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Author Topic: Code/No Code CW-Do we need it?  (Read 59931 times)
K7KBN
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« Reply #30 on: October 30, 2010, 08:13:26 PM »

Ad astra ad aspera.  ??  (To the stars to difficulties)??

I think you meant "ad astra PER aspera."  (To the stars THROUGH difficulties.)

So Latin's not your strong suit either.  Tsk.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K6LHA
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« Reply #31 on: October 30, 2010, 09:17:45 PM »

Ad astra ad aspera.  ??  (To the stars to difficulties)??

I think you meant "ad astra PER aspera."  (To the stars THROUGH difficulties.)
Yes, Ad Astra Per Aspera

That is at the Apollo 1 Memorial at the Kennedy Space Center. It's been a while since I was a tiny part of the Apollo program and its 400,000 or so total personnel at NASA and all the contractors and sub-contractors.

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So Latin's not your strong suit either.  Tsk.
I've never claimed to be a "Latin expert" nor a skilled craftsman of other dead (or dying) languages such as International Morse Code.


Other than that, do you have anything cogent to say about amateur radio?

73, Len K6LHA
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AB2T
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« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2010, 03:34:10 AM »

Ad astra ad aspera.  ??  (To the stars to difficulties)??

I think you meant "ad astra PER aspera."  (To the stars THROUGH difficulties.)

So Latin's not your strong suit either.  Tsk.

Not my strong suit either. 

"inter astraque aspera aporio" or something like that.  Bouncing between stars and difficulties.  Certainly the Romans weren't immune to multiple personality disorder.  Neither are some hams Roll Eyes  The discussions here at _Licensing_ are ample proof for my new cooked up aphorism.

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I've never claimed to be a "Latin expert" nor a skilled craftsman of other dead (or dying) languages such as International Morse Code.

Well Len, I completely agree with you on the Latin.  I've spent my life studying the language. That'll get me a cup of coffee and maybe bus fare.  It's not all that wise to be be a craftsman of an arcane art.  Leave it to me to absolutely disobey the Myers-Briggs and choose to be a rather mediocre pointyhead.

False logic often hides the pathetic emotion that shelters the possibility of failure.  Many of us have, and continue to learn and grow from this ancient mode we love.  CW is quite relevant since it is a code and a language that bonds hams in a common interest and medium.  CW will live regardless of those who do not wish to take up the key and enjoy a skill that takes a lifetime (and some humility) to master.  Wouldn't it be easier to challenge the fear of failure and pick up those paddles rather than excoriate an activity that carries the risky reward of eventual satisfaction?

Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."  That's what CW is all about.  I suspect this is why many hams pick up their keys day after day.

73, Jordan     
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 04:16:06 AM by Jordan » Logged
N0AZZ
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« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2010, 05:59:43 AM »

I read books on every license class I passed and a lot of time at the library. Bought all I could Handbook, Antenna book took me a year to really understand all the info in extra manual no background or math or electronics so it took some time still have to look up some formulas  Wink.

The one thing I found was once you get your license is only the beginning of your start of learning a great hobby where you never stop.
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N2EY
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« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2010, 07:49:42 AM »

It's not all that wise to be be a craftsman of an arcane art.  Leave it to me to absolutely disobey the Myers-Briggs and choose to be a rather mediocre pointyhead.

It all depends on why someone learns something.

Some things a person learns translate into a job, profession, promotion, etc. For example, many if not most jobs today require at least some computer skills.
 
Some things a person learns are "life skills" which are practical necessities for most people. For example, knowing how to cook, how to do laundry, how to drive a car, how to balance a checkbook, how to care for a baby.

Some things a person learns done because they could be useful in an emergency, such as how to do CPR, how to jump-start a car, how to start a fire without matches.

All the rest are a matter of personal choice, life enrichment, etc. Such as meeting the requirements for an amateur radio license.

A thing learned may fit into more than one category, or may change categories over time. For example, learning CPR can be a job requirement for an EMT, a life skill for a person who has a family member with certain medical problems, and an emergency skill for someone else.

Of course it's important to learn stuff in order to have a job. But that doesn't make the other categories useless or worthless.

IOW, the value of a skill should not be judged solely on how much money you can make with it.


False logic often hides the pathetic emotion that shelters the possibility of failure.  Many of us have, and continue to learn and grow from this ancient mode we love.

Well said - except for one little piece.

Morse Code is hardly "ancient" - it's not even 200 years old yet. Compared to a lot of things, it's very new.

For example:

- Shakespeare's works are more than twice as old
- The Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Federalist papers and other documents of great importance are older
- Technology such as fireplaces and sailboats have been around for thousands of years.

CW is quite relevant since it is a code and a language that bonds hams in a common interest and medium.

Yes, it is very relevant to amateur radio *because hams use it*. That's a fact which is too often forgotten.

There's also the technical and operational advantages of Morse Code skill. For example, suppose a radio amateur wants to build their own HF station - what mode would give them the most results from the simplest equipment? It's certainly not any of the voice or data modes!

Some years back, a ham named Dan Tayloe invented a new kind of mixer, with certain advantages over existing kinds. To demonstrate the advantages of his device, he designed a simple CW transceiver around it.

