[AMRadio] Technology, Public Service, and AM? (was Phone band)

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Mon Oct 16 10:36:10 EDT 2006

On 10/16/06, Jim Wilhite <w5jo at brightok.net> wrote:
> Correct there was Brian, telephone texting vs. good old CW.  Wonder how it
> would have come out if it had been good old CW against good old 100 wpm
> narrow shift RTTY?  How about PSK 31 or any of the other digital modes in
> use today by hams?

It's unfortunate, but the powers that be tend to ignore the obvious,
in favor of something 'better'. Cell phones work much 'better' than
trying to use a 2m CB for example, and require no license.
Unfortunately, as soon as there's a disaster, the local sites overload
and are useless. This was proven by the USAir flight that burrowed
into the ground near Pittsburgh a few years back, and again more
recently with 9/11 as well as storms and other events.

CW still gets through when nothing else will. More recently, when the
Russian sub Kursk went down and communications were lost, the trapped
crew used Morse to tap messages through the hull. Many other examples
exist, they just tend to get ignored.

It's nice that we have the newer technologies available for use, and
even better is the improvement they provide over the 'old way'. Still,
it doesn't make them a replacement. Too many are willing to throw the
baby out with the bath water, only to regret it later when the new
system doesn't work well in all situations.

Jim makes an excellent point, even for the AM community: ham radio
exists now mainly due to its public service credentials. Some
experimenting still goes on, but today's technology makes it more
limited for the average, curious ham. Having spent almost a quarter
century in this aspect as a foot soldier, then State RACES director,
now foot soldier again, I can say that those who do the work
appreciate the contribution of hams along with their commitment of
time, energy, and their own equipment. Think about that the next time
someone refers to the 'hobby' aspects like they are the only reason.

BTW - it's also a great way to locate old boatanchor equipment, parts,
and friends.

~ Todd  KA1KAQ

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