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Author Topic: About to 'hang it up'...if not for good, for a LONG while  (Read 33323 times)
AF7EC
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Posts: 19


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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 10:39:02 AM »

Thank you all for your responses.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to have an 'Eeyore' mentality or anything, I just was very frustrated yesterday.  I guess you can say I'm socially inept, especially when it comes to something emotionally charged like this.  I apologize for going over the top in that regard.

I think the suggestions all sound good.  Working HF, especially on CW, sounds good to me.  I just need to bring my ability to copy it at a decent speed up, and would like to upgrade so I can work more of the HF bands.  Also having an HF rig would help  Wink

Regarding my signal, I have tried requesting a signal report, but folks don't even want to give me that.  I know I'm at least getting out because I'm holding the repeater when I do call.  Maybe my deviation is low.  It's hard to tell because I don't have another radio to listen with, and when no one answers a call for a signal report, I'm basically operating in a vacuum.  I'm afraid of over-deviating because I don't want to sound like some linear-pumping-preamp-cooking-11-meter user.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies.  Doing CW on HF sounds like it would be right up my alley.  Maybe digital too.  I don't hear any digital on 2 meters/70 cm around here, unfortunately, otherwise I'd look more into that.

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AE5QB
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Posts: 269




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« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 11:38:18 AM »

Keep a stiff upper lip...as they say.  One sure give away of a new ham is asking for a radio check.  I remember when I first started with CB.  I was afraid to talk fearing I would say something wrong and look like a dope.  An easy way to get on the air was to ask for a radio check..."breaker breaker one nine...this is shutter-bug...radio check?"   You get the idea.  It is just obvious what is going on.  If you want to go the repeater route, just state your call sign followed by monitoring, "This is KE6GBU monitoring."  Then wait for people to answer.  ID every ten minutes.  When you get tired of waiting simply say, "Nothing heard, KE6GBU clear."  Or just listen and when you hear someone else say they are monitoring, give them a call.  I don't mean to insult your intelligence so if you have done these things, sorry.

I would caution you against asking technical questions just to be asking questions.  Those are easy to spot as well.  Many hams get upset when a new ham asks an obvious question for which no research has been done.  For example, if you get on the repeater and say you have a question and then ask what a dipole is, you may get some smart remarks about going back and reading the technician license manual or checking out Google.  If you have a legitimate question and need some help, don't be afraid to ask, but I don't recommend just asking a question to be taking up air time.

I really think your best bet is going to be to join a club.  It is obvious that you are a bit socially shy so there will be a double benefit to joining.  You will learn to socialize with people in addition to making some new friends and learning what's up.  But don't be surprised if you get a bit of a cold reception there either.  It takes a while for the old timers to warm up to new folks.  On the other hand you will probably find a lot of folks who welcome you with open arms as well. So give it a honest try, what have you got to lose?

Finally, HF is not a $1000 away.  While QRP can be frustrating, it can also be fun and a great learning experience.  There are numerous QRP kits out there for well under $100 that will get you on the air CW pretty quickly.  Or used rigs are not that expensive either.  You can get a dang nice older rig for under $400.  Save your pennies, work some OT, and get on the air.  There is so much to learn and enjoy from this hobby.  Don't give up before you even get started.  If there is enough will and determination, there is a way.

Tom/AE5QB
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K6LCS
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« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2013, 11:39:50 AM »

And don't forget the amateur satellites - currently the ISS can be easily monitored, and SO-50 can be worked with minimal equipment. Complete details at http://www.work-sat.com ... just somethin' a little different ... (grin)

Clint K6LCS
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Clint Bradford, K6LCS
http://www.work-sat.com
K5LXP
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« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 11:40:28 AM »

Ham radio is something different to everyone.  Some guys are content to work the same 2M repeater every day, some guys build their own gear, some only participate during contest weekends with a station costing tens of thousands of dollars.  Point being is to create your own reality for what you want out of this hobby.  Whatever it is that drew you to it in the first place, pursue that.  The more you involve yourself with any facet of the hobby the more people you'll meet and the more things you'll see, understand and know.  Start somewhere, anywhere and if that doesn't work out, try something else.  There's a lifetime of things to do in this hobby,  so don't give up at the first sign of trouble.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KC7YRA
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Posts: 256




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« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 11:58:11 AM »

Thank you all for your responses.

Sorry, I wasn't trying to have an 'Eeyore' mentality or anything, I just was very frustrated yesterday.  I guess you can say I'm socially inept, especially when it comes to something emotionally charged like this.  I apologize for going over the top in that regard.

