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

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    37

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

    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-A...7801406&sr=1-3) and Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/21-t...=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. #2

    Default

    • 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!
    vy 73, de frank, k2ncc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sterling, VA
    Posts
    12

    Default

    • 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. #4

    Default

    Whew! I am 'on track'

    Hi Eric!

  5. #5

    Default

    join a club

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Massillon O.H.
    Posts
    88

    Default

    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
    "we don't use 10-20 in the fire service, we all know where we're going" - Cursarius

    do it for the lulz

  7. #7

    Default

    Learn Morse Code
    In case you ever get stuck in a Turkish prison and need to bang on some pipes.
    That hit the old funny bone

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Bristol, Maine
    Posts
    13

    Default

    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. #9

    Default

    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. #10

    Default

    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.

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