Some thoughts about today's Amateur Radio Operators compared to yesteryear, from Shally, K6VHP. (please read it all, it's an eye-opener!)

 

Pride, Integrity, Tradition – No Longer a Factor

 

The text of "The Amateur's Code – 2000" came about as a result of statements made and the general attitudes conveyed by amateur radio operators using the HF phone bands witnessed by the author during the past couple of years.  It is, furthermore, dedicated to Dick Bash and others who subsequently supported the reduction of the standards for admission to Amateur Radio and those who believe in citizen's rights without the burden of personal responsibility to properly exercise those rights.

 

Mr. Paul M. Segal, W9EEA, penned the original "Amateur's Code" in 1926.  What inspired him to put on paper the words he used, in the spirit in which he used them??  The answer, in a word, is "Pride."  He was proud of amateur radio and he was proud to be a part of it.  He drew his inspiration from his fellow amateurs, the majority of whom were excited by the technology that enabled electronic communication between individuals of common interest.

 

The science of radio was the root motivator that gave amateur radio the level of integrity it had earned in the eyes of our armed forces and industry.  Public service was the focal point for us in the eyes of the general public.  The amateur radio operator was a person so dedicated to the science of radio, his relentless quest for knowledge and the practical application of his learnings were the sole purpose for enjoining the activity.

 

So, seventy-four years have elapsed since Mr. Segal drafted the original "Amateur's Code."  Seventy-four years during which many technological advances have evolved that he would have considered only fantasy in 1926 . . . . but how much progress has the amateur operator himself realized in that period of time?  How many of us still regard the science of radio the prime motivation for being involved in amateur radio?  How many of us build equipment, experiment with various technologies or develop new and exciting ways of pushing the envelope of achievement?  How many of us are compelled to learn how a transmitter and a receiver function?  Why do manufacturers try to tell us their multi-band quarter wave HF trap vertical is a perfect match to 50 ohm coax??  Why are new rigs always accompanied by a microphone and not a telegraph key??

 

Read the "Amateur's Code – 2000" and you'll find the answers to these and possibly other perplexing questions you might have. . . . . .

 

(But first, the original 1926 version)

The Amateur's Code - 1926

 

ONE

The Amateur is considerate . . .  He never knowingly uses the air in such a way as to lessen the pleasure of others.

 

TWO

The Amateur is Loyal . . .  He offers his loyalty, encouragement and support to his fellow radio amateurs, his local club and to the American Radio Relay League, through which amateur radio is represented.

 

THREE

The Amateur is Progressive . . .  He keeps his station abreast of science.  It is well built and efficient.  His operating practice is above reproach.

 

FOUR

The Amateur is Friendly . . .  Slow and patient sending when requested, friendly advice and counsel to the beginner, kindly assistance, cooperation and consideration for the interests of others; these are the marks of the amateur spirit.

 

FIVE

The Amateur is Balanced . . .  Radio is his hobby.  He never allows it to interfere with any of the duties he owes to his home, his job, his school, or his community.

 

SIX

The Amateur is Patriotic . . .  His knowledge and his station are always ready for the service of his country and his community.

 

 -  PAUL M. SEGAL, W9EEA

 

NOW, for the eye opener! (sometimes the truth isn't too pleasant)

The Amateur's Code  -  2000

 

ONE

The Amateur is Gentlemanly . . .  Never knowingly "keys up" in such a way as to impose on the pleasure of others. . . this part of the code does not apply to operations on 75, 40 or 20 meter phone bands.

 

TWO

The Amateur is Loyal . . .  To Kenwood, until he buys an Icom; to Icom, until he buys a Yeasu, and so on.  Goes to all club activities where they serve free food - has no appreciation for Hiram Percy Maxim's contributions to amateur radio.

 

THREE

The Amateur is Progressive . . .  Sets up his station just like the picture in the ad in the magazine.  Has absolutely no idea how it's built, nor can he calculate how efficient it is.  Has the telephone number for Factory Service Center taped to the front panel.  Knows how to pronounce some technical words.  Cannot, however, recite their true meaning.

 

FOUR

The Amateur is Friendly . . .  Promotes operating practices he discovered while driving a dump truck and modulating on Channel 19.  Provides counsel and advice to his fellow operators based upon whatever he overheard from others modulating on Channel 19.  Prefers to concoct colorful metaphors for use in the place of socially accepted words when speaking into a microphone.  Ends all spoken statements with the words "okay?" or "you know."

 

FIVE

The Amateur is Balanced . . .  His wife and kids need shoes; his rent is past due; often arrives late to work, due to QSO’ing while mobile; and, probably has not registered to vote.  But, he's got a $2,800.00 HF SSB transceiver in his ham shack, a “dual band” FM rig is his 4X4 pick-up truck, and a 2m HT on his belt.  Spends several hours each day playing at ham radio.

 

SIX

The Amateur is Patriotic . . .  Has no respect for authority (FCC) nor the traditions and disciplines that formed the foundation upon which amateur radio was built.

 

 -  L. David Shallenberger, C.E.T. - K6VHP

 

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