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Author Topic: Inactivity due to family/career  (Read 12154 times)
K0YHV
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Posts: 179




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« on: May 28, 2012, 11:34:23 AM »

I have read quite a few bios where the ham mentions being QRT for a number of years due to raising a family and a career.  Has that happened to anyone in this forum?  What did you do to keep your interest during the period of inactivity?  Did you get depressed about not being on the air?
Did your contest operating skills decline very much?  How did you know when it was time to get active again?

John AF5CC
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PD2R
Member

Posts: 131




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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 12:40:03 PM »

Planing on starting a family John? Wink

I had to make that decision almost 9 months ago. We are expecting our son in two weeks. Smiley I decided that starting a family was more important then the hobby. Furthermore, I would like to prove that it is possible to have a family and maintain active in the hobby.
I will let you know how that worked out a couple of years from now.  Grin

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KG4NEL
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Posts: 443




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« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 02:07:44 PM »

I was basically off the air from 2004 to 2011. College got in the way Grin

Had a mobile setup in the truck, but being 2 miles from campus, I was either taking the bus or never in it long enough to use it. After undergrad, I moved near DC where I was renting in a place that would have brought out neighbors with pitchforks if I even tried to string a wire over a tree. Now that I'm out of there, finally piecing together a permanent home station again.

I don't know about being depressed, but it does feel good again to be doing something I enjoy.


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K0YHV
Member

Posts: 179




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« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 08:40:16 PM »

Started the family 9 1/2 years ago with a daughter.  Sure getting harder to find time to operate with more going on with her now.

John AF5CC
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N4UP
Member

Posts: 23




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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 04:28:38 AM »

When I was in high school I managed around 5,800 QSOs, or around 1,900 per year.

When I was in college I managed around 120 QSOs, or around 24 QSOs per year.  Got married just before graduation.

When I was in graduate school I managed less than 50 QSOs, or around 24 QSOs per year.  Got divorced after 19 months.

During the early years of my career I remarried, and before our first child was born, I managed around 320 QSOs, or around 29 QSOs per year.

Between the birth of our first child and my retirement I was off the air.  So for me kids and career made a big difference.  Got divorced again ( after 19 years ).

Now retired and back on the air; I expect to make contacts every day and work quite a few contests.

What did I do to keep my interest in radio?  Maintained my license.  That was about it.

Did I get depressed about not being on the air?  No.  I was too busy being depressed about other things ( not really, just very busy ).

Did my skills decline very much?  Not really.  It took a few hours on the air to bring my speed up to 18-20 wpm.  It took much longer to figure out ( 1 ) all the newfangled equipment, ( 2 ) very different propagation conditions ( went from sunspot low to sunspot peak, had never seen a peak before ), and ( 3 ) hordes or new prefixes and not a few new countries.

How did I know when to get active again?  Dunno.  Just happened.  One day I was happily retired.  Next day I was spending $$ and setting up a new station.
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73, peter N4UP
W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 09:26:50 AM »

John,

When the same topic gets cross post to multiple forums it can get really confusing to get a msg of an update and to try and pickup from my original reply posting to the end and can't find my original reply. That what is happening as this was cross posted contesting and DXing. Really confusing??? Perhaps when cross posting, we can put a line in the text stating that the msg is crossposted in forum 1, forum 2, etc. so the readers can keep up.

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
N4FBW
Member

Posts: 34




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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 04:50:00 PM »

I've been licensed for over thirty years and was first licensed when I was twelve. I was active in the hobby for about four years and upgraded all the way to Extra rather quickly. Once I hit High School, I went QRT. I recently became active in the hobby again and it has been a blast since it seems like a whole new hobby to me given all the changes in technology that have occurred. I'm so glad I kept my license current!
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W4HLN
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 05:49:14 PM »

I've operated the Sats.....I've done Digital.....I've contacted almost every country in the world via CW and SSB... I've done well contesting....I've ragchewed till the cows came home...I've ran Icom's D-STAR and been members of MARS and SATERN and held many positions in the ARRL. I've checked into thousands of nets and ate pounds of skeeters and flies at many Field Day's all night long. I've kept repeaters going for years...I've operated from Europe....Middle East ...Africa ...Central and South America. I've Elmered 127 other hams...Taught MOST of them CW. I've built amplifiers... receivers and transmitters....antenna tuners....and have adapted / Modified many radio's and ham equipment for the blind...I've been in Ham clubs that are fantastic and some that has many members and hardly anyone will lift a finger to do anything for themselves.


I'm tired....getting older fast....I keep running into Extra's that cant solder a coax connector on but they refuse to try to learn or even listen to advice....I'm thinking of giving up the hobby for good.

I just don't like where this is all heading....


Ernie / W4HLN
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2012, 06:36:38 PM »

I've operated the Sats.....I've done Digital.....I've contacted almost every country in the world via CW and SSB... I've done well contesting....I've ragchewed till the cows came home...I've ran Icom's D-STAR and been members of MARS and SATERN and held many positions in the ARRL. I've checked into thousands of nets and ate pounds of skeeters and flies at many Field Day's all night long. I've kept repeaters going for years...I've operated from Europe....Middle East ...Africa ...Central and South America. I've Elmered 127 other hams...Taught MOST of them CW. I've built amplifiers... receivers and transmitters....antenna tuners....and have adapted / Modified many radio's and ham equipment for the blind...I've been in Ham clubs that are fantastic and some that has many members and hardly anyone will lift a finger to do anything for themselves.