  CW will live regardless of those who do not wish to take up the key and enjoy a skill that takes a lifetime (and some humility) to master.

Well it sure does take humility. But as to taking a lifetime, most people can learn Morse Code to a usable level in a few weeks and to a very usable level in a few months *IF* they put in the time and effort and use effective learning methods. OTOH there's always more to learn.


Wouldn't it be easier to challenge the fear of failure and pick up those paddles rather than excoriate an activity that carries the risky reward of eventual satisfaction?

Depends on the person. Remember the humility factor - some folks don't want to admit they don't know how to do something. Some don't want to ask for help or be seen as a beginner. So they denigrate the thing itself.

For example, a kid who isn't immediately good at sports *may* decide to practice and develop the skills. Or s/he may become a spectator. Or simply not bother with them.

Or, s/he may decide that sports are "dumb" and so are the people who are skilled in playing them, and denigrate both.   

The reason for that last reaction is often jealousy of the attention and praise that the skilled people receive. It's tied into the humility issue you mentioned earlier. Combine that with the fear-of-failing part you mention and it's clear what's really going on.

Same thing for skill in the arts, crafts, and many other things. Including Morse Code.


Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."  That's what CW is all about.  I suspect this is why many hams pick up their keys day after day.

I think ol' Sam B. is a bit too negative there. It's not about failure, it's about success. Glass half full vs. half empty. The journey, not the destination.

For example, if I can do 30 wpm, am I a failure because I can't do 50 wpm? Or am I success because I started out at 0 wpm?

Of course the Morse Code *test* for a US amateur license went away almost 4 years ago. And the test that was eliminated was only 5 wpm.

But the *use* of Morse Code in amateur radio continues, and may actually be increasing. For example, the CQWW DX contest reported its greatest number of log submissions for the CW mode in 2008. Last year on Field Day, the group I went with made more than twice as many CW contacts as all other modes combined, even though CW ops and rigs were a small minority of the effort.

Or look at the number of keys, keyers, filters, software and CW-only rigs being produced, sold and most of all USED today.

73 de Jim, N2EY

"People called Romans they go the house?"
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KB1SF
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« Reply #35 on: October 31, 2010, 08:24:50 AM »

The only conclusion I can come to is that these jabbering code advocates are just being control freaks bound and determined to make all USA radio amateurs who come later suffer somehow...as they had to "suffer." Boo hoo. Poor babies.

Perhaps.

But I also believe that, for a goodly number of these Morse code fanatics, ham radio (and Morse) has now become a fundamentalist religion.  

And, just like their God-fearing religious fanatic brethren, this crowd truly believes that unless everyone who chooses to join the "Church of Amateur Radio" worships daily at the altar of Hiram Percy Maxim, can recite passages from the 'holy word" (Part 97) from memory, learns to speak in tongues (i.e. Morse) and becomes a "true believer" in all of the 1950s-era Incentive Licensing nonsense that the ARRL and FCC "Gods" from long ago established as the one true "Cannon Law" for our Service, then one cannot possibly hope to enter into the "Kingdom Of Real Hams" and be "saved".

This is why these people are always in your face about the truly "out of body" experiences one gets when they use Morse, are constantly bitching and moaning about the so-called "dumbing down" of our "baptismal rights" (license exams) and are so absolutely appalled that people like you and me would even DARE to quesiton the "holy scripture" (Part 97) that has been revealed (seemingly specifically to them) by their beloved FCC.  

Such people also truly believe that it is their bounden duty to "go into all the world" and make sure that newcomers to the hobby strictly follow the "one true Gospel" of Amateur Radio according to the ancient rights, rituals (and dogma) that were firmly established in the "dark ages" when they first become hams.  Everything else is blasphemy.

Unfortunately, this crowd is much like those obnoxious religious fanatics who leave all those "Are You Saved?" pamphlets in public toilets or show up unannounced at your front door asking you if you died tonight, would you be in Heaven.  

Now, I certainly don't have a problem if these people want to continue their PRIVATE worship of Hiram Percy Maxim, Morse code, the ARRL, Part 97 as well as the "old time religion" that (for them) established amateur radio as they once knew it in the days of lore.

But all the while they continue to force that fundamentalist agenda on the radio hams being newly licensed TODAY by using forums like these for their seemingly endless proselytizing, I will continue to speak out against it (and them) every step of the way.

73,

Keith
KB1SF / VA3KSF
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 11:59:03 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
AB2T
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« Reply #36 on: October 31, 2010, 11:32:01 AM »

It's not all that wise to be be a craftsman of an arcane art.  Leave it to me to absolutely disobey the Myers-Briggs and choose to be a rather mediocre pointyhead.

It all depends on why someone learns something.

Well this mention of my so-called occupation was supposed to be self deprecating.  I see your point, however.
 
Some things a person learns are "life skills" which are practical necessities for most people. For example, knowing how to cook, how to do laundry, how to drive a car, how to balance a checkbook, how to care for a baby.

Albert Einstein, the man who shattered the hold of Newtonian physics, couldn't balance his checkbook.  I fail on all the above life skills.  I still managed to get an "old" Extra though.  I bet that most "no-code" Extras are 10^100 more life functional than I am.  My diet consists of peanut butter, apples (cheap in Quebec), and endless cups of coffee.  I'm surprised that my teeth haven't fallen out by now because of the scurvy.  Then again, I'm a starving student, so I have some excuse.   

