26 November 2012

Trei articole în limba engleză
The Race with Obstacles
I started to read with great excitement the article written by YO2**, dedicated to the 40 years anniversary of the radio club of Timisoara, my beloved place of birth, abandoned by me 37 years ago, but on whose streets I still walk often in my dreams. There I brought up and went to school, there I traveled in frosty winter mornings, when the mercury of the thermometer descended under -20 degrees C, sometimes on the foot board of the crowded streetcar 6, on its circular way, through the Maria plaza and on the bridge over the river Bega, trying to arrive in time to the Musical High School situated in the downtown. 

But I haven’t imagined in my nastiest dreams that reading this article I will come across again with «comrade» Alexandru, albeit only under the spiritual shape of a name printed on paper. Like in a nightmare, comrade Alexandru reappeared in my life, though I was hoping once that I’ll may erase him for good from my memory.
The author of the article is arrogating him good organizers’ abilities - who knows, maybe he was really a good organizer - but for me he was the one who for two lengthy years prevented the fulfilment of a dream.
I was 16 when a class mate, a violoncelist inoculated me with the bug of amateur radio by giving me a few issues of the The Radio Amateur magazine and revealing me the «secret» that on the short wave bands, amidst the broadcasting stations one can hear radio amateurs ragchewing freely, something fast unconceivable to the spectators of the propaganda films of those years, in which the only ones operating radio stations were either brave Soviet soldiers, or spies, disgusting traitors in the service of the Western intelligence agencies, who ended always by being caught, thanks to the patriotism of a pionier or a Comsomolist (member of the Soviet Young Communists’ organization), who discovered their activity and informed the authorities.
I found quickly in our rudimentary radio set the 40 and 20 meters bands and, amazed, I started to listen the QSO’s of the local amateurs and of the foreign stations in AM, among them many Italian stations, with their extremely strong signals. Then, with the help of an old scout guide I learned by myself to copy the CW contacts too; obviously the signals didn’t have a musical sound, they were only «buzzing», and I remember the thrill felt when I heard in a very early morning the trembling signal of a W6 station sending QTH CA and then a Chilean station from Antofagasta. I even manufactured log sheets, keeping record of my receptions and I started to dream that one day I will send QSL cards bearing my SWL call-sign!
In the winter of 1959 I entered my name for the telegraphy courses organized by the A.V.S.A.P., the «Voluntary Association for the Defence of the Homeland», held in the main room of the radio club and I graduated them in the summer of 1960. I became also the happy owner of a fabulous booklet with gray covers, the Radio Amateur Traffic, from which I learned a lot of new things. It comprised the list of the DXCC countries, their prefixes, their CQ zones. After a few months I knew most of them by heart, many of the prefixes appeared already in my «logs», so that when a member of the examinations commission for the amateur radio certificates asked me about some European prefixes I had no trouble at all to give him the right answers. In November 1960 I became the proud bearer of the Amateur Radio Short Wave Listener Certificate No.184 and I filed together with my telegraphy courses colleagues the application for the SWL License. Everything seemed to be all right, nothing foreboded the enter of comrade Alexandru in the scene and in my life, to overshadow the enjoyments of my young years.
I haven’t seen him very often before, in the afternoons when the telegraphy courses were held I could admire only the skill of a few amateurs constructing in the room on the right side an enormous station, while in the room of the left side the legendary Mir, YO2CD was busy with his exotic CW QSOs. It was said that the new radio club chief is coming from the Army and that he has no idea about amateur radio whatsoever. Well, this haven’t prevented him to reject my license application, while the other applicants - among them Hungarians and Germans besides Romanians, but none of them Jewish - received their licenses and went off hastily to the workshop to order the stamps with their brand new SWL    call signs. Alexandru was supported in his categorical verbal refusal - like in all other his actions - by a well-known ham from Timişoara, today an old-timer, who was shaking his head and shrugging enigmatically his shoulders alike the «boss», as an answer to my desperate questions. 
This was the beginning of a tormenting time, marked by permanently renewed and afterwards unfulfilled expectations. Alexandru hoodwinked me, appointing time and again new dates  when I had to present myself to the club, and I remember the winding staircase mounted by me with pang and hope and descended soon full of sorrow, having in mind a new date when - who knows, maybe, possibly, nevertheless - a misterious and unseen guardian of the Law, arised out of the writings of Kafka, will finally take pity and will agree with the supplication of the poor unlicensed short wave listener, who desired so much to be within the Law……
