Dave KB7JS Daves Musings, The One and Only KB7JS

Has Civility Died on 75?
by Dave, KB7JS

The vile behavior of so many operators on 75 Meters these days is disgusting, but not necessarily a new phenomenon, just a nasty evolution of bad manners by what I have to classify as low-life's with a radio.

As I remember, in the 60's and early 70's,almost everyone on the bands, with very few exceptions, operated with excellent manners and practiced deliberate courtesy.  All of the many people I had contacts with were class act people, the long Rag Chew was the typical contact, and not once over a continuous operating stretch of  many years did I encounter bad manners, harassment, jamming, or other obnoxious behavior.  Amateur Radio was a gentlemen's sport and hobby then, where civility, courteous behavior, and a universal willingness to be helpful were the common traits shared by all. 

In the 1960's, I had the opportunity to occasionally operate at the MARS station at Da Nang AB, South Vietnam.  We tried to operate round the clock to provide phone patch and message passing communications by military personnel with their families and loved ones back home.  Although we had excellent equipment, we were often challenged by band conditions, but we would always be accommodated by countless state-side Hams who would stay up to all hours simply to facilitate our communications.  That kind of comradery and selfless service has become a rarity.  Today, many operators will openly object to lengthy phone-patch operations as it conflicts with their search for contacts to verify WAS, WAC, WAZ, or whatever awards they might pursue.  Others will openly interfere with arrogant disdain for a frequency in use.

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More Dave

Regarding Amplifiers: Personally, I really don't understand the Amp craze.  What ever happened to the tenet of using the minimum power necessary?  While they are very popular and useful in poor conditions, poor propagation is what it is.  A better antenna will always get better results than can be obtained by pumping more power into a marginal one.  I sincerely believe it's the contest mentality that has caused them to be abused and used all the time to simply kick up the receiving stations S-meter.  Yeah, they will give you a stronger signal, but is that really necessary?   My experience on the bands is that they are too often used all the time, even in good conditions, which makes your signal so powerful that it becomes simply interference for the poor guys on the other side of the planet that you can't hear.   I'd rather have an honest QSO within the limits of the conditions and call it a day.   I have recently encountered some amplifier elitist's on 40 and 80 that won't acknowledge your call if you aren't running an Amp like they are.   I have witnessed them telling individuals to get an Amp or go away.

- Up to a Mile Away? Are you Kidding? : POT GROWERS CAUSE BIG STATIC FOR HAM RADIO

- Check out this site for band conditions: CONUS HF BAND CONDX

- Good read, very interesting, but it will give you a brain cramp: FM BACKSCATTER

- On the Lighter Side: BRITSH CARJACKING

- My Lips are stuck to my Keyer!!: WINTER FIELD DAY ASSOCIATION

-This little $149 tool can help you understand why things don't work: BIT SCOPE: MICRO ANALYSER & SCOPE

- Grasping the difference between regular batteries and deep cycle batteries: A LAYMAN'S GUIDE TO BATTERIES

- And some tasty Battery FAQs: BATTERY FAQ

- Video Tour of the Johnson Viking Valiant: TOUR FROM THE BENCH OF K7PP -- <> -- AND, TUNING IT UP


. . . and from Ken -- LEARN ALL ABOUT AMATEUR RADIO de F6DQM -- See his site! http://f6dqm.free.fr/amateurradio.htm

Learning CW

-- The Art and Skill of Radio-Telegraphy - Click Here for PDF file (clean file)

-- CW Ops Homework - Click

New Sites to Explore

-- NEW! Electro ReSales - Novel Electronic Gadgets that will make your day!

SPUTNIK: Yesterday was the 60th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, the first earth satellite.  Dave says, I clearly remember standing in the back yard looking for it to fly over ( we saw it often, there was nothing like “Light Pollution” then.  And Dad and I sat in front of the old Hammarlund SP-600 listening on 20.005 Mhz for its pulse CW signal as it passed by. Later, in 1962, my first “real” car was a ’57 Bel Air hardtop, manufactured the same week that Sputnik launched.  More impressive, however, is the pace of everything we experienced in a very short span of our lifetime. Just 12 years after Sputnik 1 beeped it’s way around the earth, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon."

Sputnik 1 was a cathartic moment that shaped a tremendous shift in our daily lives, and launched focused investment and growth in science and technology.  It may seem strange that I chose the word “cathartic” to describe the event that launched a sudden change in our society.  By definition, it represents a purging or relief of emotional tensions.  And yet, I believe that is what happened to our society as a whole, the casting off of beliefs and prejudices that formed the day to day expectations of Americans and were keeping us from looking outside our comfort zone, achieving goals that had been beyond our dreams and expectations.  Personally, it became the driving force that awakened my curiosity and lead me to pursue a lifetime career in science and technology.

Great words, Dave. This underlines how regular people become hams. Passion drives 90% of it and a chance encounter is the trigger that plants the seed. We all got here in different ways and it is our life experiences that made it happen. Or, think of it this way: Somehow, the Big Guy gave us a nudge and we in a mass of sweat and consternation did the rest of it. Grin, in your case you can say, "The Russians made me do it!"


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