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Author Topic: Disapointed in local clubs so far  (Read 17060 times)

Posts: 6

« 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.    

Posts: 122

« Reply #1 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.

Posts: 1

« Reply #2 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

Posts: 397

« Reply #3 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.


Posts: 33

« Reply #4 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.  

Posts: 11

« Reply #5 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


Posts: 27

« Reply #6 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.

Posts: 185

« Reply #7 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

Posts: 59

« Reply #8 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.


Posts: 152

« Reply #9 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.

Posts: 3354


« Reply #10 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.

Posts: 10

« Reply #11 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

Posts: 6283

« Reply #12 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.

Posts: 47

« Reply #13 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.

Posts: 0

« Reply #14 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.  
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