ad: Alphaant-1

Short Takes - Forum Discussion for Feisty Hams and also New Contest Ideas

Discussion in 'Trials and Errors - Ham Life with an Amateur' started by W7DGJ, Jan 7, 2024.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: L-MFJ
ad: Left-3
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-2
  1. N7KO

    N7KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe we already have to many contests, can we not just make contacts, enjoy a rag chew? Nothing wrong with a good QSO , Now we have contests on the WARC bands, SOTA and POTA hold there contests on the WARC bands, they claim they are not contests, but we all know it is contests. Anytime you are given points, or some kind of an award for making an ACTIVATION it is a contest, you are scored by how many activations you make, it is a contest. Bands are crowed with digital and other modes holding contests.

    We should limit how many contests can be held each year on the bands.
    OK ready for the hate mail.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  2. N7KO

    N7KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, you and me are going to be in the internet jail I suppose, I am in 110% agreament with you. TU for speeking your mind such as I did. I am not much at building transceivers, but I make all of my antennas, and enjoy using RBN to see where my signal is being heard. RBN is a worth while outfit to support. Everyone is diffrent and I am no exception, I enjoy QRP 5 W or less and a simple endfed antenna, CW mode amazing on who I can hold a QSO with on just a couple watts on a simple transceiver Like the old MFJ Cub and a QCX Mini.
    TU and 73', 72'
  3. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hey Ken! Thanks for being here. I enjoyed your earlier post and also the comments here about "too many contests." I agree in some respects, but see a need that isn't being met. I'm not a "contester" by the way. When I walk into my shack on a Saturday morning and want to make a few QSO'S happen, it's frustrating if everyone on the band is connecting for 15 seconds, passing a contest number along and/or putting themselves into a huge pileup for a DX station participating in said contest. As a writer in the ham radio "industry," though, I see several unresolved issues that need to be dealt with. Let me explain.

    For one, we have nearly half of our radio licenses in the Technician Class. People who are either only working on 2m, and they are happy with that, or those who gave up trying to get a General and move into HF. As you know, it's not THAT hard to get an advanced ham license (General or Extra). But if you have only experience on 2m in your backyard, and it's a DEAD band, then what incentive do you have to try for anything different? Ham Clubs are helping in some cases, but my point is that there are a TON of people out there who might be inspired to get more active (that's the key element) if there was something that caught their interest. That's why the proposed contest/activity would included the local VHF users. It's basically collecting pieces of a puzzle. Each confirmed QSO brings you a "piece" required by the contest. But in such an event, there's no pressure to act like a contest. The result would, instead, just put more users on the air as opposed to throwing a Baofeng in the Jeep and only using it once every month or two.

    Another issue that would be solved by including Technician Class operators in a contest/event is that this "dead band" concern for 2m would essentially drive more QSOs to the local airwaves. I would love to turn on my 2m radio and look at the band populated with conversations and spin the dial for awhile listening to who's out there. Right now there are only a few nets operating and some club activities. If I were a new tech, this would not be all that exciting. No wonder we lose so many new operators to boredom! (Please, no one jump on me for a 2m contest. It's just that the technician frequencies are included. It's not exclusively 2m.)

    Also, by including an element that pushes the envelope on "finding QSO partners with mutual interests" is what I call the RC Code. The RC Code ties my personal favorite interests into a number format that can be made in a brief "contest like" QSO or that can be an inspiration for a longer "get to know you" call with someone who shares a similar interest. I'm on the air in this prospective contest/activity and taking a Sunday evening to add some pieces to the "puzzle" (to be described later) and three or four conversations are short, with a POTA-like exchange (on CW or SSB) and a contest number. Except with a few of those conversations, I note that the person I'm QSOing with has something they love to do which I have either always been interested in, or which I participate in. One guy who loves Architecture and I have a great conversation about the Southwestern home design and another guy loves to hunt Javalina and I've made two new friends.

    Believe me, we're not trying to litter the airwaves with yet-another set of 20 second QSOs. That's annoying for the rest of us. The proposed idea could be added to POTA QSO's for a two-for effect, as well. It's certainly in flux with people contributing their ideas at this time. it is more of an effort to bring some closure to certain aspects of ham radio that could use some help. Thanks for your thoughts! Dave, W7DGJ
    N7KO likes this.
  4. N7KO

    N7KO Ham Member QRZ Page

    TU good responce. Not to beat a dead horse any more than I feel the need, but I have seen hundreds of people that are not realy intrested in Ham radio, let me explain there is two reasions they are given a tech license. one is they do it because there church leaders encourage them to do so for emergency communication. Also there are those that feel if they buy a cheap beofang walkie-talkie they can save the world. These two groups are not intrested in ham radio they look at it as a tool.

