Hot off the (digital) press: 21 Things to Do After You Get Your Amateur Radio License

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KB6NU, May 23, 2012.

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  1. KB6NU

    KB6NU Ham Member QRZ Page

    21 Things to Do After You Get Your Amateur Radio License by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU is now available for the Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Things-After-...?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337801406&sr=1-3) and Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/21-...-romanchik-kb6nu/1110913057?ean=2940014442466). Written for the new ham—or the ham that hasn’t really been all that active lately—its 21 chapters include:
    • Join a club
    • Join the ARRL
    • Find an Elmer
    • Buy a radio
    • Get on the air
    • Set up a shack
    • Buy some tools
    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
    • Build an antenna
    • Build a kit
    • Go to a hamfest
    • Learn the lingo
    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
    • Upgrade to General
    • Go to Field Day
    • Learn Morse Code
    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
    • Buy QSL cards
    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
    • Participate in a contest
    • HAVE FUN!
     
  2. K2NCC

    K2NCC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    • Join a club
      I did, but mostly we sat around, ate and TALKED about radio.
    • Join the ARRL
      I did, but left after learning their agenda doesn't match mine.
    • Find an Elmer
      You can never have enough Elmers!
    • Buy a radio
      BEFORE you become a ham.
    • Get on the air
      As little as I talk on the air, I wonder sometimes if I really ever needed this ticket.
    • Set up a shack
      A lifetime of upgrading!
    • Buy some tools
      Why? There's little in today's radio you can work on. A screwdriver, wire-cutters and a flashlight is about all I've needed.
    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
      As above, why? I have a nice Fluke here that's been used maybe 3 times in 7 years. Usually just continuity.
    • Build an antenna
      It's a nice feeling, but I still prefer to have someone else make it.
    • Build a kit
      No thanks. Zero interest in electronics. Besides, my hands are too big for that little box.
    • Go to a hamfest
      I couldn't wait to see my first. Now I never go, since it's the same junk and old-farts as it was the 1st year.
    • Learn the lingo
      As with any hobby. At least you can sound like you know what you're saying!
    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
      Or just visit those forums and keep your inbox free of more spam.
    • Upgrade to General
      Best benefit to upgrading is not having to look at the band-chart as often!
    • Go to Field Day
      Too damn hot, bugs, allergies, etc. I'd rather stay home where it's nice and cozy.
    • Learn Morse Code
      In case you ever get stuck in a Turkish prison and need to bang on some pipes.
    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
      So you know who to blame.
    • Buy QSL cards
      Even if you don't collect them, other people do.
    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
      So you too can participate in a no-traffic net.
    • Participate in a contest
      Easiest 10-second QSOs you'll ever make.
    • HAVE FUN!
      AMEN!
     
  3. AJ4LN

    AJ4LN Ham Member QRZ Page

    • Join a club
      I joined 3 and sometimes attend others. One taught the license class that motivated me to actually get my license (In 2008).
    • Join the ARRL
      I did, and I was also a member once before, many decades before I became a ham, since I was very interested in radios and electronics.
    • Find an Elmer
      I've received help from club members, especially with setting up antennas.
    • Buy a radio
      I bought a few.
    • Get on the air
      I do get on the air, but not as often as I think I should.
    • Set up a shack
      Done, and it will continue to evolve
    • Buy some tools
      I have lots of tools, and have had lots of tools for decades, and like getting new tools
    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
      I have a bunch, and got my first one back when they used LED's for the display
    • Build an antenna
      A club member helped me build my G5RV, which was my first HF ham antenna, and still works well
    • Build a kit
      I've built lots of electronics devices long before becoming a ham, usually from raw parts, though, not from kits. I did build my mike arm from a desk lamp, so that is sort of a kit.
    • Go to a hamfest
      I started going to hamfests decades before becoming a ham, and I attend the 3 closest ones every year.
    • Learn the lingo
      Still learning.
    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
      I'm on my clubs' e-mail lists, and on many product-specific Yahoo groups, among others.
    • Upgrade to General
      I started at Extra, so not applicable.
    • Go to Field Day
      Every year since becoming licensed.
    • Learn Morse Code
      I plan to, but haven't yet.
    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
      There are at least 2 other hams in my immediate neighborhood, I should meet them, though I might have already met them at a club meeting or event without knowing it.
    • Buy QSL cards
      On my list.
    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
      Joined Skywarn (took a class and got a spotter number, and not much else yet).
    • Participate in a contest
      I have some that I like to participate in.
    • HAVE FUN!
      Yes.
     
