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 Next   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Long Live CW  (Read 14263 times)
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3926




Ignore
« Reply #30 on: April 27, 2010, 06:13:23 PM »

you can buy a vanity call, and any mucho station you can afford, BUT YOU CAN'T BUY THE SKILL TO BE A TRUE, GOOD CW OP!!!)

Which is what really bothers some folks - and attracts others.

73 de Jim, N2EY


The more I read about the days of the Novice class, and CW requirement, and the way to advance up in the privileges, the more things make sense about the sense of accomplishment folks had in those days. It will never be that way again. 30 years too late. I'm beginning to understand how the ops feel that were licensed 30-40 years ago.     

Well, I was licensed 43 years ago come October. For almost 40 of them I've been an Extra. I mention this only to show that I was there and I know how it was - and how it wasn't.

Yes, there was a sense of accomplishment in earning the license back-when. But that was only part of it - the beginning part. Back in the old days, the license only got you the privileges; it didn't get you on the air nor make any QSOs.

Once the license was in hand, there were a lot more accomplishments:

There's the accomplishment of assembling a station and getting it to work. The accomplishment of building a rig from scratch, or a kit, or converting surplus, or fixing up a rig given up as a basket case, getting it to work and making lots of QSOs with it.

There's the accomplishment of working a new state, a new country, a new zone, a new continent. Or doing it on a new band or mode.

There's the accomplishment of setting a new personal record in a contest. The accomplishment of coming up with a new idea and making/seeing it work. The accomplishment of helping another ham with a problem. The accomplishment of working as a team on Field Day, a public-service event, an emergency, a club, a hamfest, etc. The accomplishment of seeing an article you wrote selected by editors and published on a website or in an amateur radio publication.

There's the accomplishment of realizing that the 20 wpm test now sounds slow to you, yet you can still do 5 wpm to help out a newbie or work a new one through bad conditions. The accomplishment of looking at a schematic, or a block diagram, or an antenna design, and *knowing* how it works, without having it explained.

And a whole lot more.

Yes, you're a couple of decades late for those old tests and the old methods. But everything else is still there for the doing.

If a ham sets out to do something - say, be able to operate CW at 25 wpm, or draw common schematics of radio circuits from memory, or work all states on CW using a low power homebrew station and simple antennas - and succeeds, is it any less of an accomplishment if there's no longer a test for it? Or no longer a requirement to do it that way?

Some might even say it's more of an accomplishment to do it by choice.

A month or two ago, there was an article in QST showing a 160 meter rig built using 1929 technology. Beautiful job! Matches the author's 1927 technology receiver, too. These aren't museum pieces; the author/builder uses them on the air regularly.

Not because he has to, but because he can.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up the following quote:

"It's never too late to have a happy childhood"

I think that applies to amateur radio.

Sorry to rattle on so long. I'm in the middle of rearranging the shack and just took a break.

Built myself a new op table from an old solid-core door (it's heavy!) and some scrap lumber. Rig is set up on the new table, now have to finish up all the details. Worked an E74 on 40 meters last night with the new setup.

Another accomplishment!

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
AE4RV
Member

Posts: 963


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2010, 08:12:43 AM »

Nice post, Jim. Would like to see pics of the new arrangement.
Logged
WB2WIK
Member

Posts: 20666




Ignore
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2010, 04:42:58 PM »

I think instead of writing about it we should have a big eHam CW round table on the air. 

Who's up for organizing that (date, time, frequency, etc)?  CW roundtables are really fun...you find out fast who's really on frequency and who's not, hi hi.
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3926




Ignore
« Reply #33 on: April 29, 2010, 04:14:03 AM »

link=topic=67536.msg445228#msg445228 date=1271474580]

Hey Jim....not that it matters to you, I like your long "rattles".

At times, I think either you are uniquely clarvoyant, or really you are a psychiatrist in addition to many other things you are good at. ;-)


Thanks for the kind words.

No, I'm not a clairvoyant nor a shrink. Just a ham who's been around for a while.

