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Author Topic: Talk to me.  (Read 1488 times)

gil

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Talk to me.
« on: December 13, 2016, 06:49:14 AM »
Sent to Eham.net:

Sitting at the helm I couldn't help wonder at the flying fish gliding a foot above the water avoiding wave crests with the deftness of a bird. He was probably fighting for his life trying to escape a predator. The Atlantic is of such a deep blue you never notice from shore. A splash of cold salty water breaking over the bow hit me in the face, pulling me from my reverie. That's when I saw it, a straight line ahead on the surface. There are no straight lines on the sea. The realization felt like I had been dunked in the icy waters, a floating container! With all my might I pulled on the tiller, but a heavy full keel boat doesn't turn on a dime. The shock sent me flying forward and had it not be for my harness I would have kept going. I went below to check for damages. To my horror, I stepped in a foot of water. There was just enough time to place a mayday call. I switched on Drifty, my homebuilt CW radio on 20m. I heard the end of a transmission, “TEST.” Thank God! Someone is listening. “SOS SOS SOS DE AK4YH AT SEA SINKING K” - “AK4YH UR 59 73” Nooooo!

I woke up in a cold sweat. Drifty was still on, not quite on 14060 anymore but close enough to sputter “TEST TEST 59 73...” That's what happens when you fall asleep in your chair the night before a contest week-end. I switched off the radio, disgusted. Can't people communicate anymore?

We are so lonely. It seems the more people around us, the less we talk to them. A huge amount of information is exchanged every second of every day but how much is actually communicating? We often don't even know our neighbors. Texting has replaced many phone conversations. Where are we heading, as humans?

The radio landscape must have been very different when glowing tubes warmed ham shacks. I wasn't born then, but maybe some old timers here could let us know if you heard the 59-73 sort of QSOs back then? Maybe I have a romantic notion of what radio used to be. The fact remains that today rag-chews are rare. There are even digital modes that do not allow chatting. What are we doing? Aren't we supposed to “enhance international goodwill,” make friends and talk to each other? Wouldn't that be nice...

How are we to attract new radio amateurs if all they hear is robotic heartless exchanges on the bands? We'll end-up with a bunch of social outcasts only interested in technical conversations. No wonder there are so few women among us.

I want to know what your cat's name is, if you have kids, what your hobbies are, anything. I want to talk to you! I want to get used to hear words in Morse, not call signs and pro-signs. HF is losing its humanity. I am not condemning contesting or Dxing so much as I want to urge you to talk to each other on the radio. Talk to me!

Gil.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 09:12:48 AM by gil »

KK0G

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Re: Talk to me.
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 08:22:46 AM »
Good article Gil. I didn't head over to eHam to read the comments but I already know what they say.  8)
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin

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gil

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Re: Talk to me.
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 09:11:50 AM »
It will be a while before it gets approved on Eham. I just sent it..
Thanks.
Gil

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Re: Talk to me.
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 09:11:50 AM »