IOW, the value of a skill should not be judged solely on how much money you can make with it.

Quite true.  This is the downfall of the American higher educational system.  So many students are grade-driven to the point of almost complete disinterest in content and intellectual development.  Business, nursing, and education schools should be divorced from universities (as in Europe). The academic study of humanities, theoretical mathematics and sciences, and engineering belong in institutions separate from professional schools.  This is another argument for another thread.   

Also, many (well-paying) jobs do not require a BA or BS.  For most people, college is an expensive credential that contributes little to practical vocational aptitude.  Nevertheless, many jobs require a bachelor's just to get in the door.  Often these jobs require no more than a high school education.  This needs to be reformed as well.

False logic often hides the pathetic emotion that shelters the possibility of failure.  Many of us have, and continue to learn and grow from this ancient mode we love.

Well said - except for one little piece.

Morse Code is hardly "ancient" - it's not even 200 years old yet. Compared to a lot of things, it's very new.

For example:

- Shakespeare's works are more than twice as old
- The Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Federalist papers and other documents of great importance are older
- Technology such as fireplaces and sailboats have been around for thousands of years.

Perhaps a better term would be "seminal". CW is a binary mode of communication that does not require a GUI, BFO, TNC, or envelope detector to operate.  Long. Short.  On.  Off.  Almost any visual stimulus that can be switched on and off can be used to send code.  Morse code contains the potential to transcend radio itself, unlike phone which begins and ends within the radio art.     


Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."  That's what CW is all about.  I suspect this is why many hams pick up their keys day after day.

I think ol' Sam B. is a bit too negative there. It's not about failure, it's about success. Glass half full vs. half empty. The journey, not the destination.

For example, if I can do 30 wpm, am I a failure because I can't do 50 wpm? Or am I success because I started out at 0 wpm?

I don't interpret Beckett this way.  Rather, Beckett speaks of the brilliance of inadequacy.  Inadequacy and struggle perpetuates creativity and success, while the refusal to fail breeds stagnation, frustration, and anger.  Failure is the ironic triumph.  If a person can only send and receive at 3 wpm, he/she has triumphed through a continual desire for greater skill.

73, Jordan
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 01:11:19 PM by Jordan » Logged
K6LHA
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« Reply #37 on: October 31, 2010, 12:44:21 PM »

But I also believe that, for a goodly number of these Morse code fanatics, ham radio (and Morse) has now become a fundamentalist religion.
Of course. A number of years ago I dubbed the League as the "Church of St. Hiram."  Cheesy

That's not just satiric commentary. Each issue of QST contains some boost for radiotelegraphy in amateurism, over and above all other OPTIONAL modes. It is as if it were an Editor's Guide manual that dictated it. Since the ARRL has the virtual monopoly on amateur radio publications in the USA, it is a guarantee of mental conditioning to those easily swayed by such propaganda. One such brainwashed individual, indoctrinated as an early teener, practically lives his free hours on these venues, immersed in his proselyte circuit.

Quote
 
Such people also truly believe that it is their bounden duty to "go into all the world" and make sure that newcomers to the hobby strictly follow the "one true Gospel" of Amateur Radio according to the ancient rights, rituals (and dogma) that were firmly established in the "dark ages" when they first become hams.  Everything else is blasphemy.
Absolutely. We will all be damned to some strange hell if we do not follow their dictates of what is right and proper according to their religion of radio. If WE do not follow their scripture then "WE" have some moral flaw, thus are to be freely damned by them in impunity while they are cloaked in righteousness.

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Unfortunately, this crowd is much like those obnoxious religious fanatics who leave all those "Are You Saved?" pamphlets in public toilets or show up unannounced at your front door asking you if you died tonight, would you be in Heaven.
Sometimes these forums become such "public toilets" full of proselyte propaganda.  Cheesy 

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Now, I certainly don't have a problem if these people want to continue their PRIVATE worship of Hiram Percy Maxim, Morse code, the ARRL, Part 97 as well as the "old time religion" that (for them) established amateur radio as they once knew it in the days of lore.
Good on that, Keith.

Some "word policeman" will show up trying to correct your "days of lore" statement. Unfortunately, you are very correct, Keith, most of what gets printed in QST is LORE, not "yore."  Cheesy

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But all the while they continue to force that fundamentalist agenda on the amateur radio of TODAY by using forums like these for their seemingly endless proselytizing, I will continue to speak out against it (and them) every step of the way.
Good on that! I will join you when I have the time...when not responding to Latin lovers correcting my typo of repeating "ad" instead of using "per."  Cheesy

More important, though, is to check the output of the FCC's documents, looking for the long-awaited Petition for Reconsideration of R&O 06-178 and the proselytes trying to fight for their one true religion of morse mandated for ALL amateurs by LAW. So far there hasn't been much. Apparently the Believers in the One True Morse Religion are fighting a gorilla war...while dressed as chimps.  OOK.  OOK. OOK.

73, Len K6LHA
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K6LHA
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« Reply #38 on: October 31, 2010, 12:50:02 PM »

K6LHA: "I've never claimed to be a "Latin expert" nor a skilled craftsman of other dead (or dying) languages such as International Morse Code."

