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Author Topic: Club Stations - Modern Realities  (Read 15595 times)

Posts: 88

« on: October 26, 2013, 09:13:43 PM »

I belong to a club in a large retired community. The entire community has death penalty deed restrictions: hams definitely not welcome! The local club found a suitable in-door location and installed a very nice hf and above station. One xcvr and antenna is dedicated to remote control by members. Many operate from their homes. Many of the members die and leave their equipment to the club for disposition. Consequently the club has modern gear. One tall tower has a 3element  Steppir yagi. All of this due to modern behavior control via property deed restrictive covenants. How else can you do it if you are shut out from using your gear? For most, mobile operation is not adequate. So, the ham radio club and station can address modern issues and current needs.

Posts: 116

« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 04:27:29 AM »

I be long to two local clubs. Each one has it's own station that members can use. With a lot of hams moving into age restricted housing these stations are be coming more important. I am still living in my home of fifty years, but soon will be most likely going to make that move as well. So having a location I can go travel to and get on the air is welcomed. Having remote access is a good thing, but not many clubs have access to a High Speed Internet connection. But if it were made available I would surely use it.

Posts: 797

« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2013, 12:29:04 PM »

I think a lot of clubs should pursue this Richard. It provides a good way for some HOA restricted hams to get on the air with a decent station, and could provide the club with extra funds and/or equipment. For example, someone who donated more in the way of money or equipment would be provided with a larger chunk of the station time share. I know of at least one ham locally who has a pretty nice remote operation, and read of quite a few others. Certainly the technology is here now, so let's use it.

John K7KB

Posts: 336

« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2013, 04:32:46 AM »

The problem is that  covenant restricted property is the "new normal" for new development  in our area, making even a modest tower impossible.  

In my case,  I have no deed restrictions and could put up a tower, provided a PE sealed the prints.  Neighbors are OK with it.   Here's where common sense kicks in: A 4160v power line that is atop the pole in front of my house and 3 houses at near equal distances.  Any failure is going have the tower land on one of them.

For me, I was fortunate to find a club that has a physical station to operate from.

73 Martin Flynn

Full disclosure -  I am a member of one of the clubs that N2LXM belongs to.  To get the station building to it's current condition, there are easily 10K man-hours invested.  

Posts: 0

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 12:41:36 PM »

The way we treat our elderly is deplorable in this country.

Unfortunately for most people, once their life of usefulness has ended, it is off to the rest home for them and in most cases their amateur radio life, how ever short to begin with, comes to an end.

For most people amateur radio really does not play a role in their life until after they retire because of work and family commitments takes precedence before hobbies.

Usually after retirement the ham enters the hobby with a new found zeal and either rehabilitates their old equipment or invests  in new equipment to get on the air and try to make a name for themselves.  You can usually tell the ones that does not have much experience because they are always worried what they sound like and are always asking for a signal report.  Or they buy amplifiers and then they expect a 20 - 30 over 9 report to justify their investment.  Not caring that it is against the rules to broadcast and that we should use the minimum amount of power when we talk, not what ever the amplifier produces.

Most hams spends a majority of their time on the two meters FM repeaters where they act as if they were talking on the land-line telephone anyways.

When it comes time to leave home, the only thing the old ham looses is their ability to talk to their friends.   Sometimes due to the fact that the rest home is too far away from the repeater for them to hit it with a handheld radio.

Most old people are resistant to change and refuse to learn, else they could use internet resources such as Echolink to fulfill their amateur radio needs and wants.   It isn't my antenna talking to your antenna, but it does allow them to get on a linked repeater and talk to some people. 

When the allure of being able to talk to their friends wanes, they disappear and that is the end of them.

I went to an auction 2 years ago of a local ham that was selling his possessions, other then his ham radio equipment.   His family had sold his tower and 20 meter beam antenna and other antenna's for $2000.00 on eBay.  The radios and amplifiers were stacked in a corner of his living-room under a blanket with a sign that said

John died last week, no mention to what happened to his radio equipment.  Most times the vultures that called themselves his friends snookers the family out of the equipment for next to nothing and then the cycle repeats itself.

Unfortunately even when a club does end up getting the equipment, they usually don't know what to do with it and they either sell it to themselves for pennies on the dollar or they give it away to club members that already has that kind of stuff, or they keep the good stuff for themselves and then they try to sell the junk for a high price so they get the good stuff for free..

It is good to see one club take the initiative to put up a dedicated tower and antenna's and remote radio receiver and let others use their equipment.   Some people are set in stone, so a sked at X hrs is usually a time that is fought over and when there is a contest the radios sits idle and that is a sad fact of life.

I don't see a lot of dedicated ham radio operators anymore.

I have not even heard the Sunbelt net on in a long time.

The downside is - the SteppIr antenna requires a tune and some older hams do not understand how it works and sometimes the amplifiers gets burned up because they were misused and the antenna breaks because the stepper motors that tunes the antenna are fragile and eventually the owners of the tower gets tired of paying for repairs and they just shut the equipment off and that is the end of the good will.  Not to mention the fact that the SteppIr antenna does not change its length, so basically it is a fraction of a wavelength long dipole antenna on most bands and a true beam antenna on one or two frequencies such as 10 and 20 meters..  It is not a very efficient antenna as far as beams goes...

The neat thing is that if they would have bought a couple of Kenwood TS 590's, and use rig control, that radio does promote operating remote and will send out a decent signal as long as you have a decent antenna.   
 100 watts is all you need to make contacts.
 You could set up as many antenna's and radios as you desired , use some filtering to keep unwanted signals out of the other radios receivers and have an awesome contest station that anyone could use.

Unfortunately most older hams are stuck to one band and one frequency and they get upset when they have to turn the knob or call CQ to talk to someone.
 The FM repeater is the first place you go when you get your license and the last place you go before they take you to the graveyard.  At least that is the way it is where I live.  You can usually find one or two - over the hill nets on FM each morning per a state if you have an active group to run it.

As with all buddy groups, when the core members dies, the newer members don't always pick up the ball and run with it and eventually the buddies dies and they just shut the net down and that is the end of it.  Which is very sad!  That was the death-knell that tolled when CB radio died in the 1970's.
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