Clash between Chasers and Spotters

Apr 10, 2008
387
1
5
61
Wisconsin
www.proalert.us
Sheez - I forgot who I was replying to! I did make a casual check with MKX and they do accept mobile spotter reports, so check with your supervisor again and he'll set you straight.

2) I did ask a lawyer. I'm married to one. She says no liability, so the burden is on you to back up what you said.

3) I read it again. It still doesn't refer to mobile spotters. Could you put it in italics for people like me? Or are you making that up too?

I never said KMKX did not take reports from mobile spotters or even chasers. Please show me where I said that about KMKX?

Rusty does oversee SWARA which is the group of hams running the radios at KMKX. Did you ask them about that?

As for liability if someone directs a spotter or chaser into a dangerous situation and they get hurt or killed their is a cause for liability. As per our spotter group legal adviser.

What did you mean by "Sheez - I forgot who I was replying to!"?
Can't you keep things civil?

Tim
 
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Mar 23, 2009
226
10
11
Ypsilanti, MI
Can we please stop that quote from being trotted out in any discussion even remotely related to chasing and mobile spotting? What do you expect the NWS to say? "Please, everyone go out and try to drive into a tornado... FOR SCIENCE!"
As long as they don't say "Please, everyone go out and try to drive into a tornado, and quit calling us..."
 

J Tyler

EF3
Mar 6, 2010
247
9
11
Dallas TX/Born & Raised in OK
My wife and I have been very fortunate. The spotter net out of Little Rock treated us like family when we went over there last year. All the nets we found in Oklahoma, the same thing, as well as when we would work directly with the Ft Worth NWS office when we would be out rural (no net) and they would work with us directly.

BUT, I know exactly what the OP is talking about. Old Man with A Little Power Syndrome. I think it is pathetic that people like him are willing to put the publics life in danger because he is a petty jerk off. The fact is.....Neither HE, nor the spotter net *ASKED YOU* to go chasing a tornado. The FACT is....YOU chose to put yourself where you are, and YOU are offering the information on what you see. So, I wonder.....If you called in that a wedge tornado was on the ground heading directly towards a daycare center and baby seal hospital, WOULD HE REALLY IGNORE YOUR REPORT? Of course not.

I say, make his life miserable. Write a carefully written letter.
 

J Holder

EF2
Mar 30, 2005
129
9
6
Osage city, KS
Mobile spotting and chasing are two entirely different things. I don't spot from my back yard, I don't have a good view. If I'm not going out to chase, I have a spot that I go to where I sit and watch and take pictures. There's a lake right there so I occasionally go fishing too. That hardly constitutes chasing. When I check into the net, it's as KD0TAZ MOBILE. I have never been told that my reports were not welcome because I am MOBILE.

I assume this is the Topeka office we're talking about. They are one that I haven't received a reply about their ham program, so I can't give you anything useful except that their WCM is Chad.Omitt (at) noaaDOTgov. Did you happen to get the NCO's call?
I'm an assistant EC for Zone Alpha-One ARES, which covers Shawnee (Topeka) and Wabaunsee counties. What kind of information are you looking for? I can tell you we will send volunteers into the field and position them as needed if we have the available folks to do so. The only tiem we won't do this is at night, although I've been known to follow behind storms warned via radar in an attempt to find damage, dmage paths, debris hitting power lines, etc.

I believe the OP was referring to Pleasant Hill as they were looking for Leavenworth county information. IIRC there are multiple Skywarn/ARES/RACES groups in the KC area that run their own operation and relay reports to NWS Pleasant Hill via the 82 machine over there. Every group has a different way of running their show in their county and I would suspect that being a chaser he's running around across several separate Skywarn areas of operation, each with its own protocol.
 
