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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

A View from a New Ham

John Sucilla (WO9G) on August 4, 2014
View comments about this article!

I bought a Kenwood TS-440S/AT from an eBay sale in 12/2013. Then I got the PS-50 power supply. Hooked it up to my ancient old Radio Shack scanner antenna on top of the house just to listen. Then on 17/Feb/2014 I passed both the Tech and General test and got my first call sign. A month later on 17/Mar/2014 I passed the Extra exam, got my new license and immediately got myself a 2x1 Extra class call sign (WO9G). In the meantime I got my "starter" antenna, an end fed QSO-King.

Since then I've lengthened the antenna from 36 feet to about 80 feet and have been able to work 80, 40, 17, etc. up to 10M and have made some really nice long distant contacts when band conditions were good. My farthest logged contact was just over 5000 miles. Every time I contacted some one farther away it made my day. I started logging on qrz.com and eqsl.com and LoTW. Man, this is fun!

Then while listening to some people talking on a net one day I heard some serious squeaking and learned that somebody on a nearby frequency were transmitting all of a sudden, about 1.8 kHz away. One of the people from the net dropped down to that freq and politely asked them to move farther away and that they were there first. These people gave him a hard time and refuse to move so the people on the net moved up some.

I've seen this kind of thing several times since then. Sometimes the intruders would apologize and move elsewhere, other times they wouldn't.

Just now I was listening to some people talking on 7.150 and this idiot comes on and starts cussing everyone out claiming to be a Russian station but it's obvious that he's transmitting from the USA (at least I think so, I'm just sure he's not as far as Russia).

All the valid users ended up leaving because of this moron and I felt like I was 16 again listening to the idiots on CB. So now every decent person left about 15 minutes ago and this idiot is still at it. He is seriously deranged.

This kind of thing seriously bums me out and in my short time as a new amateur radio operator it appears to me that this kind of thing is a lot more common than I ever thought it would be.

If it wasn't for all the good, decent people I've met so far as a new Ham I would turn my radio off and sell it after what I heard tonight. But if this keeps becoming more common I just might do it anyway.

Member Comments:
This article has expired. No more comments may be added.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by HA7WX on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi John, first off, welcome to the HAM world!
I think the most of us is worth staying on the bands as there are plenty of cool people all around the world.
That said, there are also, unfortunately, lots of insane folks (losers) trying to disturb just to get noticed.
These are miserable folks who are not succeed in being well integrated as hams and also in real life. Don't forget, ham bands mirror life conditions and mentalities.
People generally have had better mentality whatever country we talk about. World is changing and maybe not in the right direction. Ham bands too. Also, as i said earlier, there are too much reasons worth staying in the hobby, and that's why i am still here. I am too fed up with rude people on the ham bands but one will just try to ignore them as it's the best we can do : ignore them and show good behavior.
Be strong John and enjoy the hobby. There's plenty of fun waiting for you.
All the best and 73s to you. HA7WX Chris
PS: if you like, just find my email on qrz and drop me a mail for a sked, and let's try to DX ! :)
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by G7MRV on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Every hobby or pastime has these sorts of idiots - people who just have to give you their opinion, or have to swear, or have to just disrupt everyone elses enjoyment. Every hobby also has the 'one-upmanship' and the stubborn old hands who refuse to do anything thats not 'their way'

Sadly, unlike most hobbies, in ham radio these people can be heard around the world!

Its nothing particular to our hobby (I see the same in flying, shooting, martial arts, even gardening!) so dont worry over it, just leave them be and ignore them
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by G7MRV on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
HA7WX said " ignore them and show good behavior."

That says it all!

When faced with such people, strive to ensure your own standards and skills are impeccable - become the person you want to hear on the bands, and be a guide to other new starters on how to do it right!
 
A View from a New Ham  
by AE5ZE on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
First of all congrats on getting your ticket! I to am a relatively new ham,12/2010. I second all that has been said! I just do the right thing, and ignore the rude, ignorant ones. Fortunately we are seeing the FCC take action on some of the offenders. I have achieved my WAS and DXCC, great fun and excitement, like you a new country makes my day, and receiving QSL cards is like opening Christmas presents. This hobby keeps me young and engaged and I for one refuse to let some malcontent spoil my enjoyment.

73,
great DX!
Jim
ae5ze
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KB2DHG on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
First let me say WELCOME! No, don't give up on this hobby... No matter what organization, hobby whatever, there will always be a few bad apples that will cause some problems... In the case you mentioned, the simple fix is to just turn the dial and move to another frequency or band.
I too have had my share of encountering many bad operators but I just move on. If I were to quit this hobby because of it I would have missed out on meeting so many great people and wonderful experiences this time honored hobby offers...
 
A View from a New Ham  
by K8QV on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
My radio days go back to the '60s. We had idiots on the radio back then as we have them now, and as we have in all areas of life. Welcome to the hobby!
 
A View from an Old Ham  
by AI2IA on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Not if, but when you hear a gadfly on the air do not respond with any comments. Even the smallest response gives them a thrill.

Once you have logged a lot of time on the air, you learn to simply turn the big knob.

Life is too short and too precious to waste it listening to or complaining about irritating people on the air. Just don't remain a member of their audience. Move on.

Yes, it is as simple as that!
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KB4QAA on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Competition for spectrum has been part of radio since the day the second station came on the air!

Manners were not necessarily any better 100+ years ago. The first licensed US ham recorded in his memoirs having fights, jamming and name calling with operators at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and shipboard ops in 1912.

One word of advice: Filters

welcome aboard! bill
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

Develop a thick skin.

Never engage in tit-for-tat arguments.

Avoid well known trouble spots on the bands.

Follow your own advice in your last paragraph.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WB4M on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The guy you mentioned on 7.150 would be unhappy and miserable in any hobby with which he participated. This hobby has attracted its share of loonies, and some did migrate from 11 meters. Congrats on your license, that call makes you sound like an old-timer like me.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KB9MQL on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
its not what the idiot's on the air do that matters its how you handle your response. The lack of response takes the wind out of their sails so just ignore or move or take a break and wait em' out when you work hard to get into the hobby why let some jerk ruin it. maybe try digital psk or cw when they are relentless and pass some time till they move on many contacts to still be made. Enjoy the hobby ignore the fools.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by NV2A on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
When someone wants to get your goat you don't have to give it to him. He can't take it, you have to give it.

