HELP Please. I Need a Mentor.

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by CRAZYIVAN, Apr 13, 2020.

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    My name is Mark. Many years ago I worked at a radio station in Boston called WCRBFM/AM. Way back then I had a broadcast license as I was the announcer for Music from Marlboro, Vermont. I did commercials, sign-off's etc.

    I live in Boynton Beach/Ocean Ridge. Can some one please help me get started as I would really enjoy getting involved with HAM!


  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Good morning Mark! Welcome to QRZ.

    I've moved your thread to the correct forum so you should see some responses.

    But the best "first thing to do" would be to contact your local radio club. My guess is the closest club to you would be the West Palm Radio Club - - most clubs will be very happy to work with new local members

    Good luck in your quest!

  3. PROF

    PROF QRZ Member

    Hello, I am Tom. I too, am a novice. I am, lets say, a little gray.... I am a United States Marine Corps veteran and and a bit disabled. I am now a retired ARNP with a PhD. I have the time and the motivation to pursue this new hobby, but never had the time. I am looking at this forum for some encouragement and or advice. The novice test seems pretty overwhelming to me, EVERY single term and abbreviation is new to me, so I can't just glide through the material. I have to keep going back and looking up what is being discussed! At least in academia, they speak English..... Is this a common concern?
    To make matters worse, in NE Kansas, the exams have been put on hold due to the virus, so who knows how long it will be before I can actually take an exam. The next exam was late August (this is July) so it was perfect timing for study and practice tests. Now who knows? I can't very well review all the material and then wait a year for the exam. Any suggestions?
    One concern I have discovered on this site. Some members just can't help themselves by posting negative, hateful political comments, seems that Cult is everywhere. I would really like to escape politics and I object pretty strongly to these sorts of sarcastic posts. I am NOT a left wing radical, scum. I've earned my stripes in the Marine Corps and 30 years working in the VA system So please don't fly that crap back to me, okay? Perhaps this site isn't for me, I guess we'll see.
    Thanks to anyone for suggestions or advice. I am glad to be a part of this.
    WA0CBW and K8PG like this.
  4. AK5B

    AK5B Ham Member QRZ Page

    I found the site "hamtestonline" very helpful for all of my VEC tests---you can take practice tests as many times as you want for free and the complete question pool is available for looking up answers, too.

    I've heard there is now remote testing available but it may be in only certain areas or states---no idea if Kansas has that option or not. At any rate, good luck studying and passing your first test. I was a Technician for almost 15 years before I upgraded to General and later Extra---I was having so much fun on the VHF/UHF bands from California and then Hawaii that I didn't feel the need until the solar cycle died and I started thinking about HF DXing!

    Welcome to the world of ham* (amateur) radio, guys! It's a lot of fun at any age,,,



    *(not "HAM", please---the term actually grew out of a nickname for "ham-fisted" telegraph operators and is never an acronym)

    K3XR likes this.
  5. KB2SUJ

    KB2SUJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Welcome 'n00bs'! You can do it. The very first step is to get the manual. Read it. Do not expect to 'power through' it in a weekend. Take the time to read it. They do a surprisingly good job of teaching you if you take the time to ensure it sinks in.
    I went to a local class back in 1994 that spanned a night a week for a few months and I easily got my Tech. A few years ago, I decided to get my General. So in the intervening years, I had forgotten some details. I re-read the tech book, though outdated. I then spent a few months at my leisure (no class this time, just the book, on the couch and the TV blaring) going through the General book. Took the test, passed with a 95%. While there, I took the Extra test. I got a 65%, pretty good for being relatively clueless.
    My point being is it can appear overwhelming at first. But if you take the time to understand each section, at a point, a lot of it just 'makes sense' based on what you already learned and it gets easier. Yeah, acronyms are a PITA. Though if you learn what they stand for and what the words mean, it makes perfect logic. CMOS, MOFSET ;)
    It really is not that hard, you'll agree with me on this once you've studied and passed the test. You will pass the test too.
    Absolutely locate your local clubs. Join a couple. They often do testing and provide services. Just because you join, you do not have to actively be involved if you do not want to. Financial support of the $20 dues makes a difference. Participate at a level you like, it is supposed to be a pleasurable activity, one that you are in charge of.
    Honestly, my first contact was exciting and chilling. Sure, I messed up, a lot!. I could not say my call, I was nervous. Remember the first time you spoke to the opposite sex? People I spoke with have all been aces. The few times I made a serious blunder (and you will too) I was corrected. I took the correction understanding I was wrong. Immediately the tone went from admonishment to instant invisible pals. In a surprisingly short time, you will be an old pro (at least you will think so).
    If you can locate an Elmer (a local actual person to mentor you) you can get questions answered in a way you will understand and not simply how it is explained on paper. Your Elmer can critique your radio style and get you to use good habits before you develop bad ones.
    Remember, this is supposed to be fun. Do not let the party poopers get to you. Some people just want to ruin corn flakes. I prefer waffles.
    KK9W, WA0CBW and AK5B like this.

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