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J Holder

EF2
Mar 30, 2005
129
9
6
Osage city, KS
So I went chasing today and we have a local net that has a station at the local NWS office. Every time we have an event near my home town I check in and I pretty much get chastised every time. The net operator always tells me "This net doesn't send people out, go find another net that does"

WTF? I'm 23 and he talks to me like I'm a kid. Who cares if I'm mobile! I still consider it spotting if I stay within my City Limits and when I go out of the City then its chasing.

This has happened several times and I really don't know what to make of it. I like the repeater and the net because the net talks directly to the NWS office but I feel like I'm being pushed away.

What should I do?
Brian,

I haven't kept up with how the KC area runs Skywarn or know which area you're calling from, but I'd get a hold of Brian Short (KC0BS) and talk to him. IIRC he's the EC for Johnson county, KS and of anyone in the area could tell you the lay of the land, as it were. Every county runs a different net and each NCS relays reports to NWS Pleasant Hill via the 82 machine, last I knew. Some will send folks out, some won't.
 
Reading the posts here, I'm wondering if there is any reason to equip my vehicle with a 2-meter radio other than to run the risk of stepping on the toes of some NCO's kingdom. Comments about Spotter Network, etc., taking the place of the traditional ham radio nets, etc., make me wonder if its worth shelling out the bucks for a radio and the time and effort to get a license.
 
Apr 10, 2008
387
1
5
61
Wisconsin
www.proalert.us
Reading the posts here, I'm wondering if there is any reason to equip my vehicle with a 2-meter radio other than to run the risk of stepping on the toes of some NCO's kingdom. Comments about Spotter Network, etc., taking the place of the traditional ham radio nets, etc., make me wonder if its worth shelling out the bucks for a radio and the time and effort to get a license.
Don't let one persons bad experience put you off. Check with your local spotter group and the local WFO to see how they handle things.
I also recommend a dual band, UHF/VHF. It just gives you more options.

The more tools you have available the better.

Tim
 
Apr 1, 2010
157
0
5
Kansas City Area
Thanks again for the support. I'm going to have to contact some of the local operators that people have recommended. I could be completely in the wrong. I just feel like if a net operates and has a radioman inside the NWS office they should allow chasers. But that is my personal opinion.
 
Apr 10, 2008
387
1
5
61
Wisconsin
www.proalert.us
Thanks again for the support. I'm going to have to contact some of the local operators that people have recommended. I could be completely in the wrong. I just feel like if a net operates and has a radioman inside the NWS office they should allow chasers. But that is my personal opinion.
I agree. As long as the person and the report is creditable is should be taken. Our WFO does as does our spotter groups NCO's.

We have so many tools we can use, SN, Cell phones, Web and radio. It is good to have them all available to us in case one or the other fails.
Check with your local WFO to see what they do prefer and use.

Tim
 
I have always associated mobile operations as an integral part of spotting. Locally we have designated spotter locations which we feel have good visibility and offer 4 ways of escape. Some still prefer their own spot. Sometimes we are asked by the NCO to relocate and occasionally he will ask we hold tight. Net control does its best to position spotters safely using radar and other reports but the decision to leave due to unsafe conditions is always up to the spotter.

Any report with information is always welcome. Of course as more serious conditions occur, the NCO will ask we limit traffic. However we find locally that reports not necessarily welcomed or needed by the NWS can still help us practice proper net procedures when not much is happening.
 
May 1, 2004
3,390
586
21
Springfield, IL
www.skip.cc
WTF? I'm 23 and he talks to me like I'm a kid.
Of the hams on that net, you're probably younger than most of their kids. I'm not saying you're a kid, but this is the perspective they are going to have when you talk to them. These are clique-ish clubs that aren't as welcoming or patient with those unfamiliar with the intricacies and routines of how the net operates, or those who are still learning the basics of severe weather reporting.

What should I do?
Forget 'em. Just go chase. Use Spotter Network when you've got a few chases under your belt and are sure of what you're seeing.
 

