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NS7X last won the day on April 14

NS7X had the most liked content!

About NS7X

Personal Information

  • First name
    MaryAnn
  • Nickname
    MaryAnn
  • Military service
    No

Amateur Radio

  • License class (USA licencees)
    Amateur Extra
  • License class (non-USA licensees)
    none
  • License year
    1978

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  1. All right. I'm a purist. I admit it. I'm one of those obnoxious people who becomes annoyed when a ham signs off with "best regardses." The complaint goes something like this: "73" means best regards so when you use "73's" you are making a plural into a double plural. Regards becomes regardses. The same is true for 88. Adding an "s" to 88 turns "love and kisses" into "love and kisseses." This is the kind of thing which rancors fussbudgets like me. At least it used to. Now, I'm a reformed nit-picker. You see, one day I ran into a ham who happened to know a little more than I did and he educated me on the subject. The fellow pointed out that The Old Man, the discoverer of the rettysnitch, one of the great amateur radio pioneers, the founder of the ARRL, Hiram Percy Maxim W1AW himself used "73's" on his QSL cards. Who am I to fault the remarkable Hiram Percy Maxim? So it no longer bothers me when I hear "seven threes" on a sign-off. If truth be told, it's a gentle reminder of the legacy the early hams left us with, and that makes me smile. 73 es 88 MaryAnn NS7X
  2. My two favorite ham jokes are oldies, but goodies: QRP'ers never die. They just QSB. ❧ Most people don't know that George Washington was a ham. In fact, he was not only a ham, he was a CW operator. We know this because of the old story about the cherry tree being destroyed. When his angry father demanded to know who chopped down the tree, George responded, "I didit dadah."
  3. The 49th Balloon Fiesta is in the books. The balloons got to fly 7 out of 9 days and a good time was had by all. There's excitement in the air because next year will be the 50th Fiesta and lots of plans are in the works for a huge celebration. They say the Balloon Fiesta is the world's most photographed event, so it should come as no big surprise that a lot of people have it on their bucket list. And rightly so. Personally, I think that everyone should see it at least once in their lifetime. If you're among those who would like to see it for yourself, give me a heads up if you're in need of a native guide. These are a few of my favorite Balloon Fiesta photos.
  4. Oh! The Man from UNCLE! My first love was Illya Kuryakin! If I had been a ham in those days, I would have had posters of Illya covering my ham shack walls. Especially the ones where he's operating the super secret spy radio - "open channel D"...
  5. I have a Jeep, and it has my call on its license plate. In fact, I have my call emblazoned on my paddles, hats, mugs, and shirts. My welcome mat says "NS7X QTH." I have a hand-made southwestern silver bracelet which reads "NS7X." A convict from the Wyoming State Penitentiary manufactured an "NS7X" western-style belt buckle for me. I even have a seam-ripper with my call inscribed on it. I'll probably have my call engraved on my tombstone along with some glib comment about my being on the ultimate DXpedition. Guess I'm one of those "hot dog" amateurs you guys are so anxious to distance yourselves from. On the other hand, I've also been a volunteer firefighter, a volunteer paramedic, and a full-time paid (ie professional) paramedic/EMS instructor for a county-wide 911 service. Trust me on this one, the term "volunteer" is met with derision in EMS circles. "Volunteers" are seen as inept, unpracticed, inexperienced individuals who wear bright orange jackets decorated with 37 patches and pins and proudly proclaim that "trauma makes my [you-know-what] hard." It's a shame really, because it's the unpaid, usually rural EMT's and firefighters who perform the miracles. But that's another rant. My experience has been that the general public doesn't recognize the term "amateur radio operator" at all. So I really don't think it matters one way or the other if we call ourselves amateurs, volunteers, or enthusiasts. Most people, however, have heard the phrase "ham radio," and even have a mental image of a ham (usually involving an attic, an eccentric uncle, and about a ton of tube-type electronics which emit the same sound effects used by the 1950's SF movies.) It seems to me any effort to change our identity from amateur to volunteer is a moot exercise when we are primarily known as hams. But that's just me.
  6. The overuse of acronyms is an ironic problem in that amateur radio is all about the ability to communicate accurately and efficiently. K3MRI is absolutely right when he points out that initial usage of an acronym should be defined in a written document. And most hams will explain the terms they are using when talking with someone new to the technology. All in all though, I can't help but think that one of the reasons hams are so reliant on the use of acronyms and abbreviations is because of our roots in cw (Morse code) where brevity hails supreme. As for the state of testing, back in the "old goat" days, there was no question pool. The prospective/upgrading ham was expected to learn the material, and didn't have a clue what the test questions were. In fact, during the late 70's, the FCC was upgrading tests and the examinee didn't even know whether the test would be over tube type or solid state technology. When the FCC decided to loosen the