9 months as a Ham and trying to stay interested

Status
Not open for further replies.

ke6gcv

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
207
Location
Somewhere, Northern CA
Public Service Events

Several have mentioned ARES/RACES, SkyWarn, other groups I may have missed. I agree with that!

Have you though about getting involved with clubs/groups who volunteer for various events? I'm talking runs/marathons/triathlons/etc., bike rides, horse rides. I'm talking events where you're seeing the action by working a checkpoint or being in the middle of it by being at Net Control.

You can Google local radio groups in your area and start getting more involved that way.

Just a thought.
 

k6cpo

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Messages
900
Location
San Diego, CA
Several have mentioned ARES/RACES, SkyWarn, other groups I may have missed. I agree with that!

Have you though about getting involved with clubs/groups who volunteer for various events? I'm talking runs/marathons/triathlons/etc., bike rides, horse rides. I'm talking events where you're seeing the action by working a checkpoint or being in the middle of it by being at Net Control.

You can Google local radio groups in your area and start getting more involved that way.

Just a thought.
A lot of the REACT groups have moved over to amateur radio for the events they work.

REACT International, Inc. | Public Service Through Communications
 

fireboat61

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 4, 2009
Messages
183
Location
DelMarVa
Thank you

I have read all 42 replies so far and I am very pleased with the responses. Thank you so much. I feel more excited about the world of Ham radio. You -all have made me feel like there is a huge world of ham I am missing. I have looked into HF and I believe , like most said that is my preferred direction of travel. I will be buying my text book to test for my upgrade to general. My plan is to create a Net of my own hoping to attract conversation based around current emergency incidents. I think it would make interesting conversation , i would hopefully get to make some new friends in the process. I would mirror this net similar to the incident paging networks text messages. I receive many fire / ems and police incidents daily via text. Possibly the future will bring a way to use HF to get more info about whats happening as its happening. It seems HF would be a tool of choice for incidents in the big cities like New York, Chicago , Boston and Los Angela's.Many of the replies mentioned Skywarn, React, ARES, RACES. My General area has all of these but don't seem to be active at all. I have monitored the skywarn channels even during tornado warnings and there is silence. My county does have an ARES net on 2M and HF. I haven't heard much on 2M except for monthly testing Net's. I thinking maybe its more active on HF. I am still learning about ARES and RACES to know there true function but I would assume they would communicate even on a basic severe storm or flood in addition to something major. I will be reaching out to my local group to find out how they operate in my area.

I have looked at many of the HF radios and Holy Cow - Wow !!!!! they are expensive. :-( I have decided i will be purchasing the Yaesu 857D . Many of the reviews give it thumbs up and the you tube videos describe its use to be easy to learn.

Are there certain HF frequencies that are commonly used, world wide , regional , local ect ? I was listening using websdr and learning how to tune in HF.

Moving on to another item, I will also be looking into CW. Since many have discussed its a dying art because its not required. That makes me want to learn it even more.

I will continue to read the replies as they continue and I will jump on getting my upgrade asap.

Thanks Again

Tony P ( KC3IQK )
 
Last edited:

reedeb

Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2006
Messages
844
Location
Dallas Texas
I have read all 42 replies so far and I am very pleased with the responses. Thank you so much. I feel more excited about the world of Ham radio. You -all have made me feel like there is a huge world of ham I am missing. I have looked into HF and I believe , like most said that is my preferred direction of travel. I will be buying my text book to test for my upgrade to general. My plan is to create a Net of my own hoping to attract conversation based around current emergency incidents. I think it would make interesting conversation , i would hopefully get to make some new friends in the process. I would mirror this net similar to the incident paging networks text messages. I receive many fire / ems and police incidents daily via text. Possibly the future will bring a way to use HF to get more info about whats happening as its happening. It seems HF would be a tool of choice for incidents in the big cities like New York, Chicago , Boston and Los Angela's.Many of the replies mentioned Skywarn, React, ARES, RACES. My General area has all of these but don't seem to be active at all. I have monitored the skywarn channels even during tornado warnings and there is silence. My county does have an ARES net on 2M and HF. I haven't heard much on 2M except for monthly testing Net's. I thinking maybe its more active on HF. I am still learning about ARES and RACES to know there true function but I would assume they would communicate even on a basic severe storm or flood in addition to something major. I will be reaching out to my local group to find out how they operate in my area.

I have looked at many of the HF radios and Holy Cow - Wow !!!!! they are expensive. :-( I have decided i will be purchasing the Yaesu 857D . Many of the reviews give it thumbs up and the you tube videos describe its use to be easy to learn.

Are there certain HF frequencies that are commonly used, world wide , regional , local ect ? I was listening using websdr and learning how to tune in HF.

Moving on to another item, I will also be looking into CW. Since many have discussed its a dying art because its not required. That makes me want to learn it even more.

I will continue to read the replies as they continue and I will jump on getting my upgrade asap.

Thanks Again

Tony P ( KC3IQK )
Hurricane Watch Net frequency 14.325 MHz ... H & W frequency 14.265 MHz. 2 good ones to keep an ear to when there is a hurricane around.
 

