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Author Topic: Help the Older Hams  (Read 1434 times)
KE5BNO
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Posts: 21




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« on: March 30, 2005, 12:07:28 PM »

    I was listening to a QSO on 80m the other night and one of the stations commented that he would like to fix his HF tribander, but he just wasn't physically able to do tower work anymore.  Afer thinking about this for a minute, I'll bet there are a lot of the older "Elmers" (and there are a lot of em', thank goodness) who might have similar problems in many areas, some maybe as simple as a broken dipole wire or connector,  requiring a younger ham's arms, legs, and eyes. These older hams still have a vast amount of technical knowledge and experience, but their bodies just won't allow them to perform some of the more physical tasks such as antenna repair or installation.  So, I'm asking that all physically able hams consider checking with some of these "older" Elmers who might need a hand, and offer to "give something back" in the way of this assistance.  I'll bet all of us will be glad if we do, and some of these really great older hams will be able to join us "on the air" again, not to mention the fact that you will have some great stories, knowledge, and experiences passed on to you. BTW, I'm not suggesting that all "older" hams are physically limited---there are some out there in a lot better shape than I am, hi. hi. Here's to all the Elmers for all you have done for all of us over many, many, years in amateur radio.            
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KR4BD
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Posts: 224




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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2005, 02:19:33 PM »

Good points.  I have an 87 year old friend who I have helped over recent years with a few operating problems he has had.  I recently helped him, licensed since 1934, with his license renewal process.   Renewing is definitely not as easy as it was just 10 years ago.  Now, the FCC wants internet renewals but if you are not up-to-speed with the internet, CORES registration, ULS, passwords, etc., renewing can be a frustrating experience.  If you know an older ham whose license is expiring soon, you might offer to help them.  Of course, you can always pay the $6 to W5YI to have them do it for you.  Or, be an ARRL member as I think they will do free renewals for members.    

Tom, KR4BD
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N6AYJ
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Posts: 40


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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2005, 02:38:50 PM »

"I was listening to a QSO on 80m the other night and one of the stations commented that he would like to fix his HF tribander, but he just wasn't physically able to do tower work anymore."

Do you have any idea what the older ham's financial situation is?  Most older hams have a lot of money and can well afford to pay someone to work on their antennas.  The well-to-do older hams that I am acquainted with aren't exactly my idea of a deserving charity, while most of the younger hams I know could use a little extra money.  I say, don't volunteer to help some OF who is just too cheap to fix his equipment.
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WB2WIK
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2005, 03:01:02 PM »

Oh, Bill, you're such a lovable cynic!

It's true a lot of older hams are wealthy and if so should expect to pay the younger generation for services rendered; but this isn't always the case.

I'm reminded of a octogenarian local to me who I never met, but bumped into on the air on 20 meters about two years ago.  He could tell I was much younger, and asked if I'd give him a hand re-stringing his dipole over his roof, because the antenna had to be taken down soon when his roof was being retiled.

I said, "Sure, any time!" and gave him my phone number.

He never called.

So, I looked him up and found his number, and called him.  He had passed on after our QSO, and I didn't know that.  I never found out if anyone helped him put his dipole back up...

I'm sorry he's gone, but I'd be even more sorry to find out he needed help and nobody was there, he lost my number, or whatever.  Next time, I'll remember that my "sure, any time!" should include, "let me come visit you right now and see what needs to be done."

WB2WIK/6
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WB4QNG
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Posts: 362




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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2005, 05:20:37 PM »

I guess that is the world that we live in today. Hams charging other hams for doing simple fixes. I understand the ones that are in it for comercial reasons and I support them but to charge a fellow ham to work on an antenna, soldier a mic on help him run coax. I just think that is sad. I guess we lost the ham are brothers ideas.
Terry
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N6AYJ
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2005, 05:43:34 PM »

Oh yeah, let's all volunteer to help the OF's stay on the air so we can keep listening to them discuss their prostatitis, heart conditions, etc.  You've got the cart before the horse.  Why should a younger ham, who's paying through the nose for Social Security benefits for the OF (which the younger ham is probably never going to get), and when the OF gets MediCare when the younger ham probably can't even afford health insurance, volunteer for the benefit of a well-to-do OF?  It just makes no sense at all.
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KG4YJR
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Posts: 179




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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2005, 05:52:29 PM »

I never do anyone a favor and expect something in return.
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WT0A
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Posts: 922




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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2005, 06:09:33 PM »

I guess Lee (SK) left some loose ends in his elmering.
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KB1LTC
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Posts: 72




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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2005, 08:03:01 PM »

