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Author Topic: Why Have An Extra Class?  (Read 178413 times)
K7KBN
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Posts: 2835




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« Reply #225 on: October 22, 2010, 05:52:11 PM »

Wrong again, Len.  I did spend 32 years in the USN/USNR, but I didn't START there.  I was a ham for about four years before my active Navy duty began.  That helped me quite a bit going through school and even more once I got to the fleet.  On my first cruise to WESTPAC, with the flag on board and the extra traffic that entailed, over 80 percent of our outgoing traffic was on CW.  Things were fine when the HF link held up, but when it started to fade, or when the bad guys started jamming the secure stuff, CW always made it.  Even on my second WESTPAC, more than 50 percent of the outgoing traffic had to be with CW.  No satellites; no computers.  Just old-school radio, with operators who knew how to communicate.

No, radio isn't synonymous with Morse code -- but CW is a PART of radio.  Always has been; always will be, your opinion notwithstanding.

By the way - I enjoy it when you use that "OOK" thing.  Somehow I picture a monkey....
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
AB2T
Member

Posts: 246




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« Reply #226 on: October 22, 2010, 06:04:23 PM »

But the point about opinions vs. logic is best illustrated by an example.

Consider a physics/math problem where you are told that a train is at rest at a certain point on a long straight track.

<snip>

Such a problem can be calculated several ways, but has one and only one correct answer.

Now consider a history question in which you are asked to explain in an essay why the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

<snip>

And if asked what was the most important single factor, the answer is really one of opinion. Of course one can present a well-founded and well-presented opinion, or an opinion that isn't, but in the end it's an opinion.

See the difference?

Yes.  Both skills are necessary in a well rounded person and a well rounded education.  The formulation of opinion in a humanities course is a logical exercise.

The advanced study of language, and especially the highly inflected languages such as German, Greek, Latin, Russian, (and Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese even though they are not Indo-European) provide some development of logical abilities.  Is language study a substitute for mathematical or scientific study?  No, but the ability to fluently express thought in more than one language (including "international" CW and its derivative character sets) develops the logical facility in a manner similar to math.  I often get English and Latin grammar and style confused.  Early drafts of my articles and papers are often punctuation deficient since Latin does not require much punctuation.  I wonder if people trained in higher math and physics often construct language through the prism of mathematical equation.  My German is barely passable.  When I become stronger in the language I would like to read some of Einstein, for example.  How is his German different than Goethe, Nietzsche, or Kant?     

What de facto segregation exists today in US education? If someone lives in a particular school district, they have a right to a free, appropriate public education from that district, regardless of their ethnicity, "race", gender, etc. They also have the choice of private schools.

Of course the quality of education varies enormously from school district to school district. One common solution is to move to a good school district - if you can afford to. That's a question of economics, not segregation.

I agree with you in part.  Civil rights laws mandate that all students must receive educational accommodation in their school district.  We all know that that has yet to be realized in many cases (read Jonathan Kozol on the South Bronx, for example).  Many lower income persons are victims of redlining and district gerrymandering.  These illegal or questionably legal practices deny many access to quality educational opportunities especially if the mobility of lower income persons is compromised.  I've seen this in the Long Island community where I grew up.  The school district lines were precisely drawn to benefit the upper middle class only.  These district lines effectively barred students from an adjoining community from attending a better-funded school.  Some boys from less well performing districts were able to attend the Catholic school I attended.  The school has a sizable endowment and very low salary employees (brothers and priests get the minimum salary needed to receive Social Security.)  Hence many boys were able to escape bad districts and receive a good scholarship.     

I agree there are extreme cases of helicoptering. But I think they are the exception.

btw, I have some experience in this whole area. Doesn't make me an expert, just a person who has dealt with many of these issues.

What I see in many cases is the parents being advocates for their children's rights. In the old days, the public schools could simply ignore the needs of children with special needs, particularly if those needs involved significant costs. Those days are gone - which is a good thing, but it raises the price.

I completely agree.  My brother is developmentally disabled.  My parents fought very hard for his educational accommodation and eventual residence in a group home.  It was a long, hard, and often discouraging slog.  He is now well taken care of and reasonably happy.  That is all we can expect in life (and perhaps salvation/enlightenment/Xenu).  My parents were able to do all of this without lodging lawsuits against the school district. 