That is just another way of my saying that AI2IA is correct. Any response what-so-ever encourages these people. All the Band Police can say what they want but nothing they say will shut them up, it just keeps the crap going. I refuse to let these guys get my goat (although I'll admit that with most everyone having a voice memory and the ability to ship their call out 50 times a minute on DX is getting tedious !!)

73's and remember..."life is shorter than we think"
nv2a
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by W0AEW on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Infinite number of frequenies, finite number of jerks.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by KG6WLS on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
There is not an "ignore" button on a radio, but there's a big round knob. Spin it up or down and the idiots go away. Welcome to ham radio and enjoy your privileges.

73 de KG6WLS
 
A View from a New Ham  
by AF5DN on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats on the Extra and welcome to sport.
All I can say is, it seems the new folks in charge of FCC enforcement seem to be stepping up to the plate and hammering some of these knuckleheads here lately.

If you believe in Karma, remember that what they send out into the ether comes back x 3.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by K7ZOV on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a ham since 1963. It has been a fun hobby and it will always be one. Back then we had CW, AM, RTTY and "Donald Duck" sounding radio called Sideband. Today the list is too long to mention and way too many fun ways to communicate, and some are pretty well free of jerks. We had very nice hams and LIDS (better known as jerks, idiots, bums, and words I will let you fill in) way back in those days also. But like today the vast majority of hams are good people and polite. Don't let a few LIDS drive you off. Stick it out and you will have fun...BTW if you really want a laugh, check out the last bunch of QST magazines. In the comments from the reader section they are reprinting letters (more like pissing and moaning) from reader going back to the days of spark-gap. The more things change the more they stay the same... hihi and LOL and 73

Harry K7ZOV
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K9MHZ on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It's not much different from what business owners have always known....have a good experience, and you'll tell one or two people. Have a bad one, and the person will tell ten others. Most guys are good and decent. You'll have fun.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by AB1DQ on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
John,

Yes, there are some folks out there who get more enjoyment out of abusing the bands and trying to interrupt others' enjoyment of the hobby rather than engage in proper operating procedures and build up good camaraderie on the air.

My 2 is that the bands are wide enough that I can move up or down a couple MHz and make my QSOs. Since I can't control others, "idiots" or otherwise, I choose to take pleasure in my own accomplishments in the hobby than invest too much emotion in their behavior. (Sort of a Serenity Prayer for the Ham, eh?)

And you OM, have already accomplished much and have much to be proud of.

Welcome to this great hobby, John ...
Keep up the good work,
Very 73 and Good DX de AB1DQ
James in Bedford/MA
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4UM on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Check out CW. It seems to attrack fewer nut cases than phone - or perhaps it's just harder to act like a jerk with a key than with a microphone.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KC2QYM on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It's too easy to buy a radio in the US; HAM or not. With 720 thousand licensed HAMs even if 3% are A-Hs it's going to create problems for the decent guys. That said, the HF bands are very restricted in frequency size for the active population and everybody is occupying every Khz so there are always territorial disputes. Add the idiots who purposely over power their way on the air with dirty amplifiers, NET dilitants who refuse to accept that if someone is using 'their' net frequency before they arrive they somehow have the right to harass them off (please read Part 97 to see who has the right to the frequency). Oh, and did I mention those AM bandwidth hogs? Either way this wonderful world of HAM radio is just a hobby, nothing more. Forget all the folklore and nostaglia; it won't come back the way it was...It is what it is. Commercial interests occupy 70% of the ARRL QST magazine for a reason..they want you to spend money on their stuff. The ARRL would rather spend money promoting some measly 5khz bandspace below the broadcast band that only 5 people will ever use than try to get the ITU (and other world radio bodies) to push the broadcasters off the 7200-7300khz space. So you see, this is not a perfect world, it's flawed and corrupt with many at cross purposes. Please don't be naive..Just get on the air and deal with it and by the way you can still have fun.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by W5TTW on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Here's a short list of things that a few ops have recently done while having a frequency dispute:

1. Play animal noises over the air
2. Repeatedly play recordings of the other op
3. Jam the freq by transmitting slow scan TV signals for several hours
4. Play music on the air
5. Spend countless hours on the air pontificating about the other op
6. Spend time and money to maintain websites about the other op

Welcome to the hobby.

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by W4KYR on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome to ham radio. There are so many frequencies and modes to explore within ham radio. From CW, RTTY, AM, SSB to digital modes like PSK31, Pactor, Packet (yes packet!), JT65-HF, WSPR and beyond. Ignore the attention getters and have fun and explore. Welcome to the party.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by KI5WW on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Refer back to your second paragraph, which is where you begin your actual operating experience. Ignore the next 5 paragraphs. You had fun for one paragraph. Or did the hobby get boring after the good experience mentioned in the first and second paragraph? Just curious.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K5TED on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I'd add that if a new ham is this disillusioned after less than 6 months, this might be the wrong hobby.

This seems to be increasingly common amongst those who go 0 to Extra at breakneck speed, never stopping to learn and enjoy the intricacies and avenues of the hobby. The initial gratification of finishing the race without having actually run a lap is fleeting.

Hang in there OP, or take up slingshots..
http://slingshotchannel.com/
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K7FD on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Move to CW; I've found very few troublemakers on that end of the band.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by AB2NM on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi John: welcome and congratulations on passing your exams!

Regarding misfits and malcontents:
(1) "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Attributed to Edmund Burke, Irish political philosopher and author (quote is disputed)

(2) The Official Observer Program is run by the ARRL, and seems to be an underutilized resource. According the the ARRL website, "The object of the OO program is to notify amateurs of operating and technical irregularities before they come to the attention of the FCC and to recognize good operating practices." See http://www.arrl.org/official-observer-1 for more information.

When next you hear this sort of inappropriate behavior on the air, note the time and frequency. Send an email to the OO Coordinator for your ARRL section; the section manager can provide a way to contact the OO Coordinator for your area.

Here's the point: like the grammar school playground s we can (a) run away when the bullies come, and allow them to spoil our fun or (b) leverage existing processes (e.g. the OO Program) to help fix the problem.

Others will point out - correctly - that these contemptible and inadequate operators do not identify themselves. I say that is typically true - BUT - given time and when properly tracked, they can be outed. This may take time - but they can be located (by triangulation and other means) and halted. People are creatures of habit, and get careless, and make revealing mistakes (eventually).

