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[AMPS] big or small amps, we're all hams

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Subject: [AMPS] big or small amps, we're all hams
From: (Rich Measures)
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:13:05 -0800

>[some snippage here while John mentions the uneven quality of the technical
>information in ARRL publications]
>-----Original Message-----
>From: john merryman  
>Sent: Monday, January 25, 1999 6:03 PM
>Subject: Re: [AMPS] big or small amps, we're all hams
>>There are many other areas like this in the Handbook. CARL THEIR IS A 
>>them how its done.
>Along with some juicy technical tidbits on his web page, Rich Measures
>describes what happened when he tried to straighten out some of the
>perceived deficiencies in the Handbook.
>Haven't you realized YET that one reason the ARRL books are less than
>stellar is
>that all of us keep buying the next edition or the next new book, hoping
>it'll be better?  And the ARRL deliberately shortchanges us, knowing we'll
>keep coming back for more.
>It's NOT a viable solution for the ARRL to do a good job with their
>publications.  First, to get the quality of information we need, they'd have 
to triple
>their staff and pay a living wage for New England to their writers -- which 
>mean a ten-times increase in salary expenses.
>Then, they'd sell each of us ONLY ONE more handbook.  And we'd be set for 
>Come on, how many of you own just one copy of the RCA Radiotron book?  I'll 
>most of you -- and half the copies are older than I am (I'm 41).  OTOH, how
>many ARRL handbooks have you bought new?  I think I've bought 10 new ones, 
>even before I was a ham, and I've owned another 10 editions besides those.
>That represents a big pile-o-cash for the ARRL, year after year.  I
>guarantee they are NOT going to mess up that racket just because a vocal few 
of us
>feel their publications provide substandard information.  And is it 
>Judge for yourself -- surf their web page and look at the errata
>(corrections) for the 1999 Handbook.  And then decide how much it would cost 
to fix the
>two most egregious power supply errors if you built the units and put them
>into service without testing them.  Ouch.  If it didn't include an ambulance
>trip in the bargain.

?  [chortle]   ... ... or the county coroner.   When these and other 
new/improved ARRL Handbook technoblunders were being discussed on the 
Internet, I received a third-party e-mail inquiry, allegedly through a 
friend of the ARRL, asking me if I would be interested in fixing the amps 
chapter of the Handbook.  .  .  .  To me it seemed that either the offer 
was a jovial prank, or, Mark and David were being somewhat less than up 
front, again -- like they were after the protected-critique of the 
"Nearly Perfect Amplifier"  (by one or more of our recognized amplifier 
"experts")  appeared on page 72 of the 9/94 *QST*.  .  Meanwhile, back at 
the ranch, Mark uses low vhf Q parasite suppressors in the  (used to eat 
8877s)  Alpha 77 he bought at an ARRL auction.  .  .  And remember boys 
and girls, David says "it's your League".  Yeah, right.  The laugher is 
that the elected Directors do not direct.  Your vote matters not a jot.   
On the other hand, this reality has the advantage of protecting us from 
hamdom's megalomaniacs.   
>Oh yeah -- I considered working for the ARRL as a technical editor some years
>back, but the difference in cost of living between Connecticut and Texas
>meant that I'd take an equivalent $15,000-a-year pay cut to go there, and 
>make the equivalent of minimum wage in Texas, after expenses.  With that kind 
>pay, is it any wonder they can't hire qualified writers or editorial staff?

?  Amps guys are hard to find.  James 'Rus' Healy was probably the last 
one at HQ when he bailed out.  
>And as Rich what happens when an actual qualified expert offers his services
>on a semi-pro-bono deal.
?   I am not a qualified expert.  I got booted out of college in my third 
year.  .  Some things I know a bit about, some not.  When it's something 
I do not know about, I am usually unstupid enough to open ears before 
mouth. //    At the risk of being boring, my guess is the deal to write 
the amplifier chapter in the Handbook would have come to pass if it were 
not for my writing "The Nearly Perfect Amplifier"  (1/90 QST).  Shortly 
after this article appeared, Dick Erhorn and C. Tom Rauch, Jun. 
mysteriously got themselves appointed as the New copy-editors of the 
manuscript I was writing, unbeknownst to me.  After Erhorn and Rauch told 
the League that there were serious problems with the manuscript, the 
League pulled the plug.  .   And now for the good news.  Amplifier 
builders can read the Handbook And they can read "Amplifiers",   thanks 
to the Internet and an asshole in 6-land who believes the hobby would be 
healthier if  *QST* is not:
 *Of by and for Amateur Radio  advertisers*.   

-  later, Jim


R. L. Measures, 805-386-3734, AG6K,  

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