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Author Topic: Do Ham's READ?  (Read 5625 times)
NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« on: December 29, 2011, 08:25:35 AM »

I know this is a mean-spirited, snarky post, but based on the two different radio forum I visit, I see so many, repeated, repeated and repeated questions [often asked by people who don't even understand the question] that I have to wonder:

Do you read about amateur radio in real paper books?
Do you own reference books?  Like the ARRL antenna books [ANY of them?] or the Handbook?

Now, I know that this stuff is sorta complex and all, and without an elmer it can be hard to figure some of this stuff out, but some of this - what is the antenna forumula, what is a G5RV and why does it have coax, etc.  Some of these seem like they should have been answered even in the Tech exam or in the reading materials that one usually studies to pass the exams.

What bothers me, I suppose, is that at least some of these questions are coming from people who must have jobs in which they are expected to have knowlege and experience and for which they are paid more than others without, so surely these individual know the virtues of learning.

It is not helped by the forums where asking a question seems to garner more discussion of the "right and proper HAM way" than it does just answering the question.  Nor is it a help that many amateurs simply don't understand anyway and answer from their experience, right, wrong or indifferent.   Seems to me that much of what they end up hearing is contradictory, wrong, or applies only to one specific amateur.

Anyway, I'm rambling.  I expect the questions to continue but just needed a short rant, thanks.
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W5FYI
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Posts: 1046




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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 09:17:23 AM »

Do ham's (sic) know how to use apostrophes? A newspaper editor once said that apostrophes were like power tools; if you don't know how to use them, it's best to leave them alone. How ture.

But you're right; Google can answer almost any question anyone might have. If not, there's the local library...and eHam, too!
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G3RZP
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Posts: 4619




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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 09:22:14 AM »

Google and Yahoo are not always completely correct, though. Most of the time, but not always.
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:38:16 AM »

Do ham's (sic) know how to use apostrophes? A newspaper editor once said that apostrophes were like power tools; if you don't know how to use them, it's best to leave them alone. How ture.

But you're right; Google can answer almost any question anyone might have. If not, there's the local library...and eHam, too!

This one does not, I was only an English Lit major, not a Grammar Major.....

And thank you, that is essentally my point, there is a lot of good information out there and if you have to find it for yourself, you often learn more than just that one thing you thought you needed to know.

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K8AXW
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Posts: 3860




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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 09:42:53 AM »

WOU:  You're correct.  I've seen basically the same question asked over and over in the same damn forum.  Why?  Because the one asking the question simply hasn't taken the time to research prior questions and answers posted on that particular forum.  

For example, the Amplifier Forum.  If you take the time to research the many pages of information listed on amplifiers will find answers to 90% of anything your want to know about amplifiers!
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 10:38:59 AM »

WOU:  You're correct.  I've seen basically the same question asked over and over in the same damn forum.  Why?  Because the one asking the question simply hasn't taken the time to research prior questions and answers posted on that particular forum.  

For example, the Amplifier Forum.  If you take the time to research the many pages of information listed on amplifiers will find answers to 90% of anything your want to know about amplifiers!

And sometimes you will find three, four or even more answers to any given question.  I suppose that is part of the problem as well.

And I do understand that for a new amateur, a great deal of this information is highy esoteric, and they have no way of navigating it without help.  That's why I think a basic grounding in the theory, obtained from a reputable source FIRST, before coming to the free-for-all that is the on-line life, is important.

And I'm sure that no one with more than one interest believes this phenomon is limited to amateur radio forums, so I'm not saying anything new here, I'm sure.

Take the Balun:  Look at a balun thread.  Now I've read Sevick and own two of his books.   When I watch a balun thread it's usually like this "Don't I want to use a 9:1 balun to go from 450 ohms to 50 ohms?"  And, of course, on paper, the short answer is YES, but the long answer involves what the REAL required transformation...Then we get into the type of core, and how to insulate the wire, and by the end of the thread.  In the end, I think we leave the poor guy more confused than not.  And the reality is that the best choice is likely either a 4:1 or a 1:1 and it might even change depending on the band in use at the moment.

Not to mention that in many other cases the answer is "use a balanced tuner with ladder line to the shack" anyway!


But I digress.  So, you are a new amateur, what should be in your library?  I say:

1.  Study guides for your license classes
2.  ARRL Handbook
3.  Antenna book [I think ARRL first but there are others]
4.  200 meters and down [knowing where you came from and all of that]

What else belongs on the bookshelf?



