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Author Topic: Dissappointed with the hobby and clubs so far  (Read 170404 times)
MRDUDE178
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Posts: 12




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« on: February 09, 2011, 09:55:53 PM »

I'm sure I'll catch some kind of flack from this,but I only speak from the experience I've had thus far.First off I don't need comments on a misspelling or improper punctuation,now that's out of the way.I'm sure there are some very nice hams out there and this doesn't apply to all,but I have had a very poor intro to the hobby here in Missouri,basically my ham radio equipment has become glorified police scanners with me checking into a net once in a while to make sure I can still transmit.Seems if you don't know someone or aren't Joe Schmo's son people on the air locally are downright unfriendly and it seems anytime I've ever gotten a decent conversation started with what sounded like new blood like myself other locals get on and muscle there way onto the repeater with there "tea chat" I understand that we all have rights to talk its just the manner and the timing,and another one of my favorites is how unknowledgable some of the so called "elmers" will be with newbies and tell you 'oh I don't know about those radios" or "I don't know about that issue" and then a miracle happens.........the next day or week you hear this same person you asked a question to become a expert on the device or situation to his or her pals.Isn't this about friendly communication? I mean nobody has to be my friend but a little common courtesy would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 11:05:18 PM by MRDUDE178 » Logged
KJ4FUU
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Posts: 162




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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 07:52:48 AM »

You didn't mention what area in Missouri you were. Is there only one club in the area? I'm in Alexandria, VA, and there are several clubs in our area, with each club operating its own repeaters.

If you have more than one, have you found the same experience at all of them?

Sometimes, offering to help with a project is a good ice-breaker. You may not know everything about radio, but if you are capable, helping with some muscle at an antenna-raising party would get you introduced to the gang. While some people are more than glad to help a new ham, I realize that others can't be bothered. Hopefully, you'll find one soon.

-- Tom Kirby KJ4FUU
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MRDUDE178
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 08:41:05 AM »

I didn't want to be to specific,because I don't want to go bashing any club or individuals by name,thats not my intention to make a particular group look bad,just speak of my experience and maybe someone will take note.I am in the st.louis area and there are only a couple of clubs (that I am aware of anyway that are not company oriented).Offering help was one of the first things I tried to break the ice with (I have recently lost my job and between applying for jobs and whatever I have a lot of time on my hands) I just have had an all around poor experience with everything,even the skywarn system here.Any major weather events that have occurred while I have had my ticket (and there have been quite a few) have been just well whatever,it seems when the net controller hears a familiar callsign,they are extremely friendly and want to talk about anything and everything.When myself or another newbie calls with info it seems like they can't get us off of the air quick enough (sometimes even with a rude tone) I just hear the difference in the way they treat the newbies who are grandsons of Gertrudes (fictitious name)breakfast buddies and someone like myself,and they wonder why club renewals are low.This is not isolated to me,I know of several techs who just gave up (was on email and phone speaking relationships with these people) and they just felt a cold shoulder
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MRDUDE178
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2011, 09:02:48 AM »

I don't plan on giving up so easily,I am going for my general to get into HF and dxing and have had some pleasant and interesting experiences just leaving echolink run on my phone or pc for a while and a random person from many of locations have struck up a conversation,I am fascinated with rf and electronics,I was the kid who had my mother chasing me around the house because I took the vcr apart at 7 years old to see how it worked  Grin.RF equipment and cabling was in my job desciption for many years.I have gotten some good pointers on other forums and what seem like friendly people but just seems a waste that some of the locals seem to act this way
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N2EY
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Posts: 3860




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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 04:50:33 AM »

First off I don't need comments on a misspelling or improper punctuation,

Why not?

Those things make writing easier to read and understand. Why not make the message easier for the reader?


now that's out of the way.I'm sure there are some very nice hams out there and this doesn't apply to all,but I have had a very poor intro to the hobby here in Missouri,basically my ham radio equipment has become glorified police scanners with me checking into a net once in a while to make sure I can still transmit.Seems if you don't know someone or aren't Joe Schmo's son people on the air locally are downright unfriendly and it seems anytime I've ever gotten a decent conversation started with what sounded like new blood like myself other locals get on and muscle there way onto the repeater with there "tea chat" I understand that we all have rights to talk its just the manner and the timing,

One thing to remember is that a repeater is a shared resource. Which means that if someone is using it and someone else wants to use it, the first person should give it up unless there's an emergency.