Here's another story for ya:

Back in the 1960s, when incentive licensing was being debated and then when it was a done deal, there was a lot of gloom and doom about the Extra license.

The doomsayers said the average ham didn't have a chance at passing it. They said the written exam had all sorts of technical stuff in it that was engineer level, plus formulas, arcane regulations and word problems. And 20 wpm was "high-speed" stuff - only a chosen few could hope to get to that level.

Those few hams who had Extras in the late 1960s were clearly of a different cut, just to have attempted it. And it was a fact that many of them were or had been commercial/military radio operators, engineers, etc.

But once the changes were in place, a funny thing happened.

A lot of "average hams" buckled down and started studying for the Advanced and Extra licenses. Many of them had never been commercial/military radio operators, engineers, etc. They were just hams. Some weren't even out of high school yet.

What those "average hams" found was that if they stuck to it, learning the material really wasn't impossible or even all that hard. Sure, it meant putting down the mike and using the key, and actually learning some radio stuff, and maybe some math. But it could be done.

And tens of thousands of "average hams" did it. Pretty soon being an Extra wasn't so unusual any more. The secret was out: 20 per wasn't really high speed, it just took some practice to get there. "High speed" became 30, 40, 50 wpm...

The actual accomplishment hadn't changed at all, however. Only people's idea of it.

73 de Jim, N2EY
Logged
IK0YGJ
Member

Posts: 43


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #34 on: April 30, 2010, 04:34:54 AM »

From "Zen and The Art of Radiotelegraphy":

After a century of successes, in 1998, coastal maritime radiotelegraphy
installations have been replaced by satellite communications, which eventually
provided a much more secure and reliable connection. As a result, telegraphy is
slowly sliding into oblivion. As a direct and inevitable consequence, in 2005
telegraphy also disappeared from amateur radio exams. Surprisingly, this condition of
uselessness elevated radiotelegraphy to the rank of an art.
Despite this aging process, telegraphy is still very much alive with radio
amateurs, because it offers the possibility of communicating over great distances
using inexpensive transmitting and receiving devices. Such devices are even simpler
to build. A contact based on telegraphy is made in a universal language that, like
Esperanto, pulls down any social, geographical and cultural barrier. The amateur
radio operator uses a code that not only shortens the speech, but also allows him to
communicate with people living in any part of the world, near or distant, regardless
their language or culture. Thus, wireless operators can greet each other using a
common language even if one is Chinese and the other Guatemalan.
The question is: what is so special about radiotelegraphy, in the era of the
Internet and global mass communication, compelling us to accept a long and arduous
path of learning, requiring mental and practical training, trying harder and harder to
learn such a language?
Anyone starting the exciting and hard journey into radiotelegraphy is attracted
by the fact of pursuing an art requiring style and precision, two characteristics that
may be obtained only through study and practice. It is also matter of aesthetics: a
contact in telegraphy made with precision and respect for procedures is a work of art,
unique and unrepeatable in time. The wireless telegraphy radio operator, today, is a
person who not only learns to "play" a very special instrument, but also learns a new
language, made of a single tone, cadenced by rhythmic intervals. Learning
radiotelegraphy is a journey within our own emotions and feelings that requires a
transformation of the way we learn and how we feel. Much like a child, who must
learn to speak, revealing a new mode of expression and communication with the
outside world. It is a steep and thorough experience requiring continuous contact with
the deeper layers of our being.


73 de Carlo IK0YGJ
---------------
Download your free copy of "Zen and the Art of Radiotelegraphy" here:
http://www.qsl.net/ik0ygj/enu/index.html
Logged
W9KEY
Member

Posts: 1165




Ignore
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2010, 08:29:45 AM »

. _ .

_ _ . _    . . .    . _ . .

