Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I really know that there's not a whole lot going on in my Ham world, when I am struck by a lot of the silliness that goes on in Ham Radio e-mail reflectors. Normal operating or building or whatever focuses my attention on other things; and I usually don't notice the silliness - I just delete it.

But tonight, being stuck inside because of more rain; and not much doing on the bands, I spent more time than I should have, on the computer, reading e-mail.

Some of the hot topics of the day in some of the reflectors I subscribe to?

1) Whether or not it is proper to use AR or K after calling CQ using Morse Code.

2) People becoming upset by some of the mnemonics used to remember the resistor color code.

3) What kind of backpack you should carry your portable station in.

4) What to use / acquire as a good but inexpensive signal generator.

Topics 3 and 4 caught my interest; and I followed them with interest and actually learned a thing or two. Topics 1 and 2 seemed to be a bit ........ trite. It doesn't seem to me that the topic of what prosign to use after calling CQ in Morse should take more than maybe two or three messages to hammer out. Silly me - guess I'm strange! Of course, then it had to devolve into a discussion of "I'm right - you're wrong - I know the protocol better than you - nyah, nyah, nyah!"

Topic 2 got really silly as someone objected to a word used in one of the mnemonics. Yes - one word caused angst. It wasn't an epithet or a derogatory term, it was just a word. If you don't like THAT word, just use another that starts with the same letter. It can be done, you know! Another Ham dismissed the use of mnemonics altogether with the canard, "Real hams don't use charts or memory aids". Geez, pardon us mere mortals from having to use memory aids! I hate whenever the term "real Hams" starts getting bandied about; unless it's in jest, of course. And you could tell in this particular case that it wasn't.

Needless to say, tonight I used the delete key a lot.

The thing is, as I've said before, I should have gotten busy building something or perhaps doing something else altogether, like starting to read a new book perhaps. Maybe the real frustration lies within myself for getting sucked in to the silliness; and having wasted time. Bad enough I noticed it and paid attention to it - even worse that I'm writing about it!

73 de Larry W2LJ

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