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ONAIR
Member

Posts: 1744




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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 12:37:16 PM »

I know this is a mean-spirited, snarky post, but based on the two different radio forum I visit, I see so many, repeated, repeated and repeated questions [often asked by people who don't even understand the question] that I have to wonder:

Do you read about amateur radio in real paper books?
Do you own reference books?  Like the ARRL antenna books [ANY of them?] or the Handbook?

Now, I know that this stuff is sorta complex and all, and without an elmer it can be hard to figure some of this stuff out, but some of this - what is the antenna forumula, what is a G5RV and why does it have coax, etc.  Some of these seem like they should have been answered even in the Tech exam or in the reading materials that one usually studies to pass the exams.

What bothers me, I suppose, is that at least some of these questions are coming from people who must have jobs in which they are expected to have knowlege and experience and for which they are paid more than others without, so surely these individual know the virtues of learning.

It is not helped by the forums where asking a question seems to garner more discussion of the "right and proper HAM way" than it does just answering the question.  Nor is it a help that many amateurs simply don't understand anyway and answer from their experience, right, wrong or indifferent.   Seems to me that much of what they end up hearing is contradictory, wrong, or applies only to one specific amateur.

Anyway, I'm rambling.  I expect the questions to continue but just needed a short rant, thanks.
    Good point!  I think it boils down to the path of least resistance.  It's easier to come on here and ask:  "How do I build a ground plane?",  than to actually look it up.  Besides, you can't argue with a book!  Smiley
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2011, 12:47:29 PM »

Now that you are done ranting, do you feel better?  :-)
73
Bob
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NA0AA
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Posts: 1042




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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2011, 02:06:43 PM »

Oh, yea.
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K7KBN
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Posts: 2805




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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 02:19:22 PM »

Do ham's (sic) know how to use apostrophes? A newspaper editor once said that apostrophes were like power tools; if you don't know how to use them, it's best to leave them alone. How ture.

But you're right; Google can answer almost any question anyone might have. If not, there's the local library...and eHam, too!

"Ture"??  Grin
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 03:29:20 PM »

Good.

Happy New Year OM
Bob
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NA0AA
Member

Posts: 1042




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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 04:00:33 PM »

Do ham's (sic) know how to use apostrophes? A newspaper editor once said that apostrophes were like power tools; if you don't know how to use them, it's best to leave them alone. How ture.

But you're right; Google can answer almost any question anyone might have. If not, there's the local library...and eHam, too!

"Ture"??  Grin

He's channeling Van Morrison...
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2E0OZI
Member

Posts: 270




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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 04:08:57 PM »

The answer is "yes".  Grin

My first 2 purchases in my ham hobby were "Stealth Antennas" by Steve Nicholls G0KYA and "The Rig Guide" by the RSGB. Plus my Foundation Study Guide. I geuss I was helped by many years of SWL so HF radio was not an alien concept to me.

I intend to buy quite a few more books in the next 12 months. I'm "a reader".
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Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.
George Orwell
K0RS
Member

Posts: 718




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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 09:38:37 PM »

But I digress.  So, you are a new amateur, what should be in your library?  I say:

1.  Study guides for your license classes
2.  ARRL Handbook
3.  Antenna book [I think ARRL first but there are others]
4.  200 meters and down [knowing where you came from and all of that]

What else belongs on the bookshelf?

The ARRL Operating Manual .

Great help to prevent one from acting the fool in one's (apostrophe intended) formative forays onto the bands.

I think it used to be called the "Operator's Manual," but the apostrophe kept tripping everyone up.  People thought they needed to be plural (or at least married) to purchase the book.

Actually, the lack of being able to accomplish nearly anything for one’s self (oops, there it is again) is epidemic.  People are raised to simply whine when they have a perceived need for which they demand someone (that would be someone else, naturally) provide a solution.  Ask any employer!

WOU:  You're correct.  I've seen basically the same question asked over and over in the same damn forum.  Why?  Because the one asking the question simply hasn't taken the time to research prior questions and answers posted on that particular forum.

Yep.  CW forum, every other post: “What’s the best way to learn CW?”  Station building:  “How do I install a station ground?”

Interestingly, my grammar checker thought most of my apostrophes in this post were incorrect.  Huh.  Can this be ture?

Curmudgeonly yours,

LC

I before E except after C, you little bastard, or I’ll break your damn knuckles with my ruler!
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6034




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« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2011, 06:29:32 AM »

I posted an answer in the other thread by the originator of this one, and that answer applies here too.

But there is an extension of it that applies here even more.  It seems that hams don't even read forums like this one!  I've seen questions and rants posted on these fora that have their answer on a post made earlier--sometimes on the same first page!  It seems that most of the posters here don't even bother to look at the forum topic list before they post their own questions, and that, IMHO, is sad indeed.
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