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Author Topic: Dissappointed with the hobby and clubs so far  (Read 182152 times)
N2UGB
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #135 on: July 18, 2012, 05:22:15 AM »

The days of ham clubs being all things to all people are over. Prior to WW2 and shortly after, the principal modes were CW, AM, and some RTTY. Power levels of 100 watts plus.

Today there are so many digital modes in use that I could fill the page with them. Of course SSB, FM, and my operating favorite, QRP. Routine portable operating, SOTA, MM.

I suggest that clubs be formed based on the operating interests of the different operators. Speciality clubs for dedicated QRPers, digital enthusiasts, SOTA, etc..

Sure, the membership lists will be reduced but the activities won't. And, there will be the fraternal good-will of being being associated with an active. enthusiastic, and friendly group of radio amateurs.

In my opinion.

73 Rich N2UGB/F8WBD
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KA2DDX
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #136 on: July 23, 2012, 03:46:48 AM »

No flack from this corner - I can mistype things with the best of them. I can understand your frustration. However, please move forward in this hobby and get your general. I've been on hf over 50 years now and have made friends all over the world. There is no activity I know of which brings more satisfaction to me than amateur radio. I've been in several clubs, mostly in the military and can understand a little of the dynamics of a club. Here in the upstate NY area there are a number of clubs. Approaching retirement I decided to check out a few as well as upgrade my general ticket to extra. One meeting I attended did not yield enough time on the agenda to introduce myself. So, I attended a different club meeting and was immediately invited to join them for field day the following weekend. You never know! Stay with it, get on hf and broaden your horizons with all the possibilities. And, if you hear me, please break in and say hello. Whatever you do, good luck to you.

Larry - KA2DDX
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N9LCD
Member

Posts: 175




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« Reply #137 on: July 27, 2012, 06:14:27 PM »

My wife says, if she had a dollar for every time I gave up radio, she'd be richer than the Sultan of Brunei.

What I usually do is take a few months off, RELAX. REGROUP, REFOCUS and RETURN.

Have something else to do besides "radio" all the time.  I got running and pumping iron on the side.  Believe me, a good 5-mile run. like 42 minutes, or benching my weight REALLY HELPS!

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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 255




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« Reply #138 on: October 15, 2012, 05:58:43 PM »

N9LCD,

Sounds like you have a wise spouse! I've been a member of three clubs plus serving as a field staff for the ARRL in the Delta Division. I'm still a member of my first club, even though I am now two states away. While there are internal divisions, it is large enough to allow those who want to join together to enjoy ham radio, instead of only meeting-and-eating, to do so.

I was literally handed the reins of my second club during the middle of a meeting when the President announced he was quitting and would I take the job! There were only 3-4 people in attendance. Repeaters were off the air. I was able to draw some of the older members back after finding out why they had left: poor, childish leadership. We started having a program every month, meeting at a local restaurant with an informal Dutch-treat meal an hour before the formal meeting begins. I paid for the speakers meal---usually from out of town---out of my own pocket. I put up a webpage for the club. I've now now retired and moved from that location although I still attend every few months. With continuity in new leadership, the club has both repeaters humming along, managed by an RF Engineer, and the group joins in with a local university club to hold Field Day and other joint events. It's standing on its own two feet, largely because there is a reason for members to attend: a program from which to learn something new (e.g., Bob Heil via Skype on the audio chain on HF).

My current club has good leadership. Programs are sporadic but members do share things enough to make it interesting. The survey I conducted last year for the Delta Division showed that club membership is really determined by leadership effectiveness. The Delta Division is launching a program of leadership training by state extension service professionals at each states yearly section convention. David Norris, Kay Craigie, and I met in Huntsville AL this year and discussed how this might enhance the amateur radio experience for ARRL members and non-members alike. There are effective strategies for managing volunteer groups. Each state's Agricultural Extension Service has been doing such training for clubs in small rural communities for 75 years or more. Best of all: it is a free service!

Just a few thoughts about the state of clubs in amateur radio. Your mileage may vary.