Retaliatory lawsuits serve no one in a community.  Students suffer from teacher embroilment in litigation. Skilled administrators and teachers are sometimes dismissed for reasons unrelated to their personal or professional conduct.   Finally, taxpayers are left to pay for legal fees that could have been directed towards the improvement of all students' education.  In this particular peanut allergy case, the school district made every attempt to protect the student from peanut contamination.  The student was permitted to eat separately from other students and store her lunch in the nurse's office.  I believe that the rift began when the parents requested an unusual accommodation (such as a late and variable arrival at school).  The district refused this request, and the parents sued almost every employee in the school. 

There is a difference between advocacy and tort as intimidation.  I refuse to believe that the accommodation of the disabled and allergic must take place under the threat of subpoena.

73, Jordan       
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 06:06:32 PM by Jordan » Logged
N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #227 on: October 22, 2010, 07:01:11 PM »

I was a ham for about four years before my active Navy duty began.  That helped me quite a bit going through school and even more once I got to the fleet.  On my first cruise to WESTPAC, with the flag on board and the extra traffic that entailed, over 80 percent of our outgoing traffic was on CW.  Things were fine when the HF link held up, but when it started to fade, or when the bad guys started jamming the secure stuff, CW always made it.  Even on my second WESTPAC, more than 50 percent of the outgoing traffic had to be with CW.  No satellites; no computers.  Just old-school radio, with operators who knew how to communicate.

If you don't mind me asking - when was this? I'm not disputing your story, just want to put some dates on it.

No, radio isn't synonymous with Morse code -- but CW is a PART of radio.  Always has been; always will be

Well said!

73 es TNX de Jim, N2EY
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N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #228 on: October 22, 2010, 07:38:29 PM »

Both skills are necessary in a well rounded person and a well rounded education.  The formulation of opinion in a humanities course is a logical exercise.

Agreed!

But all too often, the idea is put forth that all opinions are equally valid regardless of how they are derived.

For example, I once encountered a person who insisted that a particular brand and flavor of ice cream was the absolute best tasting in the world - in his opinion. I pointed out to him that such an opinion wasn't "well formed", because he hadn't tasted every brand and flavor in the world, and so couldn't logically state that opinion. What he *could* logically state was that the particular brand and flavor of ice cream he liked was the absolute best tasting he had found - in his opinion. *That* would be a well-formed opinion.

In the case of amateur radio, I've seen folks with little or no ham radio experience telling us how amateur radio should be.

The advanced study of language, and especially the highly inflected languages such as German, Greek, Latin, Russian, (and Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese even though they are not Indo-European) provide some development of logical abilities.  Is language study a substitute for mathematical or scientific study?  No, but the ability to fluently express thought in more than one language (including "international" CW and its derivative character sets) develops the logical facility in a manner similar to math.  I often get English and Latin grammar and style confused.  Early drafts of my articles and papers are often punctuation deficient since Latin does not require much punctuation.  I wonder if people trained in higher math and physics often construct language through the prism of mathematical equation.  My German is barely passable.  When I become stronger in the language I would like to read some of Einstein, for example.  How is his German different than Goethe, Nietzsche, or Kant? 

I don't know much about German. But I can say that math can become a language in itself.

There are also specialized terms used in various applications that reach the point of being unintelligible to those not in the know.

Consider the following list of tasks:

1) Pound out chickenheads near two-headed dwarf
2) Burn nuts off frog
3) Install chocolate drops where required
4) Drop links and double-nut

I've had whole conversations like that.
   

I agree with you in part.  Civil rights laws mandate that all students must receive educational accommodation in their school district.  We all know that that has yet to be realized in many cases (read Jonathan Kozol on the South Bronx, for example).  Many lower income persons are victims of redlining and district gerrymandering.  These illegal or questionably legal practices deny many access to quality educational opportunities especially if the mobility of lower income persons is compromised.  I've seen this in the Long Island community where I grew up.  The school district lines were precisely drawn to benefit the upper middle class only.  These district lines effectively barred students from an adjoining community from attending a better-funded school. 

That's a new one on me.

