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For These Vets, Amateur
Radio Remains Alive

Wall Street Journal, by Julian E. Barnes

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 7/12/2014 4:55:12 AM

Satellites killed the military radio star operator long ago, but military veterans keep the art alive in competitions testing their ability to bounce signals off the ionosphere and contact amateur radio stations a half world away. In their minds, the contestants know technology has gone too far and the days of radio are past. Still, the intimate knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum learned during a career in military and intelligence agencies offers some advantages. And the military’s love for antiquated communications is well established—from their use of signal flags to messages sent, teletype-style, in all capital letters. Ham radio competitions

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: varkdriver, 7/12/2014 5:41:44 AM     (No. 9920815)

Antiquated, maybe, but ham radio works when all other means fail. During natural disasters, long-range communication is possible with amateur radio. Also, related to the sailboat story from yesterday, an HF radio would have been a way to communicate with the world while at sea.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: bkt23, 7/12/2014 7:34:38 AM     (No. 9920894)

I got my Tech license a few months ago. While radio is an old technology, it is still alive and well and keeping up with current technology. In the event conventional means of communication go down, you can still transmit and receive.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Mr. Know-It-All, 7/12/2014 7:35:28 AM     (No. 9920895)

Satalites are vulnerable to failure or violent solar flares. Plus some day an enemy will develop a way to knock them out of action. You should always have a backup plan. What home doesn´t have flashlights and candles to use during a power failure?

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Reply 4 - Posted by: jackburton, 7/12/2014 8:37:09 AM     (No. 9920965)

Sounds like the vets are just operating a more exclusive form of Field Day... details on the annual event are here:
http://www.arrl.org/field-day


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Reply 5 - Posted by: Screwgun, 7/12/2014 9:08:56 AM     (No. 9921004)

Those old navy guys can copy two 50 WPM (words per minute) Morse code messages at a time, one in each ear. I had trouble getting to 13 WPM for my Extra license.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: TulsaTowner, 7/12/2014 9:20:28 AM     (No. 9921019)

The "extra" license was 20 WPM when I took it. I gave up and settled for an "advanced" class license (now obsolete, but I still hold it) because I couldn´t write 20 WPM. Still can´t.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: voxlapidis, 7/12/2014 11:07:44 AM     (No. 9921207)

Antiquated? I think not. In addition to Morse Code, I regularly send messages through the International Space Station´s APRS Digipeater.

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