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Author Topic: Formats, metric and the like.  (Read 4357 times)

Posts: 196


« on: February 03, 2001, 04:18:30 AM »

IMHO an international site like eHam should conform to international formats. So the notation of dates should be DDMMYYYY and not MMDDYYYY. The site should encourage its members and visitors to use the internationally accepted metric notation. No yards, feet or inches but millimeters (or meters).
Funny, but I never heard a US ham refer to 20 meters as: the 22 yard band or the 65 feet band......... So why accept the metric system for your band and not for providing info on antenna dimensions and the like...Huh

Posts: 10091

« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2001, 11:32:54 PM »

I agree that a more "international" display of dates should be used on eHAM and have requested this of the programmers.  Unfortunately, the underlying code for this site only generates MMDDYYYY.

As far as US hams using terms like "20 meters" (and not 22 yards, etc.), I don't really see much irony.  Like it or not, nearly everything in the US is measured in pounds, feet, etc.  This is taught to people at a young age and is a part of everyday life. So to be comfortable visualizing, specifying and describing things with those units is understandable.  (Except for people in a few professions, e.g., engineers, scientists, medical personnel, most folks in the US are hardly exposed to metric units at all.)

If at some point (later in life, no doubt) one becomes a ham, one will learn about "the bands" from Elmers.  These Elmers refer to them as "20 meters", etc., and so this becomes natural.  That doesn't necessarily mean that a boom length needs to be described in meters.  For a US ham, visualizing what that boom looks like is still better done in the "feet" world.  Certainly, he is more likely to own a tape measure with feet than one with meters.

73 Mike N2MG

Posts: 17484

« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2001, 12:11:09 PM »

An interesting side note:  the US officially adopted the metric
system prior to 1900!  However, at the same time they allowed the
continued use of "customary units", which we haven't been able
to shed since.  Being somewhat bilingual in this regard, I answer
questions using the units (feet or meters/metres) according to the
units used in the original question.  But perhaps we should provide
international standard metric equivalents when using archaic units
of measurement, for the benefit of those in more advanced countries
who may not know how many barleycorns there are to the inch.

For a humorous view of the progress of metrification in the US,
check out:

 . . . . . - Dale WB6BYU . . .  . ex- VK2DJW, ZL3AGH

Posts: 10091

« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2001, 01:11:07 PM »

It sure is too bad that early on in the industrial revolution US citizens were denied a sensible measurement system.  There was, I believe, a short-lived movement in the early 1970s to re-introduce the US to the metric system. But all we got was a "hybrid" system where a few things are in metric, but most are in, well, the "other".  In fact, on many US automobiles some bolt heads are metric (body bolts for example) and others (engine bolts) are in that "other" system.  Auto mechanics need to buy two complete sets of sockets, wrenches, etc.  One more price to pay for a lack of leadership.  Keeps Snap On and Craftsman happy, I suppose...

That "onion" piece is quite a hoot!

73 Mike
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