I think the suggestions all sound good.  Working HF, especially on CW, sounds good to me.  I just need to bring my ability to copy it at a decent speed up, and would like to upgrade so I can work more of the HF bands.  Also having an HF rig would help  Wink

Regarding my signal, I have tried requesting a signal report, but folks don't even want to give me that.  I know I'm at least getting out because I'm holding the repeater when I do call.  Maybe my deviation is low.  It's hard to tell because I don't have another radio to listen with, and when no one answers a call for a signal report, I'm basically operating in a vacuum.  I'm afraid of over-deviating because I don't want to sound like some linear-pumping-preamp-cooking-11-meter user.

Anyway, thanks again for the replies.  Doing CW on HF sounds like it would be right up my alley.  Maybe digital too.  I don't hear any digital on 2 meters/70 cm around here, unfortunately, otherwise I'd look more into that.



I can certainly understand getting "bummed" with things from time to time.  I see on the map that you are in Oregon by I-5.  If anybody can commiserate with your situation, I certainly can.  I live in central Wyoming where the nearest ANYTHING is over 100 miles away.  Here, VHF/UHF is DEAD.  Other than an occasional repeater IDing, there is no activity to speak of. 

I would highly recommend HF.  I know that CW can be a bit daunting.  I myself just completed a solid month of using no other mode on HF than CW.  My speed has increased, as has my enjoyment of the HF bands.  I have also been getting more and more into QRP activities.  QRP can be a bit aggravating to those just starting out, so if you go that route, realize that it is a lot of work to make contacts there.  Big antennas help, but it can still take some effort.

If CW just isn't your thing, shoot for that General class license and give digital modes a try.  Some people REALLY like the PSK31 and JT65.  QRP with those modes can really perform some magic.  Even with modest antennas. 

As much as I can see why the Tech license is the beginner license, I wish it came with some more HF privileges.  Sure, there are some CW allocations, but 99 and 9/10ths% of techs never use those.  If the FCC would allow something like PSK or other digital modes, then I could see the techs really jumping at getting more spectrum.

That said, really strive for getting your General. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  It is like turning on a light bulb and FINALLY being able to see "ham radio".  At least, it was for me.

Keep the faith,
Brad
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AF7EC
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« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2013, 01:30:15 PM »

Thank you all for your replies.  Smiley

Yep, here in tiny Roseburg, OR, it's not very active on 2 meters / 70cm.  There is one 2 meter repeater everyone uses, but as a lot of you have pointed out, me not being a familiar call might scare folks off.  The 70 cm band is almost completely dead, although there are a few good 70 cm repeaters around.  As mentioned before, no digital stuff that I can hear on 2 meters / 70 cm.

I love homebrew and kit stuff.  My grandfather took a lot of pride in assembling and using his Heathkit equipment, and I'm not far behind him there.  Obviously Heathkit isn't around anymore, but there is Ramsey and I saw mention of a Cyclone 40 in the QRP forums here.  I'm not one of those guys who has three of each kind of radio, in fact, I've had to resort to fashioning a 2 meter vertical dipole out of two fly swatters, so I'm focusing on budget, kits or used gear.

Whatever it is that drew you to it in the first place, pursue that.  The more you involve yourself with any facet of the hobby the more people you'll meet and the more things you'll see, understand and know.  Start somewhere, anywhere and if that doesn't work out, try something else.

Thanks Mark.  You helped me remember what drew me to amateur radio.  Long before I got my ticket in 1994, I had always wanted to be a ham operator.  My grandfather introduced me to a friend of his, Ray (silent key now).  I was too young to remember the details, but ol' Ray had a very nice HF rig, with lots of glowing tubes and all kinds of screeching and squawking emitting from his speaker.  I recognized some of the sounds as I had been a shortwave listener for some time.  The odd sounds of SSB, CW and digital captured my attention, and my imagination, and I always wanted to enjoy that on my own.  It was that experience with Ray that changed me, and cemented my desire to be a ham operator. 

Fifteen or so years later, I finally got my Technician license, and had planned to grow from there.  The violent death of a close brother-in-law, two divorces and homelessness threw my ham radio plans way off track, but now that the Lord has blessed me with a beautiful and understanding wife and better life, I'm wading back into the service/hobby.

Thank you all for the encouragement and advice.  It most certainly is valuable and appreciated.  I hope I can tell stories here in the future of my exciting QRP activities or maybe hearing something from a satellite or EME.  Cool
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WA7KGX
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Posts: 104




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« Reply #21 on: July 29, 2013, 01:32:56 AM »


* 146.520 has been littered lately with this obnoxious-sounding garbage.  I don't have an audio recording of it, but it sounds like someone talking into their mic right next to a high-pitched diesel engine.  It's grating on the ears and very unpleasant to listen to.  Obviously it's some sort of digital mode or perhaps digital squelch (never used it, so I don't know what it sounds like), but it makes monitoring the calling frequencies a burden instead of a delight.