Last thoughts:
(1) By inaction, we permit - and even sanction - contemptible behavior, thus becoming part of the problem.
(2) Remember and hold fast to the far greater number of positive interactions within this service-oriented hobby. Again, by leaving we cede the victory to lesser minds. Hang in there, John.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WA7SGS on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
If trolls ran everyone off who is on the internet, that is all who would be here! "Don't cry, QSY!" is another good phrase I have heard. Remember, things could be worse. You could be stuck on the 11m Super Bowl (channel 6) and be fighting all the Big Guns at the same time all the time. That's what I call Radio Hell...LOL!

73,

Rick

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K9MHZ on August 4, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
One thing I've noticed is that some stations do create a lot of their own problems, and give the jammers an added thrill. The offended parties go from zero to very p!$$ed off in one transmission, and all they're doing is just feeding crack to the addict.

Several people I've heard dealing with these morons were actually quite effective. They killed them with kindness, stood by and gave the knucklehead use of the freq, encouraged him to join the group's conversation, etc. It was always more than the jammer could take, so he'd (presumably) QSY or go finish watching Jerry Springer or NASCAR reruns.

Ah, don't let them get you down. Imagine the human debris on the other end who's realizing a life's dream by broadcasting animal sounds.

My only suggestion for a crusade is to petition the FCC to NOT be lenient in reducing the fines. That's probably the judge's call, I don't know. Still, those numbnuts should pay dearly, once proven they're the culprits.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WN2C on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcom to ham radio.
When that infamous ham with the call sign of ID1OT comes on, just ignore him. Do not let him even know that you can copy what he is saying or doing. If he can't get a rise from those he is trying to get a rise from he will eventually give up trying. Do not let the ID1OT of the world dictate to you how you enjoy this great and wonderful hobby. Spin the dial.
Oh and stay away from 14.313. You will definitely get an ear full there during the day.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@KC2QYM

A3E (A.M.) operators are so few in number that your negative comment about them is without merit and meaningless.

Rather than complain about a non existent bandwidth problem with A3E ops, you should educate yourself about the treachery of the ARRL and how they are pushing for approval of the self-serving FCC RM-11708 (wideband digital signals). The league is sticking a knife in the back of ham radio, while filling its bank account with money from gullible hams.

Ham radio is "just a hobby" you say? Ok, I guess that goes along with your remarks about folklore and nostalgia. Gee, I wonder why the government refers to amateur radio as a "service"? Nevermind, it is just a hobby that produces more ARRL memberships, which equals more money for ARRL coffers.

You are correct, the old days will never come back. The ARRL made certain of that, when they pushed to kill all technical competence in ham radio.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@K5TED

An outstanding observation and a painfully accurate assessment of part of problem.

You summed up everything in three sentences. Thank you.

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by KE7FD on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome to the hobby. I hope you won't let a few bad apples sour your interest in radio; you sound like you have a good attitude.

Fortunately, the FCC has handed out some whopper fines of late, as they should, to some guys who were quite deserving of them. If we will keep our reactions on the high road, we'll be able to enjoy the hobby and when required, aid and assist the FCC to relieve those less deserving of their operating privileges and of their bank accounts.

Let's all have fun and keep those QSL's moving.

Glen - KE7FD
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@KE7FD

How do you propose to aid and assist the commission in performance of their duties?

Most of what hams characterize as "assistance" is nothing more than taking a side in a radio war and complaining about the other side.

How about just setting a personal operating example, which others can emulate? Now there's an idea.

The commission does not want or desire your help and assistance. In reality, the truth is that the commission views hams as a royal pain in their posterior, childish old men who continually whine about other old men they don't agree with.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4KC on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
CAUTION! JOHNZ is off his medication again.

John, I'll echo the welcome to the hobby from others and second the good advice most pass along.

Ignore the dolts. With well over a million licensed hams worldwide and others who are unlicensed and find ways to acquire transmitting gear, there will be a percentage of mentally challenged individuals at about the same proportion as in the general population.

Despite what some say, the FCC is showing signs of hitting some of these folks where it hurts most, yet the amateur radio service is a very small part of what that agency has to deal with.

The ARRL is doing great work in promoting and preserving our hobby. If you are a member and disagree, let your Section Manager or Division Director know how you feel. If you are not a member, hush. Even if you believe the League is Satan's emissary on earth, you should still join to have a voice in what they do and to support their efforts to make sure we have a hobby my grandkids and their grandkids can enjoy as much as you and I do.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)


 
A View from a New Ham  
by KC2QYM on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Come on JOHNZ expose your callsign so you don't post anonymously. Now I can take criticism so please don't miscontrue this as a personal attack.

You said that A3E (A.M.) operators are so few in number that my in my negative comment about them is without merit and meaningless..... -
I say that in the NY/NJ Northeast area we have our share of AM afficiandos that set up anywhere in the band they like and consume 10 or more Khz without checking who's near them. They're hogs because they don't care who they interefere with. Are these types all AM operators on HAM radio? Well no, but they are within my recent experience so that's my opinion.

You said..Rather than complain about a non existent bandwidth problem with A3E ops, you should educate yourself about the treachery of the ARRL and how they are pushing for approval of the self-serving FCC RM-11708 (wideband digital signals). The league is sticking a knife in the back of ham radio, while filling its bank account with money from gullible hams....
I say that the bands are crowded because with limited propagation opportunities everyone jams onto the 'hot' bands to make contacts. You can hardly score a real QSO with a DX station before some LIDs start calling to make contact with the DX station and talk over you. It's not crowded? What planet are you on? As far as the ARRL, I consider them somewhat useless in many ways but they do present a national face for our Hobby.

You said..Ham radio is "just a hobby" you say? Ok, I guess that goes along with your remarks about folklore and nostalgia. Gee, I wonder why the government refers to amateur radio as a "service"? Nevermind, it is just a hobby that produces more ARRL memberships, which equals more money for ARRL coffers.....
I say that the days when people became HAMs to serve some greater cause are over even though the FCC calls it a service. Call it whatever you want, most people who become HAMs want to use radios to talk to people in faraway places and have fun...that's a hobby...If you're into EMCOMM then great but the Services you serve (police, fire, etc) consider you a hobbyist.

You Said..You are correct, the old days will never come back. The ARRL made certain of that, when they pushed to kill all technical competence in ham radio....
I say...that I agree with you on this one 100%.
Cheers!
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WG8Z on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Newsflash******
The world is full of Idiots,Misfits,Malcontents and Psychopaths... what I love about Amateur radio is
the bandwith. I can turn the knob at any time. And unlike
my lovely bride it has a on/off switch.
You can focus on the positives or whine about the negatives. It's all in the attitude. My part is trying to be the best darn operator I can and hopefully set a good example for someone else.
Enjoy the hobby.

