April 5, 1997 |
All of the electricity in my house went out not long ago. When we tried to turn on our two flashlights, we discovered that the batteries were dead. We finally went to the emergency drawer in the kitchen and pulled out some candles and matches. By the candles' light, dinner was finished, homework was completed, and stories were told. By that same candlelight, I read a magazine article about the gradual phasing out of the supposedly antiquated system of Morse Code. I thought, with a great sense of irony, that those who wished to do away with Morse Code probably didn't have any candles in an emergency drawer somewhere.
February 15, 2000 |
Most days, when Charles Fulp is operating, people call him "Doctor. " He's a dentist with a practice in his comfortable stone house in Perkasie, Bucks County. This weekend, though, Fulp will operate in his cramped basement, and he will be simply "K3WW," his amateur-radio call sign, as he chats with other hams all over the world. Fulp will be participating in a contest, practicing what even its adherents acknowledge is a dying art: Communicating by Morse code. Dits and dahs - the short and long beeps that for 150 years told the world of war, peace, rising stocks, sinking ships, new babies and dead soldiers - are used regularly today by virtually no one other than a select group of amateur radio operators.
January 30, 1999
It came to the rescue countless times out in the open seas. In one of the cheesiest sci-fi films of the '90s - "Independence Day" - it was used to coordinate the attack on the marauding aliens. But thanks to new technology, the world may have to lay in ruin before you hear a Morse code message again. On Monday, the Morse code dashes off as nations around the world turn off their beeping equipment and switch over to a satellite- and radio-based system. All passenger ships and most cargo ships traveling on international waters must also use the new system.
August 25, 1993 |
FOND DU LAC, WISC. GIVING A LESSON ON WORK ETHIC Some students wondered why he didn't quit. And he certainly doesn't need the paycheck. But the winner of half of a record $111 million lottery jackpot went back to work yesterday as a junior high teacher. "In the halls, you hear congratulations, but otherwise I don't think it's too different," said Leslie Robins. Well, actually there was one big difference. Robins wore a colorful tie bearing the cartoon characters Sylvester the Cat and Tweety Bird.
July 2, 1987 |
Compared with past outings, the Warminster Amateur Radio Club's 1987 Field Day seemed, on the surface, decidedly unspectacular. High winds and rain plagued the annual event several years ago, but participants at the weekend event were treated to sunny skies and warm weather. There was no local disaster, as there was in 1971 when flooding upstate led to the declaration of a state of emergency and the field outing was cut short so members could lend assistance. And the club used conventional gas-powered generators to produce electricity, not the bicycle-powered generator that was tried one year.
August 6, 2004
New Jersey politicians may be looking for new ways to communicate since the FBI is tape-recording their conversations. It made headlines in New Jersey that a guy named Mark Halper, who was wired by the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, is involving Gov. McGreevey in the arrest of a guy named David D'Amiano. D'Amiano is said to have required a political payoff in exchange for Halper's getting much more than $3 million for his farmland. In a conversation between Halper and Gov. McGreevey, which was tape-recorded without the governor's knowledge, the governor said the word "Machiavelli.
August 2, 1990 |
In the age of communication through personal lap-top computers, advanced cablevision and personal FAX machines, why would anyone want to bother with ham radio? The 23 hams who took the Federal Communications Commission-required amateur-radio licensing exams administered at the Warminster Recreation Center last Thursday gave many reasons - in both English and Morse code. After all, their hobby is striking up conversations with any of some one million people worldwide. Susan Kang, 15, of Horsham, along with her brothers Steven, 17, and James, 13, first became interested in amateur radio because their father had one. "I think it's fascinating that you can speak to people all over the world," she said.
August 11, 1988 |
Dave Wittman of Wallingford communicates with people all over the United States by Morse code, tapping out 20 words per minute, and decoding dots and dashes from those who answer his signal. John Bartholomew of Broomall belongs to a 700-member radio network that requires each new member to make a rooster call. Vic Tenaglia of Yeadon speaks to others around the world by means of state- of-the-art computer-generated digital electronic bursts and often sends his transmissions to satellites that relay them halfway across the world.
November 17, 1988 |
Val is offering a night's lodging to one and all. Bring the kids. Val lives in Teleneshty. That's Teleneshty, Moldavia, U.S.S.R. "Yes, I am serious," he was saying in beautiful English to fellow amateur radio operators who were listening on the radio band on a recent night. "Just, please, write first. " Such familiarity is commonplace in a hobby that puts everyday people in touch with everyday people, bound warmly by a love of radio and electronics. One million everyday people bound warmly to a comfy chair, as well.
May 7, 2004 |
The U.S. Mint's offering of a silver, five-coin set of the 2004 state quarters has won the interest of collectors. Sales are near 50,000 sets, all struck at the San Francisco Mint and carry the "S" mint mark. Sets cost $23.95, and include the Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa and Wisconsin quarters. Whether the mint will strike sets of earlier quarter issues is an open question, but silver sets of the complete, 50-state series would add interest for collectors. Queries go to the mint at 1-800-872-6468, or online at www.usmint.