CW controversy

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 21 09:56:02 EST 2006

On 12/21/06, Greg Gore; WA1KBQ <GARDGORE at> wrote:
> The expected result of dumbing down Amateur Radio? Perhaps this is driven  by
> the equipment manufacturers who might be a strong enough lobby to get what
> they want. Must not be enough dedicated techno type folks interested in the
> hobby anymore so being bottom line driven they turn to folks who would be
> willing to pursue an easy licence for the privilege of buying a new  rice box which
> will then become another annoying nuisance we have to deal  with.

That's pretty much it, Greg. The Amateur Radio Retail Lobby pushes for
most of the dumbing down to 'save amateur radio', yet about half of
their QST rag is crammed full of ads. Throw in the corntest results
and you get a clear picture of where the ARRL's loyalties lie.

Personally, I never saw CW as a 'lid filter' as some did. All you had
to do was listen to the band, even advanced and extra class licensees
who took the 13 and 20wpm. Plenty of idiots on the bands forever, just
go back and read some of the *reeeally* old editorials in QST
(20s-30s) when it was a radio magazine.

Instead, I saw the code requirement as the only remaining test to show
an applicant's willingness to apply ones self to a task and follow
through. I seriously doubt there are many people out there who "can't
do" the code. More aptly they don't apply themselves to it. It took me
3-4 tries to get my 13wpm and it wasn't until I actually decided to
practice regularly and really work on my code speed that I passed. It
wasn't the code at fault, it was my approach to it.

Also have a good friend I elmered who was sure he couldn't do the code
because it was too hard, his life was too busy, etc. So he waited for
the No Code tech license. In the meantime he got married and went to
work for IBM as an engineer. After getting his tech, he flew up to
Extra class in no time and is a big time corntester now, including CW
which he is quite good at. This *after* his job that requires
traveling and becoming a homeowner, husband, and having several
children. Hmmmm.....too hard? Can't do the code?

The sad thing is the lack of challenge which, along with a true
interest, is what attracts people to *earn* a privilege like the
amateur radio license. When you turn the test into a multiple guess
format and provide all ot the answers ahead of time, then you
discourage building, certain modes, and encourage only a
plug-n-play-then-throw-away mentality, where is the pride in having
such a thing? Ham radio was never 'for everyone' in the sense that
you're either interested or you're not. I'd rather have 100 devoted
radioheads than 1000 who just got it because it was free and easy.

If the ARRL really wants to help ham radio, maybe they should focus on
getting more of the newbies onto VHF and above along with new
technologies. This is the spectrum most in danger. Instead they push
WinLink on HF so that some guy on his sailboat can check his email for
free. It's no wonder they only have about 20-21% of licensed hams as
members. It's pretty bad when 80% of the people you claim to represent
want nothing to do with you.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ

This list is a public service of the City of Tempe, Arizona

Subscription control -
Archives -

More information about the Boatanchors mailing list