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Analogue vs Barrier of entry

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KJ7UJF, Nov 6, 2021.

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  1. KJ7UJF

    KJ7UJF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been studying for my general license, and if it sticks well, extra to boot. I've noticed in my experience that with my tech I've sort of "cheated" with access to wider reach with repeaters that have either digital or IRLP and been able to reach much further than my little HT's ever could.

    I wonder if part of why so many are quick to stay content with technician are those such options with excellent results. I've only recently obtained my license and when I had a grip on IRLP I was blown away. Today I hit my first WiresX node and it was the same. I thought to myself I could just use this and be content. But it doesn't line up with my personal goal for HAM. I prefer DXing to relying on a repeater or node. I had little clue of all of this or understanding when I started my journey into HAM. I came in reasonably blind and with the goal of obtaining an alternate means of communication that I could rely on without a service carrier (i.e. phones) or third party. With experience, study and knowledge now, I know why I'm excited for HF. Still nervous about how well I can apply it, but excited nonetheless.

    I think what potentially and in my opinion helps prevent new HAMs from getting in is a similar notion and a mix of overenthusiasm from other HAMs about any particular thing (personal experience) and esoterica. I still personally struggle with a lot of acronyms and understanding. It's a complicated field, and rightly so, but I find it's easy to go down rabbit holes and lose sight of one's personal vision. Probably just my experience thus far.

    A lot of this would likely be solved with an Elmer who understood what I wanted and knew what to teach me to get me there. I lacked such a thing, and that's fine. I've learned some solid lessons on the way I will hope to pass along. This entire thought was sparked by my ramblings of HAM to a coworker who started asking me questions about it and I realized both how far I'd come and how difficult it can be to understand when you know nothing.
    N2PQW likes this.
  2. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You think you know what you want but you really may not. Because you idea is not based in personal experience. I’m not trying to be mean but rather show you something. When I was a new ham all I wanted to do is get past my code requirements and get over to phone and never look back at CW again. I passed my 5 wpm test, I got on the 40m novice band and started working CW working for my 13 wpm. After a month of QSOs on 40m I passed my 13wpm and my Gen. All of a sudden I realized that I didn’t care if I ever hooked my microphone up to my radio. CW was king and I’ve loved it. I surely could’ve seen that coming it’s not what I had envisioned. I did finally hook up my microphone, but everywhere I turn ham radio takes me places I didn’t envision myself going.( It got me jobs and all sorts of things) 2017 I decided to give SSB QRP a try and I have never looked back I work nothing but QRP. I didn’t see that coming. I really have no idea where this thing will take me next.

    So what I am saying is it might happen to you the same way.

    good luck
    Al KC7JNJ
    N8ZL, KY4GD, KC2SIZ and 8 others like this.
  3. KJ7UJF

    KJ7UJF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I can respect that.
    N3AWS likes this.
  4. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yeah, sooooo many cool things to do and explore in this hobby! Keep an open mind

    Enjoy your time with the linked repeaters. I think it's fun, too.

    I got Technician just to put APRS trackers in my high power rockets. At 37000 feet high, can't see em, gotta get em back!

    So tracking and simplex comms with the rocket recovery team was all I did with it for 3 years. Tried repeaters like 3 times, didn't really click...

    My friend had just passed General and his enthusiasm was contagious. I needed something new to learn, really enjoyed studying for General. But my goal there was to run PSK31 and RTTY on HF. Wow, that was a lot of fun!

    Another long time friend invited me over on an EME activity weekend. His big 2m rig and Henry amp... JT65... Off the moon! Blew my mind.

    So, I got hooked on learning more about modulation, coding theory, Shannon, etc... Studied for Extra too... Really enjoyed the learning.

    That's my story. The main point is, go ahead and bumble around, you never know what curious corner this hobby will surprise you with.
    KV6O, WA6OSX, N3AWS and 1 other person like this.
  5. N3AB

    N3AB Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm confused about your use of the term "HAM" in the highlighted text. Please explain.
    2E0NYH, WA8FOZ and W5TTP like this.
  6. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think you are right. There are a lot of people from various walks of life that join the hobby with many different goals in mind. For many that goal is to just ragchew with people on repeaters or via the various linking systems that are available and for many hams this can be a lot of fun and not something that I would ever chastise someone for doing.

    HF Operating is indeed an entirely different world, the fun of making contacts. The first DX you log no matter what antenna or rig you are using will be a blast for sure. That is great that you are looking to dive in and learn new aspects of the hobby.

    I will note, ham is not an acronym or a verb. It bothers me a bit less than it bothers others but I tend to point it out when I see a newbie using it as such. There is a lot of debate on why amateur radio is referred to as ham radio, and there are folks on this site that know the history better than I do. I tend to refer to the hobby as amateur radio more than ham radio though.

    Good luck with your General exam and have fun!
    KJ7UJF likes this.
  7. WN1MB

    WN1MB Ham Member QRZ Page

    "ham" isn't an acronym or abbreviation - it's a legitimate noun or verb. No need for the all caps.
    Unless you're shouting, it's hams.
    WA8FOZ, WW2E and N3AB like this.
  8. KJ7UJF

    KJ7UJF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Humorous Amateur Mistakes ; )
    2E0NYH, KV6O, KD1JT and 2 others like this.
  9. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    HAM ham, Motor Engine no ever corrects someone when they say my car has a v8 motor. But when it comes to the word ham its like he got mud on the queens ball gown. LOL help the man out with some of your real wisdom. You been around while. :)
    K4TTJ, KI4POT, WG7X and 1 other person like this.
  10. N2PQW

    N2PQW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here's two thoughts to live by:
    1) You don't know what you are yet to know.
    - There's always more around the corner than we can imagine, at least before we see it.

    2) You can learn a lot from teaching.

    - Any good teacher will tell you how much they've learned from their students, or how they better understand a subject when explaining it to others.

    Also, there seems to be a viewpoint in all facets of societies that an entry-level point is somehow off limits once a higher level or more knowledge is achieved. For example, in our case, inexpensive radios or models of limited function are only for beginners.

    It's usually true that once one experiences a new thing that excites them, or their opportunities expand, their original frame of reference seems beneath them, except in a nostalgic way.

    That's a bit of shame, because their first experience should still bring joy, but with a deeper understanding of what else is possible.

    I was very fortunate to have great Elmers as personal friends, a family all with their licenses. Any visit to the house just to hang out was a chance to see the tubes glow, watch the big tri-bander turn, and hear foreign accents from far-away lands. Not to mention the knowledge passed to me, and the encouragement to get involved.

    It would be outstanding if everyone could tap in to such an environment, but I know how unique that was.

    Please, learn what you can, and BE THE ELMER you wish you had!

    David / N2PQW

    KJ7UJF and W5TTP like this.

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