  4. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Subscriber QRZ Page

    Whew! I am 'on track'

    Hi Eric!
     
  5. KD5PUR

    KD5PUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    join a club
     
  6. N2TJX

    N2TJX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh, this looks fun.


    • Join a club
    Did it, fun stuff.


    • Join the ARRL
    Thanks, but no thanks.


    • Find an Elmer
    Sure


    • Buy a radio
    I'd add to this, make your first one a used one. Read the maual, learn how, then why.


    • Get on the air
    Of course!


    • Set up a shack
    Or a corner of your living room, dorm, or even car works.


    • Buy some tools
    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
    Both great ideas. The Elmer and the club help you find what you need and get the good deals on used stuff.


    • Build an antenna
    Lots of them. Try things, experiment, fail some, win some. Learn why.


    • Build a kit
    Same thing as above


    • Go to a hamfest
    I'd say sure, but not for a $25 door fee. (booo)


    • Learn the lingo
    QSL


    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
    Lean more, free knowledge


    • Upgrade to General
    Wait a while, lean some things, take the test without memorizing the answers. I even think there should be a required waiting period for upgrades.


    • Go to Field Day
    Make your own party


    • Learn Morse Code
    If that's your thing


    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
    Most important one of them all


    • Buy QSL cards
    If your into HF



    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
    Why not?




    • Participate in a contest
    Meh, not for me, I like to talk about things. But, it's fun for some and I can respect that.


    • HAVE FUN!
    Sure!

    This list could use a little "modernization" to appeal to the younger crowd.

    Sam
     
  7. K7IOA

    K7IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    That hit the old funny bone :)
     
  8. KB1TCD

    KB1TCD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'll have to agree with Frank, K2NCC.
    ARES/RACES, ARRL, Clubs = waste of time!
    Went to two Field Days, my buddies (4 of us) and I did all the work and made all the contacts while everyone else sat around and talked about everything but ham radio. Never again!
    The only reason I belong to a club (they don't even talk about ham radio!) is so I can use their auto patch; I'm too cheap to buy a cellphone!

    73 de Jose Douglas - KB1TCD
     
  9. ZL4AU

    ZL4AU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi there, I read the first two, and its about right. I couldnt agree more. I've been hamming
    for over 30 years and only just rejoined our local radio club after about 20 odd years.
    and basiclly you guys are right. Cheers and good luck
    Roly/ZL4AU
     
  10. WA7KPK

    WA7KPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a good list. Did most of these almost 40 years ago (ARRL life member since about '78), was off HF for most of the last three decades, doing most of them again.

    As for the people griping about the ARRL, Field Day, Morse code or whatever . . . guys, these are suggestions. I can come up with about 21 more things you can do with ham radio and I'm not even thinking hard. If any of these don't float your boat, find something else that does. Ham radio, to paraphrase an old quotation about chess, is an ocean from which a gnat can drink and in which an elephant can bathe.
     
  11. K2NCC

    K2NCC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not griping. Sorry if it sounded so. Good luck with his book. 73
     
  12. WA7KPK

    WA7KPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quite all right, I might have come off a bit strong myself. As for the book, the only problem I have with it (not yet having read it) is that I didn't think of it first. :)
     
  13. K0STK

    K0STK Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the sort of list that, years ago, would have been published on a web-site. I don't understand how putting this information in an eBook format makes it now worth $2.99.
     
  14. WA7KPK

    WA7KPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only person who can answer that is the person trying to make a determination of whether the ebook is worth $2.99. For you and me, maybe it's not. Many of us could go down the list and say, "Done that. Been there. Got the coffee mug for that one." Some of us could probably write a book like this.

    For a newly minted Technician who doesn't know PSK-31 from an AK-47 and couldn't tell you the difference between a QSO and a PDQ, this information could be highly valuable. And at $2.99, if the book is any good it could be one of the cheapest accessories he could buy. As for putting it on a web site . . . well, you could do that, but they aren't free to maintain, and this way the reader (presumably) doesn't have to deal with popup ads and the like.
     