I have kept record of these visits to the radio club. They were as much as 35. At the thirty-fifth visit Alexandru, probably bored of the monotony of this repeated scenario, opened with soldierly courage a new battlefront: one has to be member of the UTC (the Union of the Communist Youth) to become a licensed short wave listener. The homeland has confidence only in UTC members. I objected: among my course colleagues who obtained the license I know a few who are not UTC members, some of them didn’t even reached the necessary age to become UTC members. Alexandru sank for a while into his thoughts, but at last he found the saviour solution. A letter of reference from the school, that’s it, I need to obtain a letter of reference from the school, but for this we’ll go together, comrade Alexandru and me, to request the letter of reference from the headmaster. As a disciplined military man, he was waiting for me at the entrance of the high school on the appointed day and time, wearing his greenish uniform; in front of the headmaster’s office he told me to stand by and he stepped in alone.
The headmaster was very fond of me, I was always included in his «troupe» of student-artists, able to perform a complete musical programme, sent by him to take part in all the artistic festivals held in the county, and  with my xylophone, accompanied by a colleague at accordion, I scored fulminant successes.
I’ll never find out what exactly they discussed inside the cabinet, the fact is that after a time Alexandru came out and showed in direction of the door: the headmaster is waiting for me. This entire suspicious theatre seemed to be of very ill omen. With burning face and stammering of emotion I presented to the headmaster my grievance to be issued with a letter of reference. As long I live I’ll never forget the profound embarrassment of the poor man, constrained to deny my request, without being able to offer me any explanation at all. I left astounded the cabinet. Alexandru disappeared.
And with this all my hopes collapsed. I decided to give up irrevocably to this hobby, which for me seemed to be forbidden. But before that I’ve done however something: for the first time in my life I exercised my right of petition, granted by the Constitution, in my capacity of young citizen of the Romanian People’s Republic. I wrote a long letter to YO3**. I heard him Sundays transmitting on 40 meters band the official QTC’s of the Romanian Amateur Radio Federation, and I thought that somebody must nevertheless learn about the mockery I’ve been inflicted, it must remain somewhere a trace of it. I counted him day by day the 35+1 summons to the club and I asked for his help, simply unable to understand why I have been refused to get something obtained by others without any difficulty. I sent one copy of the letter to the Central Radio Club, another one to his personal address, I found both addresses in the telephone directory. A few months I still watched the arrival of the postman. In vain. The Romanian citizens’ right of petition was laid down all right by the Constitution, but not so the obligation of the institutions or the officials to give them an answer. Probably that’s why the addressee did not condescend to reply to my S.O.S. ...
After a year or so I came across on the street with a course colleague. He received already his transmitting license, he told me that he worked ZS4 on 40 meters. And he gave me another information: comrade Alexandru was called back to active service, the new chief of the radio club is Costi Dumitrescu, YO2BI. Go to the club, he’s a good guy, maybe he’ll give you a hand, added the colleague before we gone apart.
I ascended with trembling feet the well-known wooden stairs. And indeed: in the room tapestried in blue by comrade Alexandru, near the station sate a nice looking young man. I narrated him in short what I have been through and I showed him my SWL certificate. He smiled sadly, sympathetically, then he rose to his feet, extracted from a locker a form, he filled it in with my name and with the «receptionable bands» in my poor radio set: 7 and 14 MHz. Then he consulted a register and he filled in also the «call sign» column: YO2-1117. Go to the Central Post Office and ask them to stamp it, he said. Then he turned to another ham present in the room: Unbelievable, isn’t it?
After a month I was there again, this time with about 300 QSL cards, my very first receptions as a licensed SWL. I brought with me the log copy as well - probably the younger colleagues doesn’t know that in those years one had to present carbon copies, even for receptions, in order to be verified by the «authorities». Costi run over the pages and he said: Well-well, how nice would be if the transmitters could keep their logs as orderly as this one!
With this a chapter came to an end for me, but not so the ordeal of my race with obstacles. I reached its finish only in 1980, after 17 years of form-fillings, applications, petitions, remonstrances, memorials … and receptions. I obtained my transmitting license at the age when other hams accumulated some 20 years of activity.
This is the way I’ve acquainted comrade Alexandru. I hope with my whole heart that on the way of their evolution our younger colleagues won’t come upon such characters, who were able to do much harm to the Romanian amateurs, in those years plagued by arbitrariness and totalitarianism.