Jason Foster

Wait until FEMA / NHC start "encouraging" hurricane chaser reports. Then the arm chair liability lawyers are going to come out in droves.
Oh...liability is already a growing issue for hurricane chasers more so than plain chasers. Reporting to some degree too. I tend to go direct to NHC via echolink hams there. Well...did...not sure if NHC will use SN. It's been two years since a decent landfalling cane...and Earl didn't really have enough to report.

Some days I can't tell any more if I am on the StormTrack forums, or the QRZ forums.
QRZ...LOL! Avoid that place like the plague.

...ARES....
Now there is a useless thing except to self promote the ARRL and an excuse for whackers everywhere to pretend they are important.

Reading the posts here, I'm wondering if there is any reason to equip my vehicle with a 2-meter radio other than to run the risk of stepping on the toes of some NCO's kingdom. Comments about Spotter Network, etc., taking the place of the traditional ham radio nets, etc., make me wonder if its worth shelling out the bucks for a radio and the time and effort to get a license.
If you are not already ham...don't waste the time or money unless you have abundance of both. If you are a ham...it's worth keeping for now.
Of the hams on that net, you're probably younger than most of their kids. I'm not saying you're a kid, but this is the perspective they are going to have when you talk to them....<snip>
More like young enough to be their grand kids...well that HF actually. The whole old, ultra conservative, inability to change mentality of hams (especially those at the helm) is the big reason I gave up on the whole thing. Only keep it for car to car ops while chasing with friends (who are hams). I'm sure that'll be overtaken soon w/ cell tech. soon too.
 

J Holder

EF2
Mar 30, 2005
129
9
6
Osage city, KS
Now there is a useless thing except to self promote the ARRL and an excuse for whackers everywhere to pretend they are important.
Careful how you wield that brush, junior. My ARES group ran out all the whackers, now the whackers just post sanctimonious comments about ARES on Internet forums.;)

We may not be all that important, but the counties my group volunteers for seems to think we are. I guess that's why they bought us all new pagers toned off the rural fire dispatch network, are replacing our older 800Mhz trunked radios with new XTS2500's and set up our own console in the 911 center, as well as NWS...:rolleyes:

It probably has something to do with the fact that we maintain the county's mobile Comm vehicle (on top of weather spotting AND post-storm damage assessment) and whenever the cities or the county has a major incident we also roll and set up their communications for them. A few of our folks also have NCIC clearances and could sit in for an actual dispatcher if they had to for whatever reason.

But that's all just self promotion from a bunch of whackers, right?


If you are not already ham...don't waste the time or money unless you have abundance of both. If you are a ham...it's worth keeping for now.More like young enough to be their grand kids...well that HF actually. The whole old, ultra conservative, inability to change mentality of hams (especially those at the helm) is the big reason I gave up on the whole thing. Only keep it for car to car ops while chasing with friends (who are hams). I'm sure that'll be overtaken soon w/ cell tech. soon too.
You know, if you hate ham radio so much, you don't have to wait for the ticket to expire. Feel free to turn it in at any time.:rolleyes:
 
Jun 20, 2009
10
10
6
Minneapolis, KS
ks0lnk.net
Brian, If you're in N.C. or Central Kansas, we'll be glad to take your reports via K-Link when we have ICT NWS talking to us taking reports. I've never heard them turn anybody away.
I'd advise having a dual band (2m/70cm) in our area, as most of the repeaters are 70cm.

Justin N0UJQ
Minneapolis, KS
 
Apr 1, 2010
157
0
5
Kansas City Area
Brian, If you're in N.C. or Central Kansas, we'll be glad to take your reports via K-Link when we have ICT NWS talking to us taking reports. I've never heard them turn anybody away.
I'd advise having a dual band (2m/70cm) in our area, as most of the repeaters are 70cm.

Justin N0UJQ
Minneapolis, KS
Do I need a general license for 70cm?
 

