Re: Building Contest

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From: chuck adams (adams@chuck.dallas.sgi.com)
Date: Fri May 05 1995 - 00:02:25 EDT


Jeff,

Here is the reason for the "dit dit".

A long time ago, back in the mid-50s, Novice class hams and others
at low speeds got tired of the long CQs. So they emulated (in CW)
the old "shave and a haircut" - "six bits" routine but sending
dit di-di-dit dit and the answering station sent "dit dit". Then
the QSO would start. Well, the FCC did not have a sense of humour
about this at all and started issuing citations (called pink slips -
probably because of pink paper or something like that). So the
routine ceased.

Today we just send a "dit dit" at the end of a qso as a carry over
from the old days. Others hear us OTs do it and think that it's
a secret handshake or something and they do it and ......

I started using it as a part of my email and people have come to
expect it of me. So as part of the tradition of more than two
years I continue to do it as second nature and don't think about
it. The "dit dit" that you see on every email of mine is truly
typed in every time. Hate to think that it could be done as
a part of the signature file on my account. There are just some
things that I refuse to give control over to a machine to do. :-)

Back to the ending. If you sign with a station and he/she then
ends with their final message, the "dit dit" is a just a quick
exchange to the other station to let them know that you did copy
all their final transmission and didn't pull the "big plug" and
go away and not hear it. You'll hopefully find that CW operators
are the most friendly and courteous individuals in the world.

I remember that the communication between two CW operators is about
as close as you can get (later in the over 20wpm game when CW
becomes almost an unconcious effort) to mind-to-mind transfer of
information. I don't think of the media or the dits and dahs, just
the words and thoughts of the other person. Sure, a lots of the time
you can guess what is coming next, but a lot of the time you will be
surprised by something new. To me it's the most fun of the hobby.

I like building and I like experimenting but I like talking to people
above all. Each has something to say and share and I haven't heard
on the air a discouraging word on CW. Sure wish I could say that
about other modes too, but alas it shall not be. But that is just
my experiences.

Thanks for the question. I hope to put all this in some part of
the FAQ on the new site.

dit dit :-) See, there it is again.

--
Chuck Adams  K5FO  CP-60  adams@sgi.com


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