Acest articol a fost publicat în limba română pe saitul Radioamator.ro, iar în limba engleză printre altele în revista trimestrială FOCUS, în revistele electronice K9YA Telegraph şi HAM MAG şi pe saiturile Southgate Amateur Radio News, AA0MZ’s Homepage, Watts din Pretoria, Republica Sud-africană, OK1RR DX Contesting Page, Ultra-DX şi eHam. Articolul original în limba română poate fi citit la această adresă.
O traducere în limba spaniolă, publicată în noiembrie 2017 în Revista de Radio Club Argentino poate fi citită la această adresă. 

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Dictators and Amateur Radio 
Amateur radio was always contemplated by dictators with distrust and fear, as a suspect and potentially dangerous avocation. The ability to transmit messages over the barbed wire of the "Iron Curtains" and across heavily guarded borders, where weapons are pointed more into the country than out, was associated in the Romanian People's Republic, and in the other former or current totalitarian régimes as well, with the activity of spies on the enemy's payroll. In the dictators' paranoiac imagination these spies, disguised as radio amateurs, were trying to undermine the "heroic effort of the people for the construction of the new society": another name for the total control and submission of its citizens, the final endeavour of all régimes with socialist, communist, military, tribal or fundamentalist ideologies.
Risking the simplification inherent to any generalization, the degree of democracy present in a country is directly proportional to the number of its licensed radio amateurs, the liberties they enjoy and the administrative obstacles they may or may not confront. Today, an indication of such freedom is the absence of bureaucratic hindrances imposed on the importation of amateur radio rigs, getting a transceiver through customs at national frontiers, and the willingness to allow visitors' time-limited amateur radio activities.
Western democracies acknowledge radio amateurs' merit, as pioneers of the short waves to humanity's benefit and for the services they rendered and continue to render to their communities. Laws in these countries grant radio amateurs and their equipment freedom of movement and activity thanks to reciprocal agreements. The CEPT Convention provided a huge step forward as it simplified operation for amateurs of the signatory countries.
In Spain amateur radio is considered a form of art. In Güimar, Canary Islands, a statue was dedicated to amateur radio, with a syrinx (panpipes) representing the five (in 1974) amateur short wave bands. Many American presidents proclaimed amateur radio a national resource.
For whole decades BY1PK was the only workable station in China - until silenced by the infamous Cultural Revolution. Now we hear many BY calls and, on the VHF and LF bands, thousands of licensed QRP stations. No doubt the tenacious efforts of Martti Laine, OH2BH played a decisive role in this opening to the world.
After many years of silence in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, a single station, YI1BGD was licensed. This followed a demonstration by Erik Sjölund, SMOAGD, who made some 50 contacts before Iraqi officials who were amazed by the number of hams eager to contact a new country.
North Korea authorized only a few sporadic operations, the most productive being the activity of Ed Giorgadze, 4L4FN. He made more than 16,000 QSO's before the authorities shut him down. KA2HTV's recent failure doesn't offer much hope the situation will soon change.
Myanmar's (Burma) military junta is quite reluctant to issue licenses to foreign operators. But they are occasionally heard, especially when intended to convince the generals that liberalizing amateur radio could boost the country's image to a world concerned by human rights violations.
Contact with an Albanian station was an unattainable dream during the Stalinist dictatorship of Enver Hodja. Now there are some active stations thanks to powerful associations that championed getting a ZA call sign on the air after many decades.
In Poland all amateurs were forced to hand over their equipment following the imposition of martial law, inspired by the Soviet Union, in December 1981. General Jaruzelski stifled in bloodshed the protests of the trade union Solidarnos?, and the SP prefix was absent from the bands for almost two years.
Turkey for many years was prominent on the Most Wanted Countries List, now a few local stations and occasional visitors can be worked from TA-land.
Under the Taliban régime licensing a YA station was hardly conceivable in a country where the most elementary human rights were violated. Now hams working for international organizations are sporadically active from Afghanistan.
