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View Diary: National Weather Service Places Hidden "PLEASE PAY US" Message in Forecast (111 comments)

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  •  Same in ham radio (26+ / 0-)

    where the Morse Code requirement to get any class of license was removed several years ago. Previous to that all but the lowest class had to pass a 5 words per minute test; before that it was universal and varied by class of license, anywhere from 5 to 20 wpm.

    Despite that there are still quite a few people on the air using Morse, not all of whom are old timers.

    This signature CLOSED due to the Republican-created Federal Government shutdown.

    by Omir the Storyteller on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 04:21:10 PM PDT

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    •  I'm in Connecticut (11+ / 0-)

      and if I remember correctly, the American Relay League is in in Newington, CT.  During Katrina, it was a critical base for communications -- and I think the woman who was in charge is blind.

      I have my Uncle Pat's Bug -- I'd never be able to do that double paddle but I've got it hooked up just for learning purposes.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 05:58:23 PM PDT

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      •  Many ARRL members were active in Katrina (5+ / 0-)

        Yes, they're in Newington, and the station is mighty impressive (I've visited). Many, many ARRL members and non-members across the country activated to help with communications during Katrina, and worked for days, some even weeks. All big storms get the same treatment in fact, regardless of location.

        Yes, Morse is still used by a lot of hams. It will get a message through when a lot of other modes will not. There are also numerous digital modes that are very good at working in difficult conditions. They just take more equipment.

        Uncle Sam taught me Morse. I'm very rusty, and I don't use it much at all. The old Mark One Brain will still decode and encode Mr. Morse's code however, so all is not yet lost.

        DE WA7HL QRU IMI QTC IMI K

        And yeah, I know tarantulas don't really act like that at all, so no snarking, this is the internet damnit!

        by itzadryheat on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 09:27:17 PM PDT

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      •  You are correct about Newington (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pgm 01, The Marti

        Sadly, I live on the other side of the country and don't travel out to those parts, so I'll probably never get to see W1AW in operation.

        My bug is in a box in the garage somewhere. Nowadays I have an electronic keyer, which is more precise in how it creates its elements but loses a little something to the mechanical ingenuity of the Vibroplex. (And I seldom use the electronic keyer, since I'm more active in digital modes and 2-meter FM.)

        This signature CLOSED due to the Republican-created Federal Government shutdown.

        by Omir the Storyteller on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 03:49:12 AM PDT

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        •  A long-gone old friend of the family (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Omir the Storyteller, The Marti

          handed a nice metal case to me when he visited one day about 50 years ago. (time flies.. whosh...)

          It was his personal bug he used during WW2 when he was in the Signal Corps. I didn't even know he served. But he knew I had just picked up my 30 wpm certificate from W1AW. So he gave me a little gift. It was not a little gift. It was a priceless to me.

          I used that bug for a long time. It's squirreled away in my personal treasure boxes in the basement these days. It's not as forgiving as an electronic keyer, of course, but if you're comforable with the manual bug, you can easily produce near perfect code at 40-50 wpm.

          "Never wrestle with a pig: you get dirty and the pig enjoys it"

          by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:23:10 AM PDT

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