Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 ... 15 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Code/No Code CW-Do we need it?  (Read 58748 times)
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3909




Ignore
« Reply #60 on: November 04, 2010, 04:19:21 AM »

Yet the favorite frequencies of the "Radio Amish" aren't high on the list of frequencies commercial interests desire. 

HF and MF aren't very useful for current commercial purposes because the antennas are too big, the bandwidth is too small and the propogation too unpredictable. That BPL was even proposed, let alone implemented, is proof.

But what does the term "Radio Amish" really mean? Is it an insult or a form of praise?

Consider what the people called "the Amish" really are.

First off, they are a varied bunch. There is no single Amish "church" or "pope" or creed that is imposed by a complex hierarchy. Instead there are local congregations headed by a bishop who is simply one of them. Different congregations have slightly different rules.

One of the misconceptions that "English" folks have about Amish people is that they reject technology and progress. Another is that they are "stuck in the past". Nothing could be further from the truth.

What Amish people reject is the idea that all new things must be instantly accepted as "good" and "progress" simply because they are new and somebody is trying to sell them. The concern is that there may be unforeseen negative consequences which are far worse than the benefits. They do not want their way of life damaged or destroyed by changes that have unforeseen problems. So they only accept changes that, after consideration, they know won't cause such problems.

They also don't want to become dependent on outsiders, and at the same time isolated from each other.

For example, the cell phone is a marvelous invention, but it is also a source of problems.

In the bad old days before cellphones, there were times when most people were simply unavailable because they were in a car, on a plane, etc. And most employers knew and accepted that. But nowadays cell phones have eliminated that private time and space; many employers expect their workers to be available 24/7 via cell phone. People may actually get *less* done because of the constant interruption of cellphone calls.

There's also the growing evidence of accidents and near-misses caused by driver inattention while calling or texting. People justify everyone having cell phones "in an emergency", but how many have died because of cell-phone-related accidents? And now that the calling-while-driving habit has been established, how hard will it be to break?

Those problems are the result of accepting something new blindly, without really thinking about what could possibly go wrong. The Amish consider what could go wrong first, before the acceptance. And sometimes they see the problems as worse than the solutions.

So what does it mean to be "Radio Amish"? Seems to me it could mean folks who want to consider the problems changes could cause rather than blindly accepting them.

For example, there was a time when most hams built at least part of their stations. 100% homebrew stations weren't rare, and homebrew transmitters were common. They might not all have been up to the commercial state-of-the-art but the hams who built them knew how they worked and could fix them.

Then came SSB and transceivers and miniaturization. Kits replaced homebrewing and imports replaced kits. And the homebrew amateur station became a rarity - and so did the amateur who could fix anything that went wrong in his rig. Sure, some still do things the old ways, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

Did Amateur Radio really benefit from the change? The technology has become more complex yet the knowledge has become less. Is this a good thing?

Or should the consequences of change get more consideration BEFORE the change is made?

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




Ignore
« Reply #61 on: November 04, 2010, 11:54:37 AM »

Consider what the people called "the Amish" really are.

First off, they are a varied bunch. There is no single Amish "church" or "pope" or creed that is imposed by a complex hierarchy. Instead there are local congregations headed by a bishop who is simply one of them. Different congregations have slightly different rules.

Quite true.  It's also important to note that the greater theological school that the Amish belong to, the Mennonite branch of Anabaptist Christianity, also have adherents that use modern technology such as cars, air travel, computers, and cell phones.  Many Mennonites also attend university and hold professions.  Also, many Mennonites dress in a contemporary Western style.  Not everyone who's from an Anabaptist tradition is Amish.  Far from it.

One of the misconceptions that "English" folks have about Amish people is that they reject technology and progress. Another is that they are "stuck in the past". Nothing could be further from the truth.

What Amish people reject is the idea that all new things must be instantly accepted as "good" and "progress" simply because they are new and somebody is trying to sell them. The concern is that there may be unforeseen negative consequences which are far worse than the benefits. They do not want their way of life damaged or destroyed by changes that have unforeseen problems. So they only accept changes that, after consideration, they know won't cause such problems.

They also don't want to become dependent on outsiders, and at the same time isolated from each other.

