Club Newsletter Causes Controversy

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By K5KVN, on the scene

LAZY COVE, CALIFORNIA — A local radio club’s idea to encourage inactive members to get back on the air is making waves in the amateur radio hobby.

The club first started publishing their new “silent key” section in their newsletter last month. Since then, newsletter editor Paul Ramond has endured dozens of phone calls, hundreds of emails and heated exchanges on the local repeater.

“Look, it was supposed to be a way for us to list members that hadn’t been heard on the local nets in a while, that’s all,” explained Ramond. “I guess we didn’t put much thought into what we called it.”

A “silent key” is a phrase used by ham radio operators to signify when someone has died. Several people whose names appeared on the list were upset, to say the least.

“My wife received a phone call on Tuesday asking if she was selling my radio gear now that I had passed. It was very traumatic for her,” said Wilford Draymeyer, one of the hams on the list.

The club is taking the criticism in stride and plans to use what they hope is a less controversial name for the feature in next month’s newsletter: List of Inactive Dudes (LIDs).



photo credit: 44/365: Radio transceiver via photopin (license)

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