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Author Topic: Dissappointed with the hobby and clubs so far  (Read 230369 times)
W1JKA
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Posts: 2008




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« Reply #150 on: October 17, 2013, 09:22:50 AM »

   Unfortunately the so called "Hobby" is now geared to instant shack equipment (business and profit) instead of learning the hobby from the ground up. This goes hand in hand with the three classes of memorized answer learners permits issued by the FCC. As far as present day and future "Clubs" are concerned one previous poster stated that they will be in the form of specific niches within the hobby which I believe to be true. About four years ago after 43 years QRT I got re licensed and attended a local area radio club meeting, after being introduced all around the first and only two questions asked of me were 1) do you have 2 meter capability and 2) are you willing to work on the club's repeater tower. Needless to say during the first break I left, never to return. Since then myself and a few other local QRPers get together for weekend outings and assist each other with antenna projects, our own little unofficial niche club where everyone is happy and no positions or titles allowed.
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WZ3O
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Posts: 43




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« Reply #151 on: October 18, 2013, 06:03:03 AM »

I see newbies getting frustrated. It happens in all facets of life, not just Hamdom. This doesn't mitigate your concerns, it does however limit your enjoyment of the hobby. My 2¢s, listen and learn, read, investigate, dig into a topic you have questions about on the internet, etc. I've been in your shoes not that long ago, Club was dysfunctional until "management" changes, we do more now in one month than the previous years in total.There are many prior members returning, adding to the diversity, with good humor at functions and outings. Also, when I was a newbie I was close to saying , well you know, but one ham sparked me to study and pass General then Extra opening up a world of contacts. Try different modes, Digital will allow you to work the world even when phone has poor propagation.  Get on HF & spin the dial, jump in when you see the opportunity, say "contact" or find a clear freq and call CQ. So don't worry over the LIDS out there, go forward, dismiss the dimwits out there. Focus on the good stuff. Although I can ramble, I'll close by saying 73 (not 73s which you'll hear often) & Cheers And did I say IGNORE the mental midgets, there R lots of them, but also many people willing to help. Good Hamming....Oh yeah when you're the Old Fart, don't forget the fact you were  a newbie once!!  Wink
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 06:07:51 AM by WZ3O » Logged
K4FMH
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #152 on: October 18, 2013, 05:20:29 PM »

Gary,

Good post! I've been listening since I was 8...but am a late-in-life ham at 61, having been licensed for a few years. Your comments about "management" are spot on! I've been through USDA management school which sort of sheds a lot of light on how some clubs are run. It's a shame but there are resources to change this. State Extension Service personnel offer free leadership workshops for volunteer groups. But, I might add, it takes the will to make a group better to engage in this type of training!

I enjoy working with other hams, especially the new ones, as I had no Elmer available to encourage me toward licensure.

73,

Frank
K4FMH
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W2RWJ
Member

Posts: 307




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« Reply #153 on: October 18, 2013, 05:42:12 PM »

It's a shame but there are resources to change this. State Extension Service personnel offer free leadership workshops for volunteer groups.

Frank,
Other resources include:
*The Foundation Center - FoundationCenter.org‎  http://www.foundationcenter.org
*Bridgespan - http://www.bridgespan.org/Publications-and-Tools/Career-Professional-Development/Develop-My-Staff/52-Free-Development-Opportunities.aspx
*The Bunelle Foundation - http://www.bunnelle.org/management.php

73 Martin Flynn
W2RWJ
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K4FMH
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Posts: 388




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« Reply #154 on: October 19, 2013, 06:12:17 PM »

Thanks Martin! The advantage of the Extension Service is that they provide in-person workshops to volunteer groups like ham clubs. But having additional reading resources is great.

From my experience, I wonder how many ham clubs actually recognize that there is a need for leadership development?

Frank
K4FMH
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W2RWJ
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Posts: 307




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« Reply #155 on: October 19, 2013, 06:32:05 PM »

Frank,
The folks who are best positioned to promote this sort of education are the ones who potentially stand to loose the most. IE,  once a club becomes a non-profit, at some level it begins to compete for resources with the ARRL, AMSAT, and other amateur radio-related charitable orgs.

The example I use frequently:   John Q Hambone is getting on in years.  He decides to leave his local club a sizable bequest instead of the ARRL in his will. 

Martin
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N2YDC
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Posts: 16




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« Reply #156 on: November 08, 2013, 06:24:20 PM »

MRDUDE, Sorry but i'm lmao!! I can relate. Your a ham check out all the different operating modes in amateur radio, Try packet radio, buy an Arrow 2M/70CM yagi connect it to your handheld and make some contacts thru satellites. I enjoy decoding ACARS, Wefax etc. Joined a club here in the NYC area once paid the fee only to listen to a dormant repeater, but once me and my friends keyed up the admin would claim we were not leaving ample space between trans. Mind you no one else was on the repeater. There is always going to be someone out there with the same interest as you!! HF is going to be great for you. My hf qso's were simple RST reports to discussing wether or not hot peppers are as hot as they are to deter animals from eating the plant. You sound like you live in open-sky country, learn about your orbiting satellites and try and work the world so that you can give the old flip to the local AARP radio club.

