Priority Inputs

One of the grumbles frequently aired by FMers who have come into ham radio via the two-way communications route is that tot) many base stations take up repeater time and don't let the lower powered mobile stations get a word in. Now and then there is a case where a re a J emergen comes up and long-winded highei powered ops just won't shut up long enough to let a breaker get through with emergency traffic.

Rather than go the route of freezing base stations out of repeaters, perhaps we might think of the situation in terms of needing more repeaters, not less activity on the ones we have. Until all of the two meter and even the 220 MHz repeater channels are full and active, we do have room for repeater expansion.

Emergencies and low powered mobile entry into repeaters can be solved by setting up a second receiver at the repeater site with a priority hookup so it will override the regular base station input channel One reader has gone so far as to suggest that a "national" emergency calling channel be set up which would override all repeaters. We could set aside one channel for strictly emergency traffic input and have ii take over all repeaters in range, but this would require an awful lot of cooperation on the part of the users to keep the hell off that channel except when the emergency arrives. Perhaps that is too much to ask,

COLLINS KAPUT?

Apparently no decision has yet been made by the C ollins management about the future of the amateur radio division Rumors are. ol course persistent that Collins will clo>e down their amateur radio manufacturing

Collins, once leading the industry with new designs for amateur ci\ui\ -ment. seems to have stopped their development about ten years ago at the time of the ARRL petition to the FGC which eventually resulted in the downgrading of most amateur lice nses

This is a far cry from the days when Collins had just brought out the 75A 1 and the 32 Vj and were busy selling the advantages ot sideband to the \ir Force, Old-timers will remember the many flights around flu- world made by Art Collins W0CXX with Mort Kahn W2KR and a handful ot oilier "important" hams made in Air 1 orce planes with Generals Butch Griswald and < urtis LeMay, f liese chaps talked with their small group of friends on the high end of 20m phone, continuing the "private club" type of ham radio so popular on the high end of 75m during the 30*s,

Perhaps this is exaggerated in my mind, but I seem to recall that as part of the effort to sell the Air Force on Collins sideband equipment, their ham gear installed in just about even -

thing General I eMa> hud that moved or was around him - . * home. car. plane, boat . .etc. However the saie was made, it seems to have worked and millions of dollars of Collins gear was bought by the Air Force, or was it billions?

Somehow, though the eqiiipmentis the oldest still being marketed for amateurs, Collins equipment still has prestige. It certainly was fine in its day. The cost of redesigning would be very high now and there seems little likelihood that the new Collins management, strapped for cash, would find it worthwhile to make the investment required to continue to sell in the static sideband ham equipment market. FM is the big one in tcJ7^ami in 11kjl field Collins would be starting almost from scratch and would be up against those little transistor radio makers from Japan,

What will happen to used Collins prices if the factory closes down the dealer setup? This could have serious effects once parts and repairs are hard to come by.

Being practical about it, there seems little possibility that C ollins will continue to make ham equipment. It is >L*d to see another top name in ham radio go.

Old-timers do not have any corner on the market when it comes to grumbling about how bad thingsare in the ham bands I he Nattering Nabobs of Negativism are souring away, bad-mouthing the inconsiderateness on twenty meters, the lids on six, the ba>e stjtions who talk at length over repeaters, and so on and on and on.

Perhaps it is the old psychological mechanism known as projection that they are seeing; It is just possible that the reason they are complaining so bitterly is thai they are faced with themselves at every turn and don't ever see anyone else. That's enough to turn any stomach.

Is there a pat answer to this? An easy solution7

[ think so. The next time you get regaled with sigh^ and groans about what our bands are coining to, suggest (tactfult\ ) that said griper try finding out a bit about the chaps that he talks with the most He could make up a set ol index cards or a fife folder with notes on each regular contact . . - lull name, wife's name, names of children, what all of them do, other hohbies of his and his family. places he has visited. what equipment he has and maybe what he is thinking of getting, notes on any interesting \ urns he lus told, what other ham interests he lias, bands he works,

Such a file will serve several purposes. Getting the information will re sult in some of the most interesting contacts the other fellows have ever hud . . . and they will comment on thiv People like talking about themselves more than an v thin £ else in the world. Your curmudgeon will soon find rhat. once he knows more about the chaps he has been talking with, he will enjoy [lie contacts a lot more. They will be with people, not just call letters.

Can this system fail? Probably, but you'll have to prove it to me by trying it first.

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