Who wrote the Amateur’s Creed?
The Amateur Creed was composed in 1928 by Paul M. Segal –
then 9EEA in Denver, and General Counsel of the ARRL. The
creed has been updated a few times over the intervening
years, to update the text and put it into contemporary
The Amateur’s Creed appears in a number of ARRL publications
such as the Handbook, and is just as valid today as it has
been for over 80 years.
Ask any Ham and they will tell you what their favorite
aspect of Amateur Radio is to them. Some are in it for the
tinkering and only ask for a realistic readability and a
signal strength report, others are Contesters, others are
avid DX-ers. I could go on and on listing all the different
aspects of our wonderful hobby that different Hams prefer
above the others.
My favorite has always been “rag-chewing”. I came to Ham
Radio as many did, as a Short Wave Listeners (SWL) as a
youth. Yes, I even put together a crystal radio set once
upon a time. Even today I tend to listen a great deal more
than I speak. I already know what I know, my purpose is
more to find out what other people out there in the Aether think
about the world.
I’m sure that anyone who has given a long listen to
“conversations” other than the exchange of RS numbers and
grid references has bumped into the occasional Ham that
thinks that his radio is actually a “soapbox” and promotes
his particular world view on the rest of us (many times this
is reminiscent of the Chicken Little folk tale “the sky is
falling, the sky is falling, cried chicken little”). In Ham
Radio (as in “real life”) too many people are more
interested in “talking at you” rather than “talking to you”.
Then there are Hams that don’t seem to have anything to
really talk about some days. Their conversations tend to be
about the recent local weather and its comparison to local
weather patterns for the past 50 years, what they just ate
and what they intend to eat later that day and to agree
heartily with any cliché you might come out with. Mobile
conversations are full of “well, I’m going to the store”
eventually followed by “well, I just left the store”. I
understand that every conversation can’t be substantial and
ponderous, but maybe sometimes these guys can throw
something else into the mix?
Sometimes you just might get what you wished for and realize
that you made the wrong wish. The most detailed
conversations I have heard on the Radio are often not a
technical discussion on some aspect of Radio Theory, but
what has been given the sobriquet “Organ Recital”. I was
taught, as most people, that “Hi! How are you” was a mere
rhetorical greeting. The next time someone passes you on
the street with that greeting, try to engage them with a
description of your hemorrhoids and the numerous
unsuccessful attempts you’ve made to lessen the problem and
count on your stopwatch how many seconds it takes them to
excuse themselves. Vague responses to the greeting are
fine, as most responses to “how’s the weather there” (“it’
raining”, people usually don’t offer the projected
precipitation at hourly intervals for the next 24 hours).
If you ask “how are you?” to some “private kinds” of people
while they’re hooked up to life monitors and have sundry
tubes going in and others going out, lying in a hospital
bed, they will sometimes reply “fine, how are you?”. I have
heard people give their medication list and dosages, their
scheduled injections of insulin throughout the day and
recommended coverage dosages to guys on the other end of the
country. TOO MANY DETAILS. Often after a long description of
their ailments they end that chat and engage another Ham on
the same frequency and
repeat all of the previous details. This is a
common phenomenon on Repeaters. We are all sorry you’re not
doing too well, but this isn’t a medical consultation, it’s
a chat between two people who may not know each other and
that will probably only meet “on the air”! Perhaps we should
consider ourselves fortunate that the same “organ recital”
is not done for the Ham’s pet cat, or dog, or even his pet
parakeet. Perhaps this article shouldn’t give anyone any
new ideas? I think, on the subject of chronic health
problems, brevity is the soul of wit. Others may disagree.
I have heard some Hams that were so adept at “interviewing”
the other guy in the conversation that they could have done
it professionally.I was able to get a sense of who that man
was, what his likes and dislikes were, how he saw the world
and how he saw himself in that world – it was a
mini-revelation. One particular Ham-Interviewer was a Police
Detective before he retired and he seemed to have learned a
lot more than to play “good cop, bad cop”. It’s a skill
like all things and maybe rag chewers should invest a little
effort in honing that skill?
Perhaps I am expecting too much. Some people have their
radios tuned to Repeater frequencies and use the audio
output as background noise through the day, often not really
registering what is being said, by whom. Whatever works for
Just remember to have fun!
– The (Cranky) Editor –
As appeared on the
Radio club site.
Explanation from the ARRL on How to Ragchew!
Rag Chew - A Long Enjoyable Conversation-
list of Rag Chewing nets
Download ARRL .pdf file frequency chart
Be a courteous and knowledgeable operator by knowing
what activities should be taking place in which part of the band.
ARRL page will prevent you from being clueless!
The club owns and operates repeaters W8TQE on
145.370,- 85.4 PL or 537 from your touch tone pad and 444.675, 123 pl
Local Area 2 Meter Net and 10