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Do you take a radio station along with you whenever you or your family might go on a vacation, to the cottage, head out camping, or take an overseas trip...?

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R.F.I.---the continuing scourge of Ham radio, be it "traditional" horizontal oscillators of TVs going back to the 40's, or the raucous din of to-day's plasma televisions, exercise equipment, lighting systems, furnaces, electric fences, power line leakages, AD NAUSEAM. How have YOU handled cases where somebody's electric contraption seriously hampered YOUR on-the-air activities...?

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Andy Williss (VK5LA) Welcome to the Survey Page.

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Have you invited non-hams to your station while in operation letting them talk over the radio?
  Posted: Feb 02, 2015   (814 votes, 21 comments) by AA7LX

  No, I operate stealth.
  Yes, I have had people visit and talk on my station.
  Only with those I have elmered.
  Only with other Hams.
  Only with family.
  Family and/or nobody cares.
    (814 votes, 21 comments)

Survey Results
No, I operate stealth. 6% (48)
Yes, I have had people visit and talk on my station. 42% (343)
Only with those I have elmered. 2% (20)
Never. 19% (155)
Only with other Hams. 9% (77)
Only with family. 10% (82)
Family and/or nobody cares. 11% (89)

Survey Comments
Share and shared
My neighbor who was a novice let me listen in on his CW operation and the bug bit me. I got my novice ticket in high school in 1973.

I have allowed others to talk SSB since I have my general license, and I also taught novice classes back in the eighties, as well.

Lately, I have only had my grand kids in my shack, but I need to get the boat anchors repaired and running so I can see if the bug still bites!

Posted by N8CMQ on March 2, 2015

Only other hams
The last time I brought in a non-ham (an apparently
interested young man) he returned a few weeks later
and burgled me, cleaning out my shack entirely.
Although he was caught and confessed, my gear was
long gone. I just won't take that chance again.

Posted by K2PI on March 1, 2015

Yes, CW only.
Replying to: "So let me get this straight. Some hams
are so dedicated to CW that they would only let an
interested person listen to them chirp away? They
wouldn't plug in the mic for a demonstration? That
speaks really highly of CW operators. Insert eye-roll
Posted by KC7MF on February 5, 2015"

Yes, CW only. And no, I won't plug in a mic or let them
listen to SSB. Why? Because none of my radios have
plugs for a mic! They are CW-only. I can't even use
them to listen to SSB. Many CW operators are not
equipped for voice communications.

Nobody has even shown interest in listening to Morse
code when they can't understand it. However I usually
do get a few questions when operating outside.


Posted by GILGSN on February 28, 2015

I let my sister-in-law and wife talk to their missionary cousin in Equador.

Posted by WD4CHP on February 26, 2015

Young Alex Plays Radio for First Time
Alex, my 14 year old nephew, his parents, and
his grand parents were visiting me one
weekend. We had a big family supper. Dishes
were done and table cleared. We had spent the
day in the sun, beach combing, driving in the
woods on an ATV, setting up a bow and arrow
range for Alex, fishing a bit, etc.
So by supper, we were all pretty well played
Grandad went off to read a book, grandmother
was talking to her daughter and son in law, I
retired to the shack, and Alex followed me.
I was sitting in front of my radios glancing
at a magazine.
Alex sits down beside me and asks ... "What's
all this stuff?" ... pointing to numerous
dials and knobs in front of him. Now bear in
mind, Alex is your typical teenager, complete
with cell phone and ample texting
I gave him a brief explanation of HF radio,
and followed up with "do you want to try
"Sure" he said, unconvinced. I dialed in the
strongest signal I could find on 20M SSB,
wrote down their callsign, wrote down mine
(in phonetics for him to use) and we did a
practice run off the air. The parents and
grandparents were paying full attention now
when they heard Alex practice.
Okay, I warned him ... the DX station is
going to call for more stations. They did,
and Alex pounced on the mic in microseconds!
With paper in hand he rattled off the nicest
sounding phonetics of my callsign, and got an
instant comeback.
"Good afternoon Dan, you are 59". Bear in
mind my speaker output from the rig is wired
into one of those stereo amplifiers with 5
small speakers, and a woofer. The response
boomed into my living room shack. Full
quieting as if it was 2M FM.

Again, paper in hand, Alex replied "G0???
Also 59, thank you, and good luck, 73".

The room was quiet as I congratulated Alex on
working the official Olympic station in
LONDON, ENGLAND.(2010 maybe?)

