The photo above shows "The Morse Pad" in its natural habitat.
I go by my middle name which is Joe. I was first licensed in 1962 as WN8ETC in Bay Village, Ohio.
I became WA8ETC in '63, and then K8MP in 1977.
And now for some new funny stuff from Welcome to Joe's Place: (June 1, 2015)
September 2014: Movie one-liners that had to have been written just for Ham Radio
Most of us love watching movies. Many movie lines are timeless and we still quote them today, in normal conversation. Some of them seem to have been written just for Ham radio use.
1) When the bands are blacked-out by a solar flare:
2) After several attempts to copy a weak station, you finally throw in the towel:
3) Something in your rig makes sparks just as a contest is winding down:
4) “Here’s your official FCC Radio Badge”:
5) “Your radio is messing up my TV show”:
6) You just cracked a huge pile-up:
7) You’re helping W8ERD put his big loop back up:
8) You’re pondering a tower climb with inadequate safety equipment:
9) “Do you have a permit for this Ham radio?”:
10) A huge M-Class flare wipes out the bands during the Texas QSO Party:
11) A ham responds to your CQ by simply throwing his call out, so you’re not sure who he is calling:
12) Someone’s having trouble copying you so you fire up your amp:
13) And finally… Your neighbor thinks you’re QRMing his TV but his problem lies elsewhere.
That’s it for this month.
February 2012: One Dit or Two? and “Who Dat say Who Dat when I say Who Dat?”
I enjoyed Craig’s “Dit Dit” article in last month’s Delara News. For a few months now, I have had a Joe’s Place article about the “Double-dits” rolling around in my brain.
To refresh your memories, Craig described what sometimes happens when you end your CW QSOs with the obligatory “dit-dit.” Don’t be surprised if you hear an anonymous dit-dit from another station or two, indicating they have been listening in on your conversation.
When I finish a contact and hear those anonymous extra dits, sometimes I’ll tap out a “Who Dat?” to find out if the unknown person wants have a QSO. (To me “Who dat” sounds much more personable than QRZ?) One time a guy replied with “Who dat, say who dat, when I say who dat?” I laughed out loud because the only person I had ever heard use that phrase was my dad. I assume it came from an old movie. And I could just “see” the other guy laughing out loud as he tapped that line out to me. We went on to have a nice rag chew.
But just when did those dit-dits originate? Unless someone can show proof to the contrary (I won’t be surprised if someone can), I am claiming genesis of the dit-dit habit for my generation of Novice Hams.
Back in my Novice days (1962-63), it was a rather common practice among some of the newbies to actually start a QSO by tapping out the dit--dit--dit-dit-dit rhythm of “Shave and a haircut” and then listen for a reply in the form of dit-dit (a.k.a “Two bits”) At that point, usually one of the “ditters” would throw out their call and a QSO would be born.
Other times, the replying station would send out his own dit--dit--dit-dit-dit and listen for the originating station to throw in his two dits. I can only assume the second “hand-shake” (as we call it in the computers-talking-to-computers world) was to be sure the originating station was hearing him. After that exchange, the conversation would continue normally.
One time, I actually heard the dit-dit hand-shake go back and forth several times between two stations. Then, believe it or not, the guy who originated the ditting called a normal CQ. I can only assume he did that because he did not want to totally abandon proper CW operating protocols. (by then, I’m rather certain that the horse was already out of the barn)
I guess I should mention that most of us did use the conventional CQ to get contacts, but the dit-dit method was quicker and more in vogue and that’s probably why it caught on.
“One Dit or Two?”
As time went on, guys started adding the double-dits at the end of a QSO, as sort of a final farewell. Fifty years later, the vast majority of QSO’s end with both stations adding two dits. Recently, it has become fashionable to add a single dit after the other guy has tapped out his final double-dits. If both guys are fashion-conscious, each will add the single dit.
Some purists probably pooh-pooh these practices but I enjoy them because they allow some individualism on the bands.
Well, that’s about it for February. Next month I plan to tell you about my 1962-63 era “Automatic CQ Sender.”
Until then, I hope to see you all at the February meeting, but if not, then at Joe’s Place in March.
If you enjoyed reading these stories, please consider purchasing the e-book versions of "Welcome to Joe's Place" and "Welcome Back to Joe's Place- Happiness is a Warm Rig" from Amazon.
Welcome to Joe's Place is a collection of about twelve years (over 300 pages) of monthly articles of my Ham radio life and other topics. "Welcome Back to Joe's Place- Happiness is a Warm Rig" picks up where the first book left off (September of 2011) and continues through January of 2015 .
The Welcome to Joe's Place cover photo shows "Team Papworth" (K8MP and KB8ENW) operating Field Day.
The name for the second book, Welcome Back to Joe's Place- Happiness is a Warm Rig was inspired by this photo of Jasper the Radio Cat snoozing away on my Ten Tec Omni VI Plus.
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