I'm tired....getting older fast....I keep running into Extra's that cant solder a coax connector on but they refuse to try to learn or even listen to advice....I'm thinking of giving up the hobby for good.

I just don't like where this is all heading....


Ernie / W4HLN

Send ALL your gear to my address in QRZ. I'll make sure it all gets a new home Smiley
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
W4HLN
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2012, 04:57:32 AM »



Send ALL your gear to my address in QRZ. I'll make sure it all gets a new home Smiley


You'd die if I asked you to send shipping LOL!...the 3 amps would be expensive! Actually I've got a good chunk of my stuff sold over the weekend. Getting rid of 2 complete stations and keeping one for now to listen to shortwave on.

Ernie / W4HLN
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W5DQ
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Posts: 1209


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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2012, 08:28:10 AM »



Send ALL your gear to my address in QRZ. I'll make sure it all gets a new home Smiley


You'd die if I asked you to send shipping LOL!...the 3 amps would be expensive! Actually I've got a good chunk of my stuff sold over the weekend. Getting rid of 2 complete stations and keeping one for now to listen to shortwave on.

Ernie / W4HLN

Probably so but yet, I bet the shipping and insurance would be a lot less than buying the stuff outright and I'd definitely find use for it in my shack or one of the newbies our local club has 'grown' thru our license classes.

Anyway sorry to see you go and good luck as a SWL. I know I could never do that again after having been licensed for so long (36 years come this Aug). My wife says I spend too much time operating and I tell her 'No way .... I still know what she looks like and I don't even have her picture in the shack' Smiley

Gene W5DQ
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Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp
www.radioroom.org
KB7QOA
Member

Posts: 17




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« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2012, 04:04:41 PM »

Been there, done that.  I got licensed when I was 11 years old as a no-code tech.  My mom ran me to all of the club meetings and events, met a ton of great friends.  Stayed semi-active in high school.  After school I still messed with ham radio some, but then I got married, changed careers somewhat, and just fell out of the ham habit.  Almost missed the renewal deadline on my license once, but thankfully realized and got it renewed on time.  Life just happened and I didn't think much about it, and the couple of times I did, I realized I bought into an HOA controlled neighborhood without considering the ramifications to ham radio (was only a tech+ at the time so it didn't make much difference.)  Tried to work on the code a few times to upgrade to General, but other things kept getting in the way and never made it.

A handfull of years ago now my grandfather passed away, and though inactive he was a ham.  My grandma wanted to get the "radio room" cleaned out, and began prodding me to go take all of his radio gear home.  I kept putting it off since I didn't have a General class license to be able to use it and didn't want to take up my own space for something I wasn't going to use yet, and she still had plenty of space.  After I had my 4th kid, by that point I'd moved to a house without HOA restrictions, and started to look into it.  I found at that point that the code requirements were dropped, so I went ahead and upgraded not only to General but to Extra within a few months.  The rest is history as they say.

I don't get a chance to get on the air every day, but I do check into a traffic net that has a minimum monthly check-in requirement, so I force myself to at least get on a couple of times per week for that.  Afterwards I tend to tune around and find something to listen to or even a CQ to answer.  I've also started to have some fun checking into the OMISS nets.  I've earned my WAS, and am now having fun helping others get theirs.

As for how I knew when it was time to get back in, it just sort of happened.  Things aligned between my grandmother's urging, the code requirement drop, and having a place for the gear and associated antennas.  Since then I've been working on code and while I'm not up to 13 WPM yet, I am solidly copying at 5 WPM and am working my way up.  My goal is to be able to pass a 21 WPM "test" as used to be required for Extra.

Like many things, interests come and go.  Priorities change, and spare time changes too.  I do regret being completely inactive for so many years, especially since I almost lost my license due to forgetting all about it for a couple of them, but the important part is that I'm enjoying it again and without the VHF-Only restrictions I don't see that ever happening again.

73 de KB7QOA

Jeremy
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KD2AKG
Member

Posts: 8




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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2012, 10:17:26 AM »

It's like anything else, squeeze it in when you have couple of minutes. I don't get to operate as much as I wish I could because of family, work, etc., but I do get some time here and there. When the kids get a bit older (my daughter is 5) you can let them "help." She works the VFO for me and loves it. The little one is 2 1/2 but he plays radio with his sister on toy walkie talkies, and occasionally I'll let them say hi on air. Sharing the time with the kids gives mom a break (so she'll never complain about the hobby) and involves the kids in something special you can all share. Is it the best way to operate? No, but it is fun.
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W4HLN
Member

Posts: 47




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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 07:26:15 PM »

Well guys...Looks as if ll my equipment is leaving....I'm now DEAF and cant hear anything hardly
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AF5C
Member

Posts: 123




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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 07:56:03 PM »

Don't give up because of hearing loss.  There is always RTTY and other digital modes.  I plan to have some fun this weekend in the CQ WPX RTTY contest.

John AF5CC
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