Issue #6 - Four Things Your Elmer Never Told You about Ham Radio

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Dec 24, 2022.

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  1. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm curious what kind of stuff you think that could be dangerous to have exposed to the open Internet? People know there are radios in my house because they can see the antennas all over if they drive by. And all that's there other than shack photos is bio stuff that wouldn't be of use to anyone (I think) . . . Dave
    W9TR likes this.
  2. N1YR

    N1YR Ham Member QRZ Page

    For those of us of a certain vintage, it was the same written test. The only difference between the licensing procedures was whether one ham pre-tested us at 5 WPM CW in order to get the FCC envelope containing the written test, or an FCC examiner tested us at 13 WPM in the same session as the written.

    And we Technicians weren't stuck on VHF+ back then, we had the same HF CW privileges as the Novices.

    I eventually upgraded to Advanced and Amateur Extra via the 'new' VEC procedures. But my 13 WPM and 20 WPM tests were receive-only, and one minute of perfect copy was only required if I couldn't correctly answer at least 7 out of 10 "multiple guess" questions about the recorded QSO.

    My pedestal is erected for the 'old time' Extras who received and sent 20 WPM in front of the FCC examiners during the session in which they passed their written exams. Many of the old-timers now gone were radio operators in WW II.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  3. W9TR

    W9TR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    HI Dave,
    Great question. In this case my bio and photos were used to create a Facebook account using my full name as it appears on my license. It was identity theft, pure and simple. The scammer then tried selling a whole bunch of radios he didn’t own. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive. I don’t think so. It still stings.

    This info is of great info for the ham community. But for not anyone else. Who doesn’t like to look up somebody’s qrz info during a contact. I know I do.
    N2EY likes this.
  4. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know how much work that Fred (QRZ Founder) goes to to protect the site and sellers/buyers from fraud. He's taken that on as one of his primary responsibilities. Too bad it can extend further into sites like FB. I personally HATE Facebook. For a site that I visit a bit on FB, I use my wife's FB account and always get replied to as "Linda."
  5. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The Technician used the same written test as the General (and Conditional) until March 21, 1987. On that date, old Element 3 was split into two Elements (3A and 3B), one of which was required for Technician and both for General.

    That depends on the.....vintage. Originally, Technicians had no HF privileges at all. Then it was decided that it made no sense for Novices to have some HF but not Technicians, so Technicians were given Novice HF privileges sometime in the late 1970s.

    But when the Technician lost its code test in 1991, there was a problem, due to the ITU-R treaty then. So the FCC created the "Technician Plus" license class, which was for Technicians who had passed 5 wpm code and so had Novice HF privileges.

    Sending tests were required until 1977 or 78. The FCC supplied only a straight key, but you could bring a bug or keyer to the exam session if you provided cables to hook it up.

    When I earned the Extra in 1970 at the Philadelphia FCC office, we had to do the 1 minute solid copy and send on a straight key before we could even try the written test. I did the 20 wpm receiving and sending, no problem. Written test wasn't difficult either.

    That summer of 1970 I was 16 years old, had been a ham 2-1/2 years, and was between 10th and 11th grades. I credit NTS traffic handling and CW contesting for making 20 wpm easy.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    W7DGJ likes this.
  6. W9TR

    W9TR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Great stuff Jim. I still remember the gist of the Extra Class receiving test I took in Chicago in 1973. The relief of ‘you’ve passed’ from the examiner. Then sending and theory were easy. One happy 16 yo on the train back home.
  7. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    W7DGJ likes this.
  8. W9TR

    W9TR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    N2EY likes this.
  9. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glad you liked it.

    I don't know whether that was intentional or he just forgot to change the spindle. Back then, there weren't many Extras nor people trying the Extra test.

    Doesn't seem like 52 years ago.

    Last week I was in Philadelphia and passed the Custom House where it all happened so long ago.


    Back then anyone could just stroll in. Today you have to show ID and go through security because it's a Federal building.

    73 de Jim
    PU2OZT, W9TR and W7DGJ like this.
  10. KT4PH

    KT4PH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I also am in awe with those that can copy CW at > 35wpm. I worked with some "R" branchers in the USN that could easily head copy at 50 wpm +, but that's what they did for a living. I also had an Elmer, who was my major inspiration for upgrading and working HF, who could copy in his head at 35+ wpm. I barely managed the 13 wpm I need to upgrade to my current license and have since forgotten all of the CW except maybe "A", "E" and "T". I do have a goal of relearning "the code", but foresee a long struggle with it again.

    W7DGJ likes this.
  11. W3DO

    W3DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you operate long enough you will eventually hear just about everything there is to hear.
    That is the reason why I listen 95% of the time.
    On Wednesday I believe it was around 3 - 4 in the afternoon, I heard a operator calling cq in the dx window on 20m phone ssb.
    And my first rule is - not to work them until I first copy their call sign correctly.
    So I was sitting there patiently waiting to copy the whole call sign while others worked him.
    K3LR worked him, and it took the guy about 5 attempts to get Tim's call right for the log.
    When he signed I copied the whole - correct - call sign, only to have some bozo in Florida
    come on the frequency and call cq and another bozo in 4 land answer him.
    The point is that the operator was in Africa and Tim said it was the first time he ever worked Africa on 20 m phone.
    The operator was arm chair copy - even Tim said - it sounds like you are sitting in my driveway!
    Maybe if they changed the rules so you have to operate for X amount of time with an Elmer before you were allowed to operate by yourself,
    this kind of crap wouldn't happen!
    My Elmer said - God gave you two ears and one mouth - that is because it is more important to listen then to talk!
    W7DGJ and K5YDD like this.
  12. W3DO

    W3DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will guarantee you that the very next day - Tim sent the operator in Africa a QSL Card - because that is what Real Hams Do!
    I can't speak for the rest of you - but I would have loved just to work the guy and I would have sent him a card too - and I would have sent him a paid SASE
    so he could send me one in return. Even if it was just his call sign and brag written on a old paper sack from the Pic N Save.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I found that I remembered it all after a multi-decade break from CW! You'll be positively surprised, John. Dave
  14. W3DO

    W3DO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Its easier to copy a good fist at 35 wpm then it is a bad fist at 15 wpm - once you learn all of the prefix for the words, the amount of words you can send and copy will go up.
    The very first person I worked CW was ON4UN and it was the shortest CW conversation in the history of amateur radio because I had Key Fright.
    I knew who Jon was and I was so terrified that I was going to make a mistake and have him laugh at me or tell me that I sucked and needed to practice more before I got on the air!
    That I basically gave my call sign, my name, and told him he was my very first contact ever on CW.
    5 days later an envelope from Belgium appeared in my mail box and inside the envelope was a QSL card and small note from Jon - thanking me for allowing him to be my first contact on CW.
    That card,, along with the card from the 15 year old girl camping in a tent with her parents in the middle of the winter in New Zealand - and she sent it with her own money - means more to me then any other card I ever received. So I don't understand when some middle aged or retired miser says that they are on a fixed income or a limited income and can't afford to send a card to someone that sent them a card - what the problem is, or why they would chose to be so selfish?
    I just spent $96 on stamps this week - because postage is going up 1 / 23 / 2023

    I not only send a card, I also send literature from Punxsutawney PA - The Home of The Groundhog and Groundhog's day!
    W7DGJ likes this.
  15. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's an interesting article that one ham had highlighted on his QRZ profile page. Talks about the lack of civility in society in general. See this link.

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