Dear Sirs, I'm Carlos G. Correa, PY1483SWL, and I come here to turn to SWARL for what I am going to expose.
The listening activity is very old, even older than amateur radio, since there was already listening to commercial radios around the world. It was common for radios to receive confirmation cards that they responded by sending cards, streamers, flyers with the radio's programming, among others. It was not uncommon for these radio stations to have staff dedicated to listening in their programming, which motivated the growth of the SWL movement.
With the advent of amateur radio, a new range of opportunities opened up and many of us also started to monitor transmissions between the Hams, even playing the role of beacons (when they didn't even exist), showing the propagation conditions between the copied stations and the SWL station. Several times I saw fellow Brazilian Hams celebrating receiving a SWL QSL card, even if it was from a nearby country.
Time passed, technology improved, but the essence of the activity remained the same.
However, I have noticed that ham radio has created unique niches by offering the Hams a “parallel world” in the activity. I say this based on the fact that such niches do not accept the presence of SWL. It is not allowed, for example, for us to enter the current platforms LoTW, QRZ, Log de Argentina, POTA, among others. Its members use the open spectrum allowed by international law and we have that same access. Likewise, their CQs are heard by Hams around the world and we are not left out. Therefore, it doesn't seem fair to me that such platforms determine who can and cannot participate. If one of us, for example, wants to get a diploma from the Argentina provinces, it's better not to start copying contacts, unless the SWL is Argentinean. The same applies to the POTA diplomas, as the answer will be “virtually impossible” as it is a platform from Hams to Hams. In QRZ, if we want information about an operator, we will receive the answer “only for Hams”.
We don't do QRM in bands. We don't run over QSO. We don't saturate frequencies with spurious power. In our leagues, we pay through the QSL bureau like any Ham, yet we're not even remembered for them. We keep an eye out for clusters, hoping that rare DX will stay within our reach, instead of throwing 1 KW into the antenna. We are quiet, polite and, above all, we are not “sub Hams”. We are many, and I believe that you, more than I, have an accurate idea of this number. We need and deserve respect.
With my fraternal 73,
Carlos G. Correa – PY1483SWL