_  _ . . .     . . .  _ _

.    .   
Logged
AJ4MJ
Member

Posts: 48




Ignore
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2010, 10:09:45 AM »


Current licensing system = buy the questions, buy the answers, buy a course to have someone teach them to you = *NO INCENTIVE TO LEARN OR IMPROVE*


Contrary to popular belief, question pool publishing wasn't some effort to make the tests easier. IT'S A FEDERAL FREAKING LAW.  Not an FCC regulation, but a LAW passed by Congress 36 years ago.  It's called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  It prevents the government from keeping secret information that does not have to do with national security or individual privacy.

This is a general law and has nothing to do with ham radio specifically.  The FAA also has to publish their question pools.  So, I guess we should believe that planes are falling out of the sky because of these young whipper snapper pilots taking ground schools that teach to the test.  However, recent accident statistics tell quite a different story - GA is safer now than it has ever been.

But, if you feel so strongly about it, write your Congressman and ask him to repeal FOIA Tongue
Logged
KU5Q
Member

Posts: 90


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2010, 12:33:46 PM »


Current licensing system = buy the questions, buy the answers, buy a course to have someone teach them to you = *NO INCENTIVE TO LEARN OR IMPROVE*


Contrary to popular belief, question pool publishing wasn't some effort to make the tests easier. IT'S A FEDERAL FREAKING LAW.  Not an FCC regulation, but a LAW passed by Congress 36 years ago.  It's called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  It prevents the government from keeping secret information that does not have to do with national security or individual privacy.

This is a general law and has nothing to do with ham radio specifically.  The FAA also has to publish their question pools.  So, I guess we should believe that planes are falling out of the sky because of these young whipper snapper pilots taking ground schools that teach to the test.  However, recent accident statistics tell quite a different story - GA is safer now than it has ever been.

But, if you feel so strongly about it, write your Congressman and ask him to repeal FOIA Tongue


There are more important things than hobby radio service testing requirements that won't be changed regardless of how many times, and who writes congress about it.

The fact still stands, no incentive to learn in the current system. At least in the old system, people were pushed a little. The current system doesn't doesn't do that. Listen to the phone bands, read the types of questions asked here in this very forum and other forums as proof. Go to club meetings, listen to the questions on the air. If you can't see the proof there, then you can't see. Just to name one of many things, I would be ashamed to be an extra today and not be able to read the CW ident on the local repeater, and I would also be ashamed to be a pilot and not read the CW ident of nav beacons if I was to listen for it when tuned into a VOR/ILS/NDB. Yes the modern appliance operator "disregards the ability to understand how things work" and do things like use, what in their words is a "ancient, outdated" thing like CW. It takes too much work for them to be able to do these things. Of course being able to set up your brand new, slick all mode, all band station in it's entirety would be unreasonable wouldn't it? Of course there's wrinkles in other things like the other day I heard an Advanced Class operator bitching because his K3 roofing filters would not magically filter out "in band" (it was in the passband!) noise. I guess he was waiting for the QRM fairy to come along and fix it. Yes, another good reason to stay off the phone bands altogether. "Any idiot can pick up a microphone and talk". Listen to the bands for proof if you care to do so.

I don't have to know how to design a modern turbine powerplant, but I need to know the basics of operation well enough to not overtemp and/or overspeed the hot & cold rotating components therein  on takeoff, or what N1 for the day is so I have enough power for take-off based on OAT/Immediate Air Density, and where to look for the limitations in the flight manual.

But yeah, it's hobby radio, so it's not important. The chance of peoples ignorance in hobby radio getting themselves killed because they don't know the basics is not great. Of course there's exceptions you know. I won't waste the time to "lay that part of it out for you".

Aviation is different for obvious reasons. And, the proficiency tests/examinations are hands on (not written), and there is no way you can "buy" the skill to pass them. You have either attained a level of proficiency through application, or not. This is the way it is for 14CFR Subpart D part 61, 63, & 65 airmen. The flying type (pilots), and non flying types (mechanics) (just to name a few)). If you were a pilot, or a mechanic (I'm both), you would know.

