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Joined: Sat, Apr 4th 1998, 00:00 Roles: N/A Moderates: N/A

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ARRL QRM'ing Maritime Emergency Net Mar 5th 2012, 00:42 15 11,751 on 24/11/13

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ARRL QRM'ing Maritime Emergency Net WA4YBC on 5/3/12
I have been a ham since 1965. During that time, I have been very proud of the work the ARRL and hams have done to providing public service communications in times of need. The ARRL Contest rules are currently in major conflict with the ARRL mission to serve the public in times of need. The 14.300 MHz frequency is the international marine emergency frequency. This frequency is actively monitored and managed by 4 different Amateur net volunteers. The InterCon Net, the Maritime Mobile Service Net, the Pacific Sea Farers Net, and the USCG Amateur Radio Net. The primary mission of these nets provide health and welfare information for small boats at sea. Typically small boats with limited 12 volt power operate their ham sets barefoot with only a backstay, or long wire antenna. Needless to say, the signals from these small boats can be difficult to copy. On contest weekends, the interference from ARRL Contest Operators makes copying weak signals difficult if not impossible. If a small boat had a major problem, and lives were in danger, the ARRL Contest Operators on or near 14.300 would make hearing their cry for help in an emergency extremely difficult if not impossible. I have always considered hams as professional and courteous, yet many ARRL Contest Operators knowingly operate very close to 14.300 Mhz frequency, and knowingly interfere with net operation, even when politely asked to QSY. If the ARRL wants to support this type of activity, this is in direct contradiction of the ARRL's stated desire to provide public service. It should not be asking too much for the ARRL to exclude contest operators from operating within 5 KHz ether side of 14.300 Mhz. That still leaves a large number of frequencies for use by ARRL Contest operators. I would deeply request help from the ARRL to find a solution to this problem. Malicious interference of ARRL Contest participants on the 14.300 Martitime Net Frequency is not a good way for people to view the ARRL. I would hope the ARRL would not want to be known to many hams as the source for malicious interference on the 14.300 Mhz Maritime Nets, and would not want to be known as the cause for a small boat's cry for help not being heard. If the ARRL is serious about supporting public service on the Amateur Radio Frequencies, the ARRL Contest Operations needs to be brought under control before their actions results in an avoidable maritime tragedy with possible loss of life.

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