Why would we need HAM schools?
I have heard about people, perhaps C.B'ers that "discovered HAM radio,"
they got their books, they got their code tapes and locked them self in
their bed rooms so many hours every day (stay out of here kids) until they
took all of the tests and became Amateur Extras. (sometimes within
6 months, beginning to end) Why can't everyone do that?
Some of us don't get started right.
When I started there were only punched paper tape code machines & I
sure couldn't afford one of those. * I learned the code from
the printed page. (ARRL books) As I drove down the road, when I saw
a sign post like: "ROSE ROAD" my mind would convert it to a visual image:
. _ . _ _ _
. . . . and I would whistle it out, in real
morse code! R O S E R O A D
How well could I copy CW with that
understanding? NOT one character! After 20 years I was faster,
my Navy surplus "TCS" receiver worked better, (not good) and I wasn't a
HAM. I asked every HAM I met "can you help me learn the code?"
I was told: "No I don't have the time."
(see my biography on my web site at
My experience isn't uncommon. I
hear a lot of OM's saying (on 2 meters) something like: `I spent 10 to
15 minutes at the code every day for the last 3 weeks, soon I will be able
to take the 5 wpm test.' A year later & they're not a General,
some not a Tech+ YET! Then if they do become a Tech+ and got
on 40 meters how long would it take to pass their 13 wpm test? Some
within a year, some within 2 years, some never. (this is easy to prove
by the number of people that were novices for 1 or 2 years but `stopped
being a HAM' because they couldn't RE-LEARN THE CODE OVER 10 WPM, requiring
different mental processes!) I have met a LOT of these over the years!
Learning the code shouldn't be a "write of passage" it should be a skill
that we learn & use & enjoy! Tons of `would be HAMS,' never
went on to develop, because they had NO support. (Do you want to call it
help?) The ARRL, with all they have done for HAM Radio, has never
done anything to address this problem.
(perhaps they never saw this
as a problem)
We are now a corps with less than a quarter
of our members that are truly "balanced HAMS." We can change this!
We must develop a system/method to teach "How to be a HAM" to all those
that WISH to learn.
20-25 wpm - paper copy,
head copy, es head, printed send. History of HAM radio, our magazines,
"The Amateur's Code" etc.
How: antennas, transmission lines, rigs, (INCLUDING tuning
a tube transmitter and how separate Tx & Rx work together), amplifiers,
Xtals, transistors, batteries, propagation, computer basics, packet, repeaters,
and inter-personal relations; work. etc. NOT just the code!
Sound too complicated to you?
If we teach everything in the ARRL handbook, that would be fine.
That could be our text book. (with "200 meters & down" &
"50 years of HAM radio" for the history) Becoming a HAM is a goal
of a lot of people, some make it, some don't. Why don't we MAKE it
come true for 90% instead of 20%?
Only WE can do it!
* My DAD, although working at a skilled
job in a huge `steel mill' was paid a common laborer wage & I couldn't
afford anything! (beside an old Navy receiver)
Ron KA4INM [email protected]