eHam Forums => Clubs => Topic started by: KE7NGM on February 19, 2008, 09:02:58 PM

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KE7NGM on February 19, 2008, 09:02:58 PM
I live in the Phoenix, AZ metro area. I have been to two of the four clubs nearest my location.
Thus far I have been underwhelmed to say the least. In both cases I was basically ignored. No one introduced them self, or did anything to make me feel welcome. Rather the impression I was given was that these clubs, although claiming to be open to new members, really were not. Add to this the reaction of more than a few hams on the local two meter repeater nets which is that if I wasn't into what ever that net was about I really was not welcome to ask anything at all.
To be completely honest if I was looking to my experience with clubs and local nets to determine if I wanted to stay in amateur radio, I would turn in my license and go back to SWL !
Fortunately I have found that the Hams on the Oscars are much friendlier and I enjoy the technical challenge of  QRP satellite ops.
I am now looking to upgrade to general class so I can get on HF, I also plan to learn CW. With the ability   to get beyond this area hopefully I can make contact with all the friendly hams I keep hearing about.    

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: WX4O on February 22, 2008, 01:18:44 PM
You should be glad (sort of) that there is a club.  The club I belonged to for 3 or 4 years here, did field day,
a hamfest, etc., but no longer exists. We also had a 2 mtr net that was part of the NTS, and a web site. Lack of participation killed the club.

It got to where I was NCS on the club net almost 4 days a week and no one would volunteer to help, so I quit. A shame.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KA5EXI on February 22, 2008, 06:35:15 PM
Maybe you could simply start up an informal group of hams wishing to get together somewhere and "eyeball qso".  Nothing formal so no "posturing" or anything.  Like once a month, only instead of dues, devise some way to save up funds, like "the biggest yarn at the meeting" or a "cuss jar" to get bux for some social event at some ham's house.  Make the meetings informal so nobody's squabbling about what's getting or not getting done.  Meet sometimes on an agreed upon simplex 2m freq and chit chat, roundtable style.  Or, just get some hams together on a weekend and have an "out-of-cycle" field day for the fun of it.  Just some thoughts, guys.  If we can't go to have fun, BRING the fun.  What did Forest Gump say, "Fun is as fun does," or sumpin like that.

Michael G

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: N0FPE on February 22, 2008, 08:27:55 PM
Most groups like this are very cliqueish. Unless they know you or are made aware of you folks shy away.
Just the facts of thing in our world today.
I live in the EAST valley(Chandler) and there is a very good club out this way. The Superstition Amatuer Radio Club. The club has 2 repeaters, monthly VE testing, a hamfest in Dec., Club meetings attended by 25-35 folks each month, a special event station (W7W) during Lost Ducthman Days <going on now> Field Day events,
All members introduce them selves at each meeting. A junk auction once a year.  always a program at the meetings. A drive time net every weekday from 7am to 8am. AR Newsline on wendsday nights on the 147.12 repeater. is the website if you want to know more.

If you need more info try the website or give a call on the 147.12/449.600 repeaters.


Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: HFHAM2 on February 23, 2008, 10:29:05 AM
Believe me, you're not alone.

There have been threads on here before where most of the posters expressed disappointment in local clubs and had experiences similar to yourself.

Boring, formal meetings, most of the time discussing club finances or some other such topics. No-one wanting to talk to anyone they don't know (just like on the repeaters). Then they wonder why the club membership is dwindling and no "new blood" sticks around.

You're definitely on the right track in wanting to get onto HF and especially CW. It's a real pity that they replaced the introductory method of entry into amateur radio from being the old HF Novice License to being the VHF/UHF (essentially repeater) one instead.

Repeaters are a *lousy* introduction to ham radio and most people who are interested in radio very quickly get bored with repeater operation (and/or being ignored every time they put a call out 'cause they're not one of the clique).

On HF CW, most hams are friendly and helpful (especially on 40 meters; on 20 meters they're more likely to be a little more "serious" and DX oriented).