This is quite true also.  Some Amish communities will permit limited computer use and even internet access (mail order sales, for example).  Many communities will have a communal phone booth rather than individual cellphones or landlines in each house.  Still other communities fight commonwealth/state vehicular regulations.  I remember reading that an Amish community in PA refused to put warning strobes and slow vehicle triangles on their buggies.  Other communities will gladly comply with DMV regulations. 

Sadly, many Amish are culturally exploited by tourists (i.e. Lancaster).  I can see their ambivalence about technological engagement with the outside world.  However, I'm sure that many Amish know that they must compromise socioeconomically or die.  The question of Amish accommodation with contemporary North American culture parallels the social factors that isolate and antagonize certain communities within in ham radio.

So what does it mean to be "Radio Amish"? Seems to me it could mean folks who want to consider the problems changes could cause rather than blindly accepting them.

For example, there was a time when most hams built at least part of their stations. 100% homebrew stations weren't rare, and homebrew transmitters were common. They might not all have been up to the commercial state-of-the-art but the hams who built them knew how they worked and could fix them.

Then came SSB and transceivers and miniaturization. Kits replaced homebrewing and imports replaced kits. And the homebrew amateur station became a rarity - and so did the amateur who could fix anything that went wrong in his rig. Sure, some still do things the old ways, but they're the exception rather than the rule.

Did Amateur Radio really benefit from the change? The technology has become more complex yet the knowledge has become less. Is this a good thing?

I see your point about appliance operation.  You and I both know this phenomenon has long been an aspect of ham radio.  The resistance to the "plug 'n' play" mentality among the homebrew/kit community is, in one respect, a lament that ham radio as "the advancement of the radio art" is barely alive.  Still, while many Amish still build their homes and churches by hand, modern conveniences such as electrical generators and modern tools help complete these tasks.  While I have a strong respect those who have built their own stations, I doubt it's salutary to swear off any miniaturization or computerization.  I also doubt that it's possible today. 

I suspect that the phrase "Radio Amish" connotes a different issue.  A person needs only remember the old debates over the "no-code" Tech in the early 90's and the accusation that "no-code" would certainly mean the CBification of the hobby.  This meme is still lodged strongly in the conscience of older operators. 

Some newer hams contend that the code supporters forced the code test issue for so long to create artificial barriers against those who had difficulty with the code or no interest in learning it.  I suspect that many amateurs (including myself) also viewed the code tests as veiled aptitude tests.  Intellectual aptitude does not guarantee courteous behavior.  Still, I strongly suspect that many hams that earned their licenses under the ancien regime thought that the code would filter out less intelligent operators.  I strongly suspect that the "no-code is CB" arguments of the early 90's no-so-tacitly implied that CBers were unintelligent and therefore unfit to be hams.

Also, for many older hams the code tests signified commitment to the hobby.  The desire to learn code and pass the code tests signified a certain devotion to the hobby.  This is disproved somewhat by the many operators who slogged through the code tests only to put the key away after earning the ticket.  Nevertheless, the code tests represented for many the "essence" of ham radio.  I agree that it is the most vital form of communication, but I now doubt if CW can be presented in this manner.  It's uncharitable and perhaps abusive to say to a new ham that really struggles with CW that CW is the "essence of communication". 

"Radio Amish", then advocate three aspects:

1) The patronization and exclusion of towards those that do not show an interest in the radio art or technical proficiency

2) The endorsement of the idea that the code tests selected hams of greater intellectual aptitude.  The abolition of the code tests "lowered the bar" and introduced less apt operators.

3) The position that successful completion of code tests demonstrated "devotion" to the hobby.

The "Radio Amish" strive to recreate the lost ante-restructuring world.  Since this is impossible, many will behave as if these tacit standards still apply: "Oh?  You don't go on CW? ..." 

I am guilty of many of these positions.  Nevertheless, many of us face the decision of sequestering ourselves within the "Radio Amish" community or living in the new world.  Many will struggle with the new modernism.  Others will hold their ground to the end.  I am not sure where I stand.

It's clear, from any perspective, that there are many in the ham radio community that have rejected restructuring as a "way of life".  The accommodation of these hams is the pivot around which many ham radio social issues revolve. 
 
