Interesting use of ham radio

Discussion in 'Chat' started by W8EJO, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. W8EJO

    W8EJO Member

    For those following the so called Russian collusion story:

    "Why Did Nellie Ohr Suddenly Become a Ham in 2016?
    It is apparent that, between her own professional experience and her marriage to a top DOJ official, she was well aware of the ability of the National Security Agency to intercept and store every communication on the Internet. Did this knowledge have anything to do with her mid-life decision to become a ham radio operator and communicate outside cyberspace?"

    Link to story here:
  2. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator


    I bit off of the Russian point here, but I like the part of the article where he said the below...

    "Unfortunately, the conversations were confined to exchanging names and locations, describing the strength and clarity of the other operator’s signal, and discussing the type of equipment and antenna being used. This never varied."

    "It made no difference whether I was communicating with Great Britain, Alaska, Kwajalein, or across the street. The conversation was always the same, and it became mind-numbingly boring. After high school, I let my ham license lapse and had no further contact with amateur radio until a few years ago, when I met an active operator at a social event."

    The point he made is exactly why I'm not really active on the air with ham radio anymore, or for at least right now. The last 2 or 3 times I transmitted all I did was find myself saying that I'm running a pair of so and so modulating a single etc. Most hams like the AM’er talk about the same mind-numbing things over and over. Who cares about what the person is running, what they did or are doing to it, what antenna they have, what their signal strength is, or what the weather is going to be? When I was talking those last few times I thought to myself “what part of this did I ever enjoy?” I finally realized just how boring and pointless it all was.

    Part of it too was back in the old days you never talked about politics or religion on ham radio. It was just never done. It was like the Cardinal Sin if you did. A perfect example of that was Ozona Bob. Sometime around the early 1990's before Bob died another ham and I had finally figured out the best way to shut him up was to quickly bring up or make a political statement and Bob would disappear for the rest of the night. You know how he was, he’d get started on 3880 and he wouldn’t stop talking for hours and hours, but if you quickly made a political comment he would disappear until the next day. The problem is if you do that today or talk about any kind of world events you usually have CB type hams who will jump into your conversation and try to jam you. It’s really bad here in California with the wacko political views on the low bands like on 75-meters. So the point is, what else is there to talk about? Most hams have such a narrow focus of interest that it’s pointless I think. It's just like with this board, I expanded it to cover other subjects, but most of the ham members here are just not interested.

    As far as the Russian stuff goes, it’s all a big joke. How many times have we tried to or actually did manipulate elections in other countries? We have probably done it more times than the Russians have. What’s currently going on is nothing more than the desperate democrats holding on to something to try and slow Trump down. It’s all they have right now. It’s all being done for political reasons just like when it was done to Bill Clinton back in the 1990’s. The shoe is just on the other foot this time around.
  3. W8EJO

    W8EJO Member

    Obviously there is a lot of rig/ant. talk on the bands but I rarely engage in those humdrum QSO subjects. After the initial exchanges I quickly move to other topics and let the conversation naturally evolve. This can usually be accomplished by asking the other guys home town, profession, university, other hobbies, etc. Usually there will be a mutual interest or experience and soon we will have an interesting discussion going. The only time I'll touch politics or religion is if I sense a shared viewpoint.

    So I prefer to not curse the darkness but rather turn on the light,
  4. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    I'm not sure why anyone like Nellie Ohr would need a ham license to hide communication activity. If someone really wanted to do that then just get a radio and transmit. Unless maybe they were using one of the digital formats and sending lots of data hoping it wouldn't be detected as abnormal if a valid callsign was recognized, but still. Something about that story just doesn't make sense or add up.
  5. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    The thing to also be really careful about with these types of articles though is who is the author? It was George Parry, a former federal and state prosecutor and he could have an agenda. What if he's trying shine a light on ham radio for some reason? Political or even commercial interests maybe?
  6. W8EJO

    W8EJO Member

    I think he is trying to shed light on the leftist cabal within the government and the measures they use to avoid detection.
    The simplest explanation is usually the correct explanation.
  7. W5HRO

    W5HRO Administrator

    That's Occam's razor, but I wouldn't trust anyone that places a big picture of a ricebox at the top of the article then suggests ham radio may have been used for that. What could that lead to with all of the current hype today?

    If you really think about it, the best way for anyone to do what he suggests was done is to just buy a radio and whatever else you need and pick a valid callsign someone else has and do it. Who's going to know or will be the wiser? Just a little research and you could pick the right call and go for it. Why would someone be dumb enough to get a valid license which would officially lead directly to them?