standards for becoming licensed by establishing the question pool, it justified its decision by claiming that by memorizing the questions, the examinee would learn the material. Apparently that's not quite accurate. In my own experience, I was most frustrated with the Novice test because, having absolutely no background in electron excitation, the material to me was pretty much black magic (Ohm's Law? Just remember the eagle, the Indian, and the rabbit). As I upgraded my license, the material was less "Just trust us on this one because it's so" and more "This is how it happens and why it all works." I am hopeful that things will start falling into place for you as they did for me, Anthony. If you keep at it, you will grow as a ham. And some day, when you're the old goat, remember how frustrating it was for you and give an assist to an "FNG."
  7. I've a rumor that the FCC is looking to make license fees payable annually. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the FCC decided to charge according to license privileges - the higher the license, the bigger the fee.
  8. Back in the olden days, when sparks flew across gaps, a successful radio communication was a pretty tough thing to accomplish. Morse code operators soon realized that abbreviated transmissions were key (pun intended). So, in order to acknowledge successful receipt of a transmission, the receiving station would send "RECEIVED," letting the sending station know that things were working well. "RECEIVED" was cumbersome so it was shortened to "RCVD," which still seemed clunky so it was shortened to"R." When the microphone was invented, and telephony developed, it became obvious early on that many letters sounded the same on the air, so a phonetic alphabet was invented to make clear which letter was being used. The phonetic alphabet in use was based on male names and "Roger" was the term for the letter "R." So, "Roger" became synonymous with "I acknowledge receipt of your last transmission." By the way, notice that "R" (Roger) does not mean "Yes." It is not an assent, nor does it mean, "I concur." It is not an answer to a question. In other words, you should never, ever hear a ham say, "Roger, roger. I did not copy your name. Please repeat." Eventually, the phonetic alphabet changed to the one we use today, but the term "Roger" was so ingrained that it stuck. And that, I think, is a good thing. Somehow, hearing a ham say, "Romeo that, and thank you for the contact" just doesn't seem right.
  9. Nervous? Boy! Was I nervous! I had had my ticket for all of ten minutes when I answered a CQ using a very shaky fist on my straight key. And when I heard my call being sent back to me, it took all the courage I had to stay put and not run screaming out of the room. Fortunately for me, the station I had contacted, WB1FSB, was kind and patient, and acted as if we were engaged in a typical novice QSO. Which we were, after all. And when I figured that out, I got my breathing under control, and actually began to enjoy myself. That's when things got fun! You see, it turns out that WB1FSB, Marian was another YL! What are the odds? Especially 40 some odd years ago! Then the QSO got really cool! Marian's QTH was Newington, CT. Yes, that Newington, CT. The home of Hiram Percy Maxim, WIAW himself. You see, Marian worked for the ARRL. When I met her on the air, she was putting on the finishing touches of the ARRL Antenna Anthology, a book she was editng. It's true. Most first QSO's are pretty memorable. But I like to think mine was especially so.
  10. Or at least, the FCC. After nearly 50 years of not collecting fees, and now that the licensing system is automated, and now the FCC no longer has to pay for examiners, and now that the FCC incurs very little expense to oversee the Amateur Radio Service, it's decided it needs to collect a $35 license fee. I suppose I'm not surprised, but I am concerned. You see, radio frequencies are a commodity and hams have enjoyed a free ride because the FCC has valued our contributions to public service and the research and development of new technologies. But now, apparently, its attitude has changed. Thirty-five bucks for a ten year license is not that big a deal for most of us. Yet what is the likelihood that, in a few years, it becomes $35/10year/band usage? For those of us who only operate on one or two bands, that'd probably still be no big deal. But I'm just wondering how such a slippery slope could affect Amateur Radio. You can read Part 97 in its entirety and never find the word "hobby." We are a service - the FCC defines us as such. Perhaps we should remind the Commission of that fact.
  11. VVV VVV VVV VVV Not that it matters, but I always enjoyed taking the CW code tests. The code was absolutely clean. No QRM or QRN. Perfect fist. No abbreviations. The only thing you had to worry about was the stations' call signs and those you got to hear twice. Had the FCC not forced me to learn Morse, I would never have volunteered to learn it. I had no interest in code. After all, it was just a bunch of beeps. I was so uninterested that I couldn't even spell CW. Once I learned it, and got on the air using it, I found out how exciting it can be, and the satisfaction you feel when you battle against QRM, QRN,QSB, and a QLF op. Oh, and it's just plain fun to boot.
  12. Good deal! Or, as we say in CW - VY FB
  13. Let me know how it works out for you.
  14. What a great idea!
  15. This is fun! I had no idea there were 2 other hams living just down the street from me.
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