Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K4KYV, Mar 2, 2018.
Nah... he's just a typical contester
And from a bunch of guys who use all kinds of abbreviations and synonyms on CW. I need a CW dictionary.
Did you actually work any CW after you got your General? Getting up to 20 wpm without working CW on air is possible, with a lot of practice, but it's not easy nor is it particularly interesting or enjoyable. With on-air experience, higher speed comes gradually and naturally, without a tremendous lot of effort.
Learning to copy Morse is like learning a foreign language. Yes, you can become fluent after many hours of painstaking instruction in a formal language course, but fluency comes with a lot less effort if you start out with minimal basic skills in the new language, for example after 2 or 3 years of high school class, and then find yourself immersed in a country where you are forced to use it daily to communicate with people around you.
After passing the 13 wpm test, if you had regularly worked CW over the air from time to time, you would have been copying @ 20 wpm before you knew it.
Do like all the rest of us. STUDY AND UPGRADE...SIMPLE!! WORK IS PAINSTAKING LIKE ANYTHING ELSE. Continual use of CW expands your speed.
It would be a big mistake to give techs more privileges...they have way too many as it is.
I got my extra because, well, why wouldn't you? I mean, it's like going to Chik Fil A and only getting the small waffle fries.
But yet, for an operator who has no HF aspirations whatsoever, who maybe likes EME or satellites, or 6m FT8, a Tech is all they'll ever need.
Best thing about amateur radio, there's something for just about everyone. It isn't one-size-fits-all.
Once again, I feel compelled to point out that this is not something that Technician Class licensees are screaming for. It's something that the ARRL thinks Techs want.
And this is based on the premise that simply everyone wants to get on HF, that they lie awake nights wistfully moaning over how they can't get on HF, and that their lives are empty and hollow without HF operation as a part of it. And this premise is largely created by people that are currently on HF, as part of a belief that everyone is secretly jealous of them, but everyone is just too lazy or stupid to ascend to the heights of the Promised Land of HF.
But, once again, we show that we are eager to dump all over an entire Class simply because the ARRL offers a misguided proposal. But, of course, there's no way that this apparent contempt could ever result in well-intentioned Good Guys talking down to Technicians as if they are retarded children, right? And what intelligent, responsible adult would enjoy being treated like a moron, even if the people providing this treatment believe that they are merely being 'encouraging' and 'helpful'? It's not just a tiny few that engage in this behaviour; it's the majority. And it's not cranky Bad Guys calling Techs morons, either. It's well-intentioned Good Guys doing counter-productive things (like treating Techs as if they are morons), while being completely oblivious to their actions.
Maybe it's this crudely-veiled dismissal and derision of Technicians that is creating the very problem that the ARRL is seeking to solve, however misguided that solution may be. Of course, whenever I bring this up there are always many willing to prove my point. Instead of an intelligent observation, they 'hear' a blubbering, retarded child saying, "Waaah! I had a Bad Experience with a Big Meanie, and now I'm discouraged!". And they offer glib, generic 'advice' to 'solve my problem': find a club/Elmer, spin the dial, etc.
As a Technician by choice, I would add that years of CW operation on HF has shown me that so-called "considerate operators" seem to believe that "QRS" means "drop the QSO". I've never once had any operator drop down to my 7 wpm speed in response to a request. There is a de facto 13 wpm code "requirement" if a Tech wishes to use their CW privileges. Yet, as you point out, using CW expands your speed -- so we are essentially making it as difficult as possible for a Tech to use their CW privileges simply by way of elitist posturing. And then we blame the Tech for being too lazy and stupid to use those privileges.
Yes, there is "keyboard CW" that can be used in limited instances to have a QSO with those that are too snobbish to descend to the level of the lowly Tech. But that method doesn't build your skills, nor does it reward the hours and hours spent learning the code and handling a key.