I think it's something to do with the comparative "anonymity" of CW that puts people more at ease in their communications compared to voice modes. It might also be that hams on CW have proven themselves to have shown some dedication to the hobby (in learning CW) rather than just having bought a "walkie-talkie" and memorized the answers to a few questions.

Try different things and you'll find your niche (SSB, CW, Digital modes, Emcomm, etc.). If you don't like clubs or repeaters or whatever, then don't use them; they're not mandatory and many of us get enjoyment from ham radio without them.  

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: DESERTJOE on February 23, 2008, 12:23:45 PM
I'm new at amateur radio and I wanted to comment on
this thread because I've had the same experience as
the original poster. I've been to two meetings of my
local group and I was totally put off by the
unfriendliness of the members.

I know I could have broken into a conversation and
introduced myself, and probably they would have been
quite nice to me. Perhaps that's what I should have
done. But, instead of that I just said the heck with
it and left with no intention of going back. It seems
like there should have been a greeter or someone who's
job it was to make the newcomer feel welcome.

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not the most social
person and perhaps to them I seemed unapproachable.
I don't  know, but it seems to me that the onus here
was with the club members so I don't think I'm
completely wrong in saying they should have made the
effort to get to know me.

Anyway, I'm back to my solitary tinkering which has
been more than a little satisfying. I'm glad I at
least made the attempt to join the club, if for no
other reason than to understand that the much
ballyhooed friendliness of hams is a myth.

Desertjoe KE3RTV

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: WA0RJ on March 05, 2008, 08:20:18 AM
I'm very fortunate.  The Anoka County Radio Club in Metro MPLS/ST Paul is very friendly.  I checked into the 144 repeater yesterday for the first time and was immedieately greeted and welcomed.  Invited to join the net by the NCS.  I also tried their 220 machine and was immeadiately welcomed by a ham who uses that machine.  Nice bunch of folks!  I intend to check out their club meetings.  If I use the repeater I should help support it.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: N2UGB on March 05, 2008, 08:58:48 PM
Your disappointment is unfortunate but not unexpected. More than twenty-five years ago I experienced the same reception. Or should I say, non-reception. I won't repeat all my suggestions made here on the e-Ham "club" forum...such as having a club member, with a good memory, great newcomers that he, or she, doesn't recognize the door.

I think the best thing to do in today's amateur radio world is either join or attempt to create a club dedicated to your favorite operating interests. Like QRP? Get involved in a QRP mini-club. That mode naturally lends itself to portable operations and some real physical activity. Keep the club small and manageable. That isn't difficult when the club has narrow objectives and doesn't attempt to be all things to all people.

One thing often overlooked is the solitary nature of the Amateur Radio hobby. The "romantic" vision of our hobby is being alone in whatever passes for a radio-shack, perhaps in the dead of night with only one lamp burning. And, having a two-way with another night-owl.

73 and have fun

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: K6CRC on March 05, 2008, 09:34:41 PM

As a new ham, I, too, was disappointed with the people I have met in person, as they seem either very introverted, or bombastic and rude.

On the air, it is a bit better.

What surprised me the most was how few hams I met ever asked about me -- what I do, how I got into the hobby, etc.  I always ask about someone when I first meet them, it is second nature.

For a hobby that is about communications, it is odd that the technical issues have overridden the simple human ones. Hams communicate no better than the average citizen.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: AD5TD on March 10, 2008, 07:35:21 AM
At our club meetings, the first thing we do (if I remember) is to ask if there are any guests.  Introductions all round.  Hams are a funny bunch, some have never met an enemy, some are Howard Hughes reclusive.  I had some of the same experiences when I first got in to Amateur radio back in 2002.  On the whole, there are more friendly ones than not.

Keep at it, you will find some real gems out there.

As for "repeaters etiquette", my first contact ripped me a new one for using CB lingo.  However we became good friends and I spoke at his funeral having never meet him face to face.

