A recently posted tidbit on the VHF-Contesting reflector suggests the ICOM IC-9700 I pre-ordered months ago might appear soon in the Japanese market. Maybe. Price guess $1,900 US with the 1.2 GHz module. Fingers crossed.

While rooting around those reflector archives I found plenty of grousing about how FT8 has destroyed the universe. This in the wake of the recently concluded ARRL VHF Contest. Most were general complaints and hopes that the new mode would soon pass into oblivion. But one guy said if FT8 continues to be popular then he’s done with contesting…

Grumbling about the impact of the new digital mode on the hobby are reminiscent of other technologies that have significantly disrupted the status quo. For instance, imagine how tough it would have been to accept the horseless carriage more than a century ago.

In 1908 retired Supreme Court Associate Justice H.B. Brown wrote about the impending automobile revolution after a very similar fashion:

“The invention of the automobile has introduced upon the public roads of the country a novel and not altogether welcome guest. Although barely ten years since it first made its appearance, it has already conquered an important position in the domain of travel. Indeed, its great power, speed and weight have made it a veritable king of the highway, before whom we are all invited to prostrate ourselves.”

“To those who occupy or drive them, they are undoubtedly a fascinating amusement. The speed of which they are capable intoxicates and bewilders the senses, and deadens them to the dangers which surround the machine, and by a sudden mishap may turn in the twinkling of an eye into a terrible engine of destruction.”

“Whatever the outcome may be, every true admirer of the horse will pray that it may not be the extinction or dethronement of the noblest of all domestic animals.”