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Author Topic: The beauty of on air CW QSO cf the ham in "real life"  (Read 5079 times)

Posts: 1215

« on: December 18, 2017, 05:54:42 PM »

Think about it: on CW there is no politics, no religion, no business. You don't know who you are in QSO with and you don't care. There are (generally) accepted ettiquettes. Some times friendships DO develop off air and they are solid strong friendships in real life.

But let us take a look at the forums. CW operators trade insults. An issue is raised, an argument put forward, and those that have nothing to say of value, go off the topic or hurl insults and get all personal, or try to. That rarely ends well. And yet, if on air, the same CW ops would never have had a problem.

Reality is, in the west especially (Russia is e.g. different as many youngsters still enter ham radio given the coverage it gets on TV from time to time plus the local club activities unrestricted by over-the-top health and safety and liability issues) most hams, especially CW ops, are now very old.

On air, this sometimes shows up as a shaky fist, a forgetful memory, and in some cases even sending on air while under the influence of sleeping tablets or having lost the mind and capacity to think. This is usually the final transmissions before being carted off involuntarily into an aged 'care' concentration camp.

But on the forum, where keyboard can go outside the WISE restrictions of ham radio - no politics, no religion, no business, and ettiquette - it would appear that these same folks are truly in the last stages, unable to use their fists on air any more, perhaps shy from a CW keyboard, but post prolifically on forums and simply display their condition which is belied by our believe in a (short) callsign.

Call signs don't mean anything any more. But it's very comforting that on air CW operators generally behave. We don't raise the issues there, even though our audience is much smaller on air, we raise them in forums and end up trading insults the same people again and again. What of the many who read, and are shy to come into this fray?!

When I first posted on a US CW forum, I was attacked as an outsider, raising issues and views that were beyond the usual showing off of scores and achievements -- a look at some of the QRZ pages is educational: some contain nothing but boasts, without any photographs. Others show nothing at all.

It is no wonder that few non English speakers and those from cultures where you never insult someone and if they insult you you simply go away and don't return, do not frequent these forums. Also no wonder that it is the usual dozen that post. We've come to know the default positions of those regular posters: long-winded super-talker LouEEE, and others left to your imagination or experience.

I think it really doesn't serve much other than to create page views for a web site. A forum to be effective and meaningful requires moderation, OR, a different TYPE of participation: if we take the QRP Labs email reflector for example, NEVER is there any acrimony, and it hasn't needed moderation.

I'm coming to the conclusion that those that enjoy CW on air, are only few on the CW forum here, and would not dream of making the insults and allegations that they do in the forum, that would in some cases even create an income for lawyers. I'm not saying my views are not controversial when it comes to CW: I remind about band plans and the scientific reason behind them, that is controversial, but I did not expect it to be so.

I remind about tolerance for variations from digital or keyer CW and did not think that urging such tolerance would be controversial.

I remind that the hobby is diverse, and there are many speeds and keying types and we should encourage or at least tolerate them all, and that faster Ops are generally happy to match the speed and capability of the other, and did not think that position is controversial, but evidently it is.

I remind about the DX pile up being an increasing problem due to so many factors that were not around 20 years ago, even though the numbers of CW ops have since declined, and seek solutions and ideas to the problem, and am told that any aspect of amateur radio now doesn't deserve consideration.

I'm not complaining, I'm sure the dotards will think so, I'm passing an observation. It seems this is not a friendly forum for the exchange of views, but a pissing contest on who can be more insulting, who can derail a thread more, who has the highest posting score (some have well over 6,000 posts).

It is easy to push buttons here, and I've done it. Reactions are generally predictable. But what seems to be underestimated constantly is the idea that a first class license and CW operator has all their marbles in place. Naturally this would not be the case considering the average age of the CW Op.

It's a pity but if we can go by on line postings CW ops seem to spend more time bashing and counter-bashing CW ops than engaging in friendly and constructive discussion of solutions. I've launched several threads with such issues, and observed others raising issues and questions, and almost invariably the threads degenerate into off topic deflections, showing off (even if just to prove senility) and trading of insults sometimes desperate ones.

What type of people are welcome to post in this forum? Anyone can post, but there is a huge silent majority out there, who we never hear from. And I'm ashamed to see that because of my fast typing speed (being much younger than average and having worked jobs that required fast typing) and lack of fear of putting forward questions and ideas, and responding to them, that my callsign features far too often in "last post by".

I think therefore I will give it a rest on this forum, and hope to catch you on air. The usual half dozen will be able to surely answer questions from newcomers and those returning to CW, and the other half dozen will be able to continue to show off their intellectual deficiencies unhindered.

It really is great that in CW QSO we know nothing about the other person and their beliefs, politics, or state of intelligence or dementia, as it enables us to have those simple enjoyable QSO. That is another one of the many beauties of CW. In many ways it is blind and crosses many borders. 73 es 77, Lou.

