Friday, July 07, 2006

A first - then listening to bigots!

Driving home this evening, I put on 29MHz FM. The HB9HD repeater on 29.660 was really strong, so after a QSO finished I dropped a call in and was delighted to work Dave, G4SCJ through the box. My first ever 29MHz QSO through a repeater and considering it was using about 3w from the FT817 and mobile antenna, I thought it was pretty decent.

Having concluded the QSO, I listened to the repeater some more. It was pretty much all UK stations using it. A QSO then developed between a gentleman on the South Coast of England and a lady in the East of England. All was going well until the RSGB got mentioned! Well, it seemed that they both had something to complain about. Or at least they thought they did! Goodness me, they had a chip on their shoulders - for reasons that weren't immediately apparent! But they broadcast their prejudices all over Europe! Belonging to the RSGB wasn't the thing for them.

I wondered whether to ask them if they enjoyed using the WARC bands, or perhaps had a 5MHz NOV, used VHF repeaters, perhaps worked DX on 50MHz - ever listened to 136kHz. Perhaps they enjoyed receiving QSLs through the bureau? Perhaps they hadn't been worried about PLT causing the HF bands to be useless.

I resisted the temptation to challenge them! But it was a classic case of someone holding a relatively minor issue against the national society, opting out, not realising, or caring about the essential work that goes on in the background to keep the hobby progressing.

We'd all agree the RSGB is less than perfect. What is perfect? But it's so much better than nothing. Those two amateurs would be lost without it.

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