A Matter of Expectations // Morse Code, QRP and Communication

Started by RadioRay, December 02, 2013, 02:36:12 am

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In a world with cheap, global and easy to use communication via a smartphone in our shirt pocket, to many people, all this business of ham radio and Morse Code is just over-the-top "stupid".  I mean, why would a person want all  that hassle when cellphones are so reliable - right?

Well, the fact of the matter is that cell phones ARE amazingly reliable, versatile and handy - until one moment they stop. It's rare when it does - but I've been through it more than a few times. There is also the aspect that there ARE places in the US where the is simply no coverage - not a few low spots, but entire regions of the West have no coverage and likely never will - because the population density is too low to make a profit. Remember the silicon valley guy who died after taking a wrong turn in a winter storm in Nevada?  No cell coverage, but a sub $100 QRP rig would have been excellent.

There is also the question of what it means to 'communicate'.  Yes - there are some who just get on the radio and talk about absolutely nothing for hours - maybe all night, like a teenaged girl on the phone.  Listen to 80 meter SSB at night.  Some of it would make a maggot gag. Back to topic though; for a prepper, communication is usually more like texting, rather than the endless discussion of little or nothing.  Communication for content is like texting.  A message like :


Could be the most important message in your life, determining your travel/relocation plans.   or


... or even just a SITREP from camp - which we've done among ourselves on more than one occasion.

Next up is the level of comms to discuss local and world events and their possible impact and even full conversations about everything from politics to - yes - radios. We DO build radios to talk about radios we would like to build. ha ha 

In short - real communication, without dependence upon commercial infrastructure can be accomplished with amazingly portable rigs, available for less than the cost of a monthly cell phone bill - per month.  It's not as easy, nor as flexible, but it's something to think about. (or to talk about on the radio...)

Your thoughts?

>RadioRay ..._ ._

"When we cannot do the good we would, we must be ready to do the good we can."  ~ Matthew Henry


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin



Hello Ray, Chris and all..

Preppers are unique individuals because we have a deficient self-deception system.. We do think of what could go wrong. Most people do not. They think cell phones will work forever and if not, well, there is always texting!  ;) They also do not know about Ham radio. If they do, they probably think the license is akin to a masters degree in electronics ::) Most probably would not spend weeks or months learning Morse code. It is our job to tell them it's fairly easy.

For me, Morse code is the panacea of communication tools, I've been pontificating that enough on this site! The fact is that I am not into DXing, contesting  >:( and even not that much into rag-chewing.. Though I prefer that to anything else. I don't go on the air that often, but for skeds with friends. I sure like to build radios, but the main goal is being able to establish contact when nothing else works. Winlink is great, but won't last long in a dire emergency situation due to the complexity, gear and battery charging requirements, IMHO. I want highly portable. Even the KX3 is a bit too big for my tastes!



I agree with Ray on this one.  We're here because we try to be good scouts...Always Prepared.

I hope one day I can be the champion of CW the way Gil is; but I've got a lot of learnin' yet to do!


QuoteWe're here because we try to be good scouts...

We're here because we're not all there  ;)