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Short Takes! Comments on Short Takes from "Trials and Errors"

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Nov 30, 2022.

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  1. AF5LS

    AF5LS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two things, TKB...1) I stay off 75 meter phone for that exact reason and 2) Yes, a poor antenna can produce contacts. In my youth I was heard across town using my light bulb dummy load. But efficiency does matter. You will consistently make more and more distant contacts with an antenna that's properly designed and installed.

    I plead guilty, for example, to fighting the general misunderstanding of SWR among hams and CBers. SWR measurements don't mean anything all by themselves yet folks treat that one number as their antenna performance Holy Grail.

    It's wrong to think that way but saying so sometimes brings out hostility.
    N8SA, W7DGJ and VK5OHR like this.
  2. VK5OHR

    VK5OHR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Best to just ignore it...
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2023
    AE8EM likes this.
  3. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm not saying that a poor antenna design isn't a poor antenna just because it makes some contacts; we all know just about anything is possible. My point was that there are certain individuals that have to prove how smart THEY are and how DUMB the aforementioned antenna is. They will use all sorts of science and math to prove their point, and/or to prove how dumb the antenna design in question is. And sometimes, the dialog between "it works for me" and "it shouldn't work at all" just spins out of control, to the point where it's no longer about the antenna...but instead about the two hams arguing over this.

    I have always appreciated the help and information I've received from various questions posted on the Zed, and sometimes the answers provided have been varied or even contradictory to each other. But I take them all with a grain of salt, and make my decision as best I can on which answer to use...if any. And if it doesn't work, go back and try the other. I remember when I first got into this hobby, somebody told me: "You can ask 12 different hams the same question and get 15 different answers!" That's fine...but why do they then feel the need to fling insults at one another?
    AF5LS likes this.
  4. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brando, great post! Thanks! Your idea in the last para is FANTASTIC. It would seem to me (someone more technically competent will shoot me down) that a digital signature could be embedded into any radio broadcast. That would SURE DO THE TRICK. Somehow gotta get the League and the manufacturers behind it, though. Would allow instantaneous QSO confirmations when tied into a logbook as well. Wow, what a slick concept. I'm not sure about how I feel on the "personal liberties" front . . . need to think about that. But it would sure clean up the radio, FAST! Dave
    KI4HPU and W3TKB like this.
  5. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Brando, it's a part of radio history, and radio culture to have great differences of opinions and ideas about radio design, amplifiers, and so on. But antennas -- that's the holy grail for the griper. That's where any joker can come out of the woodwork and pull out Smith charts and computer modeling and go to town, nailing the other operator. I wish the ham community in a general sense could make a pledge to be kinder to each other. I love the amateur radio services. I'm just curious about the idea of a pledge . . . if QRZ or the ARRL had a published "Pledge of the Original Amateur Radio Spirit" and people would sign up saying that they'd manage their feedback and relationships in such a way as to not be offensive, and always be truly helpful, what percentage of our population would sign up? 5-10%? Or, could it be as much or more than 1/2? That would be awesome. Put a nice certificate behind it!
    W3TKB likes this.
  6. W3TKB

    W3TKB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Dave: you don't have any choice when you purchase and use a's already there and that's that. You also don't have a choice when you use your computer, as every device has a unique code and IP number. Oh sure, the really talented people might be able to block this information...but we're not dealing with talented (smart) people here. There will be resistance, of course, but if the only way you can buy a new radio is to accept that it has this "digital signature" technology built in...eventually you'll cave. How many people still use flip phones or the even older "brick" phone? Bet that number gets smaller every year. Personally...I don't think it's a matter of IF, but more a matter of WHEN.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  7. AF5LS

    AF5LS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Unfortunately, it sometimes takes some math to really understand what is happening. Math phobia is a real thing and people who feel that way sometimes get defensive when a discussion turns that way.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  8. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Norm. Thanks for being here. I know what you mean . . . In my day job, I was pushing STEM career choices for my son when he was younger. The guy loved science, could have been a GREAT scientist . . . except, he hated math. I almost think that the M shouldn't be on the end of STEM because we lose a lot of people. (On the other hand, I'm sure that math skills are an important part of education . . . I missed out on that, however, and can't balance my checkbook). Dave
    AF5LS likes this.
  9. KC3TEC

