Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD7RBE, Mar 29, 2002.
OK, I'll bite. What is the K-M-A club?
Every Elmer used to be a clueless newbie. Those that take their time, study, learn new things, and have fun along the way cease to be clueless and, in time, become Elmers for the next generation. Don't let anybody tell you a Tech license is not a "real" ham license. Everybody starts somewhere.
Aha, there's the rub. I disagree that every Elmer used to be a clueless newbie. I wasn't, nor were any of my friends with whom I took the original Novice exam 37 years ago.
By the time I took the Novice test, I had read the ARRL License Manual about fifty times, plus most of the ARRL Handbook several times; had already built my first receiver, antenna tuner and several antennas, and had been to the local radio clubs to watch licensed hams operate for a few hundred hours. I was quite confident that the moment my ticket arrived in the mail, I would not have to ask anyone how to set up my station and make contacts. And I was correct, I didn't ask anybody, and by the end of the first week had a log full of contacts on 40m CW.
I perceive this to be the major difference between "then" and "now."
And quite a difference it is.
Welcome to a wonderful hobby - there are many great
people in ham radio, a few stuffed-shirts, like in any other endavour.
I have enjoyed this hobby (off and on) for 38 years now. I hope for you to have all the enjoyment I got, and
more from it.
I am not an electronic or radio genius, but if I could
help you in any way, please don't hesitate to ask, I
would like to try.
Jim, I agree with you. One aspect of the hobby nowadays (here we go again with an O T and his comments! is the shortage of Short Wave Listeners. Way way back when I became interested in Ham Radio in England just about all hams had been Short Wave Listeners for a few years and most of them had picked up the morse code and were quite at home with a QSO if they decided to get a license. Some of them had no desire to transmit and were happy to be listeners and were always in great demand at Field Days as they could sit alongside the guy with key , monitor every thing, and keep the log.They were welcomed at club meetings. One outstanding listener was Eric Trebilock in Tasmania who surprised me with a report that my little 6L6 Xtal control rig on 40 mtrs. was reaching Tasmania from England.When I hear many new hams on the air with weather reports and adding "here is" after age, power, location, RST etc etc. and adding " years" after giving their age, it seems they have not done much pre-license listening. No wonder it seems strange to them. Hope my opinion doesn't offend anyone. It's not meant to. 73 Roy
Phineas, I agree with you.
I don't know how to change things and "make them better," but society as a whole has not benefitted from the "instant gratification" syndrome that so pervades our lifestyles currently.
Although FM/stereo and color television existed and were very popular when I was a kid, and my bedside table radio (a clock radio) was an AM/FM model, while tuning around on the AM band late one evening, I found I could hear distant broadcast stations from hundreds, and sometimes even thousands, of miles away. That was intriguing. I didn't have to ask anyone about this, or compare notes, or have an Elmer...I went to the library on the way home from school the next day, and did some research about "radio reception," and that started me on the path to ham radio at the age of 12. I was licensed the next year.
Today, I'm afraid most 12 year-old kids probably have no idea where the library is.
The internet cannot (at least, not yet) replace the smell of books, and there is no experience quite like you, as an individual, being your own "search engine" and actually doing research, instead of having Yahoo or Google doing it for you.
Welcome to the hobby. I certainly hope you do get licensed soon to get into the water so to speak.
When I was first interested in the hobby, I studied, and studied and studied the handbook, the licensing manual(s), theory, etc. I really enjoyed learning alot of that stuff of which is still retained today.
I have to agree with Steve (WIK), there has been a "dumbing" down, so to speak, to generate numbers rather than quality. This is somewhat true in many aspects of life. Public schools aren't testing you on your comprehension, they don't accurately reflect what you know or have learned. I don't suspect that obtaining a license with all the deregulation of this hobby, is really that different.
Nevertheless, get into it. You can make whatever you want of the hobby. You can enjoy it or whine about the weaknesses. I choose to enjoy it and adjusting when necessary, to adjust to the weaknesses the hoby may present.
73 and GL!
Fortunately, when both of us got into the HOBBY a youngster would go into library, pick up a electronics projects book think of it as a challenge, and it looked interesting then would proceed to build it and get it to work!!! I maybe aging myself a bit but at aged 14, forty years ago, I built up a XTAL Set using a Quaker Oatmeal container as a Antenna coil-form, wrapping enameled wire around it, also using a galena crystal and to make connections we'd used faren-stock clips to make the various connections, but after building up this SIMPLE project THE DAMN THING REALLY WORKED, I was amazed!!!
Now everybody goes to HamRadioOutlet or where ever, plunks down some money and you've got immediate gratificaton, with NO EFFORT!!! WOW!!!
It's just not the same, kids and oldsters alike could still build electronics projects but they don't want to take their extra valuable TIME!!!
THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT THEIR MISSING!!!
IT'S A GREAT HOBBY. YOU WILL FIND MANY GREAT OPERATORS AND A FEW JERKS ALSO , BUT NOT AS MANY JERKS AS YOU MIGHT FIND ON THE CB BAND. I OPERATED ON THE CB FOR 18 YEARS MOST OF THE OLD TIMERS ARE GREAT GUYS BUT THE NEW CB OPERATORS FEEL THEY MUST HAVE 1000 WATTS OF POWER AND KEY DOWN SOMEONE ELSE IN ORDER TO HAVE A RADIO THIS ALONG WITH THE LACK OF ENFORCEMENT IS WHY MANY ARE TURNING TO HAM RADIO AS A NATURAL STEP INTO A REAL HOBBY RADIO
I agree about the library, except that it is very hard to find ham related books around here. When I decided to start studying, I found out that my local library didn't have any of the ARRL books so I requested them on interlibrary loan (should not have been hard, I live in suburban Chicago). I got the Tech book after about three weeks, by then I knew 99% of the material. I got the General book one day before I took the test, again, I knew it by then. The Extra book came three week after I passed. Oh well.
I also miss all the fun little kits. I built lots and lots of Heathkits and others back when I was a kid. My 12 y/o wanted to make a little project for a science fair and she and my wife came home with a kit. Unfortunately, it was presoldered but at least we got to screw it together. I knew Heath was long gone, but it got me to searching. That is when I found Elecraft and my way back. Gosh, how I miss the smell of burning rosin.
Anyway, the point is don't apologize for being new - we were all new. The only thing you will have to apologize for is not getting that license. Get a few books, pass that test, and have some fun.