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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AC6CV
Member

Posts: 53




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« Reply #139 on: September 02, 2013, 07:05:52 PM »

There are great ham clubs all over the country. I have belonged to ham clubs all over the country. New York, Michigan, Washington, California. BUT!  I moved to Wyoming. Met the most arrogant self centered hams in the entire country. I've been a ham for almost 60 years. These guys are nut cases. I joined the club when asked volunteered my high speed CW code position at field day. Computer operated. Offered to help low speed operators build their code speed. I was told. We don't need your help in our club. Whoa nellie belle. Needless to say I dropped my membership. Met one of the members in Cody last week. Said they may lose their mtn repeater ant location. Told my Xyl. Wonder why it took so long since they are so arrogant. I would have kicked  them out years ago. Really sad and is really bad for our hobby. These bad clubs fortunately are very few around the country. But they are there and really a bad experience for new hams. JMHO. Wonder if I will get heat from this one locally? I'm willing to compromise. Just don't think I am not a ham because I keep my 6 call in WY. We are are all hams no matter the number or the experience. Seems like we should all help each other.
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WB5ITT
Member

Posts: 100




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« Reply #140 on: September 07, 2013, 04:56:52 PM »

Since you're in the St. Louis area, and you expressed an interest in HF and DX'ing, please check out the Mississippi Valley DX & Contest Club: http://www.mvdxcc.org/

We're a thriving club precisely because we welcome newcomers to ham radio.  Set up one of your scanners to receive 147.6 (simplex) transmissions-- that's where many members meet to exchange DX information and arrange informal lunch meetings, etc. 


73,
Chuck  NI0C


147.600 is a rptr input in a LOT of areas...was that a typo?
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NU3U
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #141 on: September 21, 2013, 11:33:00 PM »

Wow, this topic started in February 2011:  Ha! Well it is now September 2013 and I have experienced the same thing down in the Lone Star Country oops, I mean Lone Star State of Texas.  You are absolutely correct on, when asking a specific radio question, and suddenly, no one knows anything.  i.e. the usual, Jack do you know the answer, Jack-well let me see, uhm well no cain't say if I do, how about you Johnny, well I uh, I uh, I uh well ahh heck!  How about you Luke-ster you got a answer?  Luke, nah I cain't help on this, but Bobby, Jack, Johnny and Luke I will be clear on your guys finals; "and so forth and so on" until all are clear.  Now I only volunteer for certain events when I can; participate in VE testing; and only ask questions about this hobby to the "VERY FEW" who are open-minded and willing to share there knowledge with I'll just say, us "OUTSIDERS".  And to those in Texas reading my post and who know me, you also know that I have mention this very topic to you "FEW" on numerous occasions.  "And I dare not start on the "deal" with APRS operations in this area.  Mr. Bob Bruniga knows first hand my feelings on this matter!  Lastly, my use of Jack, Johnny, Luke-ster, and Bobby in no way implies that I am singling out certain individual(s) with same said name(s)!  Otherwise, what is now happening (note OP topic) in Amateur Radio has to be made and needs mentioning of in forums and at club meetings.  Those of us who are unfamiliar with certain aspects of radio operations, yet receive little to no information in response to our questioning and NO elmering whatsoever, will continue to run the risk of being permanently branded/labeled as "LIDS" of the 1st degree!  Well, guess I'll be signing off now, I'm clear on your guys final(s)!!!!        A few action verbs of the day! Counsel, guide, train, tutor, teach, advise, support, instruct, promote, mentor and facilitate-(tor); should not all newcomers to this hobby at least expect this much?
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K6AQ
Member

Posts: 20


WWW

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« Reply #142 on: September 22, 2013, 12:23:24 AM »

