>Date: Mon, 12 May 1997 01:12:31 GMT
>Subject: Case Closed - Several Cases Closed
>> On the other hand, show me the
>>average ham of years gone by who achieved the highest attainable class
>>Amateur license in so short a period.
>The average ham in the pre-incentive licensing days stopped
>at General. There was no reason to go beyond that.
>Bill Sohl K2UNK
Your posting really dances around the theme of my brief and telling
posting, the intent of which was twofold:
1) The ham who wrote the original mail sat down and passed all the
license class tests in one sitting, as best I can tell. Passing one
class at a time USED to be about all the "average" ham could handle. Of
course, I shunned the Ameco and*** Bash books, because I was not about
to enter an FCC examining room with memorized answers. I wanted to KNOW
the theory, else I feared I would not pass. That, of course, was my
choice. I got my Class B and Class A by the time I was a Junior in high
school, and knew a lot about radio at that young age. All the hams I
knew in those days were of the same stripe - average folks who studied
license manuals to get the gist of the test, and supplemented that by
reading more in Handbooks. I was well into the hobby before I even knew a
*** Bash book even existed. ..guess I spent too much time operating to
realize what the real world was, eh?
2) The ham who wrote the original mail sat down and went from 0wpm to
20wpm in one sitting, from what I can gather, and did so after but a few
weeks of study. Again, I had my code speed up beyond 20wpm in a matter of
months after getting the Class B, which in those days was reasonable
since I put some necessary time in grade before I was allowed to move up
the ladder...., so no big deal there. But, the tests were one minute
solid copy plus a short sending test - which one passed before going to
the written exam. Guesswork would not get one through the code exam, not
that I am assuming the ham whose case I am dealing with guessed his way
thru, but he certainly could have. ...more on solid copy later...
I chose to wait until I was about 35 before going for the Extra. I did
little operating during college and in the first 5 years of my EE career
-- not enough time due to work and rearing a family of four kids. I
passed the Extra with ease, but again, I studied the Handbook on the
subjects the license manual said would be on that test. It was the
easiest of the three I took, and not because I had gone to college in the
I never liked my W2ZOJ call, and envied K2NY for his second call area New
York call. He died in middle age. When the FCC computers rolled around
to the NY2's, I took the risk and applied for a call commensurate with my
license class. As you see, I barely avoided getting NZ2A...
There you have it. My point was made simplistically, and you chose to
answer one part of it with a factual statement, but danced around the
totality of my point in making a brief posting. Now that I have written
you a book on the topic, you go on ahead with your campaign.
My observations are that most of the debaters just love to take segments
of postings, totally out of context, and simplistically address them in a
condescending manner. That is your prerogative. This is an open forum
where those who wish to do so can illustrate their ability, or lack of
it, to debate, or in this case, evidently even to understand the summary
point of my short posting.
BTW, I have noticed that my operating time has decreased radically each
time I read something which seems to demand a reply. This stuff takes a
bit of time. An incredible amount of repetition occurs here as well. My
tentative conclusion is that most of the regular debaters spend far more
time in these newsgroups than they do operating their ham stations,
reading the papers and magazines, spending time with their families, and
working. That, however, is just my opinion, and I could be wrong. I
speed-read this stuff and post rarely, because my ham activity involves a
lot of multi-mode traffic-handling, ARES/RACES drills such as the airport
disaster drill we have coming next Saturday, and so on. When one gets
deeply involved in ham radio operating, these issues about code testing
seem very petty.
As for the solid copy comment at the beginning, one gets solid copy,
regardless of the mode, in the service of traffic handling, AND in the
tactical services provided to served agencies such as in next weekend's
drill, or one stays out of such activity.
It is a natural part of the operating discipline required to perform
these tasks responsibly; and untrained, undisciplined
copy-notes-in-your-head stuff just does not cut it, regardless of
operating mode. I might add that as always, we have been asked to assist
in this simulated air crash at an international airport. History has
shown the hams keep the best records of the names and condtions of
exactly who gets loaded on what ambulance, when the ambulances leave, and
when and at which hospital they arrive. These agencies, equipped with
every imaginable communications tool, still expect a sizeable corps of
hams to help them, and expect us to do what we are asked to do, and to do
it right. If we don't, we hear about it in the debriefings. To those
who say hams are no longer needed, tell that to our airport
administrators, our police, our paid professional fire departments and
our paid ambulance corps. They have found they do far better WITH our
help than WITHOUT it. Keeping track of hundreds of injured people is not
easy and has little to do with the professional communications gear these
people now use. We have a track record they have found indispensable.
I got off the track, but it is a point which needs to be made. I am
tired of the ham- radio-is-only-a-hobby-and-is-obsolete crowd. Where I
live, some of us ( too damned few out of the total ) take the Service
mentioned in Part 97 seriously. Sorry I got off the rails here, but it is
late and I have to get up in the morning, which is now four hours away,
so this posting addresses two major issues. So be it.
The hardest thing to learn in life
is which bridge to cross and which to burn.