[amsat-bb] Re: Vanishing Hams
lihan161051 at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jul 17 11:08:29 PDT 2008
To provide a little bit of perspective .. in the late 1800's and early
1900's, the bleeding-edge techie nerds ran the telegraph systems.
Most of them were young and very intelligent and highly creative, and
worked out a lot of very elegant solutions to what at the time were
fairly serious communication challenges. And they did it all with
batteries, code keys, and long runs of wire.
Thomas A. Edison was one of those nerds. Enough said. :)
It seems to me that a lot of the ham culture got into the habit of
thinking of the early tech as good enough to get by, and things like
CW using Morse that were bleeding-edge tech in the spark and early CW
era became "traditional" practice over the next several decades, which
kind of got away from the point of ham radio, "advancing the radio
art". (And there are some corners of the ham world that still hold
onto "tradition" in various ways.) HF packet, APRS, PSK31, and the
newer digital modes have "advanced the art" in small increments, but
there's a lot of room for other sorts of thinking outside the box.
(Especially with the radios built for PSK31 that are basically
wideband SSB transceivers .. consider that connecting one of those
transceivers to a sound card gives you direct software-defined access
to that segment of spectrum, which is a nearly limitless medium to
explore, and PSK31 is only one tiny corner of that world, so far.
That may not be as exciting to the "traditional" folks as it should
be, by all rights, to the open-source code guys..) There's a lot of
unexplored territory out there.
On Jul 17, 2008, at 10:19 AM, D. Mynatt wrote:
> That's right too. The 'nerds' are still with us, just that
> they are fewer. IMHO and in the opinion of others in this
> discussion, we
> need to get away from rag chewing and into making the hobby a way
> for new
> information to be shared. Humans need 'newness' and that's what we
> need to
> spark the younger generation.
"Good, 'cause, you know, we want to report that the country's a lot
stranger than it was a year ago." -- Toby Ziegler
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