"Frustrated" New Ham KF5AKN was lied to

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by WA4D, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. K1POO

    K1POO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, K0RGR for your comments. There are all kinds of people in every hobby and we're all entitled to our own opinion. I didn't realize that two threads would be spawned...

    I suppose that through ARRL and other literature that 2m/70cm would be busy with talkers that I would have quite a few more opportunities to meet people on the air right away.

    I have indeed learned that this hobby reflects what you put into it. I posted earlier the things I have done to learn more and "get out there". I am limited by budget to the UHF/VHF "wasteland" at this point, so I will learn all I can with it. I do plan on taking and passing the General, but I will be sometime before I have the means to do some serious HFing (that doesn't sound right, does it?). Believe me, I've learned that HF is very cool.:)

    Remember, using the radio frequencies for amateur radio is termed as a privilege, not necessarily a right from what I understand (I know I'm gonna get flamed for this comment).

    Thanks for everyone's input!

    John
    KF5AKN
     
  2. KB8NHL

    KB8NHL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You can get on the HF air for about $100-150 and do some good work if you're willing to learn code. I'm also a technician, but CW on 40 meters is all I do...I honestly have no real desire to get a phone setup. I might get around to upgrading, but not in a hurry.
     
  3. KE7VLC

    KE7VLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well John I have read what you wrote. I live in Arizona and typically the repeaters out here are busy...mostly during rush hour and weekends. I am guessing that this is because most people work 8 to 5 Monday through Friday and probably work in similar company's that wont allow you to just chit chat on the radio all day rather then work. I own just an HT and have numerous contacts using repeaters all over the place here in AZ. Some of these repeaters are even linked so I can generally talk to someone from Flagstaff Arizona all the way down to almost Tucson. I live in Phoenix. There is a club out here that is setting up another repeater that will extend the range all the way out to New Mexico. There are other repeaters that can get you talking to people in California. So check the web to find some repeaters that are linked.

    Another thing that I would recommend....and you have to understand that I have had my license for almost a year now and just recently upgraded to General.....I would recommend trying to find a few clubs in your area and go and visit with them. Be aware though that sometimes they might be a little standoffish when you first arrive but get to know the people. Another thing is find an emergency communications group in your area. Chances are they are doing activities such as runs and bike races. There is an organization out here that does just that and almost every weekend....especially during the cooler time of the year....there is something going on that you can volunteer for and get out there and use your radio for something good....plus it's fun and you get to know more people. Like most of the others have said is you get out of it what you put in it. The more people you know the conversations get better.

    One other thing....why don't you get some of your friends into it...then save on the phone bill by substituting ham radio for the phone. Then the local repeaters will start getting busy again.
     
  4. W6ONV

    W6ONV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was rather turned off with the club I attended, joined and paid dues to since 2005. I have not renewed my membership for 2009 (yet) because it was rather clique-ish. I knew no one there, I was one of the younger individuals at the club and while their presentation topics were sometimes interesting, it really did not provide me much in terms of background after I got my General and was looking at getting on HF. I have stopped going to club meetings because I saw it as a waste of my time (up to 2 hours), when that 2 hours could be spent on the radio. But that might not be the norm around the county (world), it was just my experience locally.

    Thankfully one of the individuals who helped me get on the air with ATV, decided to move on to contesting. He lives very close to me and the local club contesting station. I have gained a great deal in knowledge from him and the other hams I have met as it relates to working DX, contesting and HF in general. I have learned more about operating from this group than I ever did from the 3 years I was a dues paying club member. Understand each has a different focus, but I definitely found more enjoyment with the later.

    One last note, one thing I did like about the club meetings was the ability to apply my VE credentials and assist in test taking. I did find that exciting and somewhat special, certifying new hams or new upgrades if and when they passed the exams.
     
  5. K2QI

    K2QI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Feel better now? :rolleyes:
     
  6. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    John,

    Don't get (More) discouraged! :D

    There are Thousands and Thousands of used HF rigs out there, With a bit of looking, and a bit of work, you can get a 100w hf rig and a simple wire antenna for WELL under $200.

    And the neat part is, unless you tell the other station that you are running a dumpster special, he will NEVER know.:)

    While there are differences in radios, I defy anybody to copy 10 random qso's, and to write down correctly what brand/model rigs he hears.

    If it's all about spending $$$, I can't help you, For me, A/R is about personal technical growth.

    All That takes is effort.

    Rege
     
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    John, another thing I'd suggest. Looking back over a long ham career, I can truly say that what has made it last so long is the people I've encountered along the way.

    Yes, I had a great Elmer - my dad was a real ham from the 30's, and he was very active. But, I've actually done most of my fun hamming with the buddies I've made along the way.

    Dan, now W6WLE, and I used to load up his truck on Friday nights and go hilltopping on 2 meters, just to see how far we could work with his little 1 watt AM rig. We had more fun and more adventures with that $50 piece of junk than anything else I can remember. Over time, our gear and our locations improved. And it really never stopped being fun!

    So, I'd be on the lookout for a newbie like yourself. Hopefully, you can find somebody with a lot of curiousity and a desire to try everything. Hopefully, you can find a hilltop, a satellite, a VHF contest, some public service stuff, and many more things to keep you occupied!
     
  8. WY6K

    WY6K XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think KF5AKN is the frustrated one, eh?
     
  9. K0CMH

    K0CMH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Clubs can be fickled. Some are so friendly they almost smother a new ham and other are very cold to "outsiders". If there is more than one club within your acceptable driving range, I would do a "sampler plate" to see which one is best for you.

    It is not uncommon to change clubs as one gets more into the hobby. A new ham may be more comfortable and learn more at a club that is more "social" than "technical". As knowledge and experience are gained, the more "techincal" leaning clubs become more attractive.

    The good thing about Ham radio is that there seems to be something for everyone. There are a ton of specialties. Just about the time a person gets bored with one or two things, they can get into another. And it is always evolving. SDR seems to be the newest thing starting up (software defined radio), where a computer does all the modulating, demodulating, filtering, etc., and the "radio" is just an RF amp (this explaination is over simplified but easy to understand).

    I hope that you find a great club and find the modes and operating styles you like. It can be a great hobby.

    Take care and 73.
     
  10. KE7VLC

    KE7VLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree with you....clubs tend to be a little more standoffish and cliquish then they really should be. I also agree that doing a sampler of all the local clubs is the best. I joined my club after going to a few meetings and I have started talking to a few of the members....both at the meetings and on the air. I just hope that our club starts getting more active, because thats what I am looking for. I want to join a club who is active....not just trying to push for more people....but want to get out and do things....so we will see how this club is. So you are correct.
     
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