Also, the 14CFR part 65.91 exact pool of all of the test questions and answers for written knowledge test for the Mechanics Inspection Authorization (which I also have) are not published. The test is considered by some as "open book" since your are tested on your experience interpreting the regulations, doing weight and balance, doing basic calculations needed for mechanical, structural, and electrical problems, verifying correct configurations of type certified aviation articles (propellers, powerplants, airframes) as it relates to its type design published in the specific articles type certificate data sheets, and as it relates to it's airworthiness. You are allowed a copy of 14CFR, AC43.13, access to a TC and AD library, scratch paper, pencil, and a calculator with cleared memory. You are given 2 hours to complete the test in a FAA Approved testing center (and watched under a camera by the examiner). The information that you need to demonstrate knowledge and application of the regulations, and technical knowledge is being tested. The information that you need to assimilate/provide the correct information/answer asked for in the examination is in the aforementioned books. The skill to be able to do so is not in the books. Proficiency is being tested. Does it sound easy? Go try it if you qualify, that is if you now how to qualify.

Even though the General, Airframe, and Powerplant written test questions and answers are published for FAA Mechanics Airframe and Powerplant examinations, there is still a proficiency test known as the "oral and practical" that is given as the last part of the examination. You can't "buy the skill" to pass this either, and if you don't pass it to the examiners satisfaction, you do not receive your FAA Airframe & Powerplant certificate with the aforementioned ratings. You are at the mercy of the FAA Designated Examiner. Sometimes the O&P examination lasts a couple of hours, sometimes a couple of days. It all depends on the examiner and what his initial impression of the examinee is.

All this is very abbreviated, but the key point is that regardless of the written examination content, access to it, etc, proficiency still must be demonstrated, and the skill to do this cannot be "bought" (unless you find a way to cheat, some have and have been caught with dire consequences).

Oh, yes and I didn't mention the requirements to even be able to have the privilege to take the aforementioned tests in accordance with 14CFR. Based on your reply, I would probably be wasting more time to go through some of that.

If the hobby radio service is dumbed down anymore, they should just do away with the testing requirements altogether. Just make it another "CB" type radio service. The phone bands are getting there.

Anything that takes work to achieve is appreciated more than something that takes little or no work to get.

Next stop, no testing at all for any ham radio licenses.

And yes, I bought and really like the T-Shirt that says "Without CW, it's just CB".

Indeed, long live CW!

« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 12:28:25 AM by Terry L. Perry » Logged
KU5Q
Member

Posts: 90


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2010, 12:58:39 PM »


Current licensing system = buy the questions, buy the answers, buy a course to have someone teach them to you = *NO INCENTIVE TO LEARN OR IMPROVE*


Contrary to popular belief, question pool publishing wasn't some effort to make the tests easier. IT'S A FEDERAL FREAKING LAW.  Not an FCC regulation, but a LAW passed by Congress 36 years ago.  It's called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  It prevents the government from keeping secret information that does not have to do with national security or individual privacy.

This is a general law and has nothing to do with ham radio specifically.  The FAA also has to publish their question pools.  So, I guess we should believe that planes are falling out of the sky because of these young whipper snapper pilots taking ground schools that teach to the test.  However, recent accident statistics tell quite a different story - GA is safer now than it has ever been.

But, if you feel so strongly about it, write your Congressman and ask him to repeal FOIA Tongue

"Piper Cherokee 180"

By the way, I don't know what type ratings you have, but if you really are a pilot and own a small part 23 aircraft and fly it yourself, I wouldn't brag about it in a QRZ bio with remarks like those you just made. Sounds like you don't have many hours and don't understand the basis of the way examinations are conducted under/in-accordance with the F.A.R.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2010, 06:44:09 PM by Terry L. Perry » Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6327




Ignore
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2010, 03:58:04 PM »

MYTH alert! MYTH alert!

The FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) was passed in 1966. In 1980 Dick Bash began publishing "The Final Exam", a book containing some of the FCC questions. He claimed to have obtained the questions via the FOIA but this was false. He obtained some questions by standing outside an FCC amateur examination site and question examinies as they exited.

