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Author Topic: New ARRL Website  (Read 1835 times)
K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2010, 11:32:10 AM »

W6TRI posted on April 16, 2010:

"...The thing that flabbergasted me is why this took so long and why the multiple false starts? There's nothing on this new website that should have made it that difficult to get going."

It is difficult to translate thinking in OOK CW mode and converting to standard written English...:-)

73, Len K6LHA
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WT0A
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Posts: 922




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« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2010, 02:51:55 PM »

I have to agree with the "cons" on this one. I guess you have to be a computer geek to like some of the new websites out there.
I am too old to waste time on "getting used to" some thing that worked just fine the way i was.
Glen
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K6LHA
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Posts: 349




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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2010, 05:37:21 PM »

WT0A posted on April 16, 2010:
 
"I have to agree with the "cons" on this one. I guess you have to be a computer geek to like some of the new websites out there."

No, I don't think so. The ARRL is trying to do two things at once.  They want to look "hip" or "with it" to the newer generations to entice them to join and BUY their publications...but they can't possibly bring themselves to alter their basic philosophy still glued into the 1930s time-frame...but the higher staffers somehow think "they have changed" because their software face to the rest of the 'net has changed.

They also haven't wrung out USING their own site to see if anyone actually "likes" it or - more importantly - can USE it easily. Neither has the upper staff bothered to see if a new version "fits" users because they don't want to seem ignorant of user software. That upper staff has probably gotten used to delegating authority and, in this case, don't have anyone to delegate things to but the software contract holder. Don't think for one minute that the software contract holder is going to do extra work to please the bosses when they HAVE that contract in-hand, signed, and probably with an advance on monies owed.
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WT0A: "I am too old to waste time on "getting used to" some thing that worked just fine the way i was."

I can identify with that for the last 4 decades of having to USE replacement softstuff on the job. This is particularly true of Menu structures. It was bad enough to diddle with Command Line syntax but its still bad enough with icons and their (eventual) menus. Softstuff creators seldom go deep into what users do, what they need to do. That costs money to learn and there's no profit in it. So the developer gets are rough, very rough idea of menu flow, scams their way through by nice colors and typefaces and then does a sales job on the ones who signed the contract.

Certain menu structures are convoluted and, if not changed, minor changes have made them near-optimum to USE. However, a new softstuff had a new creator who THINKS "they (users) know" and then writes up things the way THEY like it. Usually to hell with the users, THEY are the software developer and the developer must project a "I know what is best for you....blah, blah, blah..." attitude thinking only They are boss.  In a way, the high staff at the ARRL is now getting back what they've been preaching to amateurs for years and years...:-)

THIS particular new format is (overall) designed to project a "newness" to the outside world in hopers of garnering new members to replace those that die off. I really don't think it works. It does work to force they rest of users into a whole new command set in order to navigate.  This doesn't work well either.

73, Len K6LHA
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WG8Z
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2010, 06:00:51 PM »

Don't like it.. Too much fru-fru and fluff.
Been playing on it since it went up and learning my way around however....Get tired of seeing all the fluff and then when I get to what I'm looking for Bamm,
"page not found". Hopefully they will get that straightened out eventually the information will be back.... Sure wish I would of mirrored the old site before they took it down...I'm afraid some of the stuff may be lost forever.... I guess if it doesn't sell books,mugs or bricks it's not important.
73
Greg
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N0KM
Member

Posts: 1




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« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2010, 06:59:48 PM »

The Legacy site served my needs pretty well, haven't found anything so far on the new site to get excited about. A few of the sub-links such as the List of Advertisers I had already saved in my browser's favorites list which helped me as they now call it our business partners or some such thing. They will eventually get the kinks worked out, but wish they would put a link button on the home page to the legacy site so that we can find the things we already are used to using. A low-graphics option would also be good for those of us still limited to dial-up speeds (bet there are hams overseas with limited bandwidth that were using this site). Hope the web company learns from this experience to do a better job of any future upgrades.
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NI0C
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Posts: 2380




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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2010, 10:14:44 AM »

The new site is fine, but so was the old one.  K6LHA remarked that the membership numbers are available only once per year in an Annual Report.  That doesn't bother me so much; however I do agree that ARRL could do a better job in reporting statistics of interest to its members. 

For example, the DXCC yearbook typically reports on the DXCC Desk workload (in terms of number of applications processed, etc.), but it doesn't tell us how many members have qualified for the various mode and band awards. 

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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KE5LDO
Member

Posts: 89




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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2010, 01:07:23 PM »

Maybe eventually the ARRL staff will learn the difference between a LOG IN Name and the word REGISTER.
They tend to be experts about nothing and use the 2 terms interchangeably.

