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Survey Question


What do you like best about the programs at your local club's meetings? Please explain your choice!

Results (512 answers)

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Survey Comments

Dinner Club

We have a social club, we talk Ham stuff, but there is no structure, we meet for
dinner, talk and enjoy each others company. Love it.

I have attended clubs with over 200 members, they have a great structure, but little
time for socializing. 15 minutes to grab a couple of cookies and a glass of punch.
Very hard to make friends or even acquaintances in that environment.

I say socialize, make friends, break bread and have a good time. Join a club with an
atmosphere you enjoy, or start your own club. A club should be fun and have a draw
that makes members want to attend. Ham Radio is a social event, you are talking to
people all over the globe, trying to make a friend. Enjoy it!
Posted by KK4RIY on 2018-04-18

Too Darn Political

I've been President and officer of many clubs over the years from Los Angeles area to WI to OH. Even once a OH Repeater Coordinator. I gave the ARRL the heave-hoe in 1995 never to return to support HQ's only goal to keep their secure $alaries. All Clubs have some sort of inner political agenda/click, I refuse to be part of it.

If you are an Alpha HAM that uses common-sense, will not be used, and stands for fair play you will fall out of favor and become a target of the click.

I've given up on HAM clicks, focusing on technical challenges, document my solutions, share with all in hopes it stimulates HAMdom, but even that garners the jealous wrath of eHAM arm-chair guru's that live here to crap on others. Hey, when you're inept what better way to fluff your ego than to crap on others.

At +44yrs of HAM'ing and nearing my PhD in Engineering I rather listen than talk..... The old saying goes they may think you stupid but open your mouth/mic and remove all doubt! Keep 'em guessing!
Posted by N6JSX on 2017-10-11


I'm not sure which 'programs' you're referring to, but no, clubs aren't my thing. I'm not into
boasting about how much equipment I have, and don't want to drive the miles to get to the club
meetings. I *do* like to learn, but I do that better at home, with my family around me.

73! :-)
Posted by AF7EC on 2017-10-10

Local Clubs

I still belong to DARA in Dayton although I now reside in New
York. Became a member in 1987 when assigned to Wright-
Patterson AFB. I was very active in the club attending
meetings and working Hamvention. I continue to renew my
membership and follow the club on the internet.

Posted by W2UIS on 2017-10-08


Looking at the numbers it seems that clubs
are not well liked. After 35 years as a ham
and belonging to 2-3 clubs over the years I
can say personally I have no use for them.
If its not the constant political
infighting, its the total lack of focus, or
just a repeater club that does nothing
other than whine and complain about how
crappy the repeaters sound or how bad the
operators are...of course these are the
same folks that have no clue how a repeater
works or what it takes to build and
maintain one...I will pass on the clubs for
the rest of my days in ham radio

Posted by N0FPE on 2017-10-05

Programs are Essential

Have been in a few Ham clubs through the years and have learned:

1) Programs are essential! Try to have one at every meeting if possible. Gives the members a reason to get out of the house and show up. They don't have to be professional programs.

2) No club business at the club meeting! Do that in your board meeting. Makes an incredibly pleasing difference in the general meeting.

Posted by WA6EJO on 2017-10-04


There are 3 clubs around me, i have been to
meetings for 2 of the 3.

One i have been to a couple times, i very much
enjoy the group. It's what i envisioned Ham
radio to be about when i took the test (about a
18 months ago)

Down to earth guys willing to lend a hand anyway
they can, none of the snobbish attitudes i have
seen at swaps.

I'm 34 and wish i had time to attend all the
clubs functions, sadly i must work.

Cheers to all
Posted by VE3JEC on 2017-10-03

"Well, the meeting started at 8:00 PM --- and
by 9:55 PM,
the executive body had JUST FINISHED(!)
wading through
"…past minutes, procedural business, points
of order," AD NAUSEAM"

Exactly what I experienced. Went to local
club one night, of which I am not a member. A
small group of hams who I presumed to be
officers of the club, debated endlessly about
the meaning of ONE word in the bylaws.
Several members went outside, stood around,
smoked a few cigarettes, talked about working
DX on 11 meters, etc. I never darkened that
doorway again either.
Posted by WB4M on 2017-10-01

"Well, the meeting started at 8:00 PM --- and
by 9:55 PM,
the executive body had JUST FINISHED(!)
wading through
"…past minutes, procedural business, points
of order," AD NAUSEAM"

Exactly what I experienced. Went to local
club one night, of which I am not a member. A
small group of hams who I presumed to be
officers of the club, debated endlessly about
the meaning of ONE word in the bylaws.
Several members went outside, stood around,
smoked a few cigarettes, talked about working
DX on 11 meters, etc. I never darkened that
doorway again either.
Posted by WB4M on 2017-10-01


Was in a local club my first 6 years but got sick of the politics, fighting, egos, cliques, etc. so I let the membership lapse. I never looked back. I haven't even listened to a repeater since 2000.
Gained a bunch of friends on local 2m FM simplex. No hassles, no politics, no egos. Working more HF now. Getting my code speed back up again.