I wouldn't trade this for anything.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KG4RUL on March 13, 2008, 04:14:18 AM
Pick a club: Garden Club, Gun Club, Model Railroad Club, Hiking Club, etc. and you may experience the same things.  This is not exclusively an Amateur Radio phenomenon.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KE5ICG on March 13, 2008, 01:14:12 PM
Can't say I blame you; but I must agree with one poster who pointed out that all kinds of clubs can give you that feeling -- not really unwelcome  but not really welcome. Ho-hum who needs that.

But it does look like you have found a good niche with the sat guys.  Also I have generally found the guys on UHF to be very friendly everywhere I go.

I actually belong to 2 clubs -- one is mainly for emergency nets and community service and the other is a more general interest club.  So, I go to one club and it's all Skywarn and ARES and such, and then the other club is just a bunch of folks hanging out on the repeater and meeting one Sunday a month at a local KFC.

Good luck and don't give up on it.

73 Ray KE5ICG

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: K1CJS on March 16, 2008, 05:37:07 AM
I'm not surprized.  Generally speaking, the clubs are groups of people who have been together and have known each other for quite a while.  There are, however, in every club one or two people who would generally welcome you and start introducing you around--the trick is to seek them out and befriend them.

It'll take a while, probably with you having to volunteer your services for a couple of things, but if you go there and keep talking to the fellows, sooner than later you will start to be accepted and will become a part of the group.

To shorten it to three words--It takes time.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: AE5EH on March 16, 2008, 02:13:32 PM
And the same social skills (or lack of them, as it were) work or not. Just because a group shares the same amateur radio interest doesn't mean everyone will like each other or even get along with each other in any group.

Just because a certain group of people belong to a Church, and claim to believe in the same God doesn't mean they all get along or like each other, or are all even good people. As a matter of fact I've met some pretty sorry supposedly "good christian church people" I wouldn't p*** on their guts if they were on fire.

A few sorry ass people doesn't mean the whole group is bad, nor do they represent the group as a whole. Even if the whole Church was bad, that doesn't make the whole sect of the religious denomination the Church supposedly represents bad either.

Same goes with any "Club". I'm sure you can find a "Club" that fits if you look long enough. You don't have to belong to a club to enjoy ham radio.

Just remember, if it's your time and resources that you spent to get on the air, enjoy it the way you see fit (as long as you operate within the law of course). Don't let anyone (including me) tell you how to do that.

Its always your choice. Its always an avocation. Enjoy amateur radio on your terms.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: QRZDXR2 on March 17, 2008, 09:40:37 PM
Its nothing new.  I used to belong to a local club but quit when all they wanted to do was collect the dues and fees.   Most of the stuff they sent came across on the internet and cost them ??

Ham radio is getting on your radio and commucating.   I have found that you are making new friends like a club anyway.  

Clubs of yesteryear were the in thing to do.

Today Clubs are a waist of time.

Even Eham is a club of sorts.  The internet has replaced the expense of being in a local club.

I find most that are club members gripe, complain and are cheap.  They just want to be entertained like going to a show.

So we did like you.  We went back and got on the air for our enjoyment.  Meeting old friends on the air and making new ones is what its all about.  To do that you have to get on HF as UHF, VHF is the new CB bands and will only disapoint you more eventually.

Forget the local clubs.  Most don't do anything anyway.
Most are so low in electronics abilty that they have a hard time with plug and play devices.   Its not like it was in the older days of hams helping hams.  In most clubs its the opposite today.

I found that the RV net and traveling was much more fun that sitting in a room with a bunch of has beens' beat up on each other and claiming they are better than the other guy.

Radio clubs are dead.  Most just want to accept it.

My nickels worth.  

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: VE3ES on March 27, 2008, 05:12:14 AM
Whine, whine, whine.  Get over it.  Join a club and get involved.  A few months down the road you'll be one of the main shooters and players.  Go to your local service club, stamp club, model railroad club, etc, etc, etc.  Same story.  This is life.  Again, get over it.  Move on.  Get your Extra class ticket, learn code, get DX'ing, contesting, experimenting, building, stay off of the wasteland called 2m FM,  Clubs are not a waste of time but simply a reflection of the amount of time and effort that YOU put into them.  CQ DX...  Think Dayton!

