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Issue #33: Guest Column - Where Have All the YLs Gone?

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Jan 17, 2024.

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  1. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    In the Amateur Radio Services, we have lots of history for the way we help a surviving Ham widow clear out that SK's shack. That's fine. But what if some of these women wanted to pick up the mic or key and get active themselves on the air? Patti (KE7IR) is a Guest Author and her article is interesting. Sure, it's not an easy subject to discuss, but there's a sub-category of YL operators who we might instill once again with the love of radio! Read the column at this link and use this forum discussion to talk about your thoughts and to meet Patti, who will be watching the thread. Thanks, Dave Jensen, Trials and Errors -- Ham Life with an Amateur
    W6BFK and KB8SKK like this.
  2. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Yls and XYLs are both present and active, at least the ones I work here in AK. The local ARES net is about 1/3 YL/XYL, but as noted, most check in with their spouse/SO.

    HF, not so much. I see this as 'social' networking as a hobby vs the hobby as a technical endeavor, one possibly related to employment.

    As for the disposing of equipment - one would think the male half of that relationship would start the slow process of thinning out the shack and if the spouse is licensed, ask what equipment she would like to have for her use.... Not quite a 'his and hers' station, but something that would support her interests. In advance.

    My daughter, as a youngster, played with my PC after school while I was at work. One of the programs was a CW training application, where the machine would send a letter to 'decode' and the person entered that into the PC. She thought it was a game.
    She regularly hit 30wpm and could head copy off the air. But the technical part was of zero interest. Later, in middle school, she played different musical instruments. Her computer skills allowed good employment, so the 'game time' wasn't a waste, I suppose.

    I chat online with the occasional XYL on ham radio equipment technical matters, but they all see radios as a "tool" and not a hobby in and of itself. Thier goal is to stay in touch with family members, period. I get a kick out of the Extra class ticket holders that seem perfectly happy to talk across town to their family members.

    Bottom line, everyone sees the hobby in their own and unique way. While many see ham radio as worth the time to pursue, many others do not. Male or female doesn't seem to matter.
    N1VAU and W7DGJ like this.
  3. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Don, nice comments and thanks. Yes, we all see Ham Radio through our own personal scope so to speak. For me, I see an antenna connecting me to another antenna on the other side of the world. I like to think about that, and RF bouncing all over, almost more than I do clicking the PTT. But it's all fun, and not much to do with gender. Patti's article, though, points out that by simply helping a bereaved person empty their house of radios, we may be missing an opportunity. I'm going to try for people my age now just as much as I try to help teens or young people interested in the concept of radio waves. They are all possible additions to Amateur Radio. Dave, W7DGJ
    KE7IR likes this.
  4. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    My landlady is not licensed, not interested at all. I told her try donating my stuff to Good Will or SA. If they don't take it, get a dumpster.
  5. KF7WIS

    KF7WIS QRZ CEO QRZ HQ Staff Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I really enjoyed this article. I think that Patti makes some welcome points. Reminds me that I should get on the air more often than I do. Thanks Patti and Dave for an interesting and well articulated perspective.

    KB8SKK, KE7IR, WD4ELG and 1 other person like this.
  6. KE7IR

    KE7IR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    N3PM - I am sure there are a lot of spouses that feel very similarly. Hopefully, there are some who could benefit by reactivating or obtaining an Amateur Radio license. Thank you for reading the article and your perspective. 73, Patti KE7IR
  7. KE7IR

    KE7IR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for your comments. I hope to hear you on the air sometime. We have a group of people (about 50% are ladies) who join for what we call the Ladies Conversation Group, on Monday nights at 02:00 UTC, on or near as we can get to 7.200 MHz. You are most welcome to join us, Jaime. 73, Patti
  8. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Suggestion: the ham should operator create and maintain an inventory of all gear in the shack...every rig, microphone, keyer, connector, cables, etc. Establish an approximate dollar value for it.

    If the ham goes SK, there are auction houses that can help sell it. Or if nearby, places like HRO can do it. Don't leave more work for your XYL after you pass...she will have enough to deal with just getting through the grief of the loss.

    I told my XYL that I don't trust strangers from the local club coming in like vultures picking over my shack left-behinds - just call the auction house and let the professionals handle it. Hand over the list with my estimated values and let them go to town.
  9. WD4ELG

    WD4ELG Ham Member QRZ Page

    The bozos/idiots in 7200 kHz could learn a LOT from you ladies. They might even clean up their act...assuming they can put down their liquor bottles and sober up a bit.

    Keep up the great work, Patti. You will never know how much of an inspiration you are to others.
    W7DGJ and KE7IR like this.
  10. KE7IR

    KE7IR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    WD4ELG - Good points. You are right, having a good inventory with estimated values would be very helpful.
    There is still time to see if your wife might have an interest in becoming a Ham. She can join our group on Mondays with you as Control Operator. (I don't give up easily, do I?) 73, Patti
  11. KT4PH

    KT4PH Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    IMVHO, this is one of the best articles in the series (and there have been a lot of really good ones!). I found KE7IR's comment very informative and sort of sad also. I've been through the loss of a spouse also (she was not a AR operator but was very supportive of me getting my "ticket"), and it caused me to drop out of AR for a while (along with other real-life issues). I would encourage everyone to read this article.

    N8FXC, KB8SKK, KE7IR and 1 other person like this.
  12. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    THANKS for the nice comment, Jaime. A bit hard to pull off this issue, as Patti was thousands of miles from me as I was on a ship. But we got it done, Dave W7DGJ
  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Michael - not sure if you are just being sarcastic, but if you have a station, I'd put a letter in your file as to who is going to get it. Local HS club? There are many options. Thanks for reading! Dave, W7DGJ
  14. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi John, nice to see you back again and continuing to be one of our readers. This was indeed an inspirational article, and I enjoyed working with Patti and helping get these ideas into circulation. We appreciate your commentary, thanks! Dave, W7DGJ
  15. N3PM

    N3PM Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, I am not.

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