73 N2YDC
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KA2ZIU
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Posts: 1




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« Reply #157 on: February 05, 2016, 03:31:00 PM »

What surprises me about clubs is how members walk in, or sit at tables, and they never stick out their hand and welcome a new person at the meeting. I see it over and over again.

Overall, clubs are a very important part of our hobby, but the club presidents should make the memberships aware that newcomers are the future of our hobby, and the way clubs will continue to grow. So if you are at a meeting, always say hello to any new face, and make that person feel welcomed so he wants to come back.

Without new people, the hobby with fizzle out.
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KK5DR
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Posts: 561


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« Reply #158 on: February 07, 2016, 06:17:24 AM »

I have found all the local radio clubs to be very boring. I've attended meetings and saw that they don't do much besides eat a meal together. Then they discuss club business, budget, the repeater, a few other items like that. It's incredibly boring.
My friend in Canada tells me about his clubs meetings and planned activities.
If I lived in that area, I would become a regular attentent.
They have activites, presentations, community outreach, active promotion of the club. Each and every member is a recruiter for the club, actively seeking out new young people to be members. They even hold regular testing sessions that are open to the public to try.
I see none of this in the local clubs. A bunch of old guys eating, and talking about stuff that nobody else cares about. There are no interesting presentations. No hamfest anymore. No active recruitment.
It's sad, and disappointing.
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AC2EU
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Posts: 916


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« Reply #159 on: February 07, 2016, 07:22:32 AM »

Welcome...er NOT welcome to VHF. For some reason, which I can't explain, VHF repeater clubs are notoriously clannish. It's funny that you mention the need to be "somebody's" inlaw or something before they will talk to you.  I found the same to be true in my neck of the woods in two different repeater clubs. The repeaters are so quiet most of the time , that I decided not to put VHF equipment in my new car. Most of theses clubs are very tied to ARES/RACES and seem to think that they have to keep the channel clear for some unspecified impending national disaster! God help us all if this is our last line of defense! I can throw my call out all day and not get an answer, but when "certain people" throw a call out...BAM! Someone who knows them responds., so I know they are listening.

As mentioned in this thread VHF is sort of a Ham radio stepchild anyway. The real action is in HF. The club regimes in this spectrum are far from perfect also, but as long as they change leadership from time to time (some don't and you should avoid these clubs) , you have a good shot at a positive experience at some juncture.
There are numerous "specialty clubs" that are very helpful in CW, AM, Military, antique radios,QRP, and DX etc...

If you are are real techno-geek, I suggest you look into the UHF/Microwave spectrum. They are looking for more participation but it's not easy and gets expensive in a hurry

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K6CPO
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Posts: 302




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« Reply #160 on: February 11, 2016, 11:09:07 PM »

My first experience with a club after getting my license wasn't a positive one but I got past it. I knew I didn't know much and was looking for a club as a way of learning more.  At the first club I went to, I was virtually ignored and the meeting ran on and on and on.  I finally slipped out and went home.

The second club I attend a meeting at welcomed me with open arms and I've been a member ever since, even to the point of having served one term as Vice-President and two terms as President.  I'm on the repeater technical committee, a net control operator and my experience has led to involvement in other aspects of ham radio.  I'm now a VE Team Leader, active in ARES, and hold a section-level appointment with the ARRL.

I now know many of the members of the first club I checked out and would be welcomed as a member, but it's just financially impossible to join all the clubs in the area.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 11:27:16 PM by K6CPO » Logged
W1XWX
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Posts: 24


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« Reply #161 on: February 20, 2016, 04:13:49 PM »

Simple solution find another club, or if none suit you don't join any of them. However, if you use a particular repeater a lot my personal belief is to support the trustee club by paying annual dues; even if you never go to a meeting.

73
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Life's too short for QRP
WQ2H
Member

Posts: 28




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« Reply #162 on: February 25, 2016, 06:13:58 AM »

I left the hobby 30 years ago (college, wife, kids, you know the story.) and I'm finally getting around to getting back.

Is it perfect? No. Are the people and clubs perfect? No. But I found that it will and does get better.

In the end I'm amazed at the changes in just about everything associated with it - not to mention the explosion of digital modes (fldigi - what an unbelievable tool).

To me, it's all good. I will say that after all this time and technology my favorite time in the shack remains DX'in with my trusty HW101 with a wire on 10m. Never a dull moment.

 Cheesy
73 !
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