Here in Pennsylvania, the school districts match the municipalities. I live in Radnor Township; any kid who lives in Radnor Township has the right to go to Radnor schools. Same for all the townships, boroughs, cities, etc. I know of in PA. Changing boundaries is effectively impossible.

What has happened in some places is that people will give false addresses to get their kids into a better school district. This practice goes back at least 50 years that I know of, and was not limited to poor people.


Some boys from less well performing districts were able to attend the Catholic school I attended.  The school has a sizable endowment and very low salary employees (brothers and priests get the minimum salary needed to receive Social Security.)  Hence many boys were able to escape bad districts and receive a good scholarship. 

The key word there is "some".     

In the old days, the public schools could simply ignore the needs of children with special needs, particularly if those needs involved significant costs. Those days are gone - which is a good thing, but it raises the price.



I completely agree.  My brother is developmentally disabled.  My parents fought very hard for his educational accommodation and eventual residence in a group home.  It was a long, hard, and often discouraging slog.  He is now well taken care of and reasonably happy.  That is all we can expect in life (and perhaps salvation/enlightenment/Xenu).  My parents were able to do all of this without lodging lawsuits against the school district. 

That's great, but not all school districts will cooperate as well. Some need to be forced by the courts, or the threat of court.
And some parents simply expect too much.
 

Retaliatory lawsuits serve no one in a community.  Students suffer from teacher embroilment in litigation. Skilled administrators and teachers are sometimes dismissed for reasons unrelated to their personal or professional conduct.   Finally, taxpayers are left to pay for legal fees that could have been directed towards the improvement of all students' education.  In this particular peanut allergy case, the school district made every attempt to protect the student from peanut contamination.  The student was permitted to eat separately from other students and store her lunch in the nurse's office.  I believe that the rift began when the parents requested an unusual accommodation (such as a late and variable arrival at school).  The district refused this request, and the parents sued almost every employee in the school. 

There is a difference between advocacy and tort as intimidation.  I refuse to believe that the accommodation of the disabled and allergic must take place under the threat of subpoena.
 

It all depends on the situation. Sometimes the parents are right, sometimes the school is right, sometimes both, sometimes neither.

Remember that much of the changes from the old days came about because of lawsuits.

Also recall that there are often other forces at work.

For example, a school board may consist of some folks who were elected on a don't-raise-taxes-no-matter-what platform. They see a big special-ed budget and try to cut it down by ordering their administrators to deny services. The administrators try to change their minds, but every administrator serves at the pleasure of the school board - and can be replaced. Usually an administrator who resists *is* replaced by one who agrees with the board members.

It becomes a matter of principle for the school board, through their administrators, to deny as many services as possible

Eventually the deny-services school board encounters a parent who won't back down, and the whole thing winds up in court, and costs the taxpayers more than the services would have cost in the first place.

But meanwhile the board members are reelected and can claim they fought for savings at every opportunity.

The reverse happens too, and probably just as often: the unreasonable parents lawyer up and demand the sun, moon and stars. And sometimes they win.

It all depends on the situation.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2835




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« Reply #229 on: October 22, 2010, 09:07:42 PM »

I was a ham for about four years before my active Navy duty began.  That helped me quite a bit going through school and even more once I got to the fleet.  On my first cruise to WESTPAC, with the flag on board and the extra traffic that entailed, over 80 percent of our outgoing traffic was on CW.  Things were fine when the HF link held up, but when it started to fade, or when the bad guys started jamming the secure stuff, CW always made it.  Even on my second WESTPAC, more than 50 percent of the outgoing traffic had to be with CW.  No satellites; no computers.  Just old-school radio, with operators who knew how to communicate.

If you don't mind me asking - when was this? I'm not disputing your story, just want to put some dates on it.

No, radio isn't synonymous with Morse code -- but CW is a PART of radio.  Always has been; always will be

Well said!

73 es TNX de Jim, N2EY

Hi Jim.  The first WESTPAC was 1963-64.  The second was 1965-66.  Also, during that first cruise, one of my duties was to keep commercial press news tuned in (UPI/AP/Reuters) so the ship would have world news in "near" real time.  I was the first person on the Kitty Hawk to know that JFK had been shot.  And no, that didn't come in via CW - it was from a commercial press transmitter in Hawaii.  RTTY.  Hand typed by somebody who was obviously very shaken by the event.

