Trading freedom for safety

Zendmast Lopik deels in gebruik


Privacy and freedom are constantly traded in for a (often false) sense of security. This has nothing to do with ham radio, you’d probably think, but even our hobby isn’t immune.

Repeaters are only useful if the antennas can be placed high above ground. In the Netherlands we use a number of existing locations, most of which were once used for analog TV and radio. The owners of the towers decided that safety and security will prevail over (safe, terrorist-free) ham radio.

The following systems will be affected:

  • ATV repeater PI6ATV, both analog and digital,
  • 2 meter repeater PI3UTR,
  • D-star repeater PI1UTR,
  • DMR repeater PI1UTR,
  • RX co-location for the 70cm repeater PI2NOS,
  • RX co-location for the 10 meter repeater PI6TEN,
  • Four Hamnet access points and links.

There is a chance that the equipment can be relocated to a lower section of the tower while keeping the antennas on the original altitude. Even in the best case scenario the costs of relocating will exceed the minimal financial reserves – good coax cable is expensive, and we would need a lot of it.

I’ll end with this quote: Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (Benjamin Franklin)

11 comments on “Trading freedom for safety

  1. Freedom at what price ?
    If you sell freedom for imagined security what do you have ?
    Well , you have nothing ! Neither freedom , or security !

    Security has and always will be an illusion , something imagined rather than real .
    Unfortunately most of the sheeple live in Ba Ba land in anyway ..

    You cant reason with unreasonable people !

  2. i assume that this is because we had 2 times fire in 2 towers here in holland recently and has nothing to do with terror risks…

  3. April 1 joke? And if not and last year i understood You don’t do april 1 jokes. It isn ‘t really clear to me why This is Hans? Greetz Steef PD9SW

    Verzonden met mobiele telefoon ________________________________

  4. Here, here!! In America we’re also trading freedom for security. Although I’m opposed, I’m just one person. Eventually, we will be forced into my response now, e.g.: I was taught never back down from a bully, even if you get beaten, stand!

  5. From what I have read at hamnieuws it’s all about the risk of active equipment in the tubular part of the mast. For their big customers it’s ok when there is no active equipment in the upper part, they are used to having all active equipment in the concrete part of the tower and just antenna fields up high. For PI6ATV it is a real problem!

    For once, this seems not to be ‘because terrorism’ but ‘because a repeat of what happened in Smilde is a bad idea’. Although the reports of what happened in IJsselstein that day show a problem with the antenna cables, not with active equipment. But I can imagine it’s impossible to have an automatic fire extinguishing installation in the tubular mast, and therefore fire risks there need to be minimized because the impact is very high.

    • If it’s due to the fire risk I doubt this will be very productive. You’d have to pump more power into those antenna cables to make up for cable losses, increasing the chance of heating up.

      I wonder how they’ll deal with receive attenuation if the TRX will have to be put 100m away? I suppose cable losses on 2m would be OK with very expensive coax but 70cm might start being a problem. And 13cm ATV will be an issue for sure.

  6. I don’t see how this purge of active electronic devices from the tube section of the tower is an impeachment of our privacy. After the fires they just realized that active equipment poses a serious risk to the business continuity or integrity of the tower. Especially with ‘amateur’ equipment. (don’t get me wrong I know it’s all pretty serious equipment you’re running up there but that’s just how they see it probably.)

    Your terrorism claims and stuff like that are just as hard of a shot in the dark. Don’t think they’d try triggering something nasty using a repeater network. Cellular is way easier and more reliable and they know that.

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