From: Juan Jose Pastor Estornell (email@example.com)
>In this discussion let us all remind ourselves of a few things.
>1. Most importantly the cw bands will remain intact.
I hope so, but it seems like all the active hams of every mode gather into
the same bands (namely 40 and 20 and some narrow segments in 10 and 15) where it
seems easy to raise some QSOs. If a non skilled operator hears activity though
not in the mode he/she is using, will it prevent him/her from calling there to
changing any of the stations working there to the mode he/she is using?. An
answer: in Spain, no way!.
More in the end.
>2. Everyone here once went through the stage where they could only copy 5
Yes, but then we had to work a bit more to reach 8 and 12 WPM (the novice
and general speed requirements in Spain). You do not have to be a speed demon to
have fun, but that border is calling to as it was said, "learn it, pass the test
then forget it" that is usual in Spain but with even lower requirements.
>3. Opening the HF cw bands to more people could very well promote more cw
> Hey, you find it both effective and challenging so will the newcomers.
That's true as the phone segments aren't as fun as the CW ones (hey, I am
sounding as a CW op!) and it seems it is easier to raise a new QSO in a deserted
CW segment than in a phone one...
>4. Having been licensed since 1957 I can remember when folks purchased the
> manual and memorized the questions, answers, as well as the schematics
>you were requir-
> ed to produce on the exams. I think todays written exams test more
>areas of knowledge
> than the exams of yesteryear did. (Don't believe me -- go look at the
>5. The basic rule of history is that things change.
Now to my own thoughts. This is the experience from Spain. Here in EA-land
we had the CW reading tests optional for the HF bands during the 80's and, as
those of you who were active on the bands by then could testify, the spanish
phone ops were internationally regarded as "lids". The ranks were flooded with
CBers looking for more room and their jargon has still firm influence in the ham
phone language. Most of them bought expensive antennas and japanese blackboxes
but got bored in a few years and are not active anymore, some of them got
involved in DXing and became DXCC hunters, now switching from mode to mode or
surfing the net. A few of them became CW operators (here in Spain we have the
100EACW diplome for working 100 different EA/EC stations in CW, dating from that
years when meeting 100 different spanish calls on the air was truly hard to
accomplish...), not more than about 10% of them are still holding their
calls/licenses. The resuming of the CW tests calmed things down and the ham
radio was healty with plenty of newcomers. But now we have a new threat:
computers and the internet. These critters are drawing the technical interest of
youngsters to them, it is very hard to find a teenager involved with ham radio
nowadays. Even with no CW tests at all, it will be way hard to attract young
people to the ham radio. Let's face it: I still have novice restrictions and the
novice segments are usually dead, any new EC will be bored quickly. Even in
commonly used segments (my segment in 40 runs between 7.020 and 7.030) there is
way less activity than a couple of years ago. Do you remember 15 and 10 meters
10 years ago? We are touching the peak of this cycle and they are a ghost of
what they were... The internet is even taking us out from our radios... My guess
is that in some (less than 30 I guess) years Yaeicomwood will retire from the
as there will be not enough demand to go on bussiness. The huge national
associations (ARRL, DARC, RSGB, URE...) will have not enough membership to carry
on their activities, even there will be not enough hams to justify the expenses
of the licensing system for the FCC and other PTT departments worldwide, so the
only hams remaining will be like the pioneers back in the heroic ages,
homebrewing their own rigs and inventing their own calls. They will have to set
up skeds via internet e-mail and the QSL will be by the same way. A nice future,
don't you think? :-) ;-)
Hope we now enter the Elmer mode and make a lot of new homebrewers to keep
the hobby alive!. And have a happy Y2K without the "2000 effect" faults.
73, 72 de Juanjo, EC5ACA/QRP. EA-QRP #104, G-QRP #9742, QRP-L #1662.
C/San Roque, 4-1
Tel. +34 96 120 17 67
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