73 Greg
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K9RJ on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome to the world's greatest hobby John. You will meet many great people on and off air. If you hear a nut case, just turn the dial. Hams are not generally on channels like CB, we have thousands of frequencies.
Hope to meet you on the air!
73
Harris K9Rj
"Surfing the ionosphere since 1967"
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4JTE on August 5, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Also, John we have spoken on the OMISS nets and you have seen/ learned how to handle misfits on the air.
Little trickier on these eham articles as the cyber bullies with no signals seem to end up here.
Talk soon, ON THE AIR.
Bob
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K2LGO on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Of course its great to have a forum to discuss this 7150
situation, but I am familiar with it, and I handle it as follows...If I can hear the station I am working through the interference, I just continue working the station, and never say a word about the jammers presence...If on the other hand the interference is too strong, I simply tell the station I am working that I have a phone call, and end the QSO...Some will say that is letting the jammer have his way, but I feel that like a show off in kindergarten, if you ignore him he will see he is not having fun, and go away...Will he just go on to another QSO....can't say, I can only tell you the way I handle it...To acknowledge him, is to just stoke his stupididy..IMHO
 
A View from a New Ham  
by N7KFD on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Fight! Fight I say, and let loose the dogs of war! Or go take a nap. I remember communications being much easier when my friends and I used two cups and a string. Propagation was better too.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by NU4B on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome John.

Remember amateur radio is like anything else. Get a group of people together and there will always be some nuts running around. It would be hard to imagine a group of 1 million people without a few psychos. Or half a million. Or a hundred thousand. Or even a thousand or less. Every town, city, or random group has them.

I've told this story before - but about 30 years ago I used to talk to a guy out west about DX. Every now and then. He seemed like a great guy to talk DX with. But man, in the nights when he started drinking he turned into one of the most obnoxious persons I heard on the radio. It was a big turn off for me. Like anything else in life, we move on - in my case I ended up enjoying the CW bands, building kits, playing with antennas. But that's just a small part of amateur radio.

It is good to see the FCC bust some of these clowns. I hope the stiff fines, loss of license and equipment wake up some of these guys.

The best thing you can do is respect yourself, take pride in your license and call sign (your call sign represents you. And what you do and say on the radio goes out for the whole world to hear - and the world does listen), respect others, and learn. I hope you avoid the shooting star syndrome because there is a bunch to do in amateur radio for a variety of interests.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KF7RCM on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In addition to what has been said here, recently a couple (of now ex) hams got fined for that sort of thing. I believers was $22k for one and $11k for the other.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@KF7RCM

If you are referring to the recent NALs issued to K3VR and KZ8O, their amateur licenses are still valid and probably will be for quite some time. The cases are in their infancy and still within the 30 day window for the subjects to make their initial response to the FCC.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K6CRC on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
When I was a teen, many older hams used the hobby as an excuse to get away from the wife. The first 'club' meeting was a real eye opener, soured me for a long time. Never got on the air, and didn't want to associate with hams.

Much later in life, I met some really great people in a community prep group and they encouraged me to get a tech license. I continued through to an Extra, and enjoy the short time I give to the hobby. Worked much of the world with a 100 watts and a low inverted V, not much of a setup.

Here is the real issue. The FCC cannot/will not police the ham bands. A few hams seem to think they are the band cops, and pointless arguments ensue regularly. I, too, am tired of half -wits clogging up 40 and 80 meters. Local clowns regularly jam W1AW/ Centennial ops on 40 in the evening. 80 meters sounds like a bunch of drunks in a bar some of the time. But, it is what it is. Older hams tell me that it wasn't much better years ago. but I don't know.

As with much of society, you have to just shake it off an move on, or in the case of ham radio, spin the dial. I wouldn't blame a young person for simply moving on to some other hobby.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I just want to thank you all for all the kind words and suggestions. For the record, I've never tried to argue with any of the freaks out there and have ignored them and tweaked the dial as suggested. But I have hung around and listened to them being idiots and hearing other people arguing with them trying to convince them to stop but I knew it wasn't going to do any good. That's why I started wondering about if I should stay in this or not. I decided to stay, keep ignoring them by not talking to them directly and changing frequencies unless I was on the OMISS or 3905 nets trying to make contacts for my first WAS award. And N4JTE is right, I've seen how those people are handled in a professional manner. It's most impressive and I've learned a lot.

I've also learned a lot from the rest of you here, thank you all! I'm sticking it out, it's getting to be more and more fun everyday because I'm hearing less of the idiots and meeting really great people that are out there. Working towards a WAS award is my big thing now. With a junk end fed wire antenna in only about 5 months I've worked 13 countries and need only 4 states for an eQSL WAS and 10 for an LoTW WAS.

Somebody up above said:

"I'd add that if a new ham is this disillusioned after less than 6 months, this might be the wrong hobby.

This seems to be increasingly common amongst those who go 0 to Extra at breakneck speed, never stopping to learn and enjoy the intricacies and avenues of the hobby. The initial gratification of finishing the race without having actually run a lap is fleeting.

Hang in there OP, or take up slingshots.. "

To this person I just wanted to say that I've been into electronics since I was 16 years old (I'm 59 now), spent 22.5 years working at Western Electric / AT&T / Bell Labs first as an electronics technician for about 3 years, then as a Senior Technical Associate in engineering for the remainder of my time there. I've always been a fast learner (explains my leap from 0 to Extra at "breakneck" speeds). I can diagnose and repair any section of a 4ESS Toll Switching system (combination of analog and digital) or a 5ESS local/toll switching system (the first 100% digital telephone office). I built from scratch, tested and aligned an AM/FM receiver in 1976 and I also happen to be a personal friend of a former director of IEEE. So maybe now you'll realize that I "finished the race" long before I ever considered taking the Ham tests.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by BOYSCLUBRADIO on August 6, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Welcome to ham radio

I was listening to the 2 meter net tonight in the bay area and I think they may have the solution to your Jammer problem. Truly these are terrorist when they come in and disrupt a NORMAL conversation QSO. Which results in everyone turning off the radio and going away.

What they are talking about on the net tonight and proposing to do is SUING the FCC. (This is radical but maybe about time.) Yep thats right-- they are petition'n the US district court to allow them to SUE the FCC for failing to enforce and/or not doing what they are supposed to do.