    I do not feel we need to come up with another contest to encourage them to advance on to the HF bands. Most of them are HINO's hams in name only, a majority were given the answers to the tech exam on a morning session and then given the test in the afternoon.
  5. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Ken, I like your term, "HINO" and will use it in the future at some point!
    N7KO likes this.
  6. G0DJA

    G0DJA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm another one for the 'let's not have anymore contests, please' vote.

    What you are proposing in the idea of exchanging a number for other interests happens already when people swap numbers associated with groups that they are members of, such as QRP clubs, CW operator clubs, Digital Modes Clubs etc. Some of them have tables of how many members someone has worked by month, year or 'all time'.

    You could do the same for general operation. Count up the number of people you have worked by band and/or mode, maybe a count of countries worked and, for VHF/UHF, squares worked, many computer based logging programs will do this for you. Have a central email or website to upload the details to and produce a table of who has worked what during each month and then an overall table anually. Many of the special interest clubs have already implemented this for their members.

    I'm trying to do something similar for the 4M band, available here in the UK and increasingly across Europe and even into the Middle East and Eastern European countries, via a Facebook group. At the end of this month I'll get my logbook program to create a score of number of stations worked, number of squares and countries worked and a breakdown of the modes used. It might take a while to gain traction, but it's a start and there's no special contest needed...

    Dave (G0DJA)
    W7DGJ likes this.
  7. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Dave, thanks for posting. I'm anxious to hear how your efforts work in 4M. Maybe we don't know what we are missing over here!

    The comments you've made about interests, however -- they are relevant only for amateur radio. (Yes, I am a fanatic when it comes to gear and radios and antennas and so on . . . but that says nothing about the other parts of my life.) Also, it's broadly based and not just one band -- all bands and voice modes, and it can even be set up so that it is added to other contests or activities, such as POTA activations. Sure, the POTA operator is moving fast on the initial activation and getting his/her minimum required contacts for the park, but then could decide she'd like to "play radio" a bit and not have the pressure for numbers but more the pleasure of the contacts . . . You can help me debug it when we later form a committee to come up with the structure. Dave, W7DGJ
  8. AA7FR

    AA7FR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Dave,

    You always seem to come up with interesting topics, this one hit on two that I often reflect on.

    The "feisty" hams as you call them, well, I think some of it is just another case of talking rather than listening and learning. Sure, there are brands and methods I really dislike and so forth, but what good does it do to get all fussed up over it? And I would certainly not get in a row ota, it would be rather juvenile, yes? Just buy and use what you like. It is fine to have a discussion about different methods and equipment ota, but it is not fine to get bent out of shape and wind up acting like a fool. Isn't radio supposed to be fun? How fun is it to get all worked up?

    I do not like contests, but that is just not my thing. I like casual relaxed operating. I do listen to them sometimes and it is such a mixed bag. You have some great operators, and you not so great ones. You know the type. When contests are on, I just go to non-contest bands. I like working POTA and SOTA, I just like to see how they are receiving me., isn't that the point? I mean, if you get all bent out of shape about what someone else thinks or owns for equipment or other things and feel the need to jam or berate someone ota or in a forum, then perhaps it is not fun for you anymore and it is time to box up your station.

    I do not give a toss what level licence someone else has as long as they are not out of band. There is licence snobbery out there at times, I find it rather disgusting and limiting for someone to act or think that way. Sure, there are those that just got a licence just in case...but others are interested and wanting to test the waters. We had a tech in our club, he was really nervous, mic fright and all. So I and a few others engaged him ota and over the course of a year, he got comfortable enough and found he liked being ota to the point he got his extra. Kind of works better than berating someone in a forum or ota when they are new, I would think.

    Oh...Ford vs. Chevy? Neither, I am a Jeep guy...the pre 2007 ones that were actual Wranglers and not trying to be luxury vehicles. Yeah, I am a glutton for punishment, but I think they are so American, I love it. Far different than the Opel I had when I lived in the UK.

