Monday, September 21, 2009

Does competitive radio make people rude?

After I posted on the Elecraft reflector yesterday that I was going to sell my K3 and give up Elecraft for good I have received getting on for a couple of dozen emails from people, many of whom I have never heard from before, urging me to reconsider my decision, "keep up the pressure on Elecraft to get better" and "nil illegitimi carborundum" (don't let the bastards grind you down) - the bastards in question being my attackers, not Elecraft, I hasten to point out.

It has been very morale boosting to know that there is a largely silent group of list lurkers who share my views. It's a pity that more of them don't put their heads above the parapet sometimes and draw some of the fire, but some of the opinions I've read from supporters are far more inflammatory than anything I'd ever dare put.

I was musing to one of my correspondents that the Elecraft list was not the pleasant, friendly community that it was ten years ago in the days of the QRP K2. It started to go downhill when the KPA100 was introduced. I can remember a few flame-wars between the diehard QRP fraternity - of which I was, at that time, a fully paid-up member - and the 100W brigade. I think it was about that time that a guy called Nils Young, WB8IJN, a.k.a. El Gringo Errante, who would regularly entertain us with his musings, bowed out. I wonder what happened to him?

I was informed yesterday by one user that the K3 was meant to be a competition grade radio, not something to make repeater contacts with. It's a pity no-one told Wayne, N6KR, who that same day announced a firmware update with a 1750Hz toneburst specially for UK repeaters.

Does pursuing competitive ham radio - contesting and DXing - make people bad tempered and aggressive, or is it the other way round? My recollections of the early Elecraft days make me think that QRPers are nicer people, more thoughtful and more laid back. If I keep the K3 after all, perhaps I should remove and sell the PA. :)
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