Well Len, I completely agree with you on the Latin.  I've spent my life studying the language. That'll get me a cup of coffee and maybe bus fare.
Let's set a record straight here. I have never "studied" Latin and the phrase I tossed in (at the last) was just a random thought still stuck in my head about honoring Astronauts Grissom, White, and Chaffee at the Cape. Those three died as a result of an accidental fire during a "routine" ground check of Apollo vehicle systems.

As once a very tiny part of the USA manned space effort I still feel a part of that and am looking UP and FORWARD to more and greater things in technology as well as honoring those who gave their lives as part of it.

A very long time ago to many of you, I keyed on my first HF transmitter (1 KW RF output, single-channel FSK teleprinter) in early 1953. There were NO on-off-keyed CW radio circuits used on any of the 35 other HF transmitters there at the time nor of the HF transmitters added later. Never in my career as an electronics design engineer have I been required to know or test for on-off-keyed radiotelegraphy for any radio operator license. That's a period of over 57 1/2 years.
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It's not all that wise to be be a craftsman of an arcane art.
Sorry, but that is against Scripture of the Church of St. Hiram. R&O 06-178 changed all of that over 3 1/2 years ago. Finally, the State triumphed over a False Religion!

In the last 5 years the sum total of new Radiotelegraph Operator (Commercial) licenses granted by the FCC was 99. That's less than 20 per year, all classes, on an average. Forget your "bus fare" and don't expect good coffee in trying to get a commercial radiotelegraphy job. On the agenda for WRC-12 is one that will replace on-off-keyed radiotelegraphy in Maritime radio service with automatic teleprinter signals at a higher rate.

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False logic often hides the pathetic emotion that shelters the possibility of failure.
Cute. Trying the "moral-ethical flaw" gambit again. FALSE LOGIC is the presumption that on-off-keyed CW radiotelegraphy has some significance for the future just because some individuals have tested for that skill long ago. It is FALSE LOGIC that on-off-keyed radiotelegraphy has ANY real value in commercial radio communications. The ONLY VALUE in amateur radio is to satisfy the "pathetic emotions" (not to mention day-dreams of "greatness") of long-time amateurs in radio who think that radiotelegraphy is THE thing that is amateurism.

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Many of us have, and continue to learn and grow from this ancient mode we love.
Then continue. Nobody is stopping you. Not the FCC, certainly not the ARRL. No group or organization has banned on-off-keyed radiotelegraphy USE in USA amateur radio bands. Just don't feel like you are some "pioneer" in radio for diddling your paddles. You aren't one of those.

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CW is quite relevant since it is a code and a language that bonds hams in a common interest and medium.  CW will live regardless of those who do not wish to take up the key and enjoy a skill that takes a lifetime (and some humility) to master.  Wouldn't it be easier to challenge the fear of failure and pick up those paddles rather than excoriate an activity that carries the risky reward of eventual satisfaction?
Absolutely NOT. Your "pathetic emotion" seems to be some angst about NOT being "worshipped" or at least "revered" for being good at the very first communications mode in radio. BFD and some LOL. Cheesy

When are you going to bring back Spark transmitters and "coherer" receivers? Those were the first things to enable all that on-off-keying radiotelegraphy in early radio. Think you can win a DXCC with just a crystal set receiver?  Cheesy

If you really, Really want to convince amateurs to use radiotelegraphy, don't do this pdeudo-shrink gambit of "pathetic emotion" and "morality ploy" AS IF you are so superior in all things radio. You aren't.

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Samuel Beckett: ...
I'll take "Kate Beckett" over Samuel Beckett any day...and that is NO "pathetic emotion." Run that over your Castle's drawbridge some time. Don't go overboard into the moat on using "Familiar Quotations" to make some vague point. R&O 06-178 settled that but it never forbade on-off-keying radiotelegraphy use by AMATEURS.

If you are "so good" at radiotelegraphy, then you can TEACH it to others and encourage them in it. One thing for sure is that you cannot force it into USA radio amateur regulatory LAW.

73, Len K6LHA
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AB2T
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« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2010, 01:33:48 PM »

If you really, Really want to convince amateurs to use radiotelegraphy, don't do this pdeudo-shrink gambit of "pathetic emotion" and "morality ploy" AS IF you are so superior in all things radio. You aren't.

You bet I'm no good at radio!  I know nothing about radio, really.  I'm quite out of tune as I haven't had my own station for two years!  My ears are shot.  I'll need a lot of practice before I get back on the air.  I'm sure my favorite phrase will be "e e e e e e e" for many years to come. 

This "old elitist" Extra will be out there with his lid fist soon.  Even if every CW op should consider me a lid, I will have succeeded because I had the confidence to forge ahead despite poor performances.  I can't be a lid if I never take up a key.  I'd rather be a lid than placate the fear of failure.

73, Jordan 
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K6LHA
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« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2010, 04:33:45 PM »

You bet I'm no good at radio!  I know nothing about radio, really.  I'm quite out of tune as I haven't had my own station for two years!
NO EXCUSE! None whatsoever.