73
Pat K7KBN
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3925




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« Reply #230 on: October 23, 2010, 11:21:58 AM »

The first WESTPAC was 1963-64.  The second was 1965-66.  Also, during that first cruise, one of my duties was to keep commercial press news tuned in (UPI/AP/Reuters) so the ship would have world news in "near" real time.  I was the first person on the Kitty Hawk to know that JFK had been shot.  And no, that didn't come in via CW - it was from a commercial press transmitter in Hawaii.  RTTY.  Hand typed by somebody who was obviously very shaken by the event.

Hello Pat,

Wow - and thanks for the piece of history!

According to Wikipedia, Kitty Hawk was built across the river from here in Camden NJ, and was almost new when you did those cruises. A nearly new USN supercarrier using CW on the air in major communications roles...that says a lot.

Kitty Hawk was decommissioned last year, and holds the record as second-longest serving ship in the Navy.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2835




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« Reply #231 on: October 23, 2010, 01:58:43 PM »

I was on board for the deactivation ceremony, and also for the decommissioning.  All of that was done right here in Bremerton.

Yes, she was a pretty new ship in 1963.  When I went aboard she had just arrived in San Diego after her very first WESTPAC.  I was in RM school while she was getting the little problems squared away.

Several years ago, just before Kitty Hawk departed CONUS for Japan (where she was homeported until about 2 years ago), I was part of a crew assigned to design various changes to make her a bit more environmentally friendly.  I finished my work one day and went up to Radio Central where I introduced myself.  I must have spent two hours describing how radio worked back in the 60s!  The Communications Officer was there, and several chiefs, none of whom had ever had occasion to use point-to-point HF.  I had to keep reminding them that we didn't HAVE any satellites at that time!

I even got to put my feet right where they were when I was reading the news about JFK.
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
N2EY
Member

Posts: 3925




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« Reply #232 on: October 23, 2010, 03:49:38 PM »

To K7KBN:

Great history. Particularly the part about JFK. I've yet to meet an American over a certain age who doesn't remember that day clearly.

IIRC, CV-63 went into service in 1961 or so, which means she was still very new when you went aboard.

You mention RM school...perhaps you can verify something for me. (Hope I haven't asked this before).

I've read that in 1958 one of the requirements of Radioman "A" school was a code copying test. The test was 24 wpm coded groups, copied on a mill. Passing grade was no more than 3 uncorrected errors in 1 hour.

That's the story, anyway - was it really that way? If so, kinda puts the ham code tests in perspective.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2835




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« Reply #233 on: October 23, 2010, 04:55:13 PM »

In 1963, the requirement for RM"A"-school graduation was 22 WPM Plain Language and 24 WPM coded groups.  I don't recall testing for a solid hour, though.

To be honest, on my very first day sitting at a "mill" with blank key caps, our class instructor J.J.Jones (honest!) RM1 (SS), USN, told us that we'd be hearing some "really fast code" and to ignore it.  A few seconds later, I heard "DOUBLE BASIC REEL NR 1" at about 16 WPM.  This didn't seem like "really fast code", so I typed it.  Next thing I knew, Mister Jones was standing in front of me,  bent forward far enough that he was reading what I'd typed, upside down.

He said, "Seems you've copied code before, Bailey."  I said that I'd been using code for about 4 years.  He sent me to the back of the classroom and patched in 28 WPM to my phones.  Problem was, I couldn't type that fast so I used a pencil and copied solid for about five minutes before Mister Jones realized my mill wasn't making any clickity-clack sounds.  He checked my copy, told me I'd qualified in the Code requirements for A-school, and took me upstairs to Code Control.  There I worked with a great RMC, Chief Zelina, putting the various code tapes on the Boehme keyers, patching the required speeds to the various classrooms, and working on my typing skills.  There were at least five or six of us typing-challenged students in Code Control at any given time of day, and yes, we were all hams!

Great times!

