The golden ages have gone

Forty meters is getting quiet now after it has been very noisy for the summer months. A real fall has arrived on 40 meters for now. Beaming to the North America, I have called CQ for several times an hour before sunset. Only a QRS guy has called me from CA. His 50W with a dipole was good enough. No other takers now.

At this time in a day in this season of '60s, there were the K6NB and VK2NS group often heard on this band, as I have repeatedly written. Both of them were running QRQ with key board. Around both of them, several others were gathering, like KH6EFW, WB6CFN, VK2DO or K7UQH. All except for K7UQH have, however, gone SK for now. I was so excited to work with them with my simple set up. How kind they were to such a teenage new comer in Japan!

When I came back on the radio in 1980, there used to be the others on 40 meters around this time. I could give examples like W6JAL, W6VIJ, W6TBZ, W6TSQ and so forth. Most of them were night owls having lost chances to fall asleep. When sun set in, there used to be N4AR coupled with VS6DO. Both were pounding in like JAs. K5BGB, N5VV, VK3IM and the other ragchewers are not forgettable as well. W4BW was a real big gun those days. These guys have also made conversation on something more than reports and QSL etc. They enjoyed talking something on CW when the band opened pan pacific areas all of sudden. It was when I operated with barefoot into 14AVQ at the dorm in the med school hospital where I served residency. It was much fun for me to talk to those people. Most of them went inactive for now.

They have made the age at respective time. In a few years, however, they have gone silent or inactive. I sure miss them. What a loss for me! The golden ages won't return any longer. Now, it is my turn to make an age. There are, however, too few to do with on the band now. I am a kind of obligated to follow them. Thinking of such a thing, I was still going on calling CQ.

Maybe, this glass of lager has made me complain of the same thing again.


  1. Shin

    Things change and things stay the same. As did I, you experienced growing up in Ham Radio during the Golden Ages of activity, before internet, before cell phones. Ham Radio was exciting, a new world for a young man growing up. Your friends and radio colleagues that you noted in your narrative above were to you then what you are to those on the radio today. Certainly, there are fewer who enjoy radio today and more certainly, there are fewer who enjoy CW. But, to those out there looking for someone to bring them along in CW, to converse beyond 599 TU, you are now whom you admired in your youth. A more than admirable position.

    1. Don,

      Thanks a lot for kind comment. Everyone may have had the same days in the past. We are definitely on the downhill. It may be the question how to keep ourselves active on this mode in this declining activity.


  2. What you say is correct, but we have to deal with the way things are, not as we would like them to be. It used to be that to get a nice CW contact, one simply tuned the lower portion of the band, and picked and chose from many CQs and conversations. It's different now. I listened to you calling CQ on 40 meters one morning and you finally were answered by an unsteady operator at 20 WPM or so. It used to be that it was hard to get you as many ops would call you, in a big pile up. Things are not going back to the "good old days."

    I did call you one day recently from the car on my way into Austin for an early morning jog, and you honored me by not only hearing my weak signal and coming back, but giving me a report that I "was better than a mosquito this morning." hi hi. To answer your question that morning in more detail, the /m setup is an FT857D and a matching Yaesu ATAS 120A screwdriver antenna. You are correct that the coil is small and inefficient, and it works the "least good" on 40 meters, but it is easy to change bands while I am in motion, and it performs better on a relative scale as the frequency increases. On 10 and 15, it seems to be quite good.

    All the best, Jim N3BB

    1. Hi Jim,

      Yes, of course, we could never come back to the golden age any longer. I am sad only that there are very few who enjoy chats on CW. No use complaining of this, I know. I could not, however, help remembering of those old pwople when the band sounds like a desert. I know it is changing and we should be used to it.

      I also wondered if there were anyone who should know of those guys, super stars for me.

      Your signal has improved a little bit. Not a mosquitto but a butterfly. Knowing of your booming signal, I am too sad you repeating your message twice. You are a man of ratinale. Maybe, that is why you have chosen that ATAS which enables you change the band quickly. Another screw driver with much bigger coil could be much more efficient. A Hustler whip may work better as well. You know everything...

      See you soon when we could talk a bit more. Your butterfly call is still welcome here, though.


  3. Shin,
    I think your blogs are great. As for me, I am more thrilled and inspired by ham radio than I was when I first started in 1959. Maybe that is because I have arrived at a place where I have the time now and funds to enjoy it more. CW has always been my favorite mode and I recently had some good QSO's on 40, 30, and 20 with CW mobile. I am looking forward to more of your pictures and travels.
    73, Dennis W0JX

    1. Dennis,

      Thanks for the comment. You have been working so hard for the past years that you might find your retirement very rewarding to you at present. I am pleased to know that.

      In my case, maybe, I have spent much time in this hobby. That may be why I sometimes feel exhuasted at it. I must consider how to do with this hobby for now. Recalling old days as such good time may mean, however really good those days might be, I am not satisfied at the present relationship with this hobby as it is for now.

      On the other hand, it is still a reality that there are much less hams getting on 40m around our sunset, which has been my favorite opening since '60s. Maybe, old timers won't stay up late at night for now haha. That is good for their health.

      I will catch you on the air again soon. There are much to discuss with you regarding social security systems. Our system has been partly dependent on the companies as well as on the costless work by house wives. It is undergoing a drastic change and is threatened to be destroyed. Sorry for such a talk on the theme unrelated to the subject. I am looking forward to hearing from you about the experience and study on the air soon.



    2. Shin,
      I am intrigued bu your comment about "the costless work by housewives." We will discuss that further. Right now, I am troubled by the events in the Middle East and the costly results of our possible intervention. I hope this can be avoided.

      I have been meaning to get up early to listen for you. I need to identify your sunset better. While many consider me an "OT," I stay up late and can get up early.

      73 and be listening for you!
      Dennis W0JX

  4. The "costless work of housewives". Philosopher Shin strikes again.
    I continue to be amazed at your use of the English language.

    We wait with baited breath your response to Dennis.