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Author Topic: Intimidated  (Read 5618 times)
KB3WZX
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Posts: 4




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« on: March 22, 2013, 10:35:15 AM »

I'm a relative new Ham having just operated a year under my tech license working ARES/RACES and public service events. Recently I passed my General ticket and am getting ready to put my HF shack together. I purchased a Kenwood TS-140S in excellent shape from an estate and will be running an OCF Windom dipole. My club members have been extremely helpful checking out my rig and advising me.

My concern is this...I've monitored many bands on a receiver and hear many negative comments regarding new Hams not knowing what they are doing. There seems to be a disdain for new Hams among those who have many years of experience. My fear is I will offend someone out there while I get into the HF learning curve. How do I get going without upsetting folks on the air?

Thanks
Tim
KB3WZX
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N0TJO
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Posts: 23




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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2013, 10:39:51 AM »

1st welcome to the hobby.
2nd like any other population of clubs/hobbies etc there will always be "bad apples".

Dont worry about the negative fodder if you run into it...simply dial away from it. I believe the majority of hams you actually engage with on air will be positive. Its rare that I meet someone with any major issues. Unless you get "sucked" into the negative banter etc, you will do fine. Get on, answer/call out a few CQs.

Look forward to meeting on the waves...regards, Brian/W4ZGH
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WX2S
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Posts: 735




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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 10:51:39 AM »

Well, you are always pretty likely to offend people who are easily offended. Don't worry about that; who cares about them?  Grin Just try not to QRM anyone and you'll do fine.

Second suggestion is to practice on "low risk" QSOs. Just find a nice blank spot and call CQ, or answer someone who is calling CQ with no takers. Mention that you're new on HF and you'll probably get a warm welcome.

BTW, on the blank spots, always ask if the frequency is in use before calling CQ. ("QRL?" in CW.)

73,
- WX2S
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 10:55:25 AM by WX2S » Logged

73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
M5AEO
Member

Posts: 270




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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2013, 10:52:58 AM »

Ignore them!  We were all new once, including the old grumps!
I would be delighted to work you on HF.  I have a very modest station and restricted antenna, so it's always a thrill to make it 'across the pond'.  Enjoy the wonderful world of shortwave!

Jonathan, M5AEO, London UK.

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AC2EU
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Posts: 399


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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2013, 11:03:38 AM »

Yes, Welcome to HF!

There are some folks who like to demean others just so they can feel better about themselves. Ignore them!

Know the rules and get a detailed band plan that shows some of the sub-windows within windows. For instance, there are specific areas for PSK31 and RTTY on some bands.
Make sure that you are far enough away from other QSOs and ask "is this frequency in use" before calling "CQ".
Be courteous, and wait to be acknowledged if you are breaking into a QSO. If you are not acknowledged, move on.
Listen for while before you jump into things. There are places on 75M where you are better off to stay away from.

Keep these things in mind and you will be fine.
Have fun and don't worry about a few jerks...

I have been in the hobby 2.5 years and only got a "nasty gram" email from one guy because I answered a DX  SSB CQ that was just below the phone window on 40M. I ASS-U-Med that since the foreign Ham was there, it OK to respond without looking at the dial. Foreign hams use a different band plan than the US. The guy was right, so I am now very careful before I key the transmitter. No big deal...
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KA5IWO
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Posts: 131




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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 11:05:04 AM »

There are more good people on the radio than bad, so just ignore / tune away from the troublemakers. I enjoy 40 and 10 meters myself and do not usually meet many old grouches, but they are out there.
Enjoy the hobby.

Kevin
KA5IWO
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KATEKEBO
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 11:13:54 AM »

Don't worry about grumpy hams.

Just call CQ or answer one.  Stick to basic rules and etiquette - speak slow and clear, identify yourself clearly and at the end of each QSO, acknowledge the other person's call sign (it's like calling the other person by his name), don't interrupt on-going conversations, don't extend a QSO beyond what's reasonable, know the bandplan and stay within allocated frequencies accordingly to your license class.

Everybody was a "newbie" some day - but some are too senile to remember.

S. Bucki
KD8KQH
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WN2C
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Posts: 447




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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2013, 11:20:25 AM »

Tim,
First off welcome to ham radio and congrats on getting the General.  Don't worry about those who complain about 'new hams'.  Some of them share a call sign known as India Delta 1 Oscar Tango.  (yea I know 'I' is for Italy)  When you get that antenna up, come on down to 7.195.  I believe the your General privileges will allow that.  There is a bunch of nice welcoming Hams on there most times.  Come on down and get your feet wet.
73 es gud luk
de Rick  wn2c
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W6UV
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Posts: 538




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« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2013, 11:30:16 AM »

How do I get going without upsetting folks on the air?

Spend some time listening on the bands before you start transmitting. Hams have over a hundred years of accumulated tradition and will frown on newcomers who try to go against this tradition.