But where tradition is shattered, short instruction courses and donated gear cannot replace the passion and knowledge transmitted from generation to generation, from mentor to disciple, which ensures the perpetuity and development of the hobby. Hopefully, the spirit will reignite in Libya, Yemen, Rwanda, Iran, Sudan, Mount Athos, Somalia, Congo, Cambodia, Laos, countries and entities where amateur radio activity is inexistent or drastically restricted.
There are cases when the oppressive régime feels itself impregnable and magnanimously allows the licensing of a few "reliable" residents, intimates of the power wielders, for propaganda's sake to defend itself from the international amateur radio community's disapproval. Some dictatorships, after lengthy negotiations, authorize time-limited activities for foreign operators present as United Nations officials, NGOs or peace-keeping forces.
In Romania the dictatorial régime branded amateur radio as well. For 45 years the state of one's "dossier" was decisive in obtaining a license. In the 1950s those applicants who hadn't a "healthy origine" (i.e., originated from a family of workers or peasants) could experience huge difficulties, and not only in the realm of amateur radio. Family members living in the West, unfavourable information from the schools' secretary of the Communist Party, from the college or employer's "cadres office" (today's personnel office) regarding the applicant's lack of enthusiasm and attachment to the "Party Line," denunciations, containing mostly mendacious and misinterpreted information - all were grounds for denial without explanation of the application or suspension of a previously issued license.
Truly impartial historians of Romanian amateur radio should record its decades-long constraints as subordinate to the army. This practice followed piously on the heels of the Russian pattern. The Securitate (the former Romanian secret police) exercised relentless control of the licensing procedure through the so-called Higher Radio Commission, overseeing the entire activity of the radio amateurs, beginning with the assignments in leading positions in the county clubs and in the Romanian Amateur Radio Federation and ending with the accurate inventory of the equipment owned.
In the 1980s the Radio Control Centres launched a series of residential inspections and license suspensions for varying periods of time. Was it merely coincidence that many holders of those suspended licenses were also members of reputable foreign clubs? This group included the most active and notable amateurs, authentic ambassadors of Romania on the air.
Yearly "informative materials" drawn up by the Securitate and presented with the force of "truth" cited "negative aspects," like "relations with foreigners" (regulated by notorious Law 23 requiring compulsory detailed reports about the nature of these relationships and their progress), the correspondence of amateurs, alike the correspondence of all other presumptive "unfaithful" citizens, was inspected and systematically censored. Receiving a transceiver from friends or relatives in Western countries was a terrible humiliation and a matter of suspicion - an opportunity for blackmail.
But not only amateur radio was subject to thorough supervision. The presidential couple Ceausescu deemed profoundly undesirable: computers, video recorders, TV antennas pointed towards Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, TV satellite dishes, books, magazines and newspapers from abroad, everything enabling the free circulation of ideas and information, not to mention the free movement of Romanian citizens.
We don't have yet sufficient and complete information about the Stalinist trial of George Craiu, YO3RF, and the ordeal of his imprisonment. We don't know the truth about the conviction of YO7DZ. I don't think amateurs are aware of the fact that in the 1987 anticommunist uprising in Brasov, two years before the revolution and the régime's collapse, a ham was among the participants. He was charged during the inquiry with "subversive communication with the West," although he was a short wave listener and possessed only a receiver! After 1989 he also faced a defamation lawsuit, because he thought he recognised a member of Parliament on the TV screen as his torturer. We don't know how many persons abandoned hope after their failed attempts to obtain a license.
To understand the past a people must become acquainted with it and finally to admit it. With no hard feelings, no resentments, but fully aware of the truth. This truth must not be silenced and buried under the dust of archives. I think it's important to be uttered, recorded and known, in order to avoid all the tragic mistakes of the history.