Posted by KB2SMS on 2017-10-01

So many clubs, so little time

There's one club for locals, one for emcomm, one for contesting, one for VHF contesting, one informal group for DMR, groups for traffic nets, Facebook groups for various radios/systems/manufacturers/activities, and so on. Way too many things to do, and none of them are boring.
Posted by N3EG on 2017-09-29

Not since 1990

Haven't been to one since
college. And as an old timer
(29+ years) I have little in
common with the current crop
of "Cram to Ham" no coders,
emcomm zealots with their
fancy go kits, or the even
OLDER "let's discuss my
illnesses today" group.
Posted by KB2HSH on 2017-09-28


I passively attended a few radio clubs for a while and did not
enjoy them. Then one day I took a good look aroundI and
realized most members attended the meetings, sat on their
butts with folded arms waiting to be entertained, refused to
contribute anything positive, and seemed anxious to tell
anyone who would listen why they did not like the club and
everything they thought was wrong with it. So I volunteered to
serve in a club office and took part in club activities. That is
when my membership started to mean a great deal to me. Now
I enjoy the meetings and am starting to find the fellowship the
do nothing members complain about not finding. You have to
jump in and participate and do something more than take up
space in a chair and find fault. Who wants to be friends with
people like that?
Posted by K7NSW on 2017-09-27


My local club's meetings start with a quick
go-round for all to introduce themselves and
then we launch into the night's program.

If we run out of time it's generally because
the program was interesting, and not because
of Robert's Rules of Order. LOL

I like the idea of a pre-meeting "new ham" or
"get on the air" session. We've been
discussing that as an addition as well.

Problem is, we are so small that ideas only
come from a 'skeleton' few.
Posted by N2MG on 2017-09-27

Local Club?

We have a Local Club but we don't have
meetings.No need for them since we communicate
here.We discuss things on the air so nobody
has any secrets.We have Three Repeaters on the
air & a couple more waiting on a site for them
too be put up.Who needs a meeting?We meet for
lunch once a month or so but it's for great
food not for business. {:>)

Posted by W4KVW on 2017-09-25

Local radio club

Lucky to be a member of JCARS in Western NC. We
have loads of expertise in our club and it is gladly
shared with members. Lucky to have such a great group
of guys in this small area of our state
Posted by KD4KEN on 2017-09-24

Gave It Up

Used to belong to a club well known for sponsoring a swap n shop. I volunteered to work a couple hours selling tickets at the door. Ended up selling tickets and "filling in" for a couple members who had signed up for food service and parking control (winter time) but were "unable" to fulfill their obligations. Lo and behold - as compared to high and let go - who do I spy lounging by the snack bar but the very members I'm working my backside off for who are all gussied up in their pretty club jackets and strolling around smiling grandly and with their chests all puffed out while accepting the credit from attendees for such a wonderful swap. This ain't just ham radio clubs where this happens, of course.

As far as presentations go, I recall a well known local ham who gave a stirring presentation on SSTV back when Robot 80 was state of the art. I was building my own monitor at that time and shared my enthusiasm with him. He was all smiles and suggested we try getting together on 20 Meters. I told him that I was only licensed as a Technician (at that time). His smile turned to a sneer, he turned his back on me and walked away in a huff without uttering another word.

I haven't belonged to a club in years.
Posted by WA8HHH on 2017-09-24

Good and bad

I belonged to two clubs in Oregon,one went
out of it's way to teach and train, the
other focused on DX and had great
technical topics. Here in my new home in
the south I have yet to find a club that
has yet to provide anything substantial
beyond getting people licensed and
upgraded. Was hoping to find something
other than a fm repeater but seems to be
little focus on hf operation,DX,or
contests.And repeater usage is dismal here
considering all the techs.
Posted by W4IOA on 2017-09-24

Seems ALOT of clubs these days are more concerned
with jumping in bed with county governments so
they can get at some "free" government money and
"donations" or land a position with the county

Most clubs USED to hold meetings in church
basements, community centers or on PRIVATE
property and their funding came ONLY from club
dues, hamfests, and fundraisers

Today, they virtually all use the county EOC or
Court houses as their clubhouses and hangout spots

I think when you entangle yourself with local
governments that have been accepting "donations"
for decades, the line between right and wrong
tends to get a little blurry so I'd rather
distance myself from such activities

Posted by N8EKT on 2017-09-23

bad clubs

So sad to read about all of the "bad clubs"
out there.

I am lucky enough to belong to one of the
good ones.


