Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

donate to eham
   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: getting over fear of getting on air  (Read 1184 times)

Posts: 56

« on: December 09, 2002, 12:32:55 PM »

how do i get over my fear of getting on air? i am a "terminal perfectionist" and am afraid of screwing up somehow.

Posts: 6

« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2002, 12:41:09 PM »

FM or HF?  On HF I suggest the 'really really long CQ.'  I use a voice keyer option for my radio since it can make it a lot less tiring on the voice.  I just sit there and push a button now to call CQ while I'm browsing the or reading something. When the call is over I sit back and listen for a bit.  

I agree it does feel a little weird to sit there in front of the microphone and say 'CQ CQ CQ this is KE6I' over and over again.  Doesn't everybody feel this at some point?

Posts: 242

« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2002, 12:50:39 PM »

Two things come immediately to mind:
First, remember the old Ham adage, "Listen, Listen, Listen." Whatever mode you enjoy, listen until you have a good idea what's going on.
Secondly, be patient with yourself. No one is a skilled operator when they first get on the air. Anybody that feels that way is misled. If you pay attention to what you are doing, with time, you will be as good an op as you want to be. It's up to you. Furthermore, make contacts every day. The more you operate, the better you can become.

Posts: 31

« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2002, 12:53:09 PM »

Oh dear, I think everyone's been here at point or another! I was thrown in at the deep end, my first contact was in the heat of a contest!

However, after being made to make a couple of contest contacts by this friend(!)of mine, he then went for a tune around 144MHz and found a couple of local characters that I knew personally and I found it much more relaxing to talk to them, they knew I had just got my license and were very forgiving of any cock-ups!

So I think the answer is to try to QSO with someone you know first until your nerves start to subside a little!

Microphone shyness is very common, and sometimes even old hands get stuck for something to say and get embarressed, they (including me, and I've been on air for well over 20years!) also still drop the odd clanger! so don't worry about making mistakes, we ALL do it now and then!

Get on air and enjoy yourself!


Posts: 21758

« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2002, 01:51:39 PM »

If you keep your transmissions brief and identify, and stay within the bands you're authorized to use, there's nothing you can do that will annoy anyone.  Like Nike says, "Just Do It."

Nobody's keeping score or tallying up the stupid mistakes all operators make.  The trick to never gaining a bad reputation is to keep your transmissions brief until you are absolutely certain you're doing everything correctly.  That certainty will take some time.


Posts: 17411

« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2002, 05:22:25 PM »

If you know a local ham, have her/him come over and
sit with you for your first contact or two.  (Setting
up a sked to talk to someone you know on the air is
another good approach.)  The backup person can  provide
moral support and encouragement, as well as reminding
you what your callsign is (or that you need to release
the mic button) when you forget.  And, if you tell the
person at the other end that this is your first contact
they will understand, since we have all been there at
some point.

As Steve said, there is nobody keeping score.  We all
make mistakes on occasion, regardless of how long we
have been on the air.  My two suggestions are  1) be
willing to make mistakes on occasion, and 2) be willing
to admit it and laugh at yourself when you do.

Remember, if you aren't making mistakes, you probably
are not learning or trying anything new.

Posts: 4450

« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2002, 07:45:39 PM »

All I know is that during the first few months every Q gets a little smoother and a little more fun than the one before, so even a 'terminal perfectionist' has something to look forward to...

What worked well for me was to find a small group of 3-7 semi-regulars hanging out on VHF simplex in the evenings to talk about nothing in particular. Chances are they won't care if you're learning the ropes as it wasn't too long ago they were doing the same. Get acquainted with a few good rag-chewers and you'll build your confidence and pick up a some choice phrases along the way.

You didn't get your license to listen, did you?


...says a lot about our society that Martin Shkreli went to prison for defrauding investors but not for price gouging lifesaving medication   -   Ken Klippenstein

Posts: 3

« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2002, 08:01:34 PM »

  Tips from someones whose fear of not getting it right delayed enjoyment of ham radio for 12 years:
1. Get over getting it right.  The point is not to "get it right" but to play and have fun.  It is a hobby. It is not a military service where there is only one way to do things. When you encounter hams who think it is listen politely, thank them for their advice, and don't worry about it. Choose the operating procedures that follow the law, the golden rule, and that you think will provide the most effective communication and enjoyment.
2.  There is no one right way to carry on a converstion but the converstion police could criticize no matter what you do.  I have seen experienced hams firmly assert contradictory operating procedures as the "proper" procedure.  The gold standard is effective communication and enjoyment.  I use standard phonetics because they are effective not because of any list of "proper procedures".
3.  Given these principles, when someone tries of boost his own ego by critisising or cutting down your operating practices, he is undermining enjoyment of the hobby and that makes HIM the bad op. The is not the same thing as tactfully and politely helping you out.
4.  When it is clear from your cw speed or fist that you are not an old timer but someone uses obscure abbreviations, you are not the bad op.
5.  When someone answers your 8 wpm cq at 13 wpm, you are not the bad op.
Keeping these principles in mind, get on the air at least once a day, listen and learn, and if your feeling get hurt blame the other guy. Happy hamming!  