Wow, this topic started in February 2011:  Ha! Well it is now September 2013 and I have experienced the same thing down in the Lone Star Country oops, I mean Lone Star State of Texas.  You are absolutely correct on, when asking a specific radio question, and suddenly, no one knows anything.  i.e. the usual, Jack do you know the answer, Jack-well let me see, uhm well no cain't say if I do, how about you Johnny, well I uh, I uh, I uh well ahh heck!  How about you Luke-ster you got a answer?  Luke, nah I cain't help on this, but Bobby, Jack, Johnny and Luke I will be clear on your guys finals; "and so forth and so on" until all are clear.  Now I only volunteer for certain events when I can; participate in VE testing; and only ask questions about this hobby to the "VERY FEW" who are open-minded and willing to share there knowledge with I'll just say, us "OUTSIDERS".  And to those in Texas reading my post and who know me, you also know that I have mention this very topic to you "FEW" on numerous occasions.  "And I dare not start on the "deal" with APRS operations in this area.  Mr. Bob Bruniga knows first hand my feelings on this matter!  Lastly, my use of Jack, Johnny, Luke-ster, and Bobby in no way implies that I am singling out certain individual(s) with same said name(s)!  Otherwise, what is now happening (note OP topic) in Amateur Radio has to be made and needs mentioning of in forums and at club meetings.  Those of us who are unfamiliar with certain aspects of radio operations, yet receive little to no information in response to our questioning and NO elmering whatsoever, will continue to run the risk of being permanently branded/labeled as "LIDS" of the 1st degree!  Well, guess I'll be signing off now, I'm clear on your guys final(s)!!!!        A few action verbs of the day! Counsel, guide, train, tutor, teach, advise, support, instruct, promote, mentor and facilitate-(tor); should not all newcomers to this hobby at least expect this much?

I've started using the Internet more for elmering and it's helped. That, and listening for a bit on the air to see how everyone else acts.  Smiley
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 255




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« Reply #143 on: October 04, 2013, 07:52:07 AM »

UPDATE: to the following portion of my previous post. My, how things can change! I discovered that my then-current club had intrigue, back-biting, and weak spines on the Board and in a few "insider" members. Mostly around one person trying to oust a Public Service Chairman so he could take over and around the official training of anti-government "preppers" by the club. When I raised questions about both, and the head of the state's prepper movement had been put on a Do Not Fly List by Homeland Security, the scramble was on to squelch this! I eventually resigned from the Board with one of the main instigators replacing me and his alter-ego coming on board when another Board member resigned. Now, that person has tried to quietly form a new club all the while serving on the Board of this one! Geez....not a scene for me!

It's just another example of the dire need for professional leadership training for amateur radio clubs...especially those who get tax-exemptions as 501(c)(3) organizations and registered with the state. But just saying no to that nonsense and departing is often the wisest move for the individual ham.

My current club has good leadership. Programs are sporadic but members do share things enough to make it interesting. The survey I conducted last year for the Delta Division showed that club membership is really determined by leadership effectiveness. The Delta Division is launching a program of leadership training by state extension service professionals at each states yearly section convention. David Norris, Kay Craigie, and I met in Huntsville AL this year and discussed how this might enhance the amateur radio experience for ARRL members and non-members alike. There are effective strategies for managing volunteer groups. Each state's Agricultural Extension Service has been doing such training for clubs in small rural communities for 75 years or more. Best of all: it is a free service!
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6045




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« Reply #144 on: October 05, 2013, 07:52:55 AM »

UPDATE: to the following portion of my previous post. My, how things can change! I discovered that my then-current club had intrigue, back-biting, and weak spines on the Board and in a few "insider" members....

Unfortunately, that's the way it is in all too many clubs.  There is a central group of members who band together to get things done their way, and they get rid of anybody who wants to change things or open up the club to different ideas.  

One sad part of it is that that group will usually stop at nothing to get rid of anyone whose ideas differ from theirs.
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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 255




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« Reply #145 on: October 05, 2013, 08:56:15 AM »

Chris,

Indeed! What I was shocked about was the lack of backbone exhibited by the other Board members and officers. Some of those non-Board members who were duped behind the scenes have discovered the fabrications and apologized for their gullibility. One has become a close personal friend. But I resigned on my own terms. And I'm a member of other clubs.

Thanks for your observation.

73,

Frank
K4FMH

UPDATE: to the following portion of my previous post. My, how things can change! I discovered that my then-current club had intrigue, back-biting, and weak spines on the Board and in a few "insider" members....

Unfortunately, that's the way it is in all too many clubs.  There is a central group of members who band together to get things done their way, and they get rid of anybody who wants to change things or open up the club to different ideas.  