The quickest way to tick off folks is to use terms such as "first personal" or "on the side". Use of things like this is guaranteed to set people off.

Remember, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.
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WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2013, 11:32:15 AM »

Welcome.  I'm new as well.  

Yes, check out the band frequencies and note the QRM and specific areas you won't be working.   Not many.

I'd start with replying to CQ and getting the hang of it.   Play around with the contest later this month.  

See if you can return 100 CQs or something.   Have fun.  

Call CQ when you're comfortable and it's SLOW.   You don't want to get bombarded and overwhelmed at first.

The way I see it..  although us new guys might not have all the experience and knowledge of the old hams..  

Those old hams are most likely clueless about the computer their kids set up for them and I won't give them a hard time for not being able to fix their own equipment (computers, antennas in a tower or on the roof) if they don't give me a hard time for not knowing everything I need to know....    Smiley   (meant as a joke)

We're always learning something...

Great hobby!

Bryan
WH7DX
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WX2S
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Posts: 735




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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2013, 12:08:50 PM »

Those old hams are most likely clueless about the computer their kids set up for them and I won't give them a hard time for not being able to fix their own equipment (computers, antennas in a tower or on the roof) if they don't give me a hard time for not knowing everything I need to know....    Smiley   (meant as a joke)
I've been in the computer business for four decades. As the technology has "advanced," I've become ever more clueless about how to fix them.  Grin

BTW, also stay far away from 14.313.  Tongue

73, -WX2S
 
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
W9GB
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Posts: 2623




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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2013, 12:40:42 PM »

Quote from: KB3WZX
There seems to be a disdain for new Hams among those who have many years of experience. My fear is I will offend someone out there while I get into the HF learning curve. How do I get going without upsetting folks on the air?
Tim --

Just be truthful, to yourself and representations of what you know -- and what you don't know.
After 40 years in amateur radio, this is not new (despite what you may read).

When I started in late 1960s, there were some retired (65+) amateurs who started as teenagers when radio was NEW after World War I.  They were a rare breed -- they DIY built everything.
Some were a bit grumpy with those in the Baby Boom generation that said "Just Tell Me The Answer!".  
That attitude still exits today with new and experienced amateurs.  I would argue that is the normal operating mode.

One characteristic that is "new" (my observations) -- is an anger (almost violent reaction), in being corrected for an incorrect understand (or wrong conclusion), even when the industry standards are presented.
This is how learning, teaching, and continuing education occurs.  In many instances, it is an issue or point of Personal Safety (HV, electrical wiring, tower erection/climbing).

IF you wanted to LEARN, as an Old World Apprentice to a Master -- the WW1 generation loved to teach and a sharp student learned volumes.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2013, 12:52:50 PM by W9GB » Logged
KB3WZX
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2013, 01:41:50 PM »

Thanks to all of you for your words of encouragement. I am retired and this hobby was given to me by my XYL for my 40th wedding anniversary. I'll certainly take all of your comments to heart and "shadow" for awhile before venturing out on the air waves.

With the help of my son getting the dipole up this weekend I hope to be on the air this Sunday.

Thanks again
73
Tim
KB3WZX
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W5DQ
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2013, 01:59:05 PM »

Being one of those 'old timers' you refer to (licensed for nearly 40 years - Novice thru Extra), let me say that we're not all like the few you hear grumping about newbies. Many of us old timers like nothing better than to pass on what we have learned to newly licensed hams and to help create a better cohesive brother/sisterhood of fellow hams. Now having said that, I would like to pass on a suggestion concerning your foray into new territory of HF ham radio. It cannot be emphasized enough to listen to the bands (which you sound like you are doing, great!) and see what works and what draws the ire of the community at large. Read up on operating hints for specific modes you're interested in, learn the band plans and gentlemen's agreements for the bands of interest and if possible, visit a station of a local who is active in the modes/bands you're looking at getting into. Ask questions both locally and here on the internet. Provide enough details in your question so that it is clear what you are seeking.

But by all means, get setup and get active. You're going to make mistakes - we all did starting out. Lord knows I still make more than my share of them and hear about it from DX cops and my local buddies (when they catch me Wink ). But "LEARNING BY DOING" is the key.

Welcome to the General segments and have a great time in using the allocations you've earned by upgrading. Along the way, remember to study for the Extra in conjunction with learning about maximizing your current privileges and soon you'll be an Amateur Extra class with full privileges on all bands.

73,

Gene W5DQ
www.radioroom.org
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N4NYY
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Posts: 4758




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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2013, 03:17:37 PM »

Go ahead and transmit. If you want to see on how a ham should NOT act, go to the 3.900 and up on 80M. Also, if you are listening to a DXer on split freq, listen to the jerks that get on someone that accidentally transmits on the receiving freq. If you don't act like any of those hams, you will be just fine.
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