The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch Legends

By Rob L. Dey, KA2BEO1 – September 1997

A wonderful article about these two legends was written by L.B. Cebik, W4RNL2, and appeared in September 1996 QST, on pages 59 and 603. Cebik offered that “We should not be troubled by the size of the task at hand: Curing Amateur Radio of its illegalities and indecencies. We have many more folks available to wield the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch. No, not on others, but on ourselves – to make sure that we set a model for how amateur operations ought to be conducted.”

 

The Wouff-Hong

The Wouff-Hong
The Wouff-Hong is used to enforce law and order in Amateur Radio operating work.
“The Old Man” (T.O.M.), originator of the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch, is known to be the one and only Hiram Percy Maxim, W1AW, founder of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)4 in 1914. T.O.M. wrote his first mention of a Wouff-Hong and a Rettysnitch in 1917. In 1919, the league received an actual Wouff-Hong specimen directly from T.O.M. The first photo of the Wouff-Hong was published in July 1919 QST.

 

The Rettysnitch

The Rettysnitch
The Rettysnitch is used to enforce decency in Amateur Radio operating work.
In 1921, the Washington DC Radio Club presented the Rettysnitch to the league’s traffic manager. According to legend, the club received the Rettysnitch specimen from “The Old Man” himself. Cebik stated that “Even at its first public appearance, two of its teeth were missing, suggesting a long history of necessary and effective use. However, to this day, the Rettysnitch has lost no further teeth. It was ordered to be displayed by its mate.” The Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch stories were retold by Rufus P. Turner, when he wrote “Hamdom’s Traditions: A Bedtime Story for Young Squirts” in May 1934 QST. According to Cebik, “In 1930, The ARRL Handbook had pictures of both instruments of enforcement. By 1936, only the Wouff-Hong appeared. By 1947 the Handbook had deleted both photos.” An editorial on the Wouff-Hong (without the hyphen) appeared many years later in February 1961 QST. Presently, both of these legendary instruments are on display at the ARRL museum in Newington, CT.

Do the Wouff-Hong and Rettysnitch still hold their mystical power over us today?

L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, answered this question well, when he asked “Why were the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch so powerful to those early hams? Because those hams cared about Amateur Radio in their hearts. They desired that which they knew they could never have: A perfectly law-abiding, decent radio service that would inspire young and old alike to become hams or, lacking the inclination to electronics, to become admirers of hams. Every minute of on-the-air time was a chance to show how noble a pursuit Amateur Radio was and should always be. They feared the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch as instruments of their own consciences, as they strove to meet the standards they set for themselves. And that is where you will find the Wouff-Hong and the Rettysnitch today – deep in your own conscience. If they seem to hold no power, then you know it’s time once more to elevate your standards a notch higher, and then to strive to achieve them perfectly.” He added, “May you never deserve their sting.”

1Rob L. Dey, KA2BEO, P.O. Box 1849, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742-1849, e-mail: rdey@natradioco.com.
2L.B. Cebik, W4RNL, 1434 High Mesa Dr., Knoxville, TN 37938-4443, e-mail: cebik@utk.edu.
3This article originally appeared in the New England QRP Newsletter, edited by Dennis Marandos, K1LGQ.
4The American Radio Relay League, 225 Main St., Newington, CT 06111-1494, e-mail: hq@arrl.org.

Honda Portable Generators Recalled Due to Potential Fire Hazard

American Honda has announced that it’s voluntarily recalling some 200,000 of its portable generators sold in the US due to a potential fire and burn hazard. The recall includes the EU2200i, EU2200i Companion, and EB2200i generators. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says the affected portable generators can leak gasoline from the fuel valve. Users should stop operating the recalled generator and contact an authorized Honda dealer for a free repair. Honda is also contacting users directly. For more information, visit the CPSC website. A similar recall has been issued in Canada.

“Mentoring the Next Generation” is Hamvention and ARRL 2019 National Convention Theme

With an eye toward helping new and inexperienced hams enjoy the full range of activities that Amateur Radio has to offer, Hamvention® and the ARRL 2019 National Convention will embrace the theme of “Mentoring the Next Generation.” Hamvention hosts the National Convention May 17 – 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. This will mark the third year for Hamvention at its new venue. A contingent of ARRL staff and member-volunteers will join forces to make available many ARRL exhibits and resources to Hamvention visitors. The centerpiece of ARRL’s participation will be ARRL EXPO in Building 2. An extensive roster of exhibits and activities will also educate and entertain.

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Dale Durham, W5WI Re-Elected as Section Manager for the West Texas Section

Dale Durham, W5WI West Texas Section Manager

As no other nominations were received as of Friday, March 8, 2019, Dale Durham, W5WI has been re-elected as Section Manager for the West Texas section.
His new term of office will begin July 1, 2019.

Thank you so much!

73,

Leona G. Adams, W1LGA
Field Services Assistant

ARRL – the National Association for Amateur Radio

ARRL West Texas Section Convention

The 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest

The 64th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest & ARRL West Texas SectionConvention hosted by the Midland Amateur Radio Club. The hamfest will be held March 16th, 2019, at the MLK Community Center in Midland, Texas.

Check out all the pages on this website for the most up to date hamfest information. If we have your email on file we’ve emailed past attendees with a link to this website in order to reduce our mailing expenses. For others our traditional hamfest flier was mailed out in late January. You may also download the flyer.

In addition to our normal hamfest prizes we are again raffling an Elecraft K3S transceiver with MH4 microphone.  A maximum of 300 tickets will be sold at $20 each.  Don’t delay, they’re going fast! For complete details please visit the raffle page on this website.

We look forward to seeing you at the St. Patrick’s Day Hamfest!

New Book, Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur, Now Shipping

Revolutionary changes are taking place in the way we produce and consume power for our homes, transportation, and the technology that we use every day. A new book, Energy Choices for the Radio Amateur by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, who developed the Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS), explores ongoing changes in the world of power and energy and takes a careful look at the choices we can make. Home solar or utility power? Oil/gas heat or electric heat pump? Gas car or hybrid/EV?

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Hey! Did your Change your Clocks?

‘We’ll be losing a whole hour every day – these government cutbacks are getting ridiculous!’

U.S. Bans Import of Several Hytera Radio Models

The U.S. International Trade Commission has banned the import of several DMR radio models manufactured by the Chinese company Hytera. According to Newsline, the ITC ruled that the radios infringe on numerous Motorola patents.

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Time Change

New ARRL Podcast Geared Toward Newcomers to Amateur Radio Debuts on March 7

A new ARRL podcast aimed newcomers to Amateur Radio will launch on Thursday, March 7. “So Now What?” will alternate new-episode weeks with the “ARRL The Doctor is In” podcast.

“So Now What?” will focus on answering questions and providing support and encouragement for new licensees to get the most out of the hobby. Co-hosting “So Now What?” will be ARRL Communications Content Producer Michelle Patnode, W3MVP, and ARRL Station Manager Joe Carcia, NJ1Q. The podcast will explore questions that newer hams may have and the issues that keep newcomers from remaining active.

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