Maybe it will get better, but they are the "experts".
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N2EY
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Posts: 3833




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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2010, 02:57:05 PM »

It's rather funny, I think.

I read a lot of diatribes about how hams should embrace change, try new things, go forward with technology, not cling to old ways, etc., etc., etc. And the ARRL is often criticized for being "behind the times" and such.

Yet when they actually *DO* something new and different, some of the same folks want the old ways back. Some of the complainers are probably not even ARRL members!

I think some folks just want things to gripe about, and ARRL is a good target because they don't answer back.

For example, I read and hear gripes about how QST "isn't technical", has "nothing for the Technician" is "just a bunch of ads and contests" and "has nothing for me".

So I get the May 2010 QST the other day, and here's *part* of what's inside:

- Editorial on vanity callsign rules (how many of you have vanity calls?)

- Results of the Homebrew Challenge II, which was to build a 5 to 50 watt 40 meter linear amplifier to match the Homebrew Challenge I transceiver. Entries had to cost less than $125 to duplicate and be able to handle both CW and SSB. Overviews of the entries are shown; detailed articles will follow. One entry managed to put out 62 watts at a cost of $28.36.

- Article on building circularly polarized Yagis for satellite communications - from scratch.

- Article on the application of duplexers and diplexers, their commonalities and differences.

- Article on building an ampere-hour meter to keep track of charge/discharge of storage batteries

- Article on building a 20 through 6 meter log-periodic array (from scratch) including simulations and actual test results

- Product Reviews/New Products/Short Takes of the Yaesu FT-1900R 2 meter rig, noise cancelling headphones, dual-lever CW paddles, a DSP noise-cancelling speaker, and the Microbit 1258MkII remote control unit.

- "Hands On" article about filter design using filter design software.

- Two articles about the Technician license, the test for it, and what can be done with it.

- Article on the VY0A DXpedition, FD and VHF QSO party announcements, results of CW SS and EME competitions

- The usual columns on DX, public service, technical correspondence, "eclectic technology", VHF/UHF, vintage radio, and more.

There's a lot of other stuff I haven't mentioned, plus of course lots of ads. But I just started reading the thing and those are just the highlights.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K6LHA
Member

Posts: 349




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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2010, 08:03:59 PM »

N2EY, posted on 18 April 2010:

"I read a lot of diatribes about how hams should embrace change, try new things, go forward with technology, not cling to old ways, etc., etc., etc. And the ARRL is often criticized for being "behind the times" and such."

...which they ARE.
.......................
N2EY: "Yet when they actually *DO* something new and different, some of the same folks want the old ways back. Some of the complainers are probably not even ARRL members!"

I WAS a member for two years...and got the first four issues of QST mailed to the WRONG ADDRESS...and then got NO RESPONSE from the so-called "officials" on written questions written to their "official" USPS mailing addresses.  It would seem that various departments within that NEW BUILDING don't talk to one another since this involved miscommunication between their VEC, BoD, Membership departments.

What the ARRL really did recently is to HIRE AN OUTSIDE BUSINESS TO RE-DO THEIR WEBSITE. THEY COULDN'T DO IT THEMSELVES BUT HAD TO PURCHASE DESIGN SERVICES.
........................
N2EY: "I think some folks just want things to gripe about, and ARRL is a good target because they don't answer back."

Yes, the ARRL does NOT "answer back." :-(
........................
N2EY: "For example, I read and hear gripes about how QST "isn't technical", has "nothing for the Technician" is "just a bunch of ads and contests" and "has nothing for me"."

Now I don't expect the ARRL to supply ANY technical information via QST "for me." Advertising space monies from advertisers go to the biggest noises in the market and caused INDEPENDENT publications such as Ham Radio and 73 to quit the business, and CQ had to merge the Communications Quarterly with QEX (CommQuart was built out of the remains of HR when CQ Communications bought HR). Yes, QST is technical...like I remember it actually had an Ohm's Law of Resistance forumula in a recent (2008) year. [amazing when one thinks of it!]
........................
N2EY: "So I get the May 2010 QST the other day, and here's *part* of what's inside:

Note: Ed Hare used this technique of "features from QST" over a decade ago. It didn't work well then and your copy-catted posting is less than Ed's.
........................
- Editorial on vanity callsign rules (how many of you have vanity calls?)"

I have. Specifically to include my legal name initials. You have a PROBLEM with that, sonny?
........................
N2EY: "- Results of the Homebrew Challenge II, which was to build a 5 to 50 watt 40 meter linear amplifier to match the Homebrew Challenge I transceiver. Entries had to cost less than $125 to duplicate and be able to handle both CW and SSB. Overviews of the entries are shown; detailed articles will follow. One entry managed to put out 62 watts at a cost of $28.36."