One sad part of it is that that group will usually stop at nothing to get rid of anyone whose ideas differ from theirs.
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W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 189




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« Reply #146 on: October 05, 2013, 04:09:35 PM »

 
It's just another example of the dire need for professional leadership training for amateur radio clubs...especially those who get tax-exemptions as 501(c)(3) organizations and registered with the state. But just saying no to that nonsense and departing is often the wisest move for the individual ham.

Frank,
Going to go out on a limb and state the obvious:  If your ham club is a 501(c)(3),  the board members (including yourself) have  legal responsibilities.  They are often summarized in the "three Ds":

Duty of care: Board members are expected to actively participate in organizational planning and decision-making and to make sound and informed judgments.

Duty of loyalty: When acting on behalf of the organization, board members must put the interests of the nonprofit before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Duty of obedience: Board members must ensure that the organization complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and that it remains committed to its established mission.

If you have concerns, you should bring it to the attention of the board in writing, delivered by certified mail.  If they don't respond to your satisfaction, resign in writing - Explaining why, with a copy to the attorney general of the state where the non-profit is organized. (The letter to the AG is solely to keep you in the clear)

Martin

BTW, I'm on the board of a club in NJ.  Also did a stint on the board of a youth organization (7+ years).   I went out and found 80+ hours of board training so I could do the job the membership elected me to.


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K4FMH
Member

Posts: 255




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« Reply #147 on: October 06, 2013, 07:05:31 AM »

Martin,

Great response! I basically told the President about these options after receiving my own certified letter requesting my resignation from the Board. Supposedly, my "offense" was to discuss common Board meeting activities with members(!). There's no Bylaw to this effect but only a verbal statement by the VP that everything was "secret". The President acknowledged that the Club could become defunct if I went legal. As I mentioned in my update, Martin, the lack of leadership ability on the spineless Board speaks more to the larger problem among clubs than the "outreagous misfortune" I was experiencing as an expendable member who was asked to serve on the Board because of my previous leadership experience. I chose to just walk away, let my membership lapse, but share my experiences in hopes that it might lead somehow to change.

Thank you!

73,

Frank
K4FMH

It's just another example of the dire need for professional leadership training for amateur radio clubs...especially those who get tax-exemptions as 501(c)(3) organizations and registered with the state. But just saying no to that nonsense and departing is often the wisest move for the individual ham.

Frank,
Going to go out on a limb and state the obvious:  If your ham club is a 501(c)(3),  the board members (including yourself) have  legal responsibilities.  They are often summarized in the "three Ds":

Duty of care: Board members are expected to actively participate in organizational planning and decision-making and to make sound and informed judgments.

Duty of loyalty: When acting on behalf of the organization, board members must put the interests of the nonprofit before any personal or professional concerns and avoid potential conflicts of interest.

Duty of obedience: Board members must ensure that the organization complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations, and that it remains committed to its established mission.

If you have concerns, you should bring it to the attention of the board in writing, delivered by certified mail.  If they don't respond to your satisfaction, resign in writing - Explaining why, with a copy to the attorney general of the state where the non-profit is organized. (The letter to the AG is solely to keep you in the clear)

Martin

BTW, I'm on the board of a club in NJ.  Also did a stint on the board of a youth organization (7+ years).   I went out and found 80+ hours of board training so I could do the job the membership elected me to.



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W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 189




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« Reply #148 on: October 09, 2013, 02:50:10 PM »

Frank,
Sounds like your former club's board needs help.  They clearly don't understand that unless "executive session" (in camera) is invoked, the meeting is subject to open discussion.

Best advise I can offer is look for another club that you are comfortable with.  

Martin Flynn
W2RWJ





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NU3U
Member

Posts: 16




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« Reply #149 on: October 13, 2013, 07:27:35 PM »

I agree with the OP:  I am out of Texas and if wasn't for the fact that I have invested a large amount of money on mainly new equipment and to a degree the very very very few hams who are indeed friendly and helpful, I would have thrown in the towel by now......"there is some funny business going on in this hobby" that is making it indeed a miserable experience.
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