Monday, January 12, 2009

High tech surprise

Kicking around the broadcast business for more than 50 years, I’ve worked closely with lots of broadcast engineers who were also amateur radio operators. After I got my "ham" license in about 1960 (WAØBDN), I started dabbling in this hobby that I continue to enjoy to this day – despite the fact that I’m probably the world’s least active operator!

Among the hams that I’ve known and learned from – Leo Henen (WØFLO), Frank Allen (WØGGP), Tony Cashon (KØOAL), Lynn Bilyeu (KØODF), Joe Makeever (W5HS), Dan Schroeder (K5FVL), and many others. Some of them are "Silent Keys." I keep hoping to become more active in this fascinating hobby (as I intended upon retirement), but there are just too many other activities that I want to pursue as well!

I admire the creativity that many of my ham friends bring to the hobby. A few of them – and their numbers are dwindling with a change in FCC rules and the passage of time – are superb CW aficionados. Continuous Wave (CW) is the mode by which many hams still use Morse Code for sending messages.

And if you think this is a fuddy-duddy technology that has been left in the dust by "high tech" applications like texting, take a look at this segment from on old Jay Leno Tonight show.

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