Saturday, May 31, 2008

Booo - yaaahhh !

This appeared on the FISTS e-mail reflector today - thank you, Nancy!

R 292200Z MAY 2008

FM CHNAVMARCORMARS WILLIAMSBURG VA

TO ALNAVMARCORMARS

INFO ZEN/CHIEF ARMY MARS FT HUACHUCA AZ

ZEN/CHIEF AIR FORCE MARS SCOTT AFB IL

BT

UNCLAS

SUBJ: CHNAVMARCORMARS BCST 06-08

A. DRAFT RADIOTELEGRAPH PROCEDURES

1. WHEN I ASSUMED THE CHIEF, NAVMARCORMARS POSITION IN NOVEMBER, 1997, WE WERE MORE THAN A YEAR INTO THE DOD MANDATED BAN ON CW ON MARS FREQUENCIES.

A. SINCE THAT TIME THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION HAS, IN STEPS, ELIMINATED THE MORSE CODE REQUIREMENT FOR AN AMATEUR LICENSE. ALL EMERGENCY COMMUNICATORS KNOW THAT WHEN VOICE AND OTHER DIGITAL MODES SLOW TO A CRAWL OR BECOME UNUSABLE, CW CAN STILL BE USED.

B. I REMEMBER THE NORTHEAST ICE STORM SHORTLY AFTER I BECAME CHIEF AND THE UNNECESSARILY LENGTHY EFFORT BY ALL OF SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND TO RECEIVE ONE VOICE EEI FROM A NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND MEMBER WHOSE ANTENNA WAS COVERED IN ICE AND LYING ON THE GROUND. IT TOOK OVER AN HOUR WHEN CW COULD HAVE HANDLED IT IN A FEW MINUTES.

C. AS MORE AND MORE OF OUR MEMBERS ENTER MARS WITH NO MORSE CODE EXPERIENCE, I AM AFRAID THAT WE WILL SOON LOSE THAT SKILL SET IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING.

2. IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE AND EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, AREA AND REGION DIRECTORS ARE AUTHORIZED TO ESTABLISH CW TRAINING AND TRAFFIC NETS IN THEIR RESPECTIVE AREAS AND REGIONS. ALL STATE DIRECTORS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN CONDUCTING TRAINING IN CW ON THEIR TRAFFIC AND TRAINING NETS.

3. SINCE THE RADIOTELEGRAPH PROCEDURES WERE ELIMINATED BEFORE THE PUBLICATION OF NTP 8(C), REF A WILL BE POSTED UNDER THE DOCUMENTS TAB ON THE NATIONAL WEB PAGE SOON. USE THESE DRAFT PROCEDURES UNTIL A FINAL TRI-SERVICE MARS PROCEDURE FOR RADIOTELEGRAPH IS DEVELOPED AND PROMULGATED.

4. MARS: TOGETHER WE CAN ACHIEVE ANYTHING.

BT

Finally, someone is using the common sense that the Dear Lord gave them !!!

73 de Larry W2LJ

6 comments:

Jeff, KE9V said...

I don't understand how this helps? Anyone who can't already copy the code won't be able to participate in on the air CW and Net training.

So essentially, CW operators who already participate with MARS will continue to do so as normal EXCEPT they will have to submit to more CW training?

This MARS announcement just makes no sense to me. What am I missing?

73 de Jeff

Larry W2LJ said...

An incentive to learn CW perhaps? Or perhaps another road to travel down to become exposed to CW and learn its value?

I don't think that anyone has to worry that we're traveling backwards in time. But I do see here that someone realizes that we shouldn't throw away a perfectly good tool just because it isn't the newest and shiniest thing in the tool box.

Ben Jackson said...

Will they be offering Semaphore and Smoke Signal nets as well? :)

To be honest, because of the use of an anecdotal example rather then some kind of real evidence, the announcement seems to be more politically motivated rather then done for a tangible benefit. Partially because of the reasons that Jeff stated above.

Larry W2LJ said...

Obviously, your mind is made up on the matter by the type of comment you made - so just what kind of "real evidence" would convince you otherwise?

I get it already, guys! CW is antiquated, old, non-sophisticated, boring, dull and not flashy or technical or "gee-golly-whiz-bang" enough. Efficiency and reliability as a fall back have nothing to do with anything so we just might as well chuck it all.

I guess I've just had to much Emergency Management training in my lifetime where it has been drilled into our heads to always keep a back up plan with simple and fool proof methods available up our sleeves.

And if the ultimate circumstances deemed it to be necessary; just what is wrong with using semaphore or smoke signals if that was then only way to get a message through? Am I being dramatic? I don't think so - just trying to take into account ALL possibilities.

Ben Jackson said...

The issue is the time and effort tradeoff. Is teaching CW going to actively benefit the service? Is Semaphore? Is smoke signals?

Will the effort involved in craeting CW training result in an added benefit to the service? Will people actually use it? If they know it, will people run into situations where they can use it?

Or would the service benefit more from training about proper emergency antenna design deployment?

Also, FYI: I'm learning CW. It's an interesting mode. I just think that people give it a bit more credit then it's due.

Jeff, KE9V said...

On HF, CW is the only mode that interests me so I guess you could say I'm a fan. :-)

But I've looked at this MARS announcement 20 different ways and have yet to figure out what this adds ... the CW ops didn't quit using CW just because MARS dumped it some years ago. And the non-CW crowd certainly isn't going to take it up just because MARS is once again using it.

I think this should be called a non-announcement announcement. HI HI

73 de Jeff