Is the 'no code' ham radio license wise for shtf?

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Tikka, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    When I read DKR's post I got to thinking.....

    (I know usually that is the first mistake :D)

    The code was an obstacle for many; so IMO a no code license was a good thing...
    Plus in years past, the Advanced Class was filled with electronic gurus and 8 hour a day technical types who could not copy 20 WPM.
    The best part is the crowd, isn't in my end of the Bands. ;) lol..

    I hold an Extra Class and I was a VE. Your post reminded me I am not "paying back" as I once did. Thanks!

    Technically, Morse is a single 800 Hz tone and human voice is between 60 to 7000 Hz; it is a very complex mix of frequencies.

    In poor RX/TX conditions CW usually wins. The poorest operating conditions imaginable would be after an EMP, nuclear exchange, another Carrington event etc.

    Is no code wise for shtf? YMMV. :D

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2015
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I only know 2 words in code: 1) is SOS and the other 2) is (well to save face)
    dit dit dit, dit dit dit dit, dit dit , dah! Used to hear that come over once in a great while from some hams! In laymans terms, it was more like: "brittttttttt dah".
  3. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Di-di-dit di-di-di-dit di-dit dah.... ;)
    dragonfly likes this.
  4. hedger

    hedger Monkey+

    All this code talk makes me a bit nostalgic.

    Although I am well grounded in Morse code, I never pursued anything to do with getting a Ham license.

    How do preppers who are short wave radio enthusiasts deal with the need for power once a shtf event happens?
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am one of those Advanced Class Hams that Tikka talks about. It has been years since I messed around with Morse Code, as I have some electronic devices that can read that, if needed. It is not that I couldn't do the WPM, back in the day, as I held a 1st Class Radio Telegraph License with Aircraft Endorsement. I just found it unnecessary, for my tastes in Comms. Others certainly are welcome to their own opinions on the subject. and I do acknowledge that in a SHTF Senerio, Morse will have it's uses for sure.
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    I'd like to see a different code....not necessarily an easier one, but one that can be learned quicker,as some of us are not as "quick" as we once were!
    I recall the "movie": Red Dawn: "John has a long mustache", "the chair is against the door"! I never quite knew how to take those, but I suppose IF you knew what it meant it worked out ok!
  7. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    There are SWL rigs which have a hand crank dynamo to charge the battery. If you want to transmit; then car batteries and solar chargers. My rig pulls a few amps on receive.

    Do you remember the solar storm of March 9, 1989?

    Space Weather
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Very well..... was one of the nicest Auroras I ever saw..... Massive.....
  9. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    YA, I'm a Know Code ham

    CW is 80s technology - 1880 tech that is...

    Cw @ 13 to 15 wpm = 66 hz of bandwidth

    PSK 31 = 31 hz as fast as you can type. And you can 'copy' with the signal at or even under the noise floor. Sooo much better than CW.
    messages can be preformatted,
    typed ahead and even sent as a beacon (short msg) and on and on.

    My son was licensed at 8 years of age, one of the youngest hams around back in the mid 80s. While CW is fun, PSK is far more efficient.

    I have one of the NUEPSK modems and it works like a champ, runs on 12VDC and fits in a Pelican case W/ the 817 and all the needed cables etc..

    Back was I was active, used to send pre-formatted messages using CW and a knee key, elbow is now so 'glass' I have to use a electronic paddle - tho for short sessions, the 817 mike can be used as a key - that works, sorta.

    Fun hobby, got my son interested in computers and that is how he makes his living today...
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    dragonfly likes this.
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    It started Monday evening there was lightning and then snow; it wiped out HF communications. Never seen 60/9 before. :D

    Space Weather

    In Quebec it didn't harm consumer electronics but it caused protective relays for a 100-ton, static VAR capacitors to sense overload conditions. Before it was over it rattled 6 capacitors.
  12. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    -- --- -. -.- . -.--/... . .
    -- --- -. -.- . -.--/-.. ---
    .. .----. -- /.-/-- --- -. -.- . -.--
    .- .-. ./-.-- --- ..-/- --- ---/..--..
  13. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    I cheated
    Morse Code Translator
  14. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Gee, I guess back in the BSA days I shoulda learned morris instead of semaphore, lived by the water.....still got my flags I made myself.
  15. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I can see a no-code novice or perhaps even tech license, but what's the point of no-code extra? I got one, for goodness sake. Does that tell you anything!?
    BTPost likes this.
  16. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    not required by law

    The demonstrated CW competency was required by international treaty/law. When dropped for one, it dropped for all. The Extra class is supposed to indicate a greater knowledge of radio theory/technique/operating process.

    I got my commercial phone before I got my ham ticket. Over the years, I have discovered the level of knowledge (about radio) varies wildly - even within the license class - as you would expect in a hobby situation.

    I worked as a radio repair person in the USAF for 22+ years, being paid to 'work' my hobby - pretty cool. But the Amateur service is such that even massive holes in ones knowledge of radio-electronics is no bar to enjoining the hobby.

    Further, many hams are disaster mavens - that is to say, they can have a rig set up and working out in a field so fast, you would be surprised. Fixing a inoperative radio, maybe they are not so good... since it's a hobby, no big.

    I have worked with extra class hams I wouldn't let touch a radio... and engineers (hams) who had no desire to do more than tinker, so are terrible operators.

    HAmdom is what you make it, the coolest part of the hobby. Literally - YMMV
    dataman19 and BTPost like this.
  17. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Personally I thought the advanced test was the most difficult. The higher speed CW is more of a DX'er's need. There are a lot of people in the world who don't speak English but do speak CW.

    Other than that, the only thing the ability to tx/rx high speed CW ever got me was thrown out of a class in the Army. :D
  18. ironmany2k

    ironmany2k Monkey+

    CW is a very usefull mode and another tool in the box. I would recommend that you try to learn it. Even at a slow 5-10wpm you will get the benefits from it.
  19. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++

    Wow you guys just brought up so many funny memories of my code learning experience. NTTC, Corry Station courtesy of Uncle Sam. Listened to so much code we could almost have a conversation while listening to and writing out code blocks at over 50 wpm. 22 odd years later and I can barely handle SOS. It's definitely a skill that will dwindle without usage.

  20. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Byte, it comes back fairly quickly should you ever need it again.... ..... YMMV....
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