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KC4RSL on March 28, 2008, 12:00:14 PM
There are good clubs out there and I hope you can find one.  As has been said a couple of times, the members ARE the clubs so you can influence things by your own actions.  A hard road, but sometimes worth it.

My main point is about your plans to upgrade so you can get on have HF privileges NOW.  You have CW rights on 80, 40 and 15 meters as well as the CW, DATA and SSB rights on 10 meters.  If you're thinking about giving CW a try, DO IT!  General class will give you more frequencies and bands, but you don't have to wait to jump in.

73 and hope to meet you on air,
Doug/ KC4RSL

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KJ4CNN on May 02, 2008, 08:50:37 PM
Sorry to hear about your less than friendly experience with the two clubs in your area.  There are ways to break the ice and the best suggestion is to get involved and to take the initiative to talk to the members.  Amateur radio clubs are no different than any other social gathering.  There are those who posture and those who are friendly and those who just don't give a darn.

It's not every club that has gregarious people who naturally approach strangers.  It's as hard for them as it may be for you!

And yes, there are those who want to impress you immediately with what they have, what they do and how they do it in amateur radio.  When I run across these folks I politely listen even if they're just blustering.    If they're really advanced (and they're just bragging about it) they can be a lot of help to me.  I listen to them and they become a valuable resource to me.

HF is the way to go although in my area (Northern Virginia) the 2 meter and 70 cm repeaters are not the new CB radio bands that a previous poster mentioned ... maybe in other areas of the country but not here.

Getting back to the original poster's situation, if there are only 2 clubs and clubbing is desired, don't give up.  Go back and break the ice.

Good luck!



Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: W5ESE on May 19, 2008, 01:28:12 PM
> although in my area (Northern Virginia) the 2 meter
> and 70 cm repeaters are not the new CB radio bands
> that a previous poster mentioned ... maybe in other
> areas of the country but not here.

It's the same here. 2m and 70cm are fine in central


Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KD4LLA on May 29, 2008, 08:07:59 PM
I have been in three Ham clubs.  Two do not exist anymore--they just died for lack of interest.  It was fun while it lasted!  Could be the Internet took over has the big club, I do not know.  I do know a few local Hams and talk with them once in awhile.  Any club (Ham, garden, civic group) is pretty much the same, it takes time to find a niche.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: K1CJS on February 22, 2009, 08:06:39 AM
You aren't alone--not at all.  I belonged to two clubs, volunteered to do the work nobody else wanted to do, made friends, got elected to club office and all the rest.  Got to the point I tried to do what was best to advance the club and get more participation--and was regularly kicked back by the member/s who thought they 'owned' the club and would dictate what they wanted.

Bottom line?  If you want to join a club, be prepared to be dictated to and led around.  If not, your participation won't count for beans--and you'll get shoe prints on your backside.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: N7ZM on March 08, 2009, 05:06:27 PM
Be glad you have a local club too join. I live in the Capitol City of Nevada, Carson City, which has no local club at all. One has to travel to Lake Tahoe, Reno, or Minden for such activities. Could not understand why one was never started here as there are enough hams, but not enough wanting to join together as a radio club, weird.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: K1CJS on March 09, 2009, 04:21:35 AM
I know what you're speaking of--but remember that a club is a group of people who come together for persuit of a general interest of a subject.  The specific ways of pursuing that subject are, however, as numerous as the the number of members of that club, and are becoming more numerous every day.

Clubs are going under because repeaters--the one major reason clubs have stayed together for so long--are being superceded by the marriage of the internet and ham radio.

They're becoming as outmoded as local communications with HF frequencies did when VHF and FM became widely available.  There is just too many options available in ham radio today--with the result being more different ways club members can differ on how to get things done.  

