Just a No-Coder

    If one stops and thinks about this phrase, it becomes immediately apparent it is not one of praise.  The question is just what value does the phrase bring to any conversation?  The blood-thirsty Romans might have used a similar phrase -- "just a Christian" or "just a slave" --back when the Caeser forced slaves and others to fight (and die) in the coliseum.

Think about it -- "just a no-coder."

    Do you suppose that decades ago old-time hams referred to new licensees who jumped into continuous wave (not spark gap) transmitting as being "only CW ops?"  Or do you think the CW gang referred to operators who used the new AM mode as "just AMers?"  Or when SSB first began Donald-ducking on the frequencies, do you suppose CW and AM ops thought of them as "just SSBers?"
    It is the "just" or "only" or whatever other demeaning qualifier that is objectionable to me.  The fact that the FCC no longer requires aspiring hams to pass a CW test is simply a fact of life.  This fact of life does not justify ridiculing others.  Rules, of one type or another change all the time.
    The important thing is that the operator has a valid Amateur Radio license and operates legally and courteously.  My observation has been that amateurs who received their licenses without needing to pass a Morse test are no worse or no better than we who took Morse exams.  The reverse is equally true.
    Newer licensees are typically not the hams who hog the frequency ("Get off this frequency.  We've been holding our net at this time and on this frequency for over 25 years.")  Similarly, they are typically not the hams who sit on a DX station and transmit a series of dits . . .  for 30 minutes or longer.  It has been my observation that these and other LIDisms are usually performed by us good-ole boys -- we who passed 13 or even 20 wpm code tests.

Code proficiency does not a good amateur make.

    Let's stop labeling our fellow amateurs with demeaning terms.  They are as much hams as we are.  They have as much right to use the frequencies allowed by their licenses as we have with our licenses.

Jim Weaver 


A couple of minor changes were made during January. Connecting stations now receive a brief verbal announcement in a pleasing feminine voice.  It helps to indicate the connection was successful.  Another chance made was to replace the morse code link ID with a short verbal ID.  A more significant addition is the text sales pitch for the upcoming SMARS swapshop.  I personally had a QSO with a station in Chelsea because of the "advertisement."  Those of you with computers should check it out by connecting to W8DF-R node 360014.
    Reviewing echolink callsign log, I find 117 connections during January.   W8DF continues to see four or five check-ins on the Monday evening net via echolink.  WB8JPD has been a regular on the net and the repeater while staying warm in Lakeland, FL.
A  quick look at Echolink Callsign log for this morning, February 5, showed Dave Eddy, WA8UYW, was connected to W8DF-r on 224.24 Mhz from 4:30 until 5:04, Feb 5.
Wonder who he could have been talking with at that time of day???


    Several points of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (2007) have implications for ARES. See: <http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf>
Examples include:
    1) Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level;
    2) There is observational evidence of an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic;
    3) In North America, warming in western mountains is projected to cause decreased snow pack, more winter flooding, and reduced summer flows, exacerbating competition for over-allocated water resources;
    4) Cities that currently experience heat waves are expected to be further challenged by an increased number, intensity and duration of heat waves, with potential for adverse health impacts; and
    5) Coastal communities will be increasingly stressed by climate change impacts interacting with development and pollution.
     To follow-up on the above, here are a few suggestions: harden your home ARES "EOC"; get basic weather instrumentation (hardened as best you can) for providing *measured* reports (ground truths); discuss your own region's likely fallout from climate change with your emergency management professionals; and become more informed in general on these issues, which are certain to become front-and-center in the near future.



Dave Eddy, WA8YWU, announced his semi-retirement last month after nearly a half century in the broadcast business.  Wait no longer, as he has retired.
Thanks for all the nice morning chats, Dave. It was comforting to hear your familiar voice each morning.  We hope that voice will be found often on the amateur bands.  Some of us in the "over the hill gang" remember the song "On the Sunny Side of the Street." Your voice was and is all that.

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