I'm not saying we shouldn't be friendly.... and I've done more than my fair share at pointing newbies in the right direction in a patient, friendly manner. I'm simply it's up to EACH individual operator, especially the more-seasoned operators, to try to increase their technical understanding.
I agree 100%.
It's one thing to see a question from someone who has read the manual, searched the web, and gone through resources such as the Handbook and Antenna Book.
It's a very different thing to see a question from someone who hasn't done those things, and expects a custom-made explanation of something that will be effortless for them to read and implement.
It's ironic that you quote an "Amateur's Code" from 1928, 83 years ago... when people had to make their own stations and HAD to be technically-inclined to get on the air. We don't live in that era anymore.
Yes and no. While we don't need to build everything from parts, a certain amount of techno-savvy is still needed. For example, consider the simple matter of being in-band. You'd think it was no problem any more because modern rigs have digital readouts accurate to a few Hz. Yet the op needs to understand why it's OK to operate LSB on 3999 but not OK to operate USB on 14349, even though both dial indications are inside the band.
When it comes to antennas and transmission lines, there's actually more to know today than in 1928.
The Amateurs Code was probably written based on the assumption that hams had a core set of knowledge already. There's simply no excuse for hams who refuse to read up on their radios, whether they're judged by 83 year old standards or today's standards.
The reason The Amateur's Code is so important today is because it is about a set of attitudes and values - which should not change.
As for 1928 amateurs having a core set of knowledge - that's pretty debatable. Think of what radio, and amateur radio, were like in 1928:
- Radio itself was only a few decades old. It was the bee's-knees/cat's pajamas New Thing. Mandatory amateur licensing was only 16 years old, and amateur radio itself was only internationally recognized in 1927.
- In 1919, when amateur radio was released from the shut down of the Great War, amateur radio was essentially all on 200 meters and almost all spark. 1000 miles was DX, requiring an elaborate 1 kw station, and 1500 miles was headline stuff. In less than 10 years spark was completely gone, 200 meters was abandoned, and working other continents or the Antipodes with a few dozen watts and a blooper was fairly common. Rapid technological change isn't new.
- In 1928 amateur radio was still struggling just to survive:
1912 had seen the imposition of licensing and the banishment to 200 meters and 1 kW, both considered worthless at the time.
The Great War had shut down amateur radio completely, including receiving, and there were plenty of folks who wanted it to stay shut down forever.
The international radio conferences of the 1920s had been a long struggle to gain international recognition from governments who distrusted the very idea of individual citizens having radio transmitters (and receivers in some cases).
Although amateurs had proved the value of the short-waves in the early 1920s, they had to compete with government and commercial interests.
Broadcasting had taken off in the 1920s and interference issues were a big threat; broadcast listeners had almost no understanding of the technology.
It was therefore essential that amateurs present a good face to the world and each other, just to survive.
- As part of the 1927 treaty that recognized amateur radio as a separate service with its own bands and rules, the US bands had been considerably narrowed and technical standards raised, effective 1929. Many amateurs faced a near-complete rebuild of their stations in order to comply. How they faced the challenges was very important.
73 de Jim, N2EY