Monday, December 18, 2006

So what’s with the CW uproar???

In the past few days, all over the bands, and the internet, at all of the usual (and not so usual) HAM hang outs, all you hear is ‘bitch and moan’ over the FCC’s recent decision to abandon CW requirements in Amateur Radio Licensing. It’s not like they didn’t know it was on the horizon.

What is the big deal? No one is stopping anyone from learning, or becoming proficient in CW. No one is suggesting the contesters stop their fun and games. No one is suggesting that you can’t USE CW on specified frequencies if you so choose.

Do current HAMS, especially Extra’s think the rank of Amateur Radio operators is going to swell by leaps and bounds because of this. Is this highly unlikely possibility what is bothering them? Are they unconsciously trying to protect their (perceived) lofty, and lonely, positions from upstarts?

Or is it that they are in denial? The truth is, Amateur Radio as a hobby, is on the way out. If one listens carefully, you can hear the toll of the bells (no pun intended). From now on, and indeed, probably since the ‘birth’ of the internet, Ham Radio will die a little more with the death of each old fart HAM Operator.

The internet, including low-cost access to people from around the world, has REPLACED Amateur Radio. Why pay all that money for a ‘rig’ and fight to keep antenna’s up, when you can just turn on your computer, and join a chat with any like minded folk, no matter the topic or interest?

If you want to pay just a fraction of what you spent on HAM radio, you can set up, and operate your own internet radio station. This would cater to the probably pathological need to perform seen in some HAMS. Hmmm, wonder if anyone has set up a HAM internet radio station yet, where people can call in, send ‘fast blasts’, etc? It probably would be a good venue for some of the Extra Licensed Ham misfits.

Consider all of the above when hearing HAMS bitch and moan about CW.

(Feel free to post YOUR comments, just click on the 'word' comments!)


barvetta said...

Right on. From the swling i have done the last few years, cw is a thing of the past. The only time i have heard cw activity is during one of the stupid contests. Seems wierd the only time most hams get on the air is during a contest. Must be a macho thing. Evvy is right. The demise of cw requirement doesnt mean you cant learn the code and use it if you want to. So whats all the bitching about ?

Freddie said...

I have to agree with Evy. I have wondered where that passion for ham radio that I had as a teenager went. Over the years I tried to get it back but in the end came to the same conclusion as Evy, that the internet pretty much obsoleted ham radio. With the internet you can converse with many more people from all walks of life without depending on propagation conditions. You can leave messages that can be read and responded to by people over a period of hours, days, weeks or months instead of just people who happen to be on the frequency at the time.

As for the elimination of the CW requirement, ham radio actually started to die long before with the "memorize the questions and answers" exams. The licenses became a give-a-way which attracted the CB good buddies types.


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