They cited a HAM who has been doing this kind of thing on nets all across the band on the west coast. They said that they (The FCC) has cited this ham several times SINCE 2008 in which the ham in question only laughs at the FCC as a joke knowing that they won't do anything to him. It appears that they stop short of arresting/fine'n him or conficating his equipment because he has his day in court which keeps going on and on. They also mentioned that the adminstrative law judge that hears cases for the FCC doesn't want to get involved... and so instead wants to retire (with pay)

So what this group of hams, who must also be involved in federal law (Lawyers) as they seem serious in asking the govern't to sue the FCC for wanted failure to do what the 1934 act task them to do. What they want is the Fed's to cut off ALL FUNDS (I think they also are talking pay's) to these people until they DO go out and start enforcing,conficating and convicting some of these people with jail time.

Only then after they start doing this, which shows cause as to why they should be paid for their services, should the federal govern't allow them to be paid.

Otherwise what they say we have here is a Gov't body that is failing to do what WE the PEOPLE have tasked them to do.

I am sure once the FCC start using the existing regulations/laws, puts a few of these music terrorist jammers in jail for 15-20 years, The rest of the ham bands will start getting back to what they should.

Strange that the ARRL doesn't seem to do the same. Then again it would not make them as much money. Maybe the ARRL then should offer leagle representation and make their money as lawyers instead of selling manuals so they can get on and terrorize the rest of us.

I have always felt that, as a ham radio operator, you have rights and respons'blties that come along with your license. Ham radio is not supposed to be a playground for Children Band. It is supposed to be operated in a professional way. Failing to be professional; the FCC should require you to show cause as to why you should not have your license taken away.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@BoysClubRadio

Yepper, you got it.

If there was more conficating (sic) going on, that would put a stop to it.

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K6CRC on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
While I applaud the effort to get the FCC or even the ARRL involves, good luck making it happen.

The FCC is fully engaged in major political battles surrounding Net Neutrality, 'fair access', and allocation of cell/data bands. The FCC board are political appointees, and have all of the baggage that entails.

The ARRL appears to be very selective on the battles it picks. And, the battles need to be cash flow positive, as they are a non-profit scraping along like all others. 'Spectrum Defense' is an easy one. The boogieman out there wants to take away YOUR spectrum. Give us money to save it! Few, if any, Hams used the UHF/SHF bands that are being 'threatened', but that is immaterial to raising money. Taking on the idiots on HF or 2 meter bands is a massive legal undertaking. Look how long it takes now to pull a ham's license. Multiply that time all the rude people you hear and there isn't enough money in the hobby to effectively police and see through enforcement. I would expect the ARRL to pick a few battles to set a tone, but I doubt it will happen.

Bottom line, the hobby is too small for the FCC to do much. ARRL is not rich enough to clean up the bands. Spin the dial until you cannot take it anymore. Good luck.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by 2W0ZAE on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I really feel sorry for some of you guys across the pond who live with small yards of only plus 48ft.Myself live in a quite small terraced house with just 15ftX15ft back yard and 5 telephone lines crossing my air space so no beams and huge power output.Yet with a very simple made antenna I can work most bands and with a bit of persistence work most that I hear and includes quite a bit of DX even in this low sunspot cycle.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by KD2FAR on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The question that seems to me to be overlooked is do we really want the regulations policed as stringently as we claim. Once one gets involved in experimenting and pushing the limits of what is supposed to be possible one has to face the fact that laws are potentially being broken.

We can't come out in favor of the laws regarding who is interfering with who else being enforced over any of the other laws so really it just becomes a question of how much freedom do we want and how much enforcement or legislation are we willing to tolerate. Maybe I'm too new of a ham to appreciate this (and that is a very likely possibility) but it seems like the more issues that we can handle within the community the better.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by KD2FAR on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think you might be frighteningly under-informed. Coming to Ham radio as I do in my adulthood it seems that Hams take it somewhat for-granted that the methods and apparatus we employ are beyond the ability of the general public.

Thankfully, nothing we do is overly complex, sure it's nuanced but it's not complicated. It seems (at least to this technician that) we take for-granted the fact that anyone able to intercede upon out territory would comprehend out rules and feel obligated to limit themselves to their constraints.

Honestly, I feel that if I am able to fart out a transmission I should be able to, provided I do not interfere with broadcast communications. Now, personally, I would never knowingly trod upon the transmissions of another ham or anyone, but where should we draw our lines?

Shall we proscribe the messages of any who fail in adherence to our fraternity or should we rely upon out government to stamp them out?

P.S. Don, I really enjoyed your book "Riding the Shortwaves.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4KC on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Jeff, thanks. And I'm with you on maybe we should not be too aggressive in requesting a stronger enforcement hand from the FCC. We should be careful what we wish for!

Yes, they should whack guys who deliberately and continually interfere with others...on the ham bands but certainly when they zap another radio service. And whack 'em hard.

But do we really want them spending time and taxpayer money trying to catch us going one minute too long between station ID or accidentally calling CQ on top of a QSO because we don't have propagation for one side?

Some scoff at the OO system, but I still remember the card I got about a hundred years ago from an Official Observer. I had tuned my Ameco kit transmitter to the wrong dip and had a nice signal at 7450 instead of 3725. You can bet I never did that again, and that I kept an eye out for the big, black FCC unmarked car, certain they were going to pull up and demand my Novice license back.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K6CRC on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
NK4C sez: 'Yes, they should whack guys who deliberately and continually interfere with others...on the ham bands but certainly when they zap another radio service. And whack 'em hard.

But do we really want them spending time and taxpayer money trying to catch us going one minute too long between station ID or accidentally calling CQ on top of a QSO because we don't have propagation for one side? '

I agree with you, but the issues now are not accidental tuners. Heck, any DX station is difficult to work without my Notch Filter on due to the rude tuners. The discussion seems to be the way-out-of-line hams... bad language and overly political/religious/crude/rude behavior. Those things are out of bounds, or should be.

My point was that we are below the noise level for the FCC, and too big for the ARRL or even OO to monitor. I am good about spinning around rather than getting into an argument with idiots. We all have our own tolerance limits, mine is fairly high. But, if you see my K3 on eBay, you will know I hit the limit.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K4AX on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It can get depressing. Hearing the 40 and 80m net guys go insane when they flip the rig on and hear W1AW portable ops going on "their" frequency always amuse me. These guys just can't seem to get it through their skulls that they don't own a frequency.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@K6CRC

Hypothetically speaking, how would you define what is overly political/religious speech and what is not overly political/religious speech?
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K6CRC on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
John Z sez "Hypothetically speaking, how would you define what is overly political/religious speech and what is not overly political/religious speech?"