73, Jordan     

« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 04:01:02 PM by Jordan » Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3909




Ignore
« Reply #62 on: November 05, 2010, 07:23:03 PM »

It's also important to note that the greater theological school that the Amish belong to, the Mennonite branch of Anabaptist Christianity, also have adherents that use modern technology such as cars, air travel, computers, and cell phones.  Many Mennonites also attend university and hold professions.  Also, many Mennonites dress in a contemporary Western style.  Not everyone who's from an Anabaptist tradition is Amish.  Far from it.

Exactly. A great variety, and should not all be lumped together.

  Some Amish communities will permit limited computer use and even internet access (mail order sales, for example).  Many communities will have a communal phone booth rather than individual cellphones or landlines in each house.  Still other communities fight commonwealth/state vehicular regulations.  I remember reading that an Amish community in PA refused to put warning strobes and slow vehicle triangles on their buggies.  Other communities will gladly comply with DMV regulations.?

Earlier this year I went back and forth between here and Holtwood PA for a couple of days. Encountered several buggies each trip. No problems.

Sadly, many Amish are culturally exploited by tourists (i.e. Lancaster).  I can see their ambivalence about technological engagement with the outside world.  However, I'm sure that many Amish know that they must compromise socioeconomically or die.

I don't see any reason why they must compromise. They've been around a lot longer than most other Americans of European ancestry. Their lifestyle is much more sustainable than "modern" America's.

The biggest problems they face today are connected with land.

1) In most Amish communities the land is passed down to the sons and divided equally among them. Which works for a couple of generations but eventually the farms become too small to be worthwhile.

2) Many Amish communities are squeezed by exurban sprawl, and rising land prices (and taxes) push them out. Some communities have simply packed up and moved to other parts of the USA where land is cheaper. But it's a tough go.

More to come...

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3909




Ignore
« Reply #63 on: November 06, 2010, 05:53:48 AM »


I see your point about appliance operation.  You and I both know this phenomenon has long been an aspect of ham radio.  The resistance to the "plug 'n' play" mentality among the homebrew/kit community is, in one respect, a lament that ham radio as "the advancement of the radio art" is barely alive. 

 Still, while many Amish still build their homes and churches by hand, modern conveniences such as electrical generators and modern tools help complete these tasks.  While I have a strong respect those who have built their own stations, I doubt it's salutary to swear off any miniaturization or computerization.  I also doubt that it's possible today. 

Sure it's possible. But that's not the point.

The real point is that the "progress" was pushed as a universal solution, not as one more tool in the toolbox. (The ARRL leadership supported SSB in a big way from the late 1940s onward).



I suspect that the phrase "Radio Amish" connotes a different issue.  A person needs only remember the old debates over the "no-code" Tech in the early 90's and the accusation that "no-code" would certainly mean the CBification of the hobby.  This meme is still lodged strongly in the conscience of older operators. 

Some newer hams contend that the code supporters forced the code test issue for so long to create artificial barriers against those who had difficulty with the code or no interest in learning it.  I suspect that many amateurs (including myself) also viewed the code tests as veiled aptitude tests.  Intellectual aptitude does not guarantee courteous behavior.  Still, I strongly suspect that many hams that earned their licenses under the ancien regime thought that the code would filter out less intelligent operators.  I strongly suspect that the "no-code is CB" arguments of the early 90's no-so-tacitly implied that CBers were unintelligent and therefore unfit to be hams.

But was the concern about "CBification" unfounded?

Consider the history:

Amateur radio has existed since before licensing was mandatory. It was organized and officially recognized through the efforts of a few individuals who lobbied for it and opposed efforts to legislate amateur radio out of existence. Maxim, Warner, Stewart and others were key people on both the national and international scene in this regard. Amateur radio wasn't officially recognized by international treaty until 1927.

Part of the Amateur Radio culture has always been respect for each other and the rules and regulations. While there have always been a few bad apples, the overwhelming majority of hams followed the rules and tried to be courteous and knowledgeable operators.

11 meter CB, on the other hand, was created in the late 1950s by US government fiat. It was intended as a lower-cost higher-performance version of UHF CB, and rules were put in place to limit power, antennas, etc.

For a few years 11 meter CB was well-behaved. But by the mid-1960s a culture of anarchy had begun to appear, and by the early 1970s it was the dominant culture on those channels. Use of "handles" rather than callsigns, super power, jamming, "skip", vandalism, the use of radio to evade law enforcement and many other violations were the rule rather than the exception. 

