Internet, NAQCC, Diary
QRP With K3WWP - Column # 76 - I received some more response to my column about the Internet in this copy of an email reflector posting that was sent to me.
"Enough. Following this thread I've compiled a list of ops should I hear on the bands, I might just ignore because of their intolerance of anything but a myoptic view of perfection. The lids, poor fists and other retrobates I'll gladly engage in a QSO and maybe we'll converse on
matters that might be of some interest. We might even advance the art of CW.
I think K3WWP's advice in a recent 'Keynote' is good advice. Enjoy your 'web' communication, as I think after 3 months of wading through this drivel I'm going QRT on (xxxxx - Internet mail list). 73 (xxxxx - call letters)"
When I mentioned to the poster I was going to use this material in my column, I received the following from him. "I wouldn't want this to escalate any, so if you can keep the party's call signs and the list anonymous it would be appreciated. I just got frustrated, as did another who quit the list, with the less than constructive criticism of their fellow CW afficiondoes. Thanks in advance for your courtesies." Glad to oblige. That is why the 'xxxxx' in his post.
Now since I don't subscribe to any email reflectors, I kind of have to guess what was going on. It seems to me that there must have been a thread on this certain reflector flaming "poor" CW ops by some self-appointed CW hotshots. The poster, rightfully so, got fed up with this kind of mindless garbage and dropped his membership in the reflector as a result. He also made a list of the flamers so he could avoid them on the air. It seems at least one other subscriber also quit the list.
Isn't it interesting that we don't hear this kind of flaming on the CW bands, but only on email lists or chat rooms. Those forms of communication seem to bring out the worst in folks while CW brings out the best.
Instead of flaming "poor" CW ops, we all should be willing to help them out in any way that we can. Never refuse to work someone just because their CW may be a little "sloppy". You have no way of knowing why the person's CW is "sloppy". You could be working someone recovering from a stroke, for example. They are doing their best to send good CW, but the body just doesn't work quite as well as it used to. That's just one example, but there are many other good reasons why someone's code may be less than perfect. Remember the large majority of us CW ops are getting up in years now.
Don't deprive that stroke victim nor anyone else of their enjoyment of the wonderful mode of CW just because their code is not like perfect machine-sent code. Do your best to copy them and don't be afraid to ask for repeats if needed. You may just be the one who gives an untold amount of pleasure to a ham who really needs it at the moment. CW may be just about the only chance they get to communicate with their fellow human beings.
I think the feedback I am getting from the Internet column shows that I was pretty much right on in what I said, and I'm glad that others are changing their Internet habits and spending less time in chat rooms and mail lists and more time on CW again.
I had planned to finish out this column with a talk on QRP at the sunspot minimum, but I'll postpone that to the next column to bring you some NAQCC news instead.
We at NAQCC have obtained a special 1X1 callsign - N3A. We plan to use this during the second half of October to celebrate the second anniversary of the club. Details will be posted on the club web site as club president KB3LFC comes up with them.
Also the NAQCC has come up with a new project we call the WAS Bear Hunt. It's being run by Ron, K5DUZ. It is an attempt to help QRPers complete their NAQCC QRP WAS Award or to help them with any other awards that require working USA states.
Basically it works like this. Each week two of our members will put their states on the air at times and frequencies determined by them and approved by Ron. One will be a 'rare' state and the other a 'common' state. Frequencies and times will be announced in advance on the club web site so those needing the states can make plans to be there to try to work them. It's not a contest, but QSO's will be brief to allow as many as possible to work the state.
Of course, everyone's definition of a 'rare' state is different, so there naturally will be some disagreement here. Ron is trying to use as broad a definition of a 'rare' state as possible. We're basing it on many different criteria, and may even have a survey of members to see which states are the most needed.
Each station who puts his state on the air as described above is called a 'Bear'. We are also adapting our awards program to include a new award for working 'Bears' and adding an endorsement to our WAS award for working states via the 'Bear' route.
I'm not going to re-invent the wheel and give all the details here since they are on the web site, but I hope this gets you interested enough to go to the site at http://naqcc.info/ and check things out.
And finally in this column, I've started a diary on my web site with daily entries dealing not only with my ham activities, but other matters as well. It could be called a 'blog' except for the fact that I never liked the sound of that term. It has been getting some good response after a couple months now. However as with other Internet matters I don't want you to spend an inordinate amount of time reading it rather than using CW on the air, but you may find something of interest there.
If you want to contact me or the NAQCC, simply do an MSN or Windows Live search for K3WWP or NAQCC. Till next time, 73. -30-