I have little interest in HF operation, but I've tried to use the code skills that I acquired and maintained since childhood to make full use of my Technician privileges. I would probably make little use of these new privileges, on the outside chance that they were granted. And I'm not one of those clamouring for "something for nothing". But I can see that the current Tech HF privileges are a hollow sham, and that some Techs might be interested in digital modes (FT8, RTTY, or PSK31) on HF.
Really, though, I think that any Tech that wants to "get a taste" of HF operation would be better off using a higher-Class licensee's rig under control operator provisions. HF is a snarled tangle of a thousand different 'rules' (conventions, not regulations), with an ample supply of operators ready and willing to jump down the throat of anyone that 'violates' these 'rules'. Giving a Technician privileges to operate in that socially toxic environment without providing them with these 'rules' is simply guaranteeing an unpleasant experience for all concerned.
NOTE: I am making an observation, not asking for 'advice' or condescension.
A few years ago, I complied a list of new hams that had dropped off the local scene. I wanted to find out why they abandoned the hobby, and I contacted 13 operators by email, postal mail, and telephone. Many were initially wary that I was going to try to pressure them into returning, but I assured them I was only interested in the factors that led to their departure.
None of them mentioned "lack of HF privileges".
The most common factors were lack of activity, poor treatment by senior hams, rig-shaming, and an excessively serious atmosphere. This was after senior hams had cleared out the repeater where the new hams congregated, by way of 'helpful' and 'encouraging' condescension, humiliation, and pressure to upgrade.
I asked all of them if they were ever treated like they were stupid. Every single one responded in the affirmative; many were emphatic and bitter over this. I heard many anecdotes of 'helpful' senior hams turning innocuous observations into desperate "cries for help", ignoring questions and substituting very stupid things in place of what was asked, and a preoccupation with the radio being used rather than what was said on it. Any kind of "fun" conversations were continually shut down in favour of 'serious' technical discussion. As a result, the people that they had enjoyed talking to on a regular basis had left, creating dead repeaters.
I asked all of them if a lack of technical help had any bearing on their departure. None said "yes". This is odd, because the one thing in common with all of the 'helpful' and 'encouraging' senior hams was a strong belief that these new hams faced daunting technical challenges and needed copious amount of 'help'.
Then I asked several new hams that had stuck it out, and even upgraded. When I asked if they had been treated like they were stupid, everyone was very cautious. Yes... but those people "meant well". It's just something that you have to accept in order to get help upgrading or if you want to climb the social hierarchy. They were "good guys" at heart. All of these remaining operators told stories about the help they received, and all of those stories were about help involving HF operation.
This isn't a scientific sample, but it points out that my experiences are not isolated and that social, not technical or regulatory, issues are the persuasive factors in hams leaving.
The common group-think focuses on those that remain, as some kind of perverted 'proof' that the negative things can be ignored if someone really and truly wants to participate. Yes, and getting a leg amputated can be great if you ignore all of the negative consequences. Few are lining up for limb amputations, however.
The deeper point is that none of these negative things involved the actual operation of a radio. They are not inherent to nor intrinsic parts of amateur operation. Yet they are so deeply a part of amateur culture and social interaction that few senior operators can make the distinction. It's just "part of the territory", and new hams need to adapt to that or leave. Besides, it's all well-intentioned and designed to help them 'advance'.
If your 'help' drives away more than it encourages, is it still really "help"?
Is HF really some magical place free of these false distinctions, or is it actually an environment that doubles down on them?
Again, it's not a problem with a tiny number of hostile and cranky operators chasing people off the air. Your "spin the dial" suggestions are irrelevant. It's people like you, the reader, doing 'helpful' things "for their own good" that ultimately dissuades people from even turning on their rigs in the first place.
I know that I'm just an Idiot Tech, but maybe you guys should stop doing that.
^^^^^ I like this guy. ^^^^^
Specifically how were your questions worded?
If your attitude which clearly show here came through, any results could be the result of bias in the questions.