Pat K7KBN
« Last Edit: October 23, 2010, 05:08:20 PM by Pat Bailey » Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
AB2T
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Posts: 246




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« Reply #234 on: October 23, 2010, 05:45:57 PM »

Over at Misc I will start a thread on "Morse Code as Language" if Pat, Jim, or anyone reading this thread is interested.  For certain reasons I don't think it's a good idea to have this discussion on this thread.  

73, Jordan
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N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #235 on: October 23, 2010, 05:56:16 PM »

In 1963, the requirement for RM"A"-school graduation was 22 WPM Plain Language and 24 WPM coded groups.  I don't recall testing for a solid hour, though.

To be honest, on my very first day sitting at a "mill" with blank key caps, our class instructor J.J.Jones (honest!) RM1 (SS), USN, told us that we'd be hearing some "really fast code" and to ignore it.  A few seconds later, I heard "DOUBLE BASIC REEL NR 1" at about 16 WPM.  This didn't seem like "really fast code", so I typed it.  Next thing I knew, Mister Jones was standing in front of me,  bent forward far enough that he was reading what I'd typed, upside down.

He said, "Seems you've copied code before, Bailey."  I said that I'd been using code for about 4 years.  He sent me to the back of the classroom and patched in 28 WPM to my phones.  Problem was, I couldn't type that fast so I used a pencil and copied solid for about five minutes before Mister Jones realized my mill wasn't making any clickity-clack sounds.  He checked my copy, told me I'd qualified in the Code requirements for A-school, and took me upstairs to Code Control.  There I worked with a great RMC, Chief Zelina, putting the various code tapes on the Boehme keyers, patching the required speeds to the various classrooms, and working on my typing skills.  There were at least five or six of us typing-challenged students in Code Control at any given time of day, and yes, we were all hams!

Great times!

HAW! GREAT STORY! Thanks for that one! And for the confirmation of at least part of the RM code tests.

I had a somewhat-related experience at the FCC office in 1970. Not the same, of course, but in case you haven't seen this:

Back then the Extra required 20 wpm code, send and receive (just plain language, of course), the written exam, and an Advanced license or the tests required for the Advanced. You also needed at least 2 years as a Conditional, General or Advanced - Novice and Technician experience didn't count.

There was also a rule that if you failed a test you could not retest for at least 30 days.

In those days Extras made up less than 2% of US hams, and most Extras were old-timers with years of experience. Often they had military and/or commercial radio operating backgrounds too. Teenage Extras did exist, but they were few and far between.

I got the Advanced in the summer of 1968 (whole 'nother story) and figured out exactly when I'd have the 2 years' experience. I was at the Philly FCC office for the Extra exam at the first test session after the 2 years. The exam sessions were on weekday mornings, so a teenager in school had only a few opportunities per year. (No kid in his right mind would even consider skipping school to go to the FCC office)

The FCC Examiner was an old-school kind of G-man - white shirt, narrow dark tie, wing tips, glasses with black frames, hair combed straight back. His name was Joe Welsh but was known as Joe Squelch (but never to his face!) by the locals, because of his absolutely-no-nonsense demeanor.

The FCC office was on the 10th floor of the old Custom House at 2nd & Chestnut, and in those days was not air-conditioned. Which just made it more of a sporting course during a Philadelphia summer.

The office consisted of a waiting room, some private offices, and the exam room. The exam room had a row of office desks for the examiner and his assistant, with file cabinets behind them for the official test documents. There was a code test table with chairs and rows of student desks for those taking the writtens. The exam room was separated from the waiting room by a floor-to-ceiling glass partition, and the windows of the exam room looked out over the river towards Camden.

The usual sequence was to do the code tests first, and then the writtens, because you had to pass both at the same session to upgrade in those pre-CSCE days.

The exam sessions started at 8 AM and by 7:59 it was full of people waiting to take the various tests, both amateur and commercial. At 16 I was by far the youngest person in the room.

At exactly 8 AM the FCC Examiner appeared and asked if there was anyone there for the Extra test. One hand went up - mine.

"Follow me" was all The Examiner said.

He unlocked the door to the exam room and we went inside. He pointed to a chair at the code test table and I sat down. He asked to see my Form 610 and existing license, which were all clipped together along with the fee.