    73 from the Rockies
    W7DGJ likes this.
  9. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Tony, I liked your entire post but bring only a portion of it back here to comment on. I wanted to make it clear that we have no "license snobbery" intended. It's just that if you are a Technician Class (and there are Oh so Many!) you are really not able to participate in too many contests or special activities. You can do POTA and have fun with that on some very specific frequencies, but there's not enough action there to keep you going on POTA with any kind of real traction. If there was a contest/activity that allowed Techs the opportunity to log and credit their 2m and other contacts because they "count" in the contest, we might find a whole new layer of excitement from some of these hams. Just putting up a CQ on 2m will be difficult at first, but why NOT?

    As far as Jeep goes, there was a long lag period where for a number of years they lost their edge and they were without the leagues of fans they have today. Some of the 20-and-30-somethings really go for those jeeps now, Tony. My son's last three vehicles have all been Jeeps and his cousin, a gal out of Cleveland, just bought herself one as well. I think your bet was a good one long-term.

    Dave, W7DGJ
  10. AA7FR

    AA7FR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Dave, I know there was no licence snobbery inferred or intended in your post and I was not suggesting as such, so I hope I did not cause offence. I was only making an observation that it sometimes does occur ota, I have heard it, and in forums at times, too. The good amateurs out there remember how it was when they first got their licence and how much they appreciated their mentoring as they advanced upward if they chose to do so and then carry that tradition forward to other new hams. At least that is my thought on the matter.

    I agree that if you do not advance and you do like contesting, a Tech licence is probably not going to be very satisfying. Interestingly, in my area, sometimes we use USB or occasionally AM on 2M, the lower portion of course. In the mountains, FM can be dicey, but the others often perform better to a point. Anyway, another great post in the forum.

    Tony, AA7FR
    W7DGJ likes this.
  11. G0DJA

    G0DJA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been going out onto some local hills to get ready of an activity that's being arranged called 145 Alive. It's on 2M FM and there will be various stations across the UK and southern Ireland how will be calling and listening on a variety of frequencies on the simplex channels from 145.200MHz to 145.475MHz, provided that the frequency is clear when the station sets up. I'll also take my 4M FM gear out with me.

    I had an interesting chat the other day with a guy with whom I shared a number of interests outside of Amateur Radio, such as motorbikes, cars we'd owned over the years, places we had lived and industries that were there but have now gone, batteries (I guess that is Amateur related, but this was industrial use as I'd been the 'battery' engineer at an electricity company and he'd sold batteries and equipment) so we didn't need a code number to spark our memories. This was on 2M FM.

    I have done POTA activities in the past and usually had time for a chat after working the regulars who collected POTA numbers. Now I tend to just go out and set up to see how many people I can contact and, have longer chats if there's the interest.

    I'll help you with your structure if I can. I'll email you off the forum.

    Cheers - Dave (G0DJA)
    W7DGJ likes this.
  12. KO4TXV

    KO4TXV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thoughts from a "newbie" to HF:

    I do not intentionally do anything for recognition. So, at my age, I don't feel the need to be vetted. However, with that said, I have friends who activate POTA as well as others who strive for certificates and banners.

    As a new General class, I found that working all of the states (a personal goal of mine) through hunting POTA has been beneficial. Now if I can just get the four states I need to upload their logs, hi hi! But in doing so, I have also hunted some DX POTA which is helping fulfill another personal goal of talking around the world. And if I help some friends get points along the way, it is a win-win for them and me.

    As crazy as pileups can get, whatever gets dreamed up and put in play will have to take that into consideration and kept to a time limit. How many people will just spin the dial if they have to wait for their few minutes to QSO!? I have all of the time in the world but even I have given up on massive pileups (that will not even let an activator or station get their call out. And I honestly don't know enough about all of this to have an idea.

    I love that there is so much in this hobby for one to be passionate about. Contests do seem to appeal to younger operators and that is a plus for them to find something more their style. It keeps the hobby alive.

    And btw, I simply worked anyone I can hear and the banners magically appear on my page, lol.
    W7DGJ likes this.
  13. W7DGJ

    W7DGJ Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Steve, Nice job on moving into ham radio, getting the General and so on. I'm like you -- I just work anyone I can hear and I don't like to stress about a certificate on the wall. But there are plenty of people who love that. Thanks for the comments, Dave
    KO4TXV likes this.

Share This Page

ad: AbAuRe-1