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Author Topic: Dissappointed with the hobby and clubs so far  (Read 181923 times)
K6LCS
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2011, 08:44:40 PM »

Ham clubs are like PTA clubs - some are a great fit for you ... others will rub you the wrong way the moment you walk in the door.

SO ... Just slip a dollar in the donation cup for coffee at the club that doesn't interest you, and find another club that does.

I have spoken to about 50 clubs the past two-and-a-half years, so I believe i have a fairly good "take" on this. Some clubs are out for increased membership, getting kids and women and the handicapped involved, and looking to better their communities. Other clubs have no interest in new membership, and have the same static agendas every month for years. But most of the clubs fall inbetween those two extremes ...

And if you cannot find a group that really intrigues you - then it might be time to start a new club in your region!

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
909-241-7666
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
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KH6DC
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« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2011, 04:15:45 PM »

Mr Dude:  I was in the same boat here in Honolulu.  The clubs are all cliques where some welcome you and most look at you like some kind of criminal that's going to steal their equipment (maybe I was so tanned from surfing back then).  That's why I quit the clubs.  The other poster is corrrect, VHR repeaters is a thin facade of amateur radio, that's why I don't use them, only once in a while.

HF, that's a totally different story.  People on HF whether SSB, CW, digital, etc., are always friendly and if you have a problem, willing to help out.  I've been a ham since 1994 and once I got my general ticket, I never looked back and stayed away from the local hamming arena.  There are a bunch of cool people here, but their also HF people with general and higher tickets.  Get on HF and then email me.  We'll set of a time and frequency to chat.  73, Delwyn KH6DC
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73 and Aloha,
de Delwyn, KH6DC
K1CJS
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2011, 04:14:46 AM »


.....I did contact a local club about three years ago and was told, " Well, who are you anyway? I suppose before we would decide on you, we'll have to look at you."

I mean like larfing out loud. They need to look at me. Braaah haaa!

You've gotta love that attitude.  THEY have to look at YOU so you can volunteer and help THEM out!  Priceless!
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MAGNUM257
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« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2011, 08:01:31 AM »

 I've been licenced since 1988 and I can't say I am disappointed with the Hobby, but I can say I was a member of a local club here in NJ that WAS a disappointment. I got involved in many of the club activities, but there were too many "cliques". If you were involved in one activity with certain members, and wanted to be involved in another, and the two had members of different "cliques" they made it impossible to do both. One group vs another within the same club. I never met such a bunch of winers in all of my life.

 I remember participating in a FOXHUNT, and I was the first to locate the hidden transmitter. The next member to locate the transmitter was about 10 minutes behind me. At the next club meeting he stood up and cried that even though I found the transmitter faster, he drove less miles to find it and claimed he should be the winner. He was an old timer in the club and I was a newbie. They told me I didn't win afterall, and declared him the winner. This was not in the rules anywhere, but they stuck by their decision. That was the last club meeting I attended.

 I may try another club, billed as the Oldest Continuously Operated Club in the U.S. We shall see...

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KJ4I
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2011, 05:01:46 AM »

Sometimes clubs can be your ticket out of ham radio. I personally don't do the club scene anymore and have enjoyed the hobby so much more ever since. Back when I first became licensed about 15 years ago I though joining/starting a club and getting a repeater on the air was the only way to go and it was the thing to do. Spent the first 10 years of my ham career monkeying in the club/repeater business. To make a long story short I ended up taking over and owning the local club repeater system and putting a lot of my own money into making it better for lack of club support. They all wanted a jam up top notch repeater system but yet they wanted nothing to do with helping financially or physically. I finally got tired of the club and repeater site politics and sold out the whole repeater system. I took the courtesy of putting their old repeater back on the air when I left but left it up to them after that.

In the mean time I was going back to school to start a new career and ended up taking a 4-5 year hiatus from ham radio. That was the best thing I ever did. While I was in school I ended up selling 95% of my equipment (some of which I regretted selling later on). In the past couple of years my interest in the hobby begin to come back and I have been active again for about a year now. These days 99% of my activity is on hf and I have had more fun with ham radio in the past year than I ever had in my first 10 years or so that I was active. I just dont get involved with group activities these days and I stay away from clubs. I dont want the politics, responsibilities, and expectations of being in a club and having to keep this equipment or that equipment on the air. I don't need phone calls in the middle of the night to tell me something isn't working or to have a political discussion.

Im not trying to cut down someones club or knock them for being in a club as I am sure their are some decent clubs out there but my point is that it is not the one and only (everything) of ham radio. As others have said it is just a tiny part of something much bigger. Why not upgrade and try hf? Their is a lot more activity and in my experience a lot more friendly people there than you will find a lot of times on a local repeater. I also remember the ignorance a lot of hams had towards new hams back in my days of being new to the hobby and sadly it still happens quiet a lot.

Ham Radio is a great hobby. Enjoy it for what it is and don't let the actions and words of others get you down. Now get out there and discover the world beyond clubs, repeaters, and politics  Grin

Good luck
« Last Edit: February 27, 2011, 05:05:38 AM by K4EKG » Logged
K2JX
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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2011, 12:38:10 PM »


As much as we'd like to see you stay in hobby and be a part of the Ham community, you have to remember what you get out of anything in life is what you put into it. Ham radio is not for everyone..but there are many facets to this hobby that don't require you to belong to a club, group or support a repeater. May I suggest you try PSK-31 on HF for instance ?
You don't need a kilowatt or an expensive antenna system, just your rig, laptop with a free PSK soundcard program, an interface between the two units like a "Rig Blaster" and your on. Unfamliar with this mode, then Google PSK-31, you'll find a lot of help there.
I'm 40 years in the hobby, not everyone I've met has been welcomed me with open arms either, I just move on. On the other hand I have friends made over 30 years ago through Ham radio that continue to this day !