Worse, the problems did not stay on the authorized channels. CB begat "freeband", using frequencies other than those channels - including 10 meters. TVI caused by super-powered CB was all too common - and all too often blamed on innocent amateurs.

FCC tried to enforce the rules on 11 meters but it was simply too much for them. They had never expected that their would be mass defiance of the regulations.

The question to consider is: Why did CB become such a mess so quickly, yet amateur radio did not?

It wasn't the enforcement efforts of FCC; they expended far more on CB than on amateur radio.

It wasn't be the cost of equipment; lots of hams got started with equipment that cost less than many CB setups.

What was it that caused CB to become so different from amateur radio? And how could amateur radio avoid a similar fate?

What are *your* answers to those questions?

The answers to these questions are vitally important if amateur radio is to avoid what happened to CB. Of course some folks would like it if amateur radio became just like CB!


Also, for many older hams the code tests signified commitment to the hobby.  The desire to learn code and pass the code tests signified a certain devotion to the hobby.

I think a better term is "personal investment". A person can buy radio equipment, and can hire others to put up antennas and assemble a station. Modern gear is pretty simple to get working and to use, anyway.

The written exams have been simplified and reduced steadily since the 1970s, and many people know enough basic electronics to pass the theory parts. Anybody with a job or some training in the electronics game should not require more than a quick overview of the rules to pass the tests.

But the Morse Code test was different. It was something that couldn't be bought and that most people didn't already know.

Sure, it's not really that hard to learn - not at the 5 wpm entry level, or even the 20 wpm top level. But it does require some personal investment of time and effort which could not be farmed out or avoided.

As for the attitudes of "older" operators, consider this data:

Back in 1996, the ARRL had a survey of attitudes towards the Morse Code test done by Readex, a professional survey outfit.

When the results were in and tabulated by the age of the respondents, it turned out that it was the *youngest* respondents who were *most* supportive of Morse Code testing, and the *oldest* who were the least supportive!

This is disproved somewhat by the many operators who slogged through the code tests only to put the key away after earning the ticket.  Nevertheless, the code tests represented for many the "essence" of ham radio. 

I don't think either of those assertions are proven.

You cite those who put the key away as proof, but consider how many hams put the *theory* away. The same argument can be used against almost everything in the written tests. (See "Imagine This" thread).

As for the "essence", what I think was really going on was resistance to a gradual reduction of standards that served no good purpose.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
N9AOP
Member

Posts: 151




Ignore
« Reply #64 on: November 06, 2010, 01:33:05 PM »

It's about the volume.

This day and age, folks go for the easy.  By making the exams elementary, many more folks are able to be licensed.  A by product of this is that the ARRL can inflate its membership.                    Also,  there must be some critical mass, below which we  become useless and the FCC can reissue our frequencies to someone else.  Easy entry to ham radio keeps up the volume.
Art
Logged
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




Ignore
« Reply #65 on: November 06, 2010, 06:34:18 PM »

But was the concern about "CBification" unfounded?

Consider the history:

<snip>

Part of the Amateur Radio culture has always been respect for each other and the rules and regulations. While there have always been a few bad apples, the overwhelming majority of hams followed the rules and tried to be courteous and knowledgeable operators.

<snip: the rise and crashing fall of Class D CB. Well put.>

What was it that caused CB to become so different from amateur radio? And how could amateur radio avoid a similar fate?

What are *your* answers to those questions?

Consider these points.  These points are not only bright lines between CB and ham radio.  These bright lines also delineate cultural camps after code abolition and restructuring.

The centrality of the code to the amateur "narrative"

The code is the ritual narrative of amateur radio.  The code has always separated CB from ham radio in so far as the oral history of CB depended solely on vagary voice transmissions.  CW, as the basal communications mode of amateur radio, has recorded ham radio historical and artistic evolution through a formal language and operating practice that transcends spoken langauge.  Hams were expected to have a baseline proficiency that would permit them at least basic access to this art and history.  We hams could always return to the code.  The code was most common form of expression.

The abolition of the code requirement in 2007 has blurred the lines between ham radio as an avocation of communication art into another personal communications service reliant on the common denominator of voice transmission.  The abolition of the code now removes many hams for the oral history of the code.  This is a great loss, but perhaps unavoidable.  The only other option is to construct an oral history around phone.  Phone, however, does not have the venerable provenance and the unique non-verbal qualities of the code.   

