Preaching to the Choir – An FCC Scold to the Wrong Team

I wanted to let this silly ARRL and FCC thing simmer a while before pointing out that these folks are “preaching to the choir.”

In case you missed this when they put it out:

Dear ARRL Central Division Member,

I have received a number of inquiries asking why the statement from ARRL HQ titled ” The ARRL on the Purpose of Amateur Radio”
had been sent this afternoon. The online web version can be seen here;

Please take a look at the other news piece that was posted today on the Website. The attached link has the Enforcement Advisory posted by the FCC today, Sunday 17Jan21.
Hopefully this will provide the context for the letter sent today from the ARRL HQ.

73, Kermit Carlson W9XA


Here is a direct link to the original FCC scold –

This whole thing is silly and misses the point that FCC-Licensed and ARRL-affiliated hams should be considered to always be “wearing the white hat.”  Hams=Good Guys, not the problem.

The scold should have reserved for non-licensed activists openly carrying HTs while doing social mischief.  These activists appeared to be using Chinese HT’s and web sources suggest that these HTs were reprogramed to obscure their unlicensed use.

And the licensed ham should have been encouraged to use their capabilities to monitor and if possible record/identify/locate those misusing Amateur and other frequencies.

Our amateur radio community basically self-polices itself for the FCC, largely self-administrates its testing process, and has a century of goodwill working with the government.

Remember that is a government we elect and fund – a government drawn from the people including Radio Amateurs.

It usually is counterproductive to punish, which includes shaming, the innocent.

Wiser would have been to have engaged the Radio Amateur community to assist in solving the problem.

It is very curious that the ARRL rolled-over rather than pushing back and on its own encouraged a positive ham participation in solving the problem.  As a group we directly pay to represent our hobby they fell short of expectations.  It seemed like the ARRL response was mostly about liability reduction than stepping up be a positive influencer.

I think we can do better – so let’s go for it.  Taking cue from the OO (Official Observer) concepts of the past, it is time to monitor and report to the FCC and law enforcement the interlopers.



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4 thoughts on “Preaching to the Choir – An FCC Scold to the Wrong Team

  1. David says:

    Are we even sure the bad guys are using amateur frequencies? A lot of the “Chinese” radios are easily programmed to MURS and FRS. I’ve heard some of these groups are using those radio services. Totally agree Hams are not the problem.

    7 3


  2. k9zw says:

    The FCC doubled down on scolding the vastly law abiding amateur radio community.

    Click to access DA-21-453A1.pdf

    So what is going on that the FCC feels compelled to chastise the law abiding masses?



    SB QST @ ARL $ARLB013
    ARLB013 FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory: Radio Users Again Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

    ZCZC AG13
    QST de W1AW
    ARRL Bulletin 13 ARLB013
    From ARRL Headquarters
    Newington CT April 21, 2021
    To all radio amateurs

    ARLB013 FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory: Radio Users Again Reminded Not to Use Radios in Crimes

    On April 20, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a new Enforcement Advisory, repeating the admonishments contained in a January Advisory that no licensee or user of the Amateur or Personal Radio Services may use any radio equipment in connection with unlawful activities of any nature.

    The Enforcement Advisory can be found online in PDF format at, .

    The Commission specifically cautioned that individuals found to have used radios in connection with any illegal activity are “subject to severe penalties, including significant fines, seizure of the offending equipment, and in some cases, criminal prosecution.”

    In addition, licensees should be aware that illegal operation in any service or band, including completely outside the amateur allocations, could potentially disqualify a person from holding any FCC license in any service, not just the Amateur Service.

    Any amateur observing a suspicious infraction that might be of illegal or criminal nature should report it to their local law enforcement office or the FBI.

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