Long Live Real Human CW and wishing you many happy CW QSO - 77 - CW Forever

Support CW and join CW clubs. QTT: FIST#1124, HSC#1437, UFT#728, RCWC#982, SKCC#15007, CWOPS#1714, 30CW#1,

Posts: 764

« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 06:07:33 PM »

   OK Lou, Thanks for your postings, you've brought up some interesting points and topics during your stay.
   I didn't know how to take you at first but I am now convinced you have a true passion for CW operating.
   God Speed my friend es 72/73   Lane  de n8aft  sk  ..

Posts: 444

« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 11:45:35 PM »

I sincerely hope you find what you are looking for.  Its just a pity you had to have a dig at everyone on your way out the door, rather than take a good hard look at yourself and see the proportion of blame that you carry for your own libelous and ad hominem attacks.

73 and thanks for all the fish.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 11:49:10 PM by VK4FFAB » Logged

Posts: 428

« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 06:32:37 AM »

 Good luck Lou. Hope to work you from somewhere interesting in the world someday.

  I stopped posting on QRZ almost 2 years ago & certainly haven't let the door hit me in the ass. Rehashing the same subjects ad nauseam persuaded me to go QRT from QRZ. I've never personally had any problems with anyone on eHam or QRZ despite my (sometimes) ego driven grandstanding.  Smiley

 Have fun in your "retirement" from posting on eHam. Good to know there are a few strong purveyors of CW who have a beating heart.

                                                                      Tom KC0W               

Posts: 15

« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 08:40:05 AM »

I have been a ham since the late 70's, but due to various and sundry circumstances have been off the air for around 9 years or so.  Now that I'm retired, I'm trying to get on the air again.  During my active on-air years, I enjoyed and worked a lot of CW.  I never got to be "fast", but I was reasonably competent. 

During that 9 years, my job was about 8 hours travel time from the permanent residence.  To stay sane and semi-healthy while at the work location, I took up road cycling (bicycle).  It worked.  I quit smoking, lost a bunch of weight, met new friends, and joined several several message boards related to cycling.  The time spent on the cycling boards helped me learn things about that avocation that I might otherwise have missed early on.

I have noticed the same behaviors on the cycling boards as those referenced by VK5EEE.  Some threads get vicious and/or out of hand quickly.  The topic of some threads drift so far that the original topic is totally lost in the noise and bears little to no resemblance to the topic of the OP.

Now, on the road with the average road cyclist or in a group of cyclists, people are generally well-behaved and friendly.  If one has a flat or a "mechanical", people will stop and assist until the problem is solved.  You can hear people conversing all through the group, and it is enjoyable. 

Fast cyclists tend to ride together in groups as do the slower ones in their groups.  Most of those who race on an amateur or semi-pro basis (think fast CW ops here) are very accommodating to those of us who are not that fast if we are in a big group ride.

The anonymity of the keyboard does indeed appear to embolden some folks to say things that they might not say during a road ride or a CW QSO.  It's interesting.

I'm still trying to "dig out" my HF gear, and I need to get some wire up.  Hopefully, I will see VK5EEE and others here on the air in the not-too-distant future.

Tnx es 73 de KA5GEX . .


Posts: 6748

« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 09:33:47 AM »

Lou, I get the impression from readings these posts you're either no longer going to post or quitting eHam.

Please don't.  I have put you on my IGNORE list so won't be jerking your chain any longer. 

A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 62

« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 12:50:04 PM »

Thank you Lou for all the good things you've brought here. I often enjoyed reading your posts. I hope to meet you on the air one day even though VK-land is nothing but a dream for me. 73 es 77!

Seiuchy, free morse QSO quiz and simulator

Posts: 444

« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 01:32:07 PM »

Lou, I get the impression from readings these posts you're either no longer going to post or quitting eHam.

Please don't.  I have put you on my IGNORE list so won't be jerking your chain any longer. 

I do not think that is the main problem. The real issue is that I laid bare for all to see 5EEE's dubious and questionable past. And that is the problem when you question peoples integrity, honesty and tell lies about them, someone is going to dig up all your past and show you to be a total hypocrite. And so he wants to get back to just doing his radio hobby and being a call sign, not a forum personality with opinions and a past, just VK5EEE a string of dits and dahs and to that end i sincerely wish him the best of luck.

One of the very best things i did for my radio hobby was cut out almost all social media as it is nothing more than a drain on your time and energy, cut out rag chewing because all my friends stopped doing radio and I am to old to bother trying to be accepted in some IN group and focused more on the things that mattered to me, home brewing, WWFF and a bit of contesting. And I am much happier for it and enjoy the time i get out now in a national park and operate portable.

Posts: 170

« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »

Think about it: on CW there is no politics, no religion, no business. You don't know who you are in QSO with and you don't care.....

Essentially, you're saying that you prefer people when they are technologically stifled from expressing themselves.  I also take it that you prefer them to be stifled by means which your own skill set leaves you at an advantage.