Those who rail against the code's importance in contemporary ham radio neglect the vitality of CW oral tradition.  I wonder if this disinterest in orality also reflects  CBification so far as CB does not presume communicative art. 

The rise of the pseudo-type-acceptance mentality in ham radio

As you well note, many hams today assemble stations from turnkey equipment.  As is well known, ham equipment is "certified" and not "type accepted".  Yet the assemblage of a station from discrete manufactured components can be viewed as a "pseudo-type acceptance mentality".  This development, and its ancilliary effects, could be constructed as a CBification of ham radio.  I am particularly concerned with some new hams' desire to purchase an amp while or soon after purchasing a HF rig.  Would they do better to refresh themselves on technical theory, evaluate their antenna and ground situation, gauge radiation exposure, and ponder the necessity to amplify their signal to the legal limit for profitable operation? 

Though off topic, the recent concern over new Generals repeatedly operating outside of band also portends Parts 95.  After all, Generals are tested on privileges.  There is no excuse. 

Only two solutions exist: elmer new hams into proper operating practice and perhaps an appreciation (if not frequent use) of CW, or simply wall ourselves into the CW sidebands and forget about what's happening on voice.  This is a decision that each operation needs to make for him/herself.  The choice to accept or reject restructuring parallels the Amish experience so far as segments of the ham radio community will inevitably reject those that do not embrace the expected qualifications of hams licensed before 2000.  Some hams, particularly dedicated CW operators, will decide to reject the restructured aspects of phone.  They will decide, better or worse, to hitch their buggies to a CW enclave.

As for the attitudes of "older" operators, consider this data:

Back in 1996, the ARRL had a survey of attitudes towards the Morse Code test done by Readex, a professional survey outfit.

When the results were in and tabulated by the age of the respondents, it turned out that it was the *youngest* respondents who were *most* supportive of Morse Code testing, and the *oldest* who were the least supportive!

As a callow kid back in 1995 when I passed the 20, restructuring was the farthest thing from my mind.  I was relieved to have the tests done.  Soon after this the restructuring talks began.  I was quite opposed to restructuring not because of a hazing mentality but because I enjoyed the code.

This is disproved somewhat by the many operators who slogged through the code tests only to put the key away after earning the ticket.  Nevertheless, the code tests represented for many the "essence" of ham radio.

You are right.  This is completely irrelevant and meaningless.

73, Jordan
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 06:39:04 PM by Jordan » Logged
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1130




Ignore
« Reply #66 on: November 07, 2010, 05:19:24 AM »


what does the term "Radio Amish" really mean? Is it an insult or a form of praise?

Consider what the people called "the Amish" really are.

First off, they are a varied bunch. There is no single Amish "church" or "pope" or creed that is imposed by a complex hierarchy. Instead there are local congregations headed by a bishop who is simply one of them. Different congregations have slightly different rules.

sounds like code enthusiasts: a diverse group too often mistakenly lumped into a single category with a small group of 2 meter hams who once suggested if you did not pass a code test you were not a real ham.  probably this group of pro-code testing hams actually do not like CW at all but just want others to 'endure' the same obstacles they had to navigate.  despite their grievances, a real ham is anyone with a license (period).

One of the misconceptions that "English" folks have about Amish people is that they reject technology and progress. Another is that they are "stuck in the past". Nothing could be further from the truth.

exactly.  when a ham operates CW with a straight key (or a keyer, hihi), they are 100% in the present.  calling a CW operator 'stuck in the past' is a lame attempt to demonize CW operation.   if you brush your teeth with an 'old school' toothbrush instead of an electronic one, or if you open cans with a manual can-opener instead of a 'modern' one -- you are not stuck in the past any more than someone who uses the latest contraption. 

What Amish people reject is the idea that all new things must be instantly accepted as "good" and "progress" simply because they are new and somebody is trying to sell them. The concern is that there may be unforeseen negative consequences which are far worse than the benefits. They do not want their way of life damaged or destroyed by changes that have unforeseen problems. So they only accept changes that, after consideration, they know won't cause such problems.