This is particularly true if the person using it isn't a member of the club that owns the repeater, but the person wanting to use the repeater is a member.

It's the exact opposite of the way non-repeater operation works. In non-repeater operation, the people on a frequency first have precedence. They don't "own" the frequency, but unless there's an emergency, it's rude and poor operating for others to try to take it away.

Do you do any operation that isn't repeaters?

and another one of my favorites is how unknowledgable some of the so called "elmers" will be with newbies and tell you 'oh I don't know about those radios" or "I don't know about that issue" and then a miracle happens.........the next day or week you hear this same person you asked a question to become a expert on the device or situation to his or her pals.

Maybe the person looked up the device after you asked the question, and learned the answer. That's what I'd do if someone asked me a question about a rig I wasn't familiar with.

Isn't this about friendly communication? I mean nobody has to be my friend but a little common courtesy would be appreciated.

Friendliness and common courtesy work both ways.

I suggest that you check out what amateur radio offers beyond the local repeaters. Your license allows a lot more, including some HF operation. Why not check it out?

73 de Jim, N2EY
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NI0C
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Posts: 2383




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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 05:48:39 AM »

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
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MRDUDE178
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2011, 11:37:22 AM »

I guess I have to specify that the experience hasn't been completely negative and I only made a comment about punctuation and spelling because I have seen someone completely twist a thread to focus on name calling of the individual who started the thread over this.Anyway I was a paying member at one time but that is besides the point.I have been nothing but pleasant on the air and never have openly complained about anything.It has just been a rough start,I have struck up a couple of interesting conversations on simplex also but stopped hearing from some "eager sounding newbies like myself" because either they moved on to other bands or just went dormant.Like I said not trying to drag anyone out in the road just some advice to clubs,aside from someone asking me were the bathroom was at a meeting I have not had much said to me or any interest in who the "new guy is".Remember you guys are the experienced ones who know each other (faces with callsigns) at these events and I can introduce myself allday long and it didn't seem to help
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KE4JOY
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Posts: 1335




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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2011, 12:48:40 PM »

Get on HF ...

Repeaters are actually a very thin facade of amateur radio. There is so much more.
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MRDUDE178
Member

Posts: 12




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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2011, 01:22:34 PM »

Yeah I'm really looking forward to HF,I have had a heck of a time with HF rigs on my budget,ended up with a roasted Icom 735 and another that was full of gremlins (that fortunately the seller took back) but still don't have a functioning one,I really got a kick out of seeing what I was able to pull in distance wise with my limited resources and the icom till it died but I'm getting off topic here anyway,I think I was just trying to say be nice to the new guys Wink
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MRDUDE178
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2011, 01:33:20 PM »

thanks NI0C I've checked out your club page and will be listening for you guys on said frequency
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K1CJS
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Posts: 5888




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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2011, 10:46:58 AM »

I know you asked not to--but it has to be said.  You're writing is one long, drawn out, rambling sentence, and some people just can't see the direction you want to go with it.  If you're going in the direction I think you are, please read the first article on the home page of this site--"Not a hobby--infinitely more!". 

Ham radio is what you make it, and if you're looking to make it a fault finding exercise in futility, then that is all it's going to be to you.  On the other hand, if you get to doing what you like to do, you will find others who also like what you want to do, and the hobby will become more--possibly a lot more--than what you were looking for!
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AE5QB
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Posts: 267




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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2011, 12:26:04 PM »

You know, I have belonged to a lot of clubs in my times.  Everything from sports clubs to photography, metal detecting, shooting, golf, and of course ham radio.  And your experience is not totally uncommon.  There are all types of people and they tend to aggregate with others of their liking, you know birds of a feather thing.  Some clubs are so inbred that they will never thrive and never grow and the majority of club time is spent wondering why everyone is so bored and they can't get any new blood into the organization.  Again, I have seen these types of clubs and just accept them for what they are and move on.

On the other hands, there are a lot of really great guys and gals in amateur radio.  You just have to keep looking for them.  Some clubs can be a bit snooty, so can some nets.  Heck there are guys on the air that think they have claim to freq X at Y time because they have had a rag chew there with their buddy every day for the last 10 years.  Just listen to some of those conversations.  They talk about everything from their family hygiene to the type of cheese they put on their Macaroni.  Kind of funny to me, but if it makes them happy then let them live in their world.  I just smile and turn the dial. 