They were all in order so he unlocked a file cabinet and brought out a code machine, cans, yellow legal pad and #2 pencils. The code machine was the kind that used punched paper tape, with speed changed by using different diameter drive spindles.

He set everything up and pushed a pair of cans, a pad and pencil towards me and gave the following instructions:

"The code receiving test is 5 minutes long. You need at least 1 minute of legible correct copy to pass. That's one hundred characters.

Copy exactly what you hear. When the code stops, put the pencil DOWN and move away from the paper. Otherwise you fail. Do you understand these instructions?"

I managed to say "Yes".

He then asked "Ready?"

I just nodded.

I put on the cans and he turned on the code machine. The code came roaring out of them; no problem hearing it!

I started copying in big block letters. After a line or two I realized I was getting every letter, and began to relax.

Meanwhile The Examiner walked around the exam room, peered out the window, and then came over and watched me copy. He came around the table, bent over and looked over my shoulder as I copied.

Then he went to the code machine, studied it for a second, and then switched it off!

I was stunned - less than two minutes had passed! Had I messed up something and had already failed? I'd never heard of the test going short unless there was a problem.

"That was pretty easy, huh, kid?" asked The Examiner.

"Uh - I guess so..." was all I could manage.

"It should be" he replied. "That was 13 words per minute. Here's 20"

And he quickly swapped drive spindles and restarted the machine. Much faster code now came out of the cans.

This time the test lasted the full 5 minutes. (Yes, I passed).

The came sending 20 per with the straight key, which was easy because I'd been using a straight key ever since I got the Novice three years earlier. Then the written, which came from a different locked file cabinet.

And then the ride home to wait for the license to arrive.

Did The Examiner just forget to change the drive spindle? Did he want to see if I could copy 13 before bothering to try 20? Was he trying to rattle me? I'll never know.

Doesn't seem like 40 years ago.

---

If you haven't heard it, Jean Sheperd, K2ORS, did a great piece on his experience in Army code school. Hilarious. Will post a link if you want.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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N2EY
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Posts: 3925




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« Reply #236 on: October 23, 2010, 06:01:28 PM »

Over at Misc I will start a thread on "Morse Code as Language" if Pat, Jim, or anyone reading this thread is interested.  For certain reasons I don't think it's a good idea to have this discussion on this thread.  

I'm interested. But I suggest the CW forum.

btw, you mentioned the German educational system. Check out the kind of manufacturing facilities they have:

http://www.flixxy.com/high-tech-car-factory.htm

73 de Jim, N2EY
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W9KEY
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« Reply #237 on: October 23, 2010, 06:02:27 PM »

Pat,

Thank you very much for sharing some of your early code experiences, for me -- it is some of the most enjoyable reading I have found in any forum.  I learned code in early 1976 at age 13 through tapes sent to me by my uncle.  I remember the initial resistance to learning Morse I felt because it was going to take some time and work, but fortunately I was young enough to still be pretty open to learning new tricks.  The code requirement and the fact that one had to get up to speed to get HF phone privileges sort of inclined one to look at code as work rather than fun. Isn't life strange?  After becoming somewhat code saavy and getting an Advanced, I eventually realized life had turned the tables on my preconceptions and that code is more fun than voice communication.  

Thanks again for your contributions to this discussion!  Very cool stuff hearing about J.J. Jones!
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« Reply #238 on: October 23, 2010, 06:09:14 PM »

I'm interested. But I suggest the CW forum.

Yes, about to say.  CW forum it is.

73, Jordan
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W9KEY
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« Reply #239 on: October 23, 2010, 06:12:09 PM »

Did The Examiner just forget to change the drive spindle? Did he want to see if I could copy 13 before bothering to try 20? Was he trying to rattle me? I'll never know.

Or maybe Mr. Squelch was like a geode (no-nonsense exterior) and liked seeing a kid in there going for the Extra. He might have seen plenty of cases of nerves and figured copying 13 wpm would put you more at ease and loosen you up.  or -- maybe it was just a mishap and he caught it when he looked at the player...  I do remember when I took my 13wpm code test in downtown Chicago in 1977 at age 15 -- that it seemed to be much faster than 13wpm was at home.  (I was so tense that it made it a lot more difficult).  Being at ease sure seems to help performance...
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