emergency services were so overloaded that those of us trapped at the stadium had no one but ourselves to depend on for rescue. I should know, I was trapped in that stadium for a full 2 days and being blind on top of it didn’t help either. btw, this was 3 years before I got my ham ticket. My only communications was with a CB Walky-talky. It was the only way to get a message out to let relatives know I was OK. Between me and the 50 or so hams in the stadium those few days, we were kept very busy. I can just imagine what it’s going to be like if the cascadia subduction zone cuts loose. Oh, and what about all of those people who are without power right now and having to deal with 7 active fires? no power pretty much means no access to services.

    btw, my call is n7zzt and I am active in some of the local emergency communications activities here in arizona during much of the year. Not too shabby for a blind ham, eh?


  11. This comment thread is amazingly bad; loaded with stupid politics. The only thing that matters: convincing the CA government to reverse this decision. Question: how? I live in WA now. State loves HAM radios.

  12. Most citizens of the USA refuse to accept the fact that the communist party opened their primary office in New York City in 1872. The attempt to put down the communist party in the 1950’s failed due to the many communists in high the US government officers shut down the investigations and made the investigators look like fools. The communists want to abolish the 1st article of the bill of rights along with the entire bill of rights which is ratified unchangeable law! Banning public radio communications is high on their list. Don’t listen to the idiotic nay Sayers.

  13. I think they should FEMA first. As I recall amateur radio is their asset in a emergency? I don’t think FEDs will tolerate CA’s messing with their assets.

  14. I have had a sad feeling 90’s that our wonderful hobby just couldn’t keep up with modern sophisticated technology. We simple cannot take our radios into a disaster and keep up with the massive amount of information needed. I hope we can continue to be of service. I hope that volunteerism will not pass on, but hold out hope that some need will continue.

  15. So as the telephone lines fail due to burning poles, the fiber optics lines melt due to heat it will be the commercial media outlets burdened with the responsibility to maintain com between affected areas and control centers. Nice…. ” Fire moving up the ? Canyon towards YOU, but FIRST a message from our sponsors…. I wonder what the price will be for advertising as I have a TEXAS Fire Ins. co. I would like to offer in these times of need… If i need and absurd thing to snicker at, I can ALWAYS look to California!! Good Going Boneheads…

  16. Perhaps a remedial punctuation course at your local Middle School will help you express yourself a little clearer. Meanwhile you sound babbling incoherent.

  17. I was in California during these recent fires.
    They cut all power BEFORE the fire started. There was no internet, no cellphone, no warning at all that there was a fire and it was on its way.

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