26 May 2011

The RSGB Luso Tower fiasco

Some time back, the RSGB bought a huge Luso tower - list price £31k, although they got it for less - but are now selling it for £13.5k as they can't get planning permission for it at their new home at Bletchley Park.  What has this sort of monster got to do with amateur radio? What sort of example is our national society giving to newcomers? Pay BIG money for everything to get a BIG mast, BIG yagi, BIG rig and BIG linear?

The RSGB must give more of a lead by showing that this does not have to be a "fat cheque book" hobby and that simple, low cost, equipment can be effective. RadCom does carry some excellent articles, but I fear many newcomers reading the magazine would come away thinking it's an expensive hobby.


GW0KIG said...

I think the RSGB have wasted a substantial amount of money recently.
Not only was there problems with the Ggeneral manager but I believe there are rumours around to the effect that the development at Bletchley Park may not go ahead. I notice this months Radcom says the the opening date has been put back to 2012.

Anonymous said...

The RSGB have spent £200K on a hut at Bletchley park that has been empty for 12 Months. We need a society
that needs to get back to the grass roots of the Hobby.
The GQRP club is a fine organisation that does more with less, something the RSGB should take on board.
It is criminal wast all that money during a time of economic
cut backs and members having to watch every penny
Members should stop paying their subs and force the RSGB into administration and a new society could be formed by Hams who care about their members.

Anonymous said...

More to the point: who went ahead and purchased such an item, before having planning permission in their hand? That is just crass stupidity. Will RSGB announce the total loss of this fiasco. Will those who took the decision personally refund the loss? The whole BP project has to be looked at, specially when RSGB is losing 30/50K per year, and GB4FUN was far better to reach out to the youngsters at school. Did the board just nod through everything because certain members were scared of certain employed persons, and did not have the guts to stand up to them? How much did the 'self puff' advert for their tower cost in possible other advert sales in this month's Radcom?
My tip for new M6s - (a) sign up for a sub to QST and read a decent enthusiastic magazine, and (b) if joining a Raynet group affiliated to the RSGB, join the Network at the same time.
RSGB should slim down rapidly, hive off all Raynet activities to the Network (who run it properly) rather than wanting to have fingers in all pies; concentrate on the exam structure and getting people into the hobby; take a serious look at their game plan, and learn not to spend other people's money freely.

Anonymous said...

You might find that informal discussions PRIOR to the purchase, indicated that planning would not be granted

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of joining the RSGB again, but reading your blog and the cost of membership have put me off the idea for good.

Kind Regards


Roger G3XBM said...

Tony, a year's subscription to GQRP Club's SPRAT is £6 and 500% better value and content.

Anonymous said...

I have also become disheartened with the RSGB over the last few years, the subscriptions are way too high for what you get in return. The recent management issues along with this tower clearly show that the board members are not meeting their responsibilities to the members. I will not be renewing my subscription.

Anonymous said...

I miss TT which was a good read but now have all 50 years on CD Rom, a good technical reference.


John P-G said...

Unfortunately in order to represent Amateur Radio at government level - in negotiation with OFCOM etc - we need a recognized National Society, and the RSGB is it.

I'd stop my subscription with them too if it wasn't for this one point. The only month by month membership "perk" I use is RadCom and this is a joke anyway these days. Leaving aside the often woeful content, how much cheaper would it be to print it on thinner paper - why are the first 4 sheets made from such thick, shiny glossy paper?

I get QST which is much better (although it seems to be slipping of late).

I hadn't heard of the fiasco surrounding the tower until today - and rather wish I hadn't heard at all!


sv3auw said...

I am a RSGB member and I strongly feel that the whole scheme is a "scam".
Do not try though, to compare RadCom with QST.
Not unless you are willing to tolerate one half of magazine full of MFJ ads!
And I guess you all know what MFJ stands for!
GQRP club member

Anonymous said...

Mighty Fine Junk

Anonymous said...

Interesting post - and blog!

Yes, it took me about three weeks to go from proud to be a RSGB member to instructing them to cancel my subs.

Why? Well, they're clearly a shiny-button blazer bunch who are rather deaf. I sent a comment to 'Have your Say'. How do you think that went? Enough said that I had some very gruff responses (of the sort you can find from the same person online) from a disgrunteld planning bod, ending up with me making a complaint about the RSGBs skills at handling personal data...