I sympathize with your apparent disdain for vile behavior.  Internet forums are rife with examples of it, but it's more shocking to me when I hear it on the phone modes, especially 2m repeaters and 75m.  So people are less likely to pour forth wrath, malice, slander, and filth in morse code, but that doesn't necessarily change the nature of the person with whom you're communicating.  Their expression is merely technologically restrained.

Another type of restraint I've observed on the part of those of more refined decorum is superfluous small talk, which might be all one could expect on CW apart from the formalities.  Whether on CW or sideband, people talk about the weather or their coax.  Even after decades, people are talking about antennas, and feedline, and whatever transceiver they chose, as if they had accomplished some technical feat by hanging some metal in the air and plugging in a box of electronics they bought, and commenting on the signals as if they've only been tinkering for a week.  Rarely is truly meaningful technical information communicated on the air, nor would it be practical, but instead just vain babbling that is rarely complete or understood.

And then there's the weather.  It makes me think that amateur radio is a solution looking for a problem.  The Emcom people only prove that.  But is amateur radio a weather service?  Then there are the contesters, constrained not even by small talk, but by the urgency to make other contacts.  I could go on about DX, QRP, EME and meteor scatter, but my point isn't to disparage amateur radio.  On the contrary, I think all the aspects of radio are excellent for personal growth, but only if one is willing to explore beyond their comfort zone, beyond the sphere of the expertise they've attained thus far.

If one remains barricaded behind their own accomplishments (be it adeptness with QRP, a big-gun contesting station, high speed CW skills or exploits in DX), demanding that others pay homage to them,  beyond the small talk and formalities, they will only find offense.  But if one humbles himself and gives deference to others, he might find they're full of spite, vile talk, hatred, blasphemy, wrath and malice anyway, or that they're weak, credulous, foolish, or effeminate.  But the saying is, "cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter," and, "first cast out the beam out of thine own eye."

Posts: 491

« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2017, 04:29:20 PM »

Lou -

You are correct; the keyboard vandals are common, their behavior is MUCH more filtered on the air and especially on CW. It was 46 years before I had the first insult sent to me in Morse.  Face-to-face, I can't remember the last time that a ham became insulting: backstabbing is the realm of weaklings, hence internet is attractive to those sorts.

Time for me to warm--up the McElroy 1939 'bug'.

73 de Ray  ..._  ._

Posts: 6748

« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2017, 08:53:45 PM »

FFAB:  Well....whatever the reason for his "exit: Stage Left I wish him happiness.  Perhaps  he'll find the time to consolidate all of his posts and have them published as a book.

Unfortunately, because of my wife's poor health and the necessity of being close by, I can't slink off to my shack as I used to.  I'm pretty well limited to the computer. 

I've abandoned all of my social outlets except email and eHam.  I'm sure there are several who wish I would exit: Stage Right but I will stick around a bit more.  I feel that I have offered some good advice or help to those who have needed it.  I also get sucked into senseless arguments with people like Lou and that I will cease and desist!

At this time of the year I would like for all to please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2018, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other countries nor the only "America" in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.

For the rest; Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Good DX.


A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 90

« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 07:36:51 AM »

Reality is, in the west especially (Russia is e.g. different as many youngsters still enter ham radio given the coverage it gets on TV from time to time plus the local club activities unrestricted by over-the-top health and safety and liability issues) most hams, especially CW ops, are now very old.

Hey! Watch your mouth, kid! Hi!!

I hope I'm reading this wrong and you're not leaving us!! I've considered you a very knowing, "voice in the wilderness" of ham radio, full of the wisdom called "common sense" Something too often found replaced with "entitlement"! Please don't leave!

« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:56:43 AM by K3UIM » Logged

Posts: 374

« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 08:10:03 AM »

Lou,  I for one, appreciate your insightful and though-provoking comments re: the state of CW...  And I believe you have "earned" the right to put forth such comments, given your skill at all types of keys, colorful career and life challenges...

Therefore, I hope you will reconsider this "so long, and thanks for all the fish(1)" type of exit.   Or as in the classic western, Shane: .



Posts: 29

« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2017, 05:00:13 AM »

Someone replied to my CQ one morning with something along the lines of "Luckuhod fidtard".  Then, he did it again after another CQ.  Was I interfering with someone? Pretty puzzling until it dawned on me he was a QLF merchant who didn't like my QRZ bio! 

Posts: 1138

« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2017, 07:11:15 AM »

Hello Lou,

Add me to the list of those who rarely joined in on the forum but often appreciated your take on things. 90% of what's posted here is as plain as white bread, ie nothing overly (or even remotely) interesting. You often broke those doldrums with your quite readable postings that are appreciated for their uniqueness more than you may realize. And by unique, I mean you actually have something to say and can say it articulately.

Well, see you on the CW sub-bands... Undecided

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