Others are major outgoing and live their lives to help others.  I am finding this particularly true in the CW world.  I am new to CW and have not had a rude exchange yet.  I am sure I will find one sooner or later but these guys and gals are just very encouraging and forgiving when I mess up - and I do that a lot.  If you haven't tried CW you might want to give it a try.  I have had 5 WPM QSOs with guys who I hear working at 35+ wpm.  They must be totally board out of their minds when working with me, but they always have nice things to say and they patiently work through the QSO.  Just a bunch of nice folks and I think representative of the true spirit of Ham radio.

But if CW isn't your thing, that is OK also.  Decide what is and go for it.  Seek out other clubs or just a couple of people in your current club.  Yes people are going to aggregate with those with similar interests.  But I am willing to bet you can find one or two hams in the club that will be happy to talk with you about whatever it is that interests you.  But you do have to take the first steps.  You are the newbie and in a sense you have to pay your dues.  Take the initiative.  Volunteer to present something at the next meeting or take in your rig or a new key or project you are working on.  And then see how fast people show interest.

Don't be offended if you aren't accepted into that "circle of friends" too quickly.  Keep working and pretty soon you will be just one of the guys.

Good luck and I hope to catch you on the air.

73!

Tom
AE5QB 
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KB5ZSJ
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2011, 10:05:06 PM »

             I fell your pain, and know what your going through with your club locally. I am not bashing all clubs because there are a few good ones out there that believe in the hobby.
             One local club here has a big problem with in it that for over ten years has hurt the hobby so bad here that no participation in events and Skywarn has been non existent has been the normal. This is a sad thing to hear from any ham both new and old but this is happening all over the USA at an alarming rate and has to be stopped by those good hams that are left in the hobby or we will not have an hobby at all to enjoy.
            The club president of the one local club has told me that he has no heart left for the hobby, has hatred issues towards those who do not follow him and do what he says to fill his agendas and his egotistical ways.
            All i can say is make your voice known and keep on making it known until your voice is known by others and keep on using your radio
as professionally as you can and never stoop to their level at all times and anyway possible.
           Good luck and hope it gets all better for you!!!!!!!!!
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KC1BUD
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 11:47:57 AM »

I'm sure I'll catch some kind of flack from this,but I only speak from the experience I've had thus far.First off I don't need comments on a misspelling or improper punctuation,now that's out of the way.I'm sure there are some very nice hams out there and this doesn't apply to all,but I have had a very poor intro to the hobby here in Missouri,basically my ham radio equipment has become glorified police scanners with me checking into a net once in a while to make sure I can still transmit.Seems if you don't know someone or aren't Joe Schmo's son people on the air locally are downright unfriendly and it seems anytime I've ever gotten a decent conversation started with what sounded like new blood like myself other locals get on and muscle there way onto the repeater with there "tea chat" I understand that we all have rights to talk its just the manner and the timing,and another one of my favorites is how unknowledgable some of the so called "elmers" will be with newbies and tell you 'oh I don't know about those radios" or "I don't know about that issue" and then a miracle happens.........the next day or week you hear this same person you asked a question to become a expert on the device or situation to his or her pals.Isn't this about friendly communication? I mean nobody has to be my friend but a little common courtesy would be appreciated.

This sounds so familiar. Years ago my wife who shows horses, didn't want to show on the state breed level complained to me that she didn't know anyone and that everyone is unfriendly or down right snobbish. I suggested she join anyway, she did and then she started to get to know people She found out that they were friendly and not snobbish. What made a difference was she got to know them.

I am the only ham in my family I am not talking just my children, wife and grandchildren, but all of my brothers and sisters and their children and grandchildren, I have 16 brothers and sisters, I am the only ham.

I joined the local club, and didn't know anyone, but I met them and have gotten to know them and found that they are the best bunch of guys and gals. I am a nobody, I have absolutely no connections that anyone might use, but I do have the hobby of amateur radio that connects us all.
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W1IT
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Posts: 53




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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2011, 10:37:49 AM »

 Well, I can commiserate with your position. Years ago in vermont, the clubs were biased against anyone less tha 40. Now, with age, I wonder if wheel chairs will be the next requirement and handicapped ramps?

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!
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