The LAW for USA radio amateurs requires YOU to know at least enough to determine if your transmitter is working properly or improperly. See the "Technical" regulations in Part 97, Title 47 C.F.R. That is YOUR responsibility, not for someone else. I can do that with simple test equipment and know what to ask someone on the air what to listen for.

USA amateur radio is supposed to be a technical hobby, not just for those whose only interest is on-off-keying radiotelegraphy and playing AS IF you were important. If nothing else, some books can put you straight on technical principles of radio communication.  I suggest going to www.amazon.com and buying the 2010 ARRL Handbook. The total price for that, even with shipping charges will be LESS than ordering it from Newington (which also expects you to pay shipping charges extra).  Its roughly 3/4 the price from that little suburb of Hartford, CT, almost 2/3 if you have free shipping from Amazon..

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My ears are shot.  I'll need a lot of practice before I get back on the air.
Do you know how to check out your transmitter before your first cue-so? Or do you think you can get away with just on-off-keying radiotelegraphy like all those teen-age novices way back when?

If your ears are faulty, then you have to use those wonderful BLINKING LIGHTS lights that all the mighty morphing code rangers say is a "direct substitute" for hearing for license testing. There are NO medical waivers for ignorance of technical details of radio transmission, never were.
You MUST know technical details before anything else.

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This "old elitist" Extra will be out there with his lid fist soon.
I could care less as long as you know how to use your HF transmitter technically correct, regardless of legally OPTIONAL mode you use.

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Even if every CW op should consider me a lid, I will have succeeded because I had the confidence to forge ahead despite poor performances.  I can't be a lid if I never take up a key.  I'd rather be a lid than placate the fear of failure.
Where should we send your COURAGE medal?  Yourself, your psychiatrist, or attorney retained to answer the improper-operation your FCC NAL describes?

Like it or not, USA amateur radio is a TECHNICAL hobby and you MUST follow the technical regulations stated in Part 97, Title 47 Code of Federal Regulations. That is LAW.

I can care less if you head-copy 100 WPM or have the greatest zippy-de-do-dah "fist" in all creation. Screw up on your technical regulations and you are back there with the stupidest LIDS.

Long before I got any AMATEUR radio license I LEARNED lots and lots of circuit theory and system operation and USED it to legally and successfully operate RF trasmitters from VLF on up to microwaves, nearly all of it ON MY OWN WITHOUT FORMAL CLASSES FOR MOST OF IT.

Frankly, I'm rather aggravated that some code elitists calls me a so-called moral failure just because I don't love, honor, cherish, and obey morsemanship according to the Church of St. Hiram.

Feel free to walk in my shoes and do MY life experience if you or anyone else are so damn morally superior BECAUSE of code skill. Once upon a long time ago, during a period of war time, I voluntarily enlisted in the US Army. Before the Army let me operate any military radios I had to learn to kill the enemy. Once that was demonstrated the Army shipped me to a place of RF wonder, a huge HF transmitting station outside of Tokyo...WITHOUT any formal classes on how to use the equipment. All of us newbies of then LEARNED by on-the-job "training" and none of my group ever flunked out. Those of us who expended some effort studied what few TMs we had and LEARNED MORE about 'radio' of the 1950s. We didn't get medals for such things, we just DID IT and
didn't make excuses about it being "so hard." We followed the familiar phrase of the Signal Corps, "Get the message through."  We did, relaying about 250,000 messages a month during the height of the Korean War. At the same time, off the 8-hour duty shifts, we had to keep up our soldier training "to close with and destroy the enemy." We used VHF and UHF for radio relay and VHF radios for regular Army infantry training. Finally, budgets eased and we got 1.8 GHz microwave equipeent for my original MOS. Our "formal training" on that mother was two weeks to encompass everything of a 24-voice-channel full-duplex radio relay terminal. I was a supervisor of 9 terminals for my last active-duty year. At NO time in my three-year active duty time did that station ever use any on-off-keyed
radiotelegraphy in any radio circuits. I was never indoctrinated into some love-affair with morsemanship hammered into me by some old men in a New England suburb trying to keep their publishing business going for their own fat paychecks. I carried my "can do" spirit into the rest of my life, a successful life that let me retire to a time when I could enjoy playing with electronics with what I've learned for nearly six decades before...and keep on learning because there is NO PAUSE in its technical advancement. Technology never stops growing. Its too bad that amateur radio hasn't caught up in technology since before WWII.

I'm not only aggravated but downright pissed-off that there exist some proselyte-electrolyte evangelicals who insist and insist that on-off-keying radiotelegraphy "must be used" in a hobby activity just because they've personally gotten so "good" with it and are "naturally superior."
Then their arrogance insists that those who don't embrace their One True Radio God are somehow "morally deficient" becaise we don't care to use it. WTF do they think THEY are?

Well, I know who a lot of them "think" they are but Geo. Fremin III won't let me say it.  Cheesy

36.5, Len K6LHA
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N2EY
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« Reply #41 on: October 31, 2010, 05:20:20 PM »

You bet I'm no good at radio!  I know nothing about radio, really.  I'm quite out of tune as I haven't had my own station for two years!  My ears are shot.  I'll need a lot of practice before I get back on the air.  I'm sure my favorite phrase will be "e e e e e e e" for many years to come.  