For what it’s worth, I think KE5BNO’s suggestion is a good and honorable thought! I have found that (in the short time I’ve been in amateur radio), aside from the technical aspect of the hobby, it’s a hobby that develops and promotes a kind of kinship, a brotherhood of sorts, if you will. It really shouldn’t matter how financially well off an older ham might be (or ANY ham for that matter). If they need help in the form of an extra body or set of hands, I see no reason why another able-bodied ham shouldn’t help without expecting some kind of financial reimbursement! There are plenty of other hams out there with some physical limitations that are on a budget… Like me! I have some antenna projects that I want to get off the ground (pardon the pun), but my limited mobility causes a problem. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends who are willing and able to help me out, and all they want in return is a handshake and a heartfelt “thanks”! Remember…”good will towards others”?

John, KB1LTC
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9908




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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2005, 09:04:42 PM »

Well I am an OF, and disabled and must thank my ham friends who help me out with antennas, and shack building and lots of other stuff.

We have fun doing it too. I am not rich and can't afford to pay someone to do this, but I can help others in different ways, for example trying to be a positive influence here on eham, and sometimes its nothing more than taking the crew out for lunch..

 I feel sorry for the folks who look at life with such a sour eyeball.  It is much more fun to enjoy than to be bitter!

To all the folks who help me and others , thanks, and to those who thinke we are all fools, may you someday find happiness in your life also.

73 all

tom N6AJR

( now if I can just remember where I put that fan dipole!!!!)
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KC8VWM
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Posts: 3119




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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2005, 09:10:58 PM »

I have gone to the extent of even developing a portable "go kit" for this purpose and suggest all hams capable of "antenna work" do the same thing.

It also happens to come in very handy for my own antenna work too!

It can be easily made from a number of "dollar store" items such as cheap hand tools, electrical tape, solder, wrenches, gas powered soldering iron, PL259's, nylon ties, a few chokes, insulators, silcone sealant and any other many common items typically used for antenna work.

As far as recieving compensation goes, I feel that they have already paid thier debt to me in advance.

After all, without the many years behind some of these older folks in the past - Amateur Radio wouldn't be where it is today for us to take advantage of!

We owe it to them... They don't owe us.

It's time we give back what they gave us.

73 Charles - KC8VWM
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KC8VWM
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Posts: 3119




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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2005, 09:28:32 PM »

"Oh yeah, let's all volunteer to help the OF's stay on the air so we can keep listening to them discuss their prostatitis, heart conditions, etc. "

I know that this is an internet forum and you don't really mean that.

73 Charles - KC8VWM
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K0IZ
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Posts: 737




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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2005, 06:22:01 AM »

Nice post.   One of the nice things about ham radio is the long tradition of hams helping hams.  WHen I was a snot-nosed kid (SNK), some OF's helped get me going.  If I can now return the favor, to an even older OF, or a snot-nosed kid, so much the better.  I don't think the original poster was implying that the type of help involved stuff like digging a 6ft deep hole for a tower, etc.  I would hate to think that very many hams have Bill's attitude.
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WILLY
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Posts: 286




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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2005, 07:34:55 AM »

 by N6AYJ on March 30, 2005       Mail this to a friend!

"...
Do you have any idea what the older ham's financial situation is? Most older hams have a lot of money and can well afford to pay someone to work on their antennas. The well-to-do older hams that I am acquainted with aren't exactly my idea of a deserving charity,"

Isn't there a big difference between "deserving charity" and just doing a favor?

" while most of the younger hams I know could use a little extra money."

Most that I know could benefit from exposure to some fine gentleman with so much experience that they've forgotten more than most of us will ever learn.


" I say, don't volunteer to help some OF who is just too cheap to fix his equipment. "

Of course, then you'd miss out on whatever experience these old timers could share with you.  Even if nothing but interesting stories, from day's gone by.  All you have to do is listen.   It is a form of respect.

But wait - -  is it possible that maybe you already know everything, and could not gain any benefit?
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K4JSR
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Posts: 513




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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2005, 09:34:40 AM »

N6AYJ, you seem to forget about reciprocity.  We OFs
have to listen to you "wet behind the ears" types rant
and rave about how superior you are.  My only wish
for you is that you be blessed with many children who
are miniatures of yourself. Then, and only then will
you realize that you have become that which hate the most--an OF whose kids know it all!
You also forgot one other topic we OFs just love to
discuss, "How the young hams are leading the hobby
into Hades in a handbasket"!
Your turn!
73,  Cal  K4JSR at the "Forget-Me-Not Rest QTH"
And yes, I am still on my rocker!  :-P

PS. It looks like Mr. Katz has your number! (Hee! Hee!)
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