Open to interpretation, of course. I believe that political speech and religious topics have no place on the Ham bands.

I hear prayer group nets, and that seems OK. But when I hear two hams arguing about god/no god or attacking a faith, I do not think that is proper.

Politics is similar in my mind. 99% of the time it ends up with two people who do not know what they are talking about arguing. 14.313 for instance...

Lots of other things to discuss, so why bother to argue? Clearly loud and stupid people are affecting the hobby and driving away new hams. That is what the key issue is for me.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4JTE on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
After 20 some articles about antennas on eham, I figured out the non interest, sorry took so long.
bob
N4jte
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WB6MMJ on August 7, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The F.C.C. has not been doing their job and until they get off of their butts and do something, this kind of stuff will just get worse.
Try listening to 7.255, 3.840 and 3.908.
The jammers are getting worse and spreading out here on the West Coast.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@K6CRC

"Open to interpretation, of course"

Regulation of political/religious speech is a constitutional minefield. When you say it is open to interpretation, one has to ask, whose interpretation?
Heaven forbid, that we might ever see the central government invested with that power, a.k.a. the Speech Police. Next would come the Thought Police.

We are already heading down that slippery slope, with college campuses now adopting "Speech Codes," and of course, the FCC's Fairness Doctrine has been around for years.

Do we really want to see ham radio speech regulated by the central government? Imagine receiving a violation notice for stating which political candidate you are supporting or for saying that you believe in God? Very chilling!

 
A View from a New Ham  
by KT4EP on August 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Because of work and family reasons, I was off the air 15 years. When I plugged the rig back in, I gravitated back to HF phone and quickly figured out I needed something else. A local VHF guy told me about psk31. Now I seldom if ever pick up a microphone. There are some problems in the digital modes but not nearly what you find on HF phone. All that said, I have met some very interesting and very polite hams on phone. To each his own. Have fun, and.... Welcome to ham radio !!
(ps, and old time ham told me one day I might feel like chunking it all, selling my equipment, and moving on. He said, just put it all away, one day you'll be glad you did. Its a hobby, not your life).
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by W4KYR on August 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!


One of the greatest things about ham radio is that no one needs to talk on the air to enjoy ham radio. Some hams just use CW and never use a microphone. With variety of different digital modes such as RTTY, JT65, WSJT, WSPR, Olivia, Pactor, Packet and of course PSK31. One can just leave HF Phone for a couple of hours or days and not miss all the fun.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WZ3O on August 8, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Congrats on your ticket....

Be tenacious and always remember "Stupid is as Stupid does"!!
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Bob (N4JTE). I didn't know you published so many antenna articles here. I can't wait to read them. The one I read so far pretty much blew me away. I have a lot of electronics experience but I've always been really weak on antenna theory. I'm sure I'll be learning a lot from you and I'm glad you posted your work here so I can do that. Thank you for that!
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
2WAZOE said:
"I really feel sorry for some of you guys across the pond who live with small yards of only plus 48ft.Myself live in a quite small terraced house with just 15ftX15ft back yard and 5 telephone lines crossing my air space so no beams and huge power output.Yet with a very simple made antenna I can work most bands and with a bit of persistence work most that I hear and includes quite a bit of DX even in this low sunspot cycle."

Yeah, but to you guys in the area where you live DX is what we call CQ because the distance between countries by you isn't much different than the distance between our states. :-)
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
K6CRC said:

"Open to interpretation, of course. I believe that political speech and religious topics have no place on the Ham bands.

I hear prayer group nets, and that seems OK. But when I hear two hams arguing about god/no god or attacking a faith, I do not think that is proper.

Politics is similar in my mind. 99% of the time it ends up with two people who do not know what they are talking about arguing. 14.313 for instance..."

Don't we have the same rights of Free Speech on the air like we do off the air?!?! Granted, cussing isn't allowed and neither is playing music but when it comes to just plain talking about things (and that can include arguing) then what's the difference? Ok, I can understand the ban on cussing, we are supposed to be professionals and the ban on music, we aren't music stations. But in order to be a free society with freedom of speech we should be able to talk about about just about anything on the air that we want to talk about if you ask me. Religious talk can irritate me too but I'm not going to complain about it. People here have told me to just turn the dial when I hear things I don't want to hear, I do that for the religious zealots just like do for the Bozons trying to wreck a net. But political talk? C'mon! It BELONGS on radio!
 
A View from an Old Ham  
by AI2IA on August 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Why are some lessons so hard to learn?

Ham radio is what you make it for yourself.

Don't blame others. Don't praise others. It's all in your hands once you get the license.

The big knob sits in front of you. You look straight at it. It's up to you - you either turn it or you don't.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by K6CRC on August 9, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
WO9G sez 'Don't we have the same rights of Free Speech on the air like we do off the air?!?! '
Of course you have the same 'rights'. But, with it comes responsibilities. To keep the hobby a hobby, I believe (as do a LOT of other hams I have talked to) that religion and partisan politics should not be on the ham bands. But, you are welcome to do what you wish. The FCC and ARRL can't really do anything anyway.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by ILDARIN on August 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I'd add that if a new ham is this disillusioned after less than 6 months, this might be the wrong hobby.

This seems to be increasingly common amongst those who go 0 to Extra at breakneck speed, never stopping to learn and enjoy the intricacies and avenues of the hobby. The initial gratification of finishing the race without having actually run a lap is fleeting.
-----------------------------------------------------

Are you suggesting that new technicians should _not_ take the general or extra tests when they're ready to pass them?
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@ILDARIN

You are missing the thrust of what K5TED said.

Sure, go for it, pass those tests, one after another. That is the current system we live with, thanks to the self-serving Yankees at ARRL.

Once upon a time, before the self-serving ARRL destroyed a perfectly working advancement system, new hams progressed slowly, through an advancement system that required solid demonstration of newly learned knowledge and skills. While advancing slowly, the new op acquired experience that can only come with time.

No point in going into endless detail about the "old" system. It is gone, R.I.P., and is not coming back.

We are today living with the products of the "new" advancement system. Disillusioned fast advancers are but one product of the new system. They end up with an Extra class license, asking themselves why they ever wasted time getting into ham radio.

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by ILDARIN on August 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@JOHNZ

Once upon a time, before the self-serving ARRL destroyed a perfectly working advancement system, new hams progressed slowly, through an advancement system that required solid demonstration of newly learned knowledge and skills.
-----------------------------------------------------
Howzat? They still had to pass three tests, and general consensus was that the tests weren't any harder than they are now.