Maybe. Or maybe you know more than you realize. Who was it that said the beginning of wisdom was knowing how much you don't know?

In any event nobody can say you know less than you claim to know.


This "old elitist" Extra will be out there with his lid fist soon.

GREAT! I hope to work you!

Even if every CW op should consider me a lid, I will have succeeded because I had the confidence to forge ahead despite poor performances.  I can't be a lid if I never take up a key.  I'd rather be a lid than placate the fear of failure.

Exactly. But there's more to it.

Your "lid fist" may not be as bad as you think - the only real judge would be an experienced CW op who encounters you on the air. 

There's also the fact that what makes an op a lid isn't just a lack of skills. It's the attitude towards that lack of skills. The true lid not only lacks skills but doesn't try or care to improve. Or the ham who intentionally causes QRM and other problems.

There's also the ham who doesn't bother to develop skills, learn proper *amateur* procedures, etc., because "it's just a hobby", or "not required by FCC", etc. That's a true lid attitude.

What I see most of all in your attitude is a willingness to try and to improve. Which is the exact opposite of lid behavior.

73 de Jim, N2EY
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 05:35:23 PM by James Miccolis » Logged
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« Reply #42 on: October 31, 2010, 08:51:09 PM »

We will all be damned to some strange hell if we do not follow their dictates of what is right and proper according to their religion of radio. If WE do not follow their scripture then "WE" have some moral flaw, thus are to be freely damned by them in impunity while they are cloaked in righteousness.

Indeed, as Napoleon Bonaparte once said, "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping the common people quiet."

Quote
More important, though, is to check the output of the FCC's documents, looking for the long-awaited Petition for Reconsideration of R&O 06-178 and the proselytes trying to fight for their one true religion of Morse mandated for ALL amateurs by LAW. So far there hasn't been much. Apparently the Believers in the One True Morse Religion are fighting a gorilla war...while dressed as chimps.

Actually, Len, I think the fact that these fundamentalist fanatics are are now DYING in ever-increasing numbers has far more to do with that lack of action on these fronts than any "guerrilla war" they may be mounting.  

As I've said, this crowd already KNOWS their cause is lost and that the FCC is NO LONGER listening to any of their fundamentalist rants.  So, online forums like these remain their only outlet to express their extreme displeasure over these developments as well as to vent their anger that the last remaining regulatory underpinnings for their decades of "I'm better than you" snobbery are now being unceremoniously yanked out from underneath their collectively upturned noses.

Indeed, their once wonderfully satisfying game of ramming their fundamentalist views down the throats of others in our Service is now coming to a screeching, grinding halt as their revisionist dogma falls on more and more deaf ears.  By any measure, it has now become painfully apparent that this crowd is no longer capable of generating a major following among mainstream hams with such rigid, 1950s-era revisionist thinking.  That fact, too, has them royally peeved.

Clearly, for people who continually need to bask in the light of their own self-importance, such developments have GOT to be a tough pill to swallow.  In many ways, our resident authoritarian fundamentalists have now been "left behind" in a "ham radio purgatory" that, over the years has been very gradually doing away with a decades old, systemically discriminatory, Part 97 "caste system" wherein they saw themselves firmly ensconced at the top of that "pecking order".

Indeed, in many ways, those who were once "first" under the old regulatory and licensing system for our Service are now finding themselves "last" under the new one.  

And, based on the ever-more shrill rants emanating from these self-appointed keepers of the "One True Gospel of Amateur Radio", the increasingly widespread, official repudiation of that "Gospel" as little more than systemically discriminatory, bigoted bunkum is turning out to be nothing short of pure, unadulterated, emotional agony for our ever-shrinking cadre of amateur radio fundamentalists.

Indeed, as Dr. Robert Goddard, the "father of modern rocketry" once wrote:  "God pity a one-dream man."

73,

Keith
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« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 06:19:46 AM by Keith Baker » Logged
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« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2010, 02:59:47 AM »

It's not all that wise to be be a craftsman of an arcane art.  Leave it to me to absolutely disobey the Myers-Briggs and choose to be a rather mediocre pointyhead.

It all depends on why someone learns something.

Well this mention of my so-called occupation was supposed to be self deprecating.  I see your point, however.

I see yours too.
 
Some things a person learns are "life skills" which are practical necessities for most people. For example, knowing how to cook, how to do laundry, how to drive a car, how to balance a checkbook, how to care for a baby.

Albert Einstein, the man who shattered the hold of Newtonian physics, couldn't balance his checkbook. [/QUOTE]

I tend to question such stories. Was it that ol' Al couldn't do it, or that he didn't bother to do it? I suspect the latter.

I mean, why *do* people "balance" a checking account? All they're doing is verifying the bank's records and processes, and making sure you know how much money is in your account.

Maybe A.E. wasn't too worried about those things.

I fail on all the above life skills. 

Not sure what you mean.

I still managed to get an "old" Extra though.  I bet that most "no-code" Extras are 10^100 more life functional than I am.  My diet consists of peanut butter, apples (cheap in Quebec), and endless cups of coffee.  I'm surprised that my teeth haven't fallen out by now because of the scurvy.  Then again, I'm a starving student, so I have some excuse. 

I think apples have considerable vitamin C.

I did the starving student thing for 4 years. It *does* end.