Parents, Grandparents, and more importantly
Alex were amazed how easy it was to talk to
England, how clear their signal was, and all
off a 43 ft vertical they could see in the
back yard. No internet connection I

We didn't play radio much after that, but I
know that the next opportunity we sit down
together, we'll probably fire off some SSTV,
do some PSK, copy CW, rattle a bit on SSB,
try 2M, and generally have a bit of fun.

All Good Stuff!

Posted by VE9DAN on February 21, 2015

Ham invite
I have on occasion had the neighbourhood kids over only because they were curious about all of the antennas on my truck.
"With" the parents permission, (remember when this wasn't needed?!?!) The kids enjoyed an afternoon of talking to Europe through radio and Africa!
Explaining to them that if it not were for people in NOKEA and Motorola that were amateur radio operators you would be in a different place now.

I had the pleasure of talking to some students in Sam Adams school and they were enthused about radio, what I did, where I worked etc.

Keep the spark alive people and stop pissing and moaning about why it doesn't work!

Glenn, VE6ND

Posted by VE6ND on February 18, 2015

Almost everybody who knows me knows I'm a Ham. I have Amateur Radio license plates, N9LCD. And I've been known to carry rge VX-7R with me.

As for letting somebody talk over my radio,. I gave it up years ago. Given the level of VHF / UHF activity in the area. every attempted demonstration has ended up a flop. NOBODY ON THE OTHER END.

Posted by N9LCD on February 18, 2015

Respectfully Stealthy
Since I am in an HOA, I am careful about
discussing my hobby. I do tell my closest
neighbors about the wires and about the RF
safety surveys that I do whenever an antenna
is changed or other modifications are made.
Of course if there were a communications
emergency, I would come out to the degree
necessary. Otherwise only other hams are
aware of my station.
Your Buddy Bob

Posted by W4YBB on February 16, 2015

Many years ago a neighbor lady had a brother who was a ham in another state. So I did take the time to set up a sked with him on 40 and let his sister talk to him a bit on the radio. She seemed thrilled. That is all I can really recall, at least on HF. My shack now would probably frighten people off from fear of some injury or something.

Posted by W8AAZ on February 11, 2015

None seem to care
I am a portable operator from my RV. Have had questions about what the antenna is for but none seem interested enough to want to listen in or to participate.

Posted by KK6CVE on February 9, 2015

Not many interested
Never had many interested other than just looking at the station. The only person who has shown interest is my daughter-in-law who finds CW fascinating and is trying to learn it, even if she doesn't become a ham.

Posted by WB4M on February 9, 2015

It's the joy watching others talk on the Air!
I let students and family sit with me while I'm operating SSB or FM and they are so excited to use the Mike and talk!(Watching me operate first-- they get excited to talk to far away places and to listen to the unexpected!). I think this is the best way to allow others to become interested in Ham Radio.

Posted by AA7LX on February 7, 2015

So let me get this straight. Some hams are so dedicated to CW that they would only let an interested person listen to them chirp away? They wouldn't plug in the mic for a demonstration? That speaks really highly of CW operators. Insert eye-roll here.

Posted by KC7MF on February 5, 2015

Share the hobby
I take a portable station on many camp-outs I go on with the Boy Scouts. I encourage them to talk and many do. I also am a Radio Merit badge councilor.

Posted by NA5XX on February 4, 2015

Share the hobby
I take a portable station on many camp-outs I go on with the Boy Scouts. I encourage them to talk and many do. I also am a Radio Merit badge councilor.

Posted by NA5XX on February 4, 2015

In the past, family only
Being mostly a CW operator, not much interest
in listening to those strange sounds from
others. As my children were growing up, I
would have them actually talk on the radio
while running SSB. Other hams have also been
in my shack and they enjoy CW, so we have much
in common to enjoy.


Posted by W8VFM on February 4, 2015

CW is not cool
Being a CW only OP no one I know has ever been fascinated by some strange tones coming out of a speaker. That's why hams on TV are phone OPs only.

Posted by K2PMC on February 4, 2015

I speak Morse
I have a microphone somewhere in my shack, but I don't use it myself!

Posted by NI0C on February 4, 2015

Is "sometimes" an acceptable answer..?

Posted by VE3CUI on February 4, 2015

Another answer, but...
I voted the last, but the real answer is that even though my friends and family will listen, nobody wants to say anything on the air.

Posted by K1CJS on February 3, 2015

Real hams share it.

All who joy would win must share it. Happiness was born a Twin.

Lord Byron

Posted by AI2IA on February 3, 2015

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