Beechlog‎ > ‎Feb 2000‎ > ‎


The on-line magazine of the Burnham Beeches Radio Club.

We checked it out with the building manager, obtained a 'secure' power supply from the hospital backup generator and they even donated us an equipment rack to house our kit in and installed the co-ax. So what's the problem you ask?

With no rules governing the placement and operation of repeaters you'd think that ARES would have jumped at the chance. Well out came the bureaucracy. Who 'owned'  the roof space? Who was going to pay the union to install the equipment? Who was going to pay for the transportation of the stuff from Freds' garage to the site? All of these things and more came out.

So I demonstrated the '/JFDI' principle. Charles N2NOV and I went around to Fred's house on Saturday morning with a hand truck and collected the repeater. We then pushed the truck the mile or so to the Hospital and started to install it into the shack on the roof. By about lunchtime we had the '88' (442.880Mhz) repeater back on air and working. Well what an uproar that caused. Why hadn't the rest of them been informed about the erection party? Why hadn't we got the union involved? Stuff like that.

Well, the shouting went away after about a hour or so and we were in business. Until yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. The repeater went dead on us. We put it down to being in Fred's garage for months and decided that a visit to the hospital was in order to sort it out. Late this afternoon we discovered that there was nothing wrong with the repeater that a good dose of electricity wouldn't cure. That's right, the union had pulled our breaker from the backup generator. It would seem that in this City the 'union' claim all electrical work in a union building. Even down to the connecting of a plug into a socket. It turns out that the guy moaning about 'who will pay the union' is a union member and was out for a fee.

It seems that Everyone is out for a fee in this town. Never have I seen a town more in need of Thatcherism than here. Its funny too. The unions claim to do all this stuff for their members whilst upsetting the employers but actually do nothing but mess them about. They have no real workers rights or privileges or anything that we are familiar with. Employees are not even given a minimum notice period. you could show up for work today and I can fire you on the spot and that'll be the last we
both hear of it. No pay in lieu of notice. Nothing. So what's the point?

Even the unions get involved with radio. What's it all coming to?

We are currently building a packet BBS to replace the W4NBC machine which went when the LON-NY link died. So far we have a computer, a handful of modems, a few radios and an antenna. We need more stuff to get it on air but have recently fallen foul of the self appointed 'packet police' whom are telling us that we MUST use this software and that radio and the other modem or they won't talk to us!

/JFDI !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mark, G7LTT (KC2ENI if they insist)

Mark Phillips
IS Manager (New York)
royalblue financial corporation
212 269 9000

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