IOW, the value of a skill should not be judged solely on how much money you can make with it.

Quite true.  This is the downfall of the American higher educational system.  So many students are grade-driven to the point of almost complete disinterest in content and intellectual development.  Business, nursing, and education schools should be divorced from universities (as in Europe). The academic study of humanities, theoretical mathematics and sciences, and engineering belong in institutions separate from professional schools.  This is another argument for another thread. 

The reason students are grade-driven is simple: Grades can be the difference. Between continuing and not continuing. Between a job and no job. Etc. And since students are not paid, grades are the visible evidence of accomplishment.

In "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance", Robert Pirsig discusses a theoretical University without grades. It is even more revolutionary now than it was then.

Where all this ties into Amateur Radio is simple: Amateur Radio is a University of Radio, but without grades. The license tests are *entry* tests, not exit exams, and the education can be life-long. Each of us can be student and teacher, researcher and administrator, as we decide. And it's all interest-driven.

And as in any true University, there's a wide range of activities, but you do need to meet some basic requirements to get in.

I see a problem with splitting off certain fields of study from others, however: the cross-education will go away. I think those in the "pure" academics need exposure to the professions and "practical" stuff, and the reverse.
 

Also, many (well-paying) jobs do not require a BA or BS. 

Maybe in Quebec. Not in the USA. It used to be like that, but not any more.

Maybe you mean that the job duties don't require a college-degree - and you're probably right. But most employers prefer hiring degreed employees over those without a degree - for the good jobs, anyway.

Name some well-paying jobs that someone can get without a BA or BS - today. How many of them are really out there?

For most people, college is an expensive credential that contributes little to practical vocational aptitude.  Nevertheless, many jobs require a bachelor's just to get in the door.  Often these jobs require no more than a high school education.  This needs to be reformed as well.

You mean the degree functions as a door-opener, and I agree. The degree is seen as proof that the person can stick with something and be responsible in certain ways. A rite of passage, as it were.

The big question is: does a person get a degree as training for a specific job, or do they get one because they are interested in a particular field?

For years, the idea of "do what you love" has been sold to Americans, with the promise that a job will come from somewhere. And in many cases that worked.

But now the harsh reality is that getting that degree has become enormously expensive, and has to be justified on economic grounds. IOW, "what job will that sheepskin lead to?"

False logic often hides the pathetic emotion that shelters the possibility of failure.  Many of us have, and continue to learn and grow from this ancient mode we love.

Well said - except for one little piece.

Morse Code is hardly "ancient" - it's not even 200 years old yet. Compared to a lot of things, it's very new.

For example:

- Shakespeare's works are more than twice as old
- The Declaration of Independence, US Constitution, Federalist papers and other documents of great importance are older
- Technology such as fireplaces and sailboats have been around for thousands of years.


Perhaps a better term would be "seminal".

That is a better term. Much clearer.


CW is a binary mode of communication that does not require a GUI, BFO, TNC, or envelope detector to operate.  Long. Short.  On.  Off.  Almost any visual stimulus that can be switched on and off can be used to send code.  Morse code contains the potential to transcend radio itself, unlike phone which begins and ends within the radio art.
 
Code doesn't have to be visual. And 'phone was on wire before it was on radio.

But your main point remains valid. Morse was the first widely-used method of electronic communications, and it revolutionized the world.

Consider that when Andrew Jackson was president, his communications options weren't much different from those of Julius Caesar. Once two parties got out of visual or shouting range, communications were only as fast as a man on a horse or a sailing ship. And to get news to a variety of places required sending a message to each.

But the single-wire Morse telegraph made communications almost instantaneous, and widespread, because one sender could be heard by many along the wire.

Consider that the Battle of New Orleans was fought after the War of 1812 was over, because word hadn't gotten there yet. But when Lincoln was killed in 1865, the whole country knew in a matter of hours.

btw, folks who think the Morse telegraph was "simple" or "primitive" don't really know how it works.

The most modern communications medium we have today isn't radio; it's fiber-optics. And it uses a variation on Morse Code: on-off keying, with headers and footers on packets - just like preambles and signatures on messages. 


Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."  That's what CW is all about.  I suspect this is why many hams pick up their keys day after day.

I think ol' Sam B. is a bit too negative there. It's not about failure, it's about success. Glass half full vs. half empty. The journey, not the destination.

For example, if I can do 30 wpm, am I a failure because I can't do 50 wpm? Or am I success because I started out at 0 wpm?

I don't interpret Beckett this way.  Rather, Beckett speaks of the brilliance of inadequacy.  Inadequacy and struggle perpetuates creativity and success, while the refusal to fail breeds stagnation, frustration, and anger.  Failure is the ironic triumph.  If a person can only send and receive at 3 wpm, he/she has triumphed through a continual desire for greater skill.
[/quote]

I see where you're going, now. But I would make some change to that third sentence.

I'd write it this way, as two sentences:

'Inadequacy and struggle coupled with the refusal to accept failure as a final verdict perpetuates creativity and success. But the refusal to try for fear of failure breeds stagnation, frustration, and anger.'

Your point is well taken.

73 de Jim, N2EY 

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« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2010, 04:07:44 AM »

IOW, the value of a skill should not be judged solely on how much money you can make with it.