That is the main reason clubs are dying off--and the  reason they are becoming more focused, which alienates members and accelerates the results--the death of those clubs.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: N2UGB on March 09, 2009, 04:55:15 AM
I agree with your comments. The days of amateur radio clubs being all things to all people are numbered.

However clubs that are focused with a fixed objective appealing to individual niches within the hobby can survive and prosper.

For example, QRP clubs do well. And QRP clubs with a membership that gets outdoors and participates in  
QRP/portable operating activities and events, some of an international nature, do very well.

That may be, and could be, the case for other specialized radio clubs.


Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: JLEVERIN on March 09, 2009, 08:18:30 PM

  Sorry you had a bad experience. I just went to my first meeting of the Pueblo Ham Club and was very pleased. I was a bit skiddish to be begin with because I was afraid I might be the only female there. Suprisingly, there were two other women there and they went out of their way to make me feel welcome. The men were a mixed bag, some were kind of stand offish but a couple did walk up and introduce themselves and were very nice. They gave me a couple of copies of their lastest newsletters and a copy of the local repeaters and one of the ladies gave me her email address and clued me in on the clubs upcoming events. The meeting was pretty formal with them following strict meeting rules but overall it was a good experience. I will certainly try to go back next month. I am not normally a really extroverted person either.

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: JLEVERIN on April 21, 2009, 06:08:11 AM

  I even heard that said of churches, where someone visited and the people were "either friendly or "cliqish". We tend to gravitate to people like us that we know....

Title: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: K9FON on May 21, 2009, 09:18:00 AM
I am a board member of our local grass roots ham club the "Northeast Indiana Amateur Radio Club" and we try to welcome new members. Heck, i even try to get some of the local hams that are no longer active but still have a call to come to our meetings. So far, i have gotten a couple active on the air again after a long lapse.
There is a club in Fort Wayne that has meetings once a month on a Friday night that i was invited to once.
I went to 2 meetings and i have not been back. As soon as they found out that i was a board member of another radio club i was pretty much shunned.  

Title: RE: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: NB3K on December 05, 2009, 02:19:43 AM
Don't feel bad. I used to belong to the Susquehanna Valley ARC (W3VPJ) in Selinsgrove, Pa. I was having a bad year back in 2007 and got into trouble with the law. The club decided to kick me while I was serving 30 days in the county jail. They didn't even have the balls to confront me personally. When I wrote back and made a complant using their roberts rules, I get ignored. I tried to arrange pick up of my tower sections, which they stole anyhow "they ended up being sunk in concrete.)When I was in the club, there was nothing but discontent. No one cared about ham radio. It was politics and talking behind peoples' back. Come to find out they never liked me in the first place. But who cares. Now I have two of the clubs idiots monitoring my on-the-air activities because they didn't like the way   I talked. Their A.R.E.S group disbanded which isn't a surprise. They were very disorganized and self centered people. Since I have been out of the club, I have been a happier person. I feel for the folks that are in the club that really want to make something of it and have the idiot's ruining it for them.

Title: RE: Disapointed in local clubs so far
Post by: KL7AJ on December 27, 2009, 10:07:48 AM
I have a whole chapter in the Opus of Amateur Radio Knowledge and Lore about starting and/or finding a radio club.

The worst thing that happened to the general purpose radio club was the 2-meter repeater.  When the entire resources of a club are absorbed in keeping a repeater afloat, it's no wonder "kids" don't stick around.  You need to find a club that's NOT centered around a repeater.   We have 12 PRACTICALLY UNUSED microwave bands, that are wide open frontiers for experimentation.  THIS is what kids want!   I KNOW, because I actually ASK them.

I've been in ARES, RACES and MARS for an accumulated time of nearly 75 years. (Concurrent sentences...HI!)   That being said, I've never run across a single ham under the age of 25 who could give a rat's patoot about EMCOMM.   This is verifiable.  ASK THEM!!!!

Find or start a club that's centered on AMATEUR.....the LOVE of radio.   This is what's going to keep the YOUTH in the hobby.