    KC3TEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    With the advent of allowing the use of calculators for simple math problems, many teachers have given up on traditional math.
    Focusing on what formula a student uses is the wrong approach.
    I've seen students fail a test even though the answer to the problem was correct (but they used the wrong formula)

    There is little or no encouragement for efforts the students put forth.
    And classes are usually too large.
    So yes math tends to be a widely hated subject.

    I kind of enjoy math because solving math problems in my head keeps my mind sharp.
    ( the best method of avoiding the dreaded crs syndrome ( cant remember $#!t):p

    Do I use antenna calculators?
    Depends on if I'm in a hurry or not.
    Otherwise I do it on paper with the correct formulas.o_O
    AF5LS likes this.
  10. AF5LS

    AF5LS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nevertheless, there is never an excuse for discourtesy.
    KA3VID likes this.
  11. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    " I've heard antisemitic, racist, and just about every foul word you can think of. It's made me ashamed of my radio at times."



    You don't know the half of it.

    I have stopped going on fone because of the antisemitic QRM. Most comments are personal. Got much worse after Oct 7th. Might venture on fone for the 10m contest...Will see.

    IOW your gripe is justified.

    I have opted to 'tend my garden' and not let ANY abuse in. Nor invite it. From anyone. Comparing my notes with some other Jewish hams, I suspect you will now find this is common-- only discussed if someone else brings it up (as you have).

    We are tending gardens, mostly in the F layer;-)

    Chip W1YW
    AF5LS and W7DGJ like this.
  12. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm sorry to hear this Chip . . . The whole matter just resonates with the degraded quality of society over the last decade. Suffice it to say that I know this is a minority, and that most of us hope it will pass soon. Dave, W7DGJ
    AF5LS likes this.
  13. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Humans are resilient. The sun will shine for all again...
    AF5LS and W7DGJ like this.
  14. AA7FR

    AA7FR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got into radio when I was a kid in the 80's as it seemed to be a sort of magic, I still get that feeling today, but as you alluded to, manners have declined dramatically. I no longer go on 75M due to it. I do have my extra, but I do not feel I am any better than any other ham and I always feel there is something to learn. And I always answer any CQ if I am able to, not just because I want that grid or whatever. Some operators are embarrassing, I am a VE and tested a 15 yo that had that sense of magic and got his general. We got ota at my QTH so I could teach him a little and some of the first things he heard, I cannot even repeat. Every ham has their own area in the hobby they are interested in, so no one is an expert at it all. It saddens me to hear much of what goes on, though there are also very considerate operators out there, too.

    In a way of comparison, I repair almost any electronic device with tubes, I am known for it in my area and also build power supplies, but when it comes to smd stuff, forget it. Does that make me less? Our club president makes commercial antennas, he is way over me in knowledge in that arena, but when it comes to older radio repair he defers to me, that is my niche. He is also an extra. Point being, no one knows it all and the things you do know, you need to be sure of. Something some on the bands have no clue about when they run their face.

    Antennas, that is a mystery to me as to why some get so riled up. As others have said here, no matter design, if it works, what is the problem? I enjoy my magnetic loop, but I am not going to get into a row about it. It works for me and that is good enough. The PC vs Mac, well, I cannot stand Apple products, but again, that is a personal choice. Use what works for you and I am not going to disparage someone for not using what I think they should.

    As amateurs, being courteous is supposed to be one of our tenants. I do not care about licence class or any of that. If you enjoy radio enough to get your ticket, that works for me. We are supposed to help each other in our pursuits, be willing to listen and learn and show some class, too.

    AE8EM, W9TPD, W7DGJ and 1 other person like this.
  15. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Tony, you have indeed demonstrated the amateur with class and professionalism. You are the reason I got on the air again -- I know that there are more like you out there and it is my goal to find them. 73s, Dave

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