Posts: 1

« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2002, 09:06:27 PM »

I hear ya!  I was scared stiff to make that first call.  I did a lot of listening - for about 2 hours!

I could not wait to take the plunge!  Fortunately, this town has a great Ham community with lots of folks willing to help with anything and everything.

Take the plunge - I know you are worried.  Don't be - listen to what is said / the protocols used, etc.

Every journey, no matter how long / short, complicated or not - has to start with the first step!

Good luck,



Posts: 1

« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2002, 09:26:24 PM »

First of all WELCOME to the hobby.

Second, they don't call it "Amateur Radio" for nothing!

You never learning anything by avoiding mistakes.  I remember my first QSO, i had my radio bought (2m Mobile) the antenna up and i was listening to the locals for a couple weeks waiting for my license to show up in the mail.  By the time it showed up i knew the names and calls of most of the locals that chatted on 2m simplex or the local repeater each night.  I jumped into a three way ragchew, and said Hi to all three of them using there first names, that was enough of a ice breaker to get the conversation rolling on who this new guy is who already knows there names!

Sure there is the inconsiderate few, the repeater cops, the simplex enforcers, the rule preachers, i've heard it all, but the ones that are true hams will settle in and chat.  After all if someone starts preaching the rules at you when you haven't done anything out of the ordinary, do you really want to become friends?

I am the youngest ham in my area, sure i'm 25, but everybody else out ranks me by 10-40 years older!  Does that stop us from chatting away?  Heck no, we talk about anything and everything.

If you are still a little shy about grabbing the mic, listen for them to start chatting about something you know, i am the computer guru and get called on the radio often by the other hams with computers that need some help or advice.  Jump in on a conversation that suits your experiences or hobbies, i've heard conversations on everything from Gardening to Galaxy's.




Posts: 56

« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2002, 09:41:04 PM »

thanks to all who responded to my topic. i seem to forget that no one was born knowing all the ins and outs of ham radio ('though some would try to make you believe they were.) again,thanks and 73 to all. hope to hear y'all on the bands vry soon.

Posts: 550


« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2002, 01:06:35 PM »

You get over the fear of ham radio the same way you got over the fear of posting a question to this forum. No one will be critcal of you.
(BTW, you forgot to capitalize the firt word in the sentance... ;-)

Posts: 9930

« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2002, 06:33:39 PM »

Here is how you do it..

1  turn on your your radio

2  grab the mike

3 listen to see if any one is talking

4 get their call sign.. write it down the first time.

5 squeeze mike and read call sign, say this is " give your call sign" and say how ya doing.  

6 let go of the mike

7  listen

8 respond...... that's all there is to it

we are hams and we all ten to talk a bunch, so its a good thing radios come with mikes...  73 and have fun tom N6AJR

Posts: 17

« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2002, 11:05:07 PM »

Just thought I'd throw in my own $.02 as another newbie. I was a bit hesitant myself. Not out of fear of speaking (anyone who knows be will tell you I can talk the, um, ears off a brass monkey). Not out of lack of confidence about using a radio (I've used two-way radios before in various jobs I've had, and was even into - dare I say it? - CB radio way back whenever it was actually a friendly place to chat). I was just afraid of making an idiot of myself, or not fitting in with the locals, or whatever. I'd already gotten a 2m HT as soon as I'd decided to get my ticket, so by the time I waited for the next exam session and then for my call sign to be issued I had almost a month of monitoring the local repeaters. Anyway, what I did for my very first QSO was I found a few people chatting on one of the repeaters, waited until they seemed to be done their QSO, then announced my call sign and that I was a new ham and would anyone like to be my first QSO. That afternoon I wound up spending a couple hours on the radio chatting with several different people. All were great, and either I didn't mess up, or (more likely) everyone was much too polite to call it to my attention.

So, just jump in and get your feet wet. It justs gets easier and more natural with each QSO.

Posts: 5

« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2002, 10:55:35 PM »

Seems to me I was in your same position 6 months ago. that key finger just wouldnt budge. I wound up making my first qso the night I hooked a Yaesu 2mtr in my car. 5 months later standing on the sidewalk of a street watching a parade go buy with 80 or so floats and 800-900 people involved, I happened to look down at my HT(happened to be running the second battery pack, I used the first transmitting so much!) and of course realizing that I had just let loose the command to tell this whole commotion in front of me to start moving, I was mighty glad to have made that first qso.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!