-- K9ZF
Vice President, Clark County Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio Emergency Service,
Clark County Indiana.
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget
***QRP-l #1269 Check out the Rover Resource
Page at:
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing
Posted by K9ZF on 2017-09-21

Old Attitude

A friend of mine got so disgusted with the
local club he dropped his membership.
The repeater would be silent for hours on
and when he wanted to use it to call his YL,
an old time club member would pick THAT
moment to do "repeater maintenance" or
When he complained at the meeting, he was
brushed off. Being new to the area I
attended one meeting. Not one of the hams
came up to say hello. I concluded that it
was an old boys club and was proven correct
when I attended a so-called "presentation"
on emergency communications etc. It turned
out to be a 2 hour speil on how great the
club was and how cheap it was to join. After
that, I was just shooting the breeze with
one of the fire chiefs about some things
that might work for them. I got grilled by
one of the club members about what I was
talking about and why I didn't go through
the club to share that info. Finally I
decided I had enough and said "I though the
foundation of amateur radio was to share
information and learn, apparently this club
doesn't share that belief." and I left.
Haven't been back since and don't miss it.

Posted by KD7YVV on 2017-09-20

Parliamentary Procedure Vs. FUN

I stopped going to our local club meets the very evening
the executive scheduled a "Homebrew Night" for members
to pridefully show-off their pet projects…

In anticipation of the event, I unplugged out of my shack -
-- and lugged in --- my recently built 2x813 linear
amplifier, & waited oh-so-patiently to describe it at
length...right in line with the guy who brought in an old
military receiver he had restored to operating condition,
the local 6-meter fan (indeed, a true expert in the band),
etc. etc. etc. …

Well, the meeting started at 8:00 PM --- and by 9:55 PM,
the executive body had JUST FINISHED(!) wading through
"…past minutes, procedural business, points of order," AD
NAUSEAM --- and all of us bright-eyed builders were
COLLECTIVELY given JUST 5 MINUTES to address the group
with our cherished prizes!

I was so very miffed that I wrote a personal letter to the
president of the club in complaint, & never darkened the
doorstep of any of their meeting place, ever again...
Posted by VE3CUI on 2017-09-20

Club Flub Bub

I entertained participating in club when I
was first licensed. A few visits later, it
turned out to be the same situation as many
hobby clubs. Too many people grappling for
control, and know it all types, trying to
prove how smart they are. Who needs that?
Posted by AB4D on 2017-09-19


I would be hard pressed to find a more boring evening.
Posted by W7WQ on 2017-09-19

Not my style

For years I have operated independently. I
don't like the local club as it is mainly
geared towards 2 meters, and VHF related
activities. I guess perhaps it is because they
are older and the new guys have no interest in
upgrading. So other than one other QRP buddy I
am content to just enjoy the hobby by myself.
Posted by LONESTRANGER on 2017-09-18

Are Clubs On The Way Out?

57% of the respondees don't attend or don't
belong to a local club. What is significant
about this number is that this is the
percentage of the total number who even
bothered to respond at all. I would venture
to guess that in the Ham population as a
whole, the percentage is even higher. I
stopped attending when the personality
conflicts and politics began to dominate.
Posted by KG4RUL on 2017-09-16

don't belong

Extremely underwhelmed is mild and conservative statement
Posted by KI5VE on 2017-09-16

For an hour before each club meeting we have a new
ham Elmer meeting where they do hands on practical
learning things that are designed to help each new ham
get on the air. Last month they learned about voltage
drop in different wire types and made Anderson power
pole connectors for all of their gear using heavy gage
wire. There is a different topic like that each month.

After that is fellowship/snack time with the general
membership followed by the program.

Last month's general membership meeting topic was
how to restore antique radios. A member who has
restored many radios from the 1920s to 70s showed us
how to refinish the wood veneers on old wood broadcast
radios, how to source parts and how to go about doing
basic troubleshooting, what test equip he uses, etc. He
shared examples of radios he has restored and now
uses in his station.

Next month's topic is an auction where members bring
gear they no longer want and we have an auctioneer
who sells it to those in attendance.

The topic the month before was what the next stages in
RF imaging will be in airport security scanner systems.
One of our members is an engineer working on those
next generation RF imaging systems at Duke and he
gave us a really neat presentation on how they work,
what technical issues they face in their design and what
we can expect to see at airports in the next few years.

After the club meeting many people go to get a
drink/dessert/meal together at a nearby restaurant.

We also have a club fellowship dinner at a local
restaurant each month the week before the club

If you are near Raleigh come and join us at RARS
Posted by W8WZ on 2017-09-16

I spend my time between one house in Prescott Arizona and my other one in Salem Oregon and after almost 30 years at the AZ house and 7 at my Oregon house I don't believe either city has a radio club, at least I never heard of any.
Posted by WB8VLC on 2017-09-16

One club at WET Bar at the Ham club!

I was in Pittsburgh area, and the Ham club
had a wet bar...Now that was great...Today, I
don't drink, but back then, it sure added to
the technical topics!
Posted by NN2X on 2017-09-13


Always more to learn. Been a ham for 60+ years.
Posted by K2OWK on 2017-09-12

Technical and operating know-how

There is so much more to know and there are
many better heads than mine out there so club
meetings are a valuable part of my learning
process. When I study something and then
discuss it with club members, I always come
away with a much better understanding of the
A little knowledge can save many hundreds of
dollars in mistakes We all need to be better
informed and better operators.
Posted by W7GEM on 2017-09-12