Could be local interference or something in your radio.
Check all connections.  Try tuning around.
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NA4IT
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« Reply #22 on: July 29, 2013, 04:51:21 AM »

"Anyone have any suggestions or feedback for me?"

Yes, upgrade to General or Extra...
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VE5EIS
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« Reply #23 on: July 29, 2013, 08:50:14 PM »

Be patient.  Hams will warm up to you if you're friendly and interesting.

It might be that your locals need some time to warm up to you.  If you feel that way, throw your callsign out on the quieter repeaters.  It might take some patience but you might find that people eventually find you.

I've found that almost anytime I've thrown my callsign onto a repeater, local or while travelling, someone replies most of the time and I have a pleasant chit chat.  Be sincerely interested in who you're talking to, and try to have an enjoyable conversation.  Take criticism of your operating technique with grace, and be willing to hear it.  Don't be afraid to ask questions.

And definitely, get an HF rig.  That's where the fun is - but I've been having a blast on 2 metres here since I got my callsign in April.  I only got an HF rig last week (and I still don't have an antenna up) and I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm on VHF almost every day here and talk to somebody almost as often - usually I talk to many.  (Today I checked into 2 nets and talked to 4 locals.)

Which reminds me - if you have nets ,that's your opportunity to get to know quite a few people.  Listen to how they work, and when you get the gist of it, throw your callsign out when your area is called.
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WN2C
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Posts: 468




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« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2013, 09:00:02 AM »

I thought somebody would have suggested Echolink.  Goggle that.  I may be easier to get a Q with somebody not in your own area. Or IRLP...Google that.

Rick  WN2C
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6045




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« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2013, 05:11:32 AM »

There is that, but for the setup of the software (sometimes a real headache) and the fact that internet ham radio takes the fun out of the actual radio experience....
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 05:13:58 AM by K1CJS » Logged
AF4XK
Member

Posts: 96




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« Reply #26 on: August 07, 2013, 10:56:43 AM »

Too bad about the repeater in your area not being friendly toward newcomers.

My advise, if you want to talk get into HF... i.e. get your General ticket.
HF guys love to talk about every subject under the sun.

If you have an interest in morse code/cw then by all means join   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/skcc/
and learn the code. You will ALWAYS have enjoyable folks to chat with between HF voice and (especially) cw.

Best of luck.
chuck
af4xk


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W4KVW
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Posts: 501




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« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2013, 02:11:28 PM »

Don't know what your finances are like & it's none of my business but D-STAR is a wonderful way to make contacts with others around the world from just an HT at home if there are any D-STAR repeaters in your area or by using a DVAP.If all else fails try EchoLink as well.I have made several new ham friends on both modes in a short period of time.EchoLink is FREE & it's obvious you are already on the internet & you could for sure make plenty of contacts with repeaters or just individual stations.Some people say EchoLink is not Ham Radio but that's their opinions & everyone has one so just exercise your options & ignore the lowlifes of the world who think they are better & most of all," HAVE FUN"! with our HOBBY! {:>)   Grin   Wink   Smiley

Clayton
W4KVW
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1744




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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2013, 12:37:39 AM »

Hello all!  Grin

I got my Technician ticket back in 1994, and due to major unfavorable life events and other fun stuff, didn't really become active until this year.  Normally I enjoy monitoring 146.520, 446.000 and the local repeaters.

What has got me frustrated and wanting to quit is:

* No one seems to want to have a QSO with me.  I believe I'm a good operator and speak clearly, but I've had just one QSO since I've moved to this area, and they were in a hurry to clear off.

* 146.520 has been littered lately with this obnoxious-sounding garbage.  I don't have an audio recording of it, but it sounds like someone talking into their mic right next to a high-pitched diesel engine.  It's grating on the ears and very unpleasant to listen to.  Obviously it's some sort of digital mode or perhaps digital squelch (never used it, so I don't know what it sounds like), but it makes monitoring the calling frequencies a burden instead of a delight.

Anyone have any suggestions or feedback for me?

73,

Will - KE6GBU
   Try to expand the number of repeaters that you can reach!  A 2 Meter/ 440 beam on a rotor might greatly increase your number of potential contacts.
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KG6BRG
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Posts: 119




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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2013, 05:47:21 AM »

From the Original Poster's, QRZ page.  Might explain some of his difficulties. 


 "Have had my Technician ticket since 1994, and looking to upgrade to General soon."

"I'm the biggest lid in Douglas County, and must have the worst signal in the continental United States."
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