Native Americans have the same traditional cultural hesitance toward accepting new technology as 'progress'.  they are not anti-technology -- the canoe/kayak is a design still in use today for its technical excellence.  like the Amish they realize it can be dangerous to accept a new change before it has been vetted over time, and to this end any new proposal was considered in light of its effect on the people seventh generations in the future.  This is an approach much better suited to a sustainable life-style, and to a perspective which considers the whole of life on Earth an inter and intra-related family (as opposed to man against the very Earth and non-human organisms which sustain him).  In short, it is not an approach a generation only concerned about itself (or next quarter's profits) finds desirable. 

So what does it mean to be "Radio Amish"? Seems to me it could mean folks who want to consider the problems changes could cause rather than blindly accepting them.

Or should the consequences of change get more consideration BEFORE the change is made?

we are daily bombarded by advertisements which suggest that blindly accepting change through technological advance is the road to the promised land.  are you daring to suggest that the proverbial promised land can only be found in the here and now and not through the latest gadget?   someone once had the audacity to say that 'progress is finding a good place to stop.' dit dit 
Logged
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1130




Ignore
« Reply #67 on: November 07, 2010, 05:34:53 AM »

The code is the ritual narrative of amateur radio.  The code has always separated CB from ham radio in so far as the oral history of CB depended solely on vagary voice transmissions.  CW, as the basal communications mode of amateur radio, has recorded ham radio historical and artistic evolution through a formal language and operating practice that transcends spoken langauge.  Hams were expected to have a baseline proficiency that would permit them at least basic access to this art and history.  We hams could always return to the code.  The code was most common form of expression.

The abolition of the code requirement in 2007 has blurred the lines between ham radio as an avocation of communication art into another personal communications service reliant on the common denominator of voice transmission.  The abolition of the code now removes many hams for the oral history of the code.  This is a great loss, but perhaps unavoidable.  The only other option is to construct an oral history around phone.  Phone, however, does not have the venerable provenance and the unique non-verbal qualities of the code.  

Those who rail against the code's importance in contemporary ham radio neglect the vitality of CW oral tradition.  I wonder if this disinterest in orality also reflects  CBification so far as CB does not presume communicative art.  


good question.

there are also those who may have already had the technological expertise to jump into ham radio prior to seeking a license, and they might have found the code requirement 'beneath' them even though such an attitude was a knee-jerk reaction that failed to appreciate the points you make above.

what i find humorous is the perspective that states that the code-requirement needed to be dropped because it was discriminatory.  it seems no more discriminatory than forcing would-be hams to learn Q codes.  While cost-cutting no doubt played a big role in the abolition of the code requirement, there is no reason it could not have been retained in multiple choice questions   -- such as: what message does the following morse code communicate?  "_ _ . _       . _ .        . _ . .        . . _ _ . ."   A. CQ from W6LHA     B. 73   C.  what is your location?   D. Are you busy?  

Maybe future tests can include such questions...
Logged
N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




Ignore
« Reply #68 on: November 07, 2010, 07:19:22 AM »

Morse needed to be dropped for a LONG time.  In my opinion it held on WAY too long and as a result, it CAUSED the problems we now face with the idiots who seem to make class distinction between the no-coders and 'real hams'.  Real lids are more like it.

Yeah, CW is fun, but it had no place as a mandatory requirement past maybe the late 60's.  Ok, maybe as an entry in the 60's, but not for advanced licenses.  

If it wasn't a bogus requirement, then let me ask this...  Why was it that EVERY SINGLE ASTRONAUT that asked, got a waiver?    With a few exceptions, every astronaut in the early shuttle days was a Tech.  But you had to be an Extra to be 'spaced based'.  I recall only seeing 2 astronauts that were even General in those days, but they all got an FCC waiver for space based operation.  If it was a logical requirement, then they shouldn't have gotten the waiver.  

Back about 1986, I wrote to the FCC and enquired about this.  Before I could file a formal request, suddenly the 'space based' requirement was dropped.  

Hey, CW can be fun.  There's something about a minimal station.  My Swan before I loaned it out was straight key only.  It NEVER saw a mic plugged into it in all the time I had it.  I even bought my K2 for the sole reason of more CW.  But now...  