No oral test was ever required in the USA, nor was building a piece of apparatus.

While Global Warming ensures that my grandchildren won't have to walk ten miles to school, barefoot, in blowing snow, uphill (both ways), I don't see that as a negative.

If your point is that you think there are too many extras, what's wrong with that?

If _I've_ got a hangup with ham radio, is that there isn't _enough_ activity. Too much talking on the internet, not enough on the radio.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 13, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@ILDARIN

Whew! Your line of reasoning is convoluted, making it difficult to follow.

For the record though, there were five (5) exams, not three (3). They were Novice, Technician, General/Conditional, Advanced, and Extra, along with the accompanying Morse skill tests. Moreover, on the written test portion, candidates were required to draw schematic diagrams, which demonstrated their ability to understand how and why electronic circuits functioned in a particular manner. Mathematical calculations, many of which involved calculus and advanced algebra, were required to arrive at answers for many exam questions.

To say that today's tests are comparable to those of past decades is like comparing an elementary school diploma to a Ph.D.

"General consensus" is a term commonly used when one lacks verifiable facts to support their assertions.

We see the result of dumbing down amateur radio every day on every band. Quantity versus quality is what the ARRL Yankees wanted. Quantity was insurance that the Newington coffers would stay full for years to come.

In all likelyhood, this will be my final xmsn to you, so feel free to have the last word.

73 SK AR..

 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 14, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
You know, I was really proud of myself for passing all three of the tests and getting my Extra license within 30 days, until JOHNZ enlightened me that my accomplishment today is no where near as good as his accomplishment was yesterday. And oh, those damned Yankees at the ARRL are so damned self serving for trying to increase the population of amateur operators in order to preserve the bandwidth we currently have than to lose more of it to big business. I had thought there was power in numbers. JOHNZ has proven me wrong once again.

JOHNZ, If you are the same person on the radio as you are here in these forums then you are the type of person that led me to write this article in the first place. Now I have two places to go where I can get abuse. Thank you for reinforcing my conceptual continuity.

Maybe I should tear up my Extra license and tell the FCC I DEMAND they give m the same tests that JOHNZ had to pass to get his license. "Who?" They would say. "JOHNZ!" I would say again". "We don't know no JOHNZ", they would say. "Try Juliet Zero Hotel November Zulu" I would say, "No such call sign" they would say. Makes me wonder if you even HAVE a license.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by KC2QYM on August 15, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@WO9G
That was a good come back to JOHNZ. To be fair, JOHNZ has some good points and he is entitled to his opinions about the tests he took back then compared to test administrated now. That said, I'm a no code licensee and am considered a very good operator and technically astute enough to build my own antennas and do other electronic wonders with a soldering gun. I simply have fun in this myriad hobby.
But yes, JOHNZ why do you hide in the shadows by not sharing your call sign with the rest of us. Your posts are entertaining, informative, and sometimes just against the grain but no one will take you seriously unless you come out of the closet.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on August 16, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@KC2QYM

Sadly, there are numerous active "radio wars" going on at any given time, and these people scour ham radio forums, looking for anyone they perceive as being opposed to their side's position. I prefer to keep these people at arm's length.

The endless bickering and attacks on the air and the hateful web pages they publish about each other are but a tip of the iceberg of sick things they do behind the scenes to each other. Often, the authorities become involved, but this seems to just drive these people to further depravity. It is very advisable to stay off these people's radar.

Granted, and fortunately, these people comprise but a tiny percentage of the amateur radio community, but do you want to take that chance?
 
A View from a New Ham  
by K9QZR on August 18, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
What you described is happening a lot. These are the kind of people we end up with when the licensing process is too easy and controlled by hams. Make it the way it was in the 60's and earlier and you will get a group of hams who care about other hams ans their communities.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 19, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Well, *I* care about it and I'm a new guy in the hobby.

So there I was tonight, I found W1AW/0 calling CQ from ND. I have 6 states to go for a WAS from LoTW and ND is one of them. "Here's my chance, she logs to LoTW!" I sez to myself. But nooooooo, it was not to be. I spent the first 30 minutes trying to get heard over the rich people with full legal limit amps and 5000 foot towers with 40 beam antennas stomping all over my 100 watts. "Must be all those people who took the *real* tests and built their antennas and amps out of paper clips and shoe boxes just like McGuiver would do" I sez. "Just keep at it, eventually their numbers will dwindle and I'll get in there" I sez. Then somebody threw up a nice loud carrier and I do mean *loud* and left it on for at least an hour until the band went south. At least during that hour the super genius from the corn fields of Chicago's radio kept trimming back the output level to the point she could continue working people. But he never quit with the jamming, he stayed lit until the band went totally south. I hope he wakes up in the morning and finds out he let all the smoke out of his equipment.

So this idiot with a brain the size of a pea cost me ND tonight. Why? I think that much is obvious. He's one of those people that has no use for the ARRL and is sick and tired of the Centennial contest using *his* frequency. I hope somebody tracked him down and the FCC kicks his ass all the way into next month.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by N4KC on August 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
John, it only takes one guy with a big amp to mess it up for us all. Maybe he's compensating because nobody went to the prom with him. Or for some other shortcoming.

It happens in all pursuits. If you play golf, there's the guy in the group ahead of you who takes an hour to line up his putt, as if it's for the Masters' jacket. Or the jerk in the SeaDoo that keeps stirring up the lake so the fish all go to the bottom.

North Dakota's on for a week. You have six more days to land him, just in this operation. Most of the maladjusted go away when the pile-ups dwindle in a day or so. Even then, there will be plenty of other opportunities to get the state in the logbook.

If you let the jerks get your blood pressure up, they have won. If you retaliate or scream at them, they have won big time, providing the very kind of recognition they so sickly crave.

I refuse to give them that satisfaction.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)


 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by WO9G on August 20, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Don, I needed that. Yeah, I got pissed but didn't say anything or try to get back at them. I know ignoring them is the best counter-attack.

ND on for a week you say? Great, I didn't know that. Thanks for the info!
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WD4HLD on August 28, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hi John,

You have already received many great and appropriate responses. I will just add that after 30 years of ham radio I can honestly say that ham radio has allowed me to meet some of the nicest, helpful and friendliest people. I think it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find another hobby that can offer such a reward. I believe most long time hams would agree.

Commit to the hobby and get out meet local hams. You will find out for yourself if this is the hobby for you.