Acest articol a fost publicat în limba română pe saitul Radioamator.ro, iar în limba engleză pe saiturile Southgate Amateur Radio Club, Arizona-am-net, eHam.netOfficial Bulletin of Toronto's Oldest Amateur Radio Club, AA0MZ’s Homepage, OK1RR DX & Contesting Page, Pretoria Amateur Radio Club din Africa de sud, UltraDX.com, N4KC Technology, Media and Ham Radio Blog, în revista electronică K9YA Telegraph,  în versiunea engleză a revistei electronice Ham-Mag, în revista CQ Magazine etc.  Articolul original în limba română poate fi citit la această adresă.

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Errare humanum est
(To err is human)
That aphorism by an ancient Roman philosopher contains an unexpressed thought: that man, recognizing his error, can correct it, surpass himself, and approach perfection
And here is another term, circulated by the operators of rare DX stations who reside in exotic locations and by those who spend time and money on DXpeditions and contest operations. It is "European behaviour," this term is used by our friends across the pond and assumes too much. "European behaviour" negatively characterises the conduct of amateurs from more than 50 European nations, so different in origin, culture, language and temperament, that it is difficult to find for them a common denominator. These operators firmly allege that in most every occasion the much-trumpeted amateur spirit of friendship and international co-operation is forgotten, when arises Hamlet's question, To work or not to work a new one?
No wonder, say those exasperated amateurs, that many DXpeditioners, bored by the silly hodgepodge produced by European operators, prefer to turn their antennas toward the USA or Japan to maintain a reasonable QSO rate.
No wonder many amateurs resident in rare countries, stuck on believing amateur radio is still a hobby, hide on frequencies less monitored by DX'ers or simply go QRT when found and cornered by Europeans. They probably don't feel obligated to devote their leisure time to making thousands of rubber stamp QSOs and filling out thousands of QSL cards, because destiny threw them onto one of the rare islands on the DXCC countries list.
Blinded as we might be by our continental patriotism, we are forced to admit there is quite a lot of truth in the term. If someone compiled a classification of the manners on the amateur bands, he would be forced to put the European countries at the bottom of the list. We would have to console ourselves that YO amateurs aren't distinguished amongst their continental partners by deliberately or accidentally QRM'ing DX stations. The jamming champs are elsewhere, and we DX'ers know them. And, for the most courteous operators we look to Japan.
Amidst the mayhem that constitutes "European behaviour" an attentive listener can discern a few, distinctive, types. Risking oversimplification, let's examine these DX'ers. They may occasionally provoke a smile, but too often spoil our fun.

Prefers the microphone, but can sometimes be found on CW. He is usually equipped with very reliable and up to date equipment, with which he monitors the bands for his victims. It does not matter too much for him who will be his interlocutors, or what they say to him, he has too little patience to listen. The only role others have is to listen to what he says, despite its lack of content.
Hopefully, the Monologist has VOX, so when the victim has nearly fallen asleep, he can save himself by shouting "Break!" and pretend he has to go QRT. After doing this it is recommended the victim does not show on the bands for the next few hours in case the Monologist finds him again.
The Monologist type of amateur is not generally interested in DX contacts or QSL cards, but still calls DXpeditions and involves them in long QSO's against their will. The illness of the Monologist is a chronic one, and has to be regarded rather like a natural calamity, which is beating you without any possibility of self-defense.

This one is under continuous strain. He is driven by an unhealthy curiosity. The Impatient posts himself on the DX station's transmitting frequency, despite the operator indicating he is listening up, and then starts to ask questions. He immediately wants to know the DX station's call, his QTH and QSL information, and in the process disturbs everyone trying to work the DX station.
With a bit of patience the Impatient could hear the DX station provide this information every 10 or 15 QSOs, and spinning his VFO a bit he would find where others are calling. In nets the Impatient ignores net control's instructions and carries on calling, even though he is not located in the country requested by net control. He calls regardless of the situation, usually in the middle of your QSO.
The best expedient, and one not usually advised by DX'ng experts, is to give him the information he wants, accept him, let him join the QSO, put him on the list. Otherwise he may continue to call and cause endless disturbance.