This information comes from OUTLINE OF AMATEUR RADIO HISTORY.
Logged
WX7G
Member

Posts: 6327




Ignore
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2010, 04:10:18 PM »

The FCC question pool was first published in 1984 as part of the Volunteer Exam program. This had nothing to do with the FOIA.
Logged
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3926




Ignore
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2010, 06:10:40 PM »


Contrary to popular belief, question pool publishing wasn't some effort to make the tests easier. IT'S A FEDERAL FREAKING LAW.  Not an FCC regulation, but a LAW passed by Congress 36 years ago.  It's called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  It prevents the government from keeping secret information that does not have to do with national security or individual privacy.

This is a general law and has nothing to do with ham radio specifically.  The FAA also has to publish their question pools.  So, I guess we should believe that planes are falling out of the sky because of these young whipper snapper pilots taking ground schools that teach to the test.  However, recent accident statistics tell quite a different story - GA is safer now than it has ever been.[/quote]

Sorry, but as WX7G points out, FOIA has/had absolutely nothing to do with making the question pools public.

Here's why:

1) FOIA became law in 1966 - 44 years ago, not 36. The amateur Q&A were legally published in 1984 as part of the creation of the VEC/QPC system. If FCC were in violation of FOIA for 18 years, you can be sure somebody (W2NSD?) would have mounted a legal challenge.

2) FOIA only applies to agencies of the executive branch. FCC isn't an executive-branch agency so FOIA doesn't apply.

3) The Q&A were published because, with the VEC/QPC system, there was no practical way to keep them secret. Publishing them also put Dick Bash out of business.

4) If FOIA applied to FCC-required amateur radio exams, it would apply to both the Morse Code and written exams. Yet the exact contents of the Morse Code exams were never published, right up to their end in 2007. 

5) The FAA is not the FCC. All pilot's licenses require more than just a written exam. General aviation has gotten safer for a number of reasons, ranging from better technology to higher costs.

-----

Publication of the exams is a moot point anyway, because FCC isn't going to go back to the old exam methods of 26+ years ago any time soon. It would simply cost too much. Money is the main reason FCC turned the exams over to unpaid volunteers, and that situation hasn't changed.

But there are lots of things we hams can do. One is to increase the size of the question pools so that it's easier to actually learn the material than to "learn the test". Another is to change the question pools, and the license privileges, to include more basic radio knowledge stuff.

We can also increase efforts to Elmer those hams who want to learn, regardless of their vintage. For example - is your Field Day group going to have a GOTA station?

73 de Jim, N2EY

Logged
NO2A
Member

Posts: 843




Ignore
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2010, 02:36:49 PM »

I wouldn`t mind if c.w. was the ONLY mode my radio had!    Cheesy
Logged
K5YF
Member

Posts: 77




Ignore
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2010, 04:32:50 PM »

N2EY Said:

>>" 2) FOIA only applies to agencies of the executive branch. FCC isn't an Executive branch agency so FOIA doesn't apply. "

----------------------------

All U.S. Federal Government agencies are part of the Executive Branch excluding Judicial. Think of it like this: If the President names the head of the agency, its part of the Executive branch -- except the Judicial even though the President appoints its members. Pretty much all Federal Civil Service workers serve at the leisure of the President. This power is exercised more often than you might think.

The U.S. Congress can create and destroy an agency but it is not allowed to manage anything but the Judicial branch.

The U.S. Judicial branch may not appoint, manage, or create.

----------------------

Just thought this needed some clarification...

best 73!
k5YF
Logged
KC0THP
Member

Posts: 11




Ignore
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2010, 06:39:48 PM »

  I don't care about the FOIA today.  Maybe it'll be important to me later.
  I do like using cw though.  If you do too that's cool.
  A test is not what has inspired me to learn code or build my own antennas and station equipment.  It was my elmers.  Especially SK Jerry Havel W2RRX.
  I'm still learning.  Trying to get my speed up as much as life allows me right now.
  Yes, long live CW.  The heck with arguing FOIA.  I'd rather copy code.
  73 Daniel KC0THP
Logged
Pages: Prev 1 2 [3] 4 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!