Quite true.  This is the downfall of the American higher educational system.  So many students are grade-driven to the point of almost complete disinterest in content and intellectual development.  Business, nursing, and education schools should be divorced from universities (as in Europe). The academic study of humanities, theoretical mathematics and sciences, and engineering belong in institutions separate from professional schools.  This is another argument for another thread.  

The reason students are grade-driven is simple: Grades can be the difference. Between continuing and not continuing. Between a job and no job. Etc. And since students are not paid, grades are the visible evidence of accomplishment.

Counterintuitively, the higher a student gets in the educational system the less grades matter.  At the PhD level, the most valuable exams are the comprehensives and orals.  These are the admissions tests for the ABD. Fail, and you're not writing that monograph or executing the great experiment.  The exams are pass/fail almost everywhere.  At my school, the student is merely informed that the requirement is completed.  This is quite the opposite of a 250-student first year class with a grading curve etc.  Postgrad education is about the quality and not quantity.

In "Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance", Robert Pirsig discusses a theoretical University without grades. It is even more revolutionary now than it was then.

I know from experience that the "gradeless classrooms" often fail.  Students often lose motivation or direction.  Yet the A to F system need not be the only metric for evaluation.  Again, postgraduate education often relies on the verified completion of basic requirements plus demonstrated research ability.  Sure, a doctoral student might write a "sufficient" comp exam.  Yet his or her reputation in the department will rest on the direction of the demonstrated knowledge.  "Pass/Fail" doesn't mean an easy out necessarily.  This grading system merely establishes a baseline for holistic evaluation.  

Where all this ties into Amateur Radio is simple: Amateur Radio is a University of Radio, but without grades. The license tests are *entry* tests, not exit exams, and the education can be life-long. Each of us can be student and teacher, researcher and administrator, as we decide. And it's all interest-driven.

And as in any true University, there's a wide range of activities, but you do need to meet some basic requirements to get in.

Quite true.  This is in keeping with what I have written above.  Ham radio exams establish the evaluation baseline, as you suggest.  The ham who holds an Extra is held to a higher water mark than a Technician, but both have met certain minimum requirements to continue self-directed education.  Very good point.

I see a problem with splitting off certain fields of study from others, however: the cross-education will go away. I think those in the "pure" academics need exposure to the professions and "practical" stuff, and the reverse.

Grades can be the difference. Between continuing and not continuing. Between a job and no job. Etc.

The "will this be on the test?" mentality will be with us until the Second Coming or when the big asteroid hits, depending on one's persuasion.  I've found that students in humanities introductory classes that arrive from other departments sometimes view arts survey courses as gumball machines: insert the coin, twist the arm of the professor or TA, and get the desired result.  I find myself very constrained in what I can lecture about simply because the professor (and by consequence the TA's) are always aiming to produce an easy to grade exam.  I wish I could teach two entire courses on Christian church architecture, but I have two 50 minute sessions to cover the nativity scene to Pope Benedict.  Forced credentialization through compulsory post-secondary education has stifled discussion and intellectual development.  
 

Maybe you mean that the job duties don't require a college-degree - and you're probably right. But most employers prefer hiring degreed employees over those without a degree - for the good jobs, anyway.

Name some well-paying jobs that someone can get without a BA or BS - today. How many of them are really out there?

<snip>

You mean the degree functions as a door-opener, and I agree. The degree is seen as proof that the person can stick with something and be responsible in certain ways. A rite of passage, as it were.

<snip>

But now the harsh reality is that getting that degree has become enormously expensive, and has to be justified on economic grounds. IOW, "what job will that sheepskin lead to?"

A very good friend of mine taught community college math and tutored the SAT for many years.  He found an interesting dichotomy among community college students.  Some of the students in his classes chose to attend CC because of the low tuition and the automatic transfer to the state university for a BA or BS degree.  My friend enjoyed working with these high achieving students and helped them get ahead.  However, some students marked time in the CC system.  Some had no interest in advancing towards the two-year degree and merely attended to appease a parent.  This is a waste of time, money, and (disinterested) effort.  Unmotivated students would be better off going training for a trade rather than pursuing remedial academic education.  Yet many employers still require that postsecondary meal ticket regardless of whether or not the job requires postsecondary academic abilities.  

My friend also tutored a student that did not want to take the SAT.  He wanted to be a plumber like his father.  I say, great!  Plumbing is a good occupation that pays well and is in demand.  My friend agreed, and encouraged the student to look into an apprenticeship.  A few days later the student's irate mother called my friend and fired him for encouraging the student to seek employment rather than the community college.  She did not want her son to be "disadvantaged" by not having a college education.        

The cultural drift towards compulsory postsecondary education has harmed students.  College should not be viewed as a social marker.  Rather, a person should seek the employment that best suits him or her regardless of pressures to attend a collegiate academic  program.  There are socio-cultural valences here, such as economic position and ethnicity.  Nevertheless, I do think that some of these inequalities are manufactured by the corporate/economic insistence on postsecondary education as credentialization and as a marker of social position.

OT, but I agree that some parallels exist between credentialization and the amateur radio testing program debate.

73, Jordan
« Last Edit: November 01, 2010, 04:12:44 AM by Jordan » Logged
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