Bryan W4HLD
 
A View from a New Ham  
by N7SCC on August 29, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with what others have already said. There will be a "bad apple" in all aspects of daily life. These people want attention and the best action to take is to completely ignore them and move on... Don't respond to their message(s). As, a new Ham, find out what type of operating you enjoy and build on your enjoyment. Your considerate and polite operating skill will attract others to you!
'73. George N7SCC.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by WB4QNG on August 31, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I have been a ham for almost 40 years. Damn I am old. Anyway it has been going on forever. Is it getting worse. Maybe more hams and less money for the FCC to enforce the rules. Like the rest said ignore him and hope he goes away.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on September 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@WB4QNG

Like most federal bureaucratic agencies, the FCC receives a generous annual appropriation from Congress.

However, that money goes into lavish salaries, generous benefits, unnecessary travel, numerous conventions (parties), and various personal cash awards/bonuses, leaving very little for operations (enforcement, in the case of the commission).
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by ILDARIN on September 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
JOHNZ

Like most federal bureaucratic agencies, the FCC receives a generous annual appropriation from Congress.

However, that money goes into lavish salaries, generous benefits, unnecessary travel, numerous conventions (parties), and various personal cash awards/bonuses, leaving very little for operations (enforcement, in the case of the commission).

=======================================================
Like most federal agencies, the FCC receives 15% less than the absolute minimum amount it would take to do the job.

And federal salaries and benefits, especially in technical fields, are consistently far below what individuals could earn in the private sector. Therefore those who can, work in the private sector. Those who can't, work for the federal government.

You get what you pay for.
 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on September 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@ILDARIN

What is the source of your information, because you are very misinformed?

"Receives 15% less than they need to do the job"???
WOW! What is the source of that information?

"Technical jobs at FCC are underpaid" Wow! Now that IS a whopper! What is your source for that information?

OK, here are a few facts, which can be verified at fcc.gov

I work in the commercial broadcast industry, so I have more familiarity with the workings of the commission than most people.

Here are some current FCC technical positions:


Electronics Engineer GS-0855-15 $157,000/year

Telecommunications Policy & Technology Specialist
GS-0301-15 $157,000/year

Electronics Engineering Technician
GS-0856-12 $78,000/year

Public Service Specialist GS-1035-12 $78,000/year


Here is some translation:

Electronics Engineering Technicians ($78,000/year) are non professional positions at the FCC. A high school diploma is the educational requirement. These are the people who stand watches in Laurel, MD and at the Washington DC HQ comms room. They are patronage appointments and are trained on the job. They also accompany engineers on field inspections and act as the engineer's helper, little to no technical knowledge required.

Public Service Specialists ($78,000/year) are non professional positions at the FCC. These are the telephone secretaries who handle public inquiries for information. They are the people who staff the Gettysburg PA call center and answer telephones and internet queries at various FCC offices. This position is an overpaid secretary's job. A high school diploma is the educational requirement. These are also patronage appointments, and they are trained on the job.

Telecommunciations Policy & Technology Specialist ($157,000/year). This is also a non professional appointment and also the highest paid non professional position in the commission. A high school diploma is the educational requirement. These employees issue FCC licenses and process license applications at Gettysburg PA. They are trained on the job, and it is essentially a clerical job.


These are just three non professional technical jobs at the FCC. Go research labor and salary statistics and see if you can find any non professional help in private industry that makes this kind of outrageous pay AND benefits. Add to that lavish travel expenses and quarterly "conferences" (parties), and cash bonuses/awards, and you can start to see how the commission employees, like most federal bureaucracies, are way overpaid.

Now, if you go to OPM.GOV, the requirements for these positions are extensive. However (big however), FCC managers are NOT required to hire people who meet certain minimum qualifications. FCC managers have full authority and wide latitude to hire whomever they chose, and being qualified for a position is NOT a concern and NOT a requirement in FCC hiring practices. Virtually ALL FCC hiring is patronage, political, or the so call brother-in-law job.

Attorney-Advisor GS-0905-12/14 $138,000/year is a professional position at the FCC, and I suppose lawyers could make more in private practice, BUT, (big BUT,) with much more of a work load and stress. Laura Smith is probably classified in this position. Incidentally, her father was Richard M Smith, former Chief of the now defunct FCC Field Operations Bureau. Hmm, wonder how much that helped in getting her job?

Electronics Engineer GS-0855-15 $157,000/year is a professional position at the FCC, and I suppose they too could make more in private industry. Here again though, don't forget, being in private industry would mean much more stress, longer work hours, extensive travel, etc.


So, let us not say FCC employees are underpaid. SORRY, not even close, just not so. Underworked, yes, absolutely.




 
RE: A View from a New Ham  
by JOHNZ on September 1, 2014 Mail this to a friend!

ILDARIN said:
"And federal salaries and benefits, especially in technical fields, are consistently far below what individuals could earn in the private sector. Therefore those who can, work in the private sector. Those who can't, work for the federal government"



According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics BLS.GOV, Electronic Engineering Technicians' average pay in the Private Sector is $58,770/year.

In the FCC, Electronics Engineering Technicians GS-0856 are paid $78,000/year. Add to this very generous paid benefits, lavish travel allowances, quarterly "conferences" (parties), very generous quarterly cash awards & bonuses, shift differential, holiday pay, overtime, and before long, we are looking at annual compensation close to $122,000/year.

Yes, sometimes they are hired at slightly lower pay grades, but annual promotions are guaranteed and automatic. Unlike the private sector, there is no competition or performance standards, promotions are automatic, guaranteed by OPM regulations.

Also, realize what actual "work" is performed. For example, take the Electronics Tech who stands watches at Laurel MD and the Washington DC comms room. These jobs amount to sitting on one's posterior and doing nothing beyond sleeping and watching TV. I have visited both locations and seen this for myself.

In summary, while the private sector Electronics Engineering Technician averages $58,770/year, his counterpart in the commission is making more than twice that amount of money, while doing almost nothing for it.

So what's my personal take? Yeah, the taxpayer is getting ripped off, but the FCC is just one small federal bureaucratic agency. The entire federal bureaucracy is sick and corrupt. Will it ever change? Don't hold your breath.
 
A View from a New Ham  
by K9DCS on September 12, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Just visited your comments and being a newly returned to ham radio amateur, I find this kind of activity on the nets extremely disappointing. I returned to amateur radio after a very long absence (40+years) and really enjoy listening and communicating with amateur's here in the states and Europe. I concur with others that only a few "idiots" create difficult operations at time, but they are certainly in the minority. Please stay with the hobby, you will grow to love it as I do. It is extremely rewarding and keeps your mind keen and interested....

 
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