This one knows he can teach everybody else. If he thinks an operation is failing he will not hesitate to interfere, nursing and lecturing the ignorant, setting the situation right from his vast store of knowledge and experience. Let's say a novice at working DX dares to ask something on the transmitting frequency of a DX station working split. That is enough for the Omniscient: vigilant and deeply worried about the destiny of the operation, he takes prompt action. He remains on frequency for hours and hours continuously sending or shouting "Up!" to reprimand intruders. His QRM completely covers the DX station and nobody can tell whom the DX station is answering. Despite his well-meaning intentions, one prefers hearing the novice's short questions than the "teacher's" repeated reprimands. There is no remedy for this "helpfulness". Hopefully he will get bored and move on to another crowded spot on the band. Attempts to silence him only redouble his claims of eminence.

Tortured by feelings of frustration, by a real inferiority complex. He hasn't learned to be a good loser. Net control didn't call him first? The DX station didn't hear him, or, perhaps, some QRM when he called? That is enough for the Revenger; he switches his transceiver to the tune position and puts an endless carrier on the frequency. Like an incandescent nail it pierces the ears and brains of those digging out the weak DX station with their AF and RF levels at maximum.
The Revenger injects various noises into his microphone - ever hear a vacuum cleaner on HF? Some Revengers are music lovers; they love to broadcast piano music on DXpedition frequencies.
If you fail to answer the Revenger's call because you want to work DX, and answer a DX station, the Revenger waits for you to finish. Now he wants to work that UA9 you just finished with and if you do not give up the frequency you have occupied for the last hour, a heavy artillery barrage commences. Linear pushed beyond its limits and beam turned in your direction, the Revenger ruthlessly QRMs with a keyer stream or CQ'ing endlessly. In a rage, the Revenger is completely irrational. Dialogue is useless. The only solution is to QSY to another frequency, mode, or, better still, to another band.

In many respects related to the Revenger, but his attacks are direct, often without a call sign, and not under the guise of a CQ and noises.
The Aggressive works with high power, but unfortunately doesn't use it very successfully. He calls desperately, for him the pile-up is a matter of life and death, a place where common sense goes untapped. If other well-equipped operators on frequency dare compete with him, he feels hurt. His reputation and his honour are endangered, and he will defend it his way. Discarding civility, the Aggressive splashes competitors with abuse. Polyglot in this field, he knows how to offend each in their mother tongue and indulges in chauvinist outbursts. He relies on the last word being his, because no one else will degrade himself to reply in like manner.

Endowed with the most sophisticated equipment, his linear and antennas are custom made to his pretensions. He usually lives in desert areas so he can surround his house with a thicket of towers and antenna systems, approaching in scale those of a broadcasting station.
As he has nothing more to achieve on the higher bands, he indulges in 80 and 160 metres, stretching many thousands of metres of wire in all possible directions. He gives 59+20 dB signal reports to antipodean stations not even heard by others on the band. His signals bend S-meter needles as he breaks the hugest pile-ups, working the DX station on his first call. He doesn't even trouble to give his call sign, simply says, "Hello, Jackie," and Jackie, who is on an uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific, immediately recognises his voice.
Super-DX-Man is on the Honor Roll for ages and has worked everything workable. He doesn't like to chat with amateurs other than Super-DX-Men of his size, if someone else calls him he seems to have corked ears. He ceaselessly wonders how others have the patience to stay in nets for long hours to work a single DX station, as he boasts that not one of his 360 countries has been worked with anyone's help.
It seems Super-DX-Man cannot fathom some people struggle to work with 10 watts, stretching out antennas each night, because they haven't permission to erect a poor ground plane on the roof of their flat. He only really becomes annoying when he stops to ask the operator of a DXpedition "What's new on Kingman Reef?" or "How's the weather on Peter I today?"

He can be found in the stands of all the sport stadiums. In amateur radio he has a fondness for criticizing DXpeditions. He suffers omniscient kibitzer syndrome: he knows better than the player how the ball should have been passed and how the goal should have been kicked, better than the coach how the team should have been composed, and better than the zebra when a penalty should have been granted. But a run from one end of the field to the other would bring on convulsions. From his comfortable chair the Discontented ham loudly declaims the DXpedition. He doesn't like the operators (they are lazy, deaf, incompetent); he doesn't like their organization (they didn't turn their antennas toward his QTH when he thinks the opening occurred); the DXpeditioners have materialistic preferences (they worked ten Japanese stations in a row, they requested, "North America only" - Aha, these QSO dealers!!! They want green stamps!!!); they didn't keep their word (starting later and departing earlier than announced). No matter the DXpedition crew assembled and then dismantled 20 antennas in extremes of heat or cold; made tens of thousands of QSOs; slept fitfully in tents; and made their meals from canned goods: all that plus paying, handsomely, for the honour of satisfying the Discontented - this all doesn't matter. If he missed the expedition his verdict is final and irrevocable: they are blunderers. An expedition was a success only if the Discontented got it in his log on nine bands and in all modes.