  15. NN4RH

    NN4RH Subscriber QRZ Page

    New ham checklist

    1- buy an HT
    2- get 1x2 or 2x1 call sign
    3- buy FT-something
    4- buy G5RV or 43 foot vertical or "Carolina Windom"
    5- find a colonoscopy net on 75m and ask for a "radio check"
    6- buy amplifier so that next time they won't say "get a signal"
    7- check into colonoscopy net again and say "cw sucks"
    8- log into qrz.com and complain about old farts being mean to you
     
  16. WD5JOY

    WD5JOY Ham Member QRZ Page

    • Purchase helpful books at FAIR PRICES (example: http://www.amazon.com/Things-After-A...7801406&sr=1-3 )
      IT IS A REALLY NICE BOOK FOR NEW AND RETURNING HAMS ALIKE. No hype! It IS a good value!;)

    • Join a club
      OK - but 95% of members use ONLY UHF/VHF and ONLY if REPEATERS are available. Simplex is just a word to most of 'em! .

    • Join the ARRL
      For lunch? Dinner? A drink after elbow-rubbing at Dayton? GREAT SALARIES if ya get a "position"!

    • Find an Elmer
      The BEST Elmers are here on good old QR&Z! Loads of excellent info abounds.!

    • Buy a radio
      Buying is a good idea; theft can lead to jail and guys named "Bubba".

    • Get on the air
      And learn why you should have included the price of a BIG AMP and BEAMS in your "rag chew budget"!

    • Set up a shack
      When the tax deductions turn 21 --- OUT they go and the room is a 'shack in progress'!

    • Buy some tools
      To allow you to work on ANYTHING other than your ham radios! Too complicated for 90% of today's "hams"!

    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
      You can impress the "girl next door" when her hair dryer poops out! Show her why she needs to visit "your shack"!

    • Build an antenna
      Then show it off at that club you joined! Tell them about all the "junk" that is sold to hams nowadays! BLAME MFJ for your 'oops'!

    • Build a kit
      As above ..... blame MFJ for your "oops" and gripe about the quality of "junk" hams should avoid! OR - "Build a Carson"!

    • Go to a hamfest
      Hit on the lonely teenage daughters! Learn how to laugh at that "asking price" of "full retail" for used junk! If it shines ......... don't assume it is NEW! Hams LIE .... AND often!

    • Learn the lingo
      When it is your turn to sell that high-priced JUNK ... at least you can "sound impressive"! "Baffle 'em with yer BS", as some say.

    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
      AND most frequently ........ search out info on QR&Z! It's a lot more valid! Stay clear of photographic webs sites like "NoDaddyNoDon'tTouchMeThereDot.Com:eek:

    • Upgrade to General
      Get a cool car named "Lee"! Take the K6PXA Arny Gamson "Instant Upgrade Exam"! Only $100.00 and BINGO ..... yer an EXTRA!

    • Go to Field Day
      Free food! It's usually hot ... so the ladies and boppers "dress down" to stay cool! Easy on the eyes when the GSA participates!

    • Learn Morse Code
      CQ-CQ-DX is easier! When you can't bust a pile-up ... use the legal limit and send CW 5Kc off the hard to catch DX stations frequency!

    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
      When they go on vacation ........ bingo ........ equipment upgrade time ........ for FREE! Offer to "house sit" .... don't be a burglar!

    • Buy QSL cards
      Carry them in your breast pocket when attending those hamfests! It looks like you really care!.

    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
      Your 'number' always comes up! A new one every week! And those "drills"! The honchos really get to show off!

    • Participate in a contest
      Publishers Clearing House is a good one! The odds are better than a lottery!

    • HAVE FUN!
      Go to a NASCAR RACE and drink yourself stupid! Carry a HT and "look official" by barking out orders from the mens room!