Yes, you love that CHEAPNESS and the dumpster-diving for parts. [yawn] However, it wouldn't do you much good since all you work is just OOK CW on 40m.
........................
N2EY: "- Article on building circularly polarized Yagis for satellite communications - from scratch."

When you actually USE a Yagi-Uda will be the day, let alone one for satellites, let alone circularly polarized. "How-to" articles on those were published elsewhere in several periodicals back right after Sputnik was lofted.
........................
N2EY: "- Article on the application of duplexers and diplexers, their commonalities and differences."

Old stuff to those of use involved in microwaves but must be "rocket science" PhD stuff for those who haven't gone below 7.4 MHz. :-)  See "Mathei-Young-Jones" or earlier "Rad Lab" volumes. Did you know one can build 1.8 GHz bandpass filters, connect two of them with proper coupling-matching and create a full-duplex simulataneous filter diplexer sub-system without a single bit of mechanical switching. A division of General Electric did that before 1950 and used it in a commercial 24-voice-channel radio relay terminal? See any PGMTT member of the IEEE.
........................
N2EY: "- Article on building an ampere-hour meter to keep track of charge/discharge of storage batteries"

Wow! An actual practical, useful thing! However, the charge-discharge characteristics of "storage batteries" (all kinds) is rather old-hat even for the most modern Lithium-ion types. If a truly modern THING such as a microcontroller is used for the display, that doesn't change a thing about charge-discharge characteristics. See "Battery University" on the Internet for FREE information on batteries. Good practical stuff there in Canada by experts in electrochemistry. And, last I looked, FREE!
........................
N2EY: "- Article on building a 20 through 6 meter log-periodic array (from scratch) including simulations and actual test results"

Wow! Modern stuff, ey? Log-periodics are over 50 years old. [yawn] The basic Yagi-Uda is over 70 years old. Jimmie, just stay with your dipoles and parallel-wire feedlines on 40m.
........................
N2EY: "- Product Reviews/New Products/Short Takes of the Yaesu FT-1900R 2 meter rig, noise cancelling headphones, dual-lever CW paddles, a DSP noise-cancelling speaker, and the Microbit 1258MkII remote control unit."

Product Reviews, indeed ANY mention of NEW products will make potential advertising space buyers feel really happy.
.........................
N2EY: "- "Hands On" article about filter design using filter design software."

No problem, I WROTE a PC program that would do that for NOTHING, released it to the Internet back in 1993, covering Lowpass, Highpass, Bandpass, Bandstop, and Resonator-Bandpass configurations with Butterworth, Chebyshev, or Elliptic (Cauer) polynomial bases. Independent synthesis and analysis sections and includes selectable component value adjustments and Sensitivity effect testing on frequency response and I/O impedance. It is FREEWARE, Jimmie, and Steve Ford got a copy of it a year ago but never acknowledged doing a thing with it except handing it to some "other" (unidentified). Since this is FREEWARE there's no chance in "heck" that I will buy ad space in QST or any other magazine for it. It has already been used in a couple of electronic classes as a teaching aid. It's not BLINGY in appearance but the numbers transfer to real, working hardware. Anyone (who is civil and/or not spouting off about the greatness and majesty of ARRL can have a FREE copy on e-mail request to K6LHA@aol.com, get a small packed ZIP file of everything in "LCie4" private e-mail attachment in return. The "how-to-use-it" program manual (included in every ZIP package) is concise and includes tips on how to BUILD practical filters out of passive L-C components.
.........................
Jimmie, try to remember the MAJOR thing about the ARRL webpage appearance. AN EXTERNAL PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS did all the work for the League. THEY COULDN'T ROLL THEIR OWN. There isn't much evidence that the ARRL bothered to CHECK THE USEFULNESS of their re-designed software to be used by radio amateurs.

The ONLY thing that changed was COSMETIC. The same old stuff is still there, re-arranged, coated with lip-gloss, eye-shaddow, blush and other cosmetic products. The NEW WEBSITE didn't bleed over to PUBLICATIONS...which is what you are busy, busy in PROMOTION of a PUBLISHER.

Jimmie, if you want some solid advice on Graphics, Printed Product Appearance as a professional, then I feel I could top you three ways from Sunday without being a "Name" in Graphics or Advertising. This isn't a "contest" to "win the hearts of hams" over to a monopolistic membership organization. This forum topic is about the APPEARANCE and USE of a newly-redesigned WEBSITE. Try to stay within a light-year of the subject, OK?

K6LHA
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