The name given to the amateurs whose working methods leaves much to be desired. Lids are very numerous and often originate from those amateurs who got their licenses without too much trouble, and who did not bother to go through a learning process before getting on the air. The Lid never understands what is happening, tunes up interminably on a DX station's frequency, not because he wants to disturb anybody, but without first checking the frequency.
The Lid doesn't listen before calling CQ, and gives the impression he doesn't have a receiver because he doesn't hear "QSY" from the people he QRMs, nor hears the weak DX station on frequency. He calls the DX station on his transmitting frequency, despite the DX station stating he is listening up, because the Lid doesn't know what "up" means. The Lid calls the DX station when he comes back to someone else, or even while the DX station is transmitting. If the DX station catches a suffix only and states he is only listening for that station you can be sure that some Lids will call, even though their call signs bear absolutely no resemblance to that suffix.
The Lid continues to call the DX station even when the DX station comes back to him, because he doesn't realize it. When he eventually understands he will ask the DX station to repeat his call sign several times. Then he wants all the other details, as he has not heard when the DX station repeated them periodically.
The European Lid answers "CQ DX" calls from other European stations, because he doesn't know what "DX" means. On CW the Lid sends much faster than he can read, causing the other station to send his name and QTH several times, because he refuses to request "QRS." The Lid inadvertently works split, not to keep his frequency clear, but because he doesn't realise his clarifier has to be switched off.
The Lid will call you when you are calling in a pile-up, and worse still, will start the contact without waiting to see if you have come back to him, or will end it without knowing whether you have logged him or not. He confuses YO with YA and Bucharest with Budapest. The Lid is able to send CQ 25 times and his call sign only once. The inventiveness of the Lid, in that he does everything upside down, is inconceivable and exhaustless. 

Now, to end this enumeration, let's try to discern why there are so many Lids on the amateur bands - because we are pretty sure the majority of amateurs branded with "European behaviour" are not Revengers or the Aggressives, but Lids.
 Is it human nature to make mistakes? Of course, especially when one is not prepared. It begs the question why the European novice does not learn about on-air procedures before using his new call sign. After passing the examination he shouldn't be left to his own devices to find out about procedures on the air. He should be advised that he should initially listen for 90% of the time to avoid finding himself suddenly in the middle of crowded amateur bands, exposing himself to the risk, unintentionally, of the shame and reputation of a Lid. It was different aforetime. Long before getting his transmitter license the amateur started by being a short wave listener. For many months he only listened to the contacts of other hams and undoubtedly he enjoyed it, since some amateurs, for some reason, remained SWLs. (Let's not forget those living under dictatorial regimes, who would like to become transmitters and aren't allowed to do it.) Reception was the best school for learning our written and unwritten laws. Then came the day full of excitement for the first QSO made from the club station, under the instructor's attentive guidance, then other contacts, the first DX stations, the participation in contests. And, only when the young amateur accumulated some experience, and he built his own station started to work from home with his own call sign. The Internet offers study and work tools to help get novices on the air while avoiding the epithet "lid." They should use them diligently - knowledge is not innate. Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum (To err is human, to persevere is devilish).

Acest articol a fost publicat în limba română pe saitul Radioamator.ro, iar în limba engleză printre altele în revista trimestrială FOCUS, în revistele electronice K9YA Telegraph şi HAM MAG şi pe saiturile Southgate Amateur Radio Club, AA0MZ’s Homepage, Watts din Pretoria, Republica Sud-africană, OK1RR DX & Contesting Page, Ultra-DX, eHam şi în revista WorldRadio Online. Articolul original în limba română poate fi citit la această adresă
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