    • AND I REPEAT! Purchase helpful books at FAIR PRICES! Example: http://www.amazon.com/Things-After-A...7801406&sr=1-3
      IT IS A REALLY NICE BOOK FOR NEW AND RETURNING HAMS ALIKE. No hype! It IS a good value!; TRUST ME!:cool:

    REMEMBER: "OLD PEOPLE DO THE DARNDEST THINGS"! SEE ABOVE!:eek::eek::eek:

    ADDENDUM: I really do like As-A-Mom-Dot.Com .... it gets these unusual books and the author the recognition deserved.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  17. W5DQ

    W5DQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I know the article was for new hams, but I thought I'd show where a 36 year veteran is at WRT the list:


    [*]Join a club
    Belong to several local and distant ones as well as a couple online clubs .... you can never have too many ham friends

    [*]Join the ARRL
    LIFE MEMBER

    [*]Find an Elmer
    After 35 years as a ham, I am an Elmer to many of our newly licensed club members

    [*]Buy a radio
    Own too many now, or so my wife says :)

    [*]Get on the air
    Am on every possible minute either chasing DX, 6M grids, IOTA's, working CW, RTTY, JT65 and even SSB on occasion

    [*]Set up a shack
    Have setup several of my own over the years and help many start setting up theirs

    [*]Buy some tools
    Have just about every imaginable hand tool there is for electronics and a well equipped electronics workbench and large inventory of spare parts just in case :)

    [*]Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
    Own several of various makes and models

    [*]Build an antenna
    Have built many of my own design afer modeling in EZNEC. Put together and modified numerous commericial models.

    [*]Build a kit
    I love to build kits and roll my own accessories. I worked for Heathkit (Dallas, TX store on Ross Ave) while going to college and I think I probably have built almost every ham kit they had in the catalog in the late 70's early 80's.

    [*]Go to a hamfest
    Been to many, many over the years from small local ones up to Dayton itself

    [*]Learn the lingo
    I think I got this part down although with the new digital modes popping up there is always more to learn.

    [*]Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
    I subscribe to too many now as it is

    [*]Upgrade to General
    Did this in 1978 at a Little Rock, AR hamfest where the FCC gave field tests in a big tent. It was raining cats and dogs and the test papers were all damp and gooey. Pencils would hardly write on the damp paper.

    [*]Go to Field Day
    Almost every year even though locally the daytime heat is around 115 degrees F or higher her in the Mojave Desert.

    [*]Learn Morse Code
    Comfortable at 20-25wpm, but I can copy most contest info up to appx 40wpm

    [*]Get to know your (ham) neighbors
    Know lots of them worldwide

    [*]Buy QSL cards
    This reminds me ..... I need to order another 1000 from Gennady at www.ux5uoqsls.com - top notch work - great service

    [*]Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
    Did the ARES/RACES thing but not my cup of tea .... but not a wannabe policeman / fireman type .... I'll leave that to the real deal!

    [*]Participate in a contest
    Almost every weekend, sometimes two at a time

    [*]HAVE FUN!
    I try to do this all the time in EVERYTHING I do .... even at work but that is getting harder to do each year!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  18. NZ9Y

    NZ9Y Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ok, this looks fun.

    • Join a club
      Did it cuz I thought I should. Learned they just tolerate new members and have little interest in radio.
    • Join the ARRL
      Never did, probably never will. Can't find enough benefit vs thier lobbying against modes.
    • Find an Elmer
      Best Elmers I've ever found are 2 or 3 guys here, and one local.
    • Buy a radio
    • Get on the air
    • Set up a shack
      Yes please..
    • Buy some tools
      Like an antenna analyzer.
    • Buy a digital multimeter (DMM)
      Where did the interest in electronics come from if you don't already have this?
    • Build an antenna
      Very fun and many are easy.
    • Build a kit
      A beer brewing kit. Makes you more tolerant of curmudgeons.
    • Go to a hamfest
      My first was Saturday. I attended as a seller. Won't sell at one again, but the people watching was fun.
    • Learn the lingo
      Uh.... In a day, then promptly drop the pointless parts. Proper phonetics please, de Noodle Zipper Niner Yogurt
    • Subscribe to mailing lists, blogs, and podcasts
      Naw, just read websites.
    • Upgrade to General
      Didn't have to.
    • Go to Field Day
      Where exactly is that again?
    • Learn Morse Code
      Heck, it can't hurt but at any speed new hams will always be "no-code" hams.
    • Get to know your (ham) neighbors
      Most are pretty decent folks. About as odd as I am.
    • Buy QSL cards
      It's a courtesy to others.
    • Join SkyWarn, ARES, or RACES
      Hmmm.
    • Participate in a contest
      It isn't fair to knock any part of the hobby if you don't make an attempt to see what others like about it.
    • HAVE FUN!
      For me, that means trying everything and changing it up often.
     
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