73/de K2JX
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K5FH
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« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2011, 02:45:38 PM »

Sometimes clubs can be your ticket out of ham radio. I personally don't do the club scene anymore and have enjoyed the hobby so much more ever since.

(snip)
 
I just dont get involved with group activities these days and I stay away from clubs. I dont want the politics, responsibilities, and expectations of being in a club and having to keep this equipment or that equipment on the air. I don't need phone calls in the middle of the night to tell me something isn't working or to have a political discussion.

That pretty much mirrors my own experiences with clubs.  I have seen too many cases where some club members think they're presidents of a homeowner's association or something and all sorts of petty power wars get started over inconsequential things.  Problems can almost always be traced down to one or two individuals who, intended or not, ruin the experience for the rest of the club members.
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KF5CZG
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2011, 07:15:30 AM »

You don't need clubs to enjoy the hobby.  Join the ARRL, operate on HF and move on. 

From my limited experience, I joined a club and only one ham showed an interest.  I thank him for that as much as possible.  If you like face to face socialization, then a club may be for you.  They are not for me.

Anyway, enjoy HF!! 
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KE7RTV
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Posts: 35




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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2011, 08:44:19 AM »

It can be difficult to break into the hobby. People don't mean to be rude but some amateurs
have been in the hobby for so long that they've forgotten what it was like to be a newcomer.
During my time in radio I've met a few people whom I'd  just as soon not talk to again but
that's life, and for the most part, everyone has been very nice to me and understanding of my
newcomer's clumsiness on the air.

As for getting technical help you're best learning it on your own. I asked four different people
for help and got ignored four times. That's just the way it is, but each time I needed help I
went back to the bench and figured out what I needed to learn and I'm better off for having
done it on my myself. It's not and easy hobby but the rewards are great. You just have to
keep trying.

Amateur radio is truly a great hobby filled with nice and interesting people. Just hang in there
and keep trying and you'll get the hang of it.
Ke7RTV


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KQ0C
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2011, 01:05:26 PM »

Our local club is wonderful, and focused on bringing new people into the hobby.

With that said, VHF/Repeater operators may be more focused on maintaining long local friendships... whereas HF operators are inherently more interested in meeting new people from all over. I think you would have a very different experience on HF.
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K0IZ
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« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2011, 07:34:39 AM »

Many hams are more technically oriented rather than socially adept.  I think that is reflected in how some clubs operate, lack of warm introductions of newcomers, etc.

I am a member of WØERH Johnson County Radio Amateur Club, in suburban Kansas City.  THis club has two meetings a month, with good programs.  2M and 440 repeaters.  Members are active in supporting civic events (10K's etc, Skywarn, Field Day,etc).

Our club members conduct numerous classes for prospective hams.  Over 650 have been licensed in last four years.  About 1/3 have been under age of 18.  Also run General classes, and about to run our first Extra class.  We conduct "Get on the Air" classes for new hams to help them with the practical aspects of setting up a station.  Last month conducted APRS class, with hands-on help with loading software, etc.  Friday's meeting was demo's on soldering. April first meeting program the County Emerg Coord again talks about whats happening.  Second meeting will be on-air demo of remote radio control.  Etc, Etc.

Needless to say, our club is the largest (and growing) club in the Kansas City area.  Might be a bit of a stretch to drive from St. Louis, but you would be most welcome!

John. KØIZ
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K1CJS
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« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2011, 05:09:09 AM »

You don't need clubs to enjoy the hobby.  Join the ARRL.....and move on. 


Not to be too negative, but depending on your location and your interests, the ARRL can be just like any other smaller club.  If you're not involved in the way your area (section) people believe to be relevant, then you don't exist.  Unless you enjoy being a non-existent paying member of a club.....
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W5TTW
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« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2011, 01:15:32 PM »

I'm glad that you came here to talk about how you feel instead of throwing your rig in a box and selling it on eBay.  I've had similar experiences and know how you feel.  My cure was to get a CW key!  It was easy to learn and CW ops are some of the friendliest people I have ever known.  Many of the old school patiently hang out on the novice sub bands just to help and encourage us new fists along. And most send you a QSL card to boot! You can work the world with a modest rig and just a few watts.  Give it some thought, OK?  I value you and don't want you to quit!
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K6LCS
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« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2011, 02:38:36 PM »

>> ... the ARRL can be just like any other smaller club ...

But the ARRL offers so much for their members ... Never mind the legislative efforts and legal issues that they get involved in for the betterment of the hobby for ALL of us, but they offer specialized newsletters to members. And more access to QST back issues than non-members. And their equipment insurance plan's premiums BEAT what State Farm can do for me, and I have been with State Farm for almost 30 years.

So, without any "input" from a single ARRL member, the benefits are tangible, real, and money-saving!

Clint Bradford, K6LCS
ARRL Diamond Club member
909-241-7666
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K1CJS
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« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2011, 04:24:11 AM »

Point taken.  However, the newsletters, membership journal--and now their website have been changed so much from what they were meant to be....

Also, you don't have to be a member to get the insurance plan for your station.  It's handled by a non-ARRL company.

Benefits can be considered tangible and real--if you want to hear about emergency communication all the time and how emergency communication is the only reason amateur radio has the frequencies that it has....  Etc., Etc., Etc.
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