Before they restructured, I had made a proposal that no-code techs be given privlidges in the novice CW sections of HF as a lure, and that once anyone gets any CW endorsement, they have full CW subsection access.  I thought that would be a good  lure to bring people into contact with CW, and once they got exposed to it they might get the bug.  But the infighting of the 'CW forever' crowd and the anti-CW people held off any change until it was proposed to totally drop it.

Personally, I was glad to see it go, although I do feel we lost one hell of an opportunity to draw people into the pro-cw fold by the abrupt change.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 07:22:19 AM by Mike Yetsko » Logged
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1130




Ignore
« Reply #69 on: November 07, 2010, 07:41:47 AM »

Yeah, CW is fun, but it had no place as a mandatory requirement past maybe the late 60's.  Ok, maybe as an entry in the 60's, but not for advanced licenses.  

If it wasn't a bogus requirement, then let me ask this...  Why was it that EVERY SINGLE ASTRONAUT that asked, got a waiver?    With a few exceptions, every astronaut in the early shuttle days was a Tech.  But you had to be an Extra to be 'spaced based'.  I recall only seeing 2 astronauts that were even General in those days, but they all got an FCC waiver for space based operation.  If it was a logical requirement, then they shouldn't have gotten the waiver.  

perhaps a better question is what percentage of astronauts requested a waiver vs the percentage that did not -- and why did some request a waiver?  did they think learning morse code was too difficult or beneath them (a diva type reaction)?  did they have a predisposition against learning new things?   was there some fear involved?  should math students today not be required to learn long math because it is antiquated?  maybe basic math students should, but what about math majors?

maybe the FCC was just giving astronauts undue deference


Logged
N1DVJ
Member

Posts: 530




Ignore
« Reply #70 on: November 07, 2010, 07:45:47 AM »

At the time I started my discussion with the FCC, EVERY one that was a ham asked for the exemption.  And every one got it.
Logged
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1130




Ignore
« Reply #71 on: November 07, 2010, 09:18:03 AM »

why didn't they learn code?
Logged
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




Ignore
« Reply #72 on: November 07, 2010, 09:27:58 AM »

Before they restructured, I had made a proposal that no-code techs be given privlidges in the novice CW sections of HF as a lure

This eventually happened.  I agree, however, that this should have been done a long time ago, perhaps in the early 90s.

and that once anyone gets any CW endorsement, they have full CW subsection access.

Yes, very true.  In an ideal plan, the no-code General and Extra would have only the Novice CW privileges.  Those seeking to operate unrestricted CW would have to pass a 5 wpm.  That way, those with no interest in operating CW or data could be satisfied with no-code HF licenses.

73, Jordan   
Logged
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




Ignore
« Reply #73 on: November 07, 2010, 09:32:08 AM »

why didn't they learn code?

I am sure that astronauts are quite busy with their training and administrative work.  I'm also sure that the majority of them aren't interested in ham radio as a hobby.  Does this justify waviers?  No, but I'm sure many of them viewed the Extra as just another vocational certification.  Perhaps some astronauts have an interest in CW.  I don't know but I suspect that many don't.

Then again, many hams that have no interest in CW learned code to get the Extra.  Should the astronauts be any different?  Probably not.

73, Jordan
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3909




Ignore
« Reply #74 on: November 07, 2010, 10:03:52 AM »

Code testing was required by treaty for any class of amateur license that allowed operation below 30 MHz until July 2003. And it was FCC policy not to violate that provision of the treaty. That's why they couldn't just drop the code test before that date, despite proposals and requests.

The treaty provision was revised in July 2003 but it still took FCC almost 4 years to change the rules.

IMHO, the main reason it took so long is that the no-code-test folks dropped the ball and didn't have a short-and-sweet widely-supported proposal ready to go when the rules changed. Instead, there were a flurry of proposals that got RM numbers, comments, etc.

Too often, we hams make the mistake of not achieving consensus before approaching FCC, and the result is delay after delay.

For an example of how it could have been done better, look at what happened in Canada. The code test was not removed; instead, the grading method was revised so that the code-test score is part of the overall score rather than a separate go/no-go element. I suggested such a system in my comments to FCC.

As for the astronauts, AFAIK none of the ham-in-space operations involved HF.

73 de Jim, N2EY

 
« Last Edit: November 07, 2010, 10:27:07 AM by James Miccolis » Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 ... 15 Next   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!