The One Main Reason I Stay Active as a Ham Radio Operator

Hams are “Keepers of the Morse Code”

There is actually a bit of a tie as far as what keeps me in Ham Radio. One is the “magic” of point to point HF radio, and the other is CW.

There is no other hobby or pass time that I know of that offers these two very unique things.

The world is enamored by real time wired Internet communication, and looking at the garbage Tweets and other social media – as far as I’m concerned it’s all trash and a waste of valuable time. It’s all short attention span theatre.

With HF point to point you never know what you’ll find. You can guess based on sunspots, time of day or year, but there is always some surprise that you can try to catch. I suppose it’s like fishing in a way.

Now add in CW, Morse Code. Because Hams are the last practisioners of the Code, it is now even more of a “secret code” than it was back in 1973 when I was first licensed.

The Internet makes all of us the same in a way, so using HF Radio and CW, I get that feeling that I am doing something unique, ecclectic, and interesting that isn’t “just like everyone else”.

Sure, it’s a novelty, an anachronistic and living history pursuit, but it helps me feel just a little bit special that I know about this little world which has been passed by all of the Internet minions as they all march to the beat of their same drum.

It’s not something that you can brag about (people would think you are some antique fuddy duddy), but I can be secretly smug knowing I know of a little secret world most others will never know.

I suppose others who love restoring old vehicles have their similar world – when we visited the Hyde Street Pier, we saw signs where they were looking for volunteers to help do maintenance on the ships. I do know of others who love to help restore and keep old trains alive.

The pilot on the Water Taxi asked if I was a “Clamper”. He explained it was the E Clampus Vitus society. I said no, but its always nice to know there are “kindred souls” maybe even “old souls” out there.

One Comment on “The One Main Reason I Stay Active as a Ham Radio Operator

  1. I am in the same boat.

    The magic of bouncing my little dits and dahs off the ionosphere as it wiggles about is big time fun for me. I hear QSB as a reminder of the fleeting magic. Holding a rag chew through the ups and downs of variable propagation is very enjoyable.

    The simplicity of using CW is easy to grasp from a physics standpoint. It is impossible to grasp from a immediate gratification standpoint.

    I am a jazz bassist. Freaking hard world. But, a whole lot of fun once a few very difficult to overcome learning paths are passed.

    The same holds true with CW.

    Once one gets well past 20 WPM, it transitions to play. Contesting, networks, rag chews and DXing all become your playground. QRP or QRO seems a distant question as skill mounts, unless the goal is ATNOs and contest scores. Fortunately, neither mean a thing to me.

    To me, rag chewing at speed is the ultimate goal. Far more entertaining for me is trying to get the other guy engaged in a good chat and maybe making them laugh. And passing some time joyfully.


    Liked by 1 person

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