Ryan Davis

The best nets out there are those that find ways to bring all types of weather observers together and get their info. Whether they be fixed spotters, mobile spotters, chasers, even yahoos, whatever. It's obvious they are more interested in serving the true mission of NWS & Skywarn instead of serving their net. They see their net as a tool to bring people together and get the info rather than seeing the net as the primary mission. Unfortunately, these nets are few and far between. And because of this, I haven't participated in ham spotter nets for a long time. I chase as a hobby, because it's something I enjoy. I'm not going to sully my experience by arguing with some misdirected net.

Thank you SN. You give me the freedom to enjoy my hobby while contributing to public safety. :D
 

Jason Foster

Haha, Jason, that new guy called you "Junior"
Gotta love it.

You know, if you hate ham radio so much, you don't have to wait for the ticket to expire. Feel free to turn it in at any time.:rolleyes:
You should look at my marketplace thread....lots of stuff an ARES group might like ;-)

I don't understand, why folks seem to think just because I don't blow kisses up ham radio (or the ARRL's) butt...I automatically hate ham radio. It's not that...it's a fun hobby...AT TIMES. There is just a ton of garbage in the hobby now. I think think this thread is an example of part of that.
 
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J Holder

EF2
Mar 30, 2005
129
9
6
Osage city, KS
Brian, If you're in N.C. or Central Kansas, we'll be glad to take your reports via K-Link when we have ICT NWS talking to us taking reports. I've never heard them turn anybody away.
I'd advise having a dual band (2m/70cm) in our area, as most of the repeaters are 70cm.

Justin N0UJQ
Minneapolis, KS
Same goes if you're in Shawnee or Wabaunsee counties. Give me a PM and I'll give our repeater, weekly net SKED and invitation to our quarterly meetings.

The way it's done here is folks are positioned where they can get the best vantage point of a storm rolling in, we don't have hard set zones one goes to, although some folks have picked out nice high spots where they normally go to. NCS is run from 911, with NWS Topeka operating a station to take reports, provide radar information and will take on alternate net control if needed.

We do run a directed net, once we're in position we stay in position until the storm's passed or need to reposition for safety or better vantage point as the storm moves. If getting a better vantage point, call NCS and request to move. If for safety call NCS in transit. All this is done for the safety of the spotter and so they know where to send LEO/Fire if you get in trouble or go no contact for awhile.

We've had guys in our group go "off the reservation" and start chasing a tornado on the ground, right out of range of our repeater. For 90 minutes we didn't know where they were or if they'd been killed.
 

Dave Epps

I am part of a local ARES group and we do the same spotting for NWS. Our group has a net control and script that is used. While the ARES group in fact does not send people out. We do have many that go out and "track , spot , Chase " what ever term you wish to use. Our net control checks all active spotters into the net and back out after the event is clear from our area. Mobile, or stationary makes no difference all are treated the same. Seems to me incomprehensible that any amateur net that is spotting for the NWS would take that kind of action. So I would find out whom ownes the repeater or responsible repeater holder is and have a discussion with them. If that does not resolve or give you answers then I would suggest to contact the area coordinator. Remember that amateur radio is meant to benefit the public and by spotting, chasing ultimately reporting information back to NWS on storm activity and locations is public benefit.

Or you can do like others suggested find another net to use. There are three nets in the area that go active and dependent on my location even though I am cked into my ARES net I still can reach the others and relay information if I am border line of connecting with my net control so that the information still gets back to NWS.. Hope that helps.
 
I used to be an active member of the KC skywarn net. They DO welcome chasers to my knowledge as I am one of those. It just depends on the particular situation Brian that you are speaking of. It may have been as simple as a matter of timing. Like others have said, I use ham more for rag chewing on the way to and from the target more than I do for reporting. I rarely get on a local repeater while chasing unless its in my backyard. Continue to do what you do. There are MANY other ways to report to the NWS other than the skywarn net. But NEVER do away with ham radio entirely, it may be the only option in certain situations.