Is it possible to take Ham Radio TOO seriously? I think it might be. A friend sent me a link to a QRZ page which showed a ham who easily spent close to a half-million dollars on our hobby. He has multiple beams for every frequency from dark to daylight, Heliax cable running 350 feet to his home and a shack that has rack-mounted duplicates of every radio on the market, all installed in a custom built room the size of many folk's condos. The word "overkill" doesn't begin to describe what this guy has invested and you know what? With no sunspots he can't work anybody, any better than the guy with the 100 watt rig and a dipole He needs to read number five of the the Amateur's Code.
You haven't heard of the code? Then this might apply to you, too. I know it applies to newbies. The next time you encounter one ask him if he is even aware of the "Amateur's Code." Chances are he will say, "Oh, that's the old Morse code. We don't have to deal with that nonsense anymore." Well, that is not quite correct. The Amateur's Code has been around almost since the beginning of ham radio and it is (pr was) printed in the front pages of every issue of the ARRL's Amateur Radio-handbook. Yes, it's old, but it still makes a lot of sense and we would all be better off, if we followed it. It goes like this:
1. The Amateur is Considerate. He never knowingly uses the air in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.
2. The Amateur is Loyal. He offers his loyalty, encouragement, and support to his fellow amateurs, his local club, and the ARRL though which Amateur Radio is represented.
3. The Amateur is progressive. He keeps his station abreast of science. It is well built and efficient. His operating practice is above reproach.
4. The Amateur is friendly. Slow and patient sending* when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others. These are the marks of the amateur spirit
5. The Amateur is balanced. Radio is his hobby. He never allows it to interfere with any of the duties he owes to his home, his job, his school, or the community.
6. The Amateur is Patriotic. His knowledge and his station are always ready for the service of his country and his community.
Number six may be a problem. I'm afraid that young people today have no idea of what being"patriotic" means. I see and hear too many who want to change our country from a democratic republic to something foreign and communistic. At any rate, that is the Amateur's Code. It was good back in the day, and it is good now. Too bad that few current hams know it and even more discouraging is that less are following it.
*Written when hams used a key and their ears to work that "useless" Morse code.;
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