KC2GSP

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
95
It's funny, I would have to believe that many people have gone down this road. I got my license in 2000 and the activity was mostly booming from what I can remember. I had 2 dozen repeaters in my 2 meter radio and there were always people coming out of the woodwork to rag chew about anything. Life got in the way for a bit and I took a 10+ year hiatus only to come back and find dozens of idle repeaters that just seem to ID all day. The guys who do jump on are mostly cliquish. I felt the only solution was to upgrade and get on HF which has been cool. I hope to delve into things a little more once I have the time and resources. Stay the course and try some new modes and bands
 

KR7CQ

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
983
Location
Phoenix
Hang in there, you can last longer. I managed to last nearly 1 1/2 years before being bored out of my mind and selling everything but a $20 HT. While I know that listening to guys talk about their health problems on the local repeater can be boring (and at time gross), you have yet to discover the exciting world of HF where you can have great conversations like "You sound great, how do I sound? You sound great too, what kind of antenna do you have? I have XYZ beam antenna at about 60', what kind of radio are you using? That's great to hear, well the weather is hot here, how is your weather? Sounds good, well nice talking to you."

Seriously though, putting together systems and antennas that work well for the least money possible can be a lot of fun, so I'm partially kidding here. I got out because I have a family that needs all of the time I can spare once work is done with me. Once the kids are grown, I may play around with the hobby again. Anyway, hopefully you enjoy the technical aspects of the hobby, building antennas, things like that, because you are not going to find a lot of deep conversation on ham radio.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
14,672
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Seriously though, putting together systems and antennas that work well for the least money possible can be a lot of fun, so I'm partially kidding here. I got out because I have a family that needs all of the time I can spare once work is done with me. Once the kids are grown, I may play around with the hobby again. Anyway, hopefully you enjoy the technical aspects of the hobby, building antennas, things like that, because you are not going to find a lot of deep conversation on ham radio.
Pretty much my feeling.
Work is a necessity, and that takes way too much of my time.
Wife and son takes the rest. That's time I can't get back if I let it slip away.

Radio comes later. Maybe I'll be more active when I retire. Right now, more important things in my life. However I do enjoy it, so try to fit a bit in here and there. Working in the industry sort of makes me not want to play radio when I get home from work.
 

mauiblue

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
52
Location
Maui, Hawaii
I actually got my no-code tech license 23 years ago just for the six meter radio control frequencies. I flew radio controlled gliders for over 20 years and having the exclusive 50 MHz channels really was great. Now 23 years later I finally upgraded my license to General Class a few weeks ago and I am already studying for my Extra Class ticket. I do go on the local repeater system but it's kind of boring at the moment. When I first started there was a lot of new hams out there. Now, not so much and the experienced hams don't care to talk very much on the repeaters.
 

w8con

Newbie
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1
your dime

This thread is not intended to anger any Hams so please read this as my opinion and hopefully i will get some good feedback. I am looking for encouragement not discouragement or disappointment.l
Well first off I'm going to say that I only read the op and a few replys (good ones at that). So if this has already been brought up I apologise in advance.
My reply would be that when you hold the mic it's your dime-get on one of the weekly or nightly nets and when your slot comes up talk on whatever you want-whatever your fancy,study up on it to give a report on your chosen subject For example on one of our weekly nets one old fella is an amature meteoroligist and has a prepared report on the weather trends for the week and draws a lot of interest from folks, some are just curious some sharing other views.
There could be a lot of folks interested in the same things you are but you'll never know until you throw some talking points into the ring.
73 and hope to catch you on the air- w8con
 

mrbooker

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
19
Location
Millstadt, Illinois
You may want to think about upgrading to general class joining an emergency traffic net.I am a net control operator with the INTERCON NET on 14.300 mHz. As a net control station, YOU control which way the conversation goes and you get a chance to talk to aeronautical mobiles (jet airplanes) and maritime and marine mobiles.
There is also a chance you might hear a "MAYDAY" call. That happened to my wife the first day she became a net control station. Seems there was vessel near Miami, Fl who had lost power and taking on water. My wife contacted the Coast Guard in Miami and the boat was rescued.

That's the only MAYDAY call she has had since then but it could happen at any time. As a Net control station, you normally just put out calls for general check ins, mobile stations or anyone with traffic to pass.

When conditions are good, you could get as many as 50 check ins in one hour. You can talk about whatever YOU want to talk about. Come join us on 14.300 mHz and just listen for awhile and see if you may be interested...... The INTERCON NET is looking for Net Control stations.
 

michy

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
74
Location
Metro Vancouver, BC
I would have thought that ham users of the older generations would be much more welcoming, and warm when chatting with other ham operators (and those new to ham). Also, I assume many of them would be retired and not be too concerned about spending time enjoying a good conversation on the radio, or even helping new ones out? Maybe its just me, but I find many of the middle aged ones are not all that interested in mentoring any of those who are new, or wanting to get into the hobby. Just my two cents/perspective.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2005
Messages
1,915
Location
parma,ohio
i got mine in 2010 use to talk on the channels now i don't BUT glad i got mine being a volunteer always helps to have my Ham license
 

zz0468

QRT
Banned
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
6,036
I would have thought that ham users of the older generations would be much more welcoming, and warm when chatting with other ham operators...
I think in many cases, the new hams have to ask themselves what THEY bring to the table. There is such a variety of activities in ham radio, that there really is something for everyone, if you just look at it close enough. But not all hams are into rag chewing with people they don't know. And that's perfectly ok.

HF seems to be the venue where the expectation is that you'll meet new people on the air. If that's what you expect out of ham radio, then perhaps that's where you should operate. If you expect the same thing from the local repeater, or even the local club, then you're more likely to be disappointed. Many repeaters are there to support a local club, others are more oriented to transient operators just looking to chat. Find one who's "personality" fits what you're looking for.

Just as an example, I'm involved in a couple of clubs. Both are highly technical, neither really offers up support for "new" hams, and neither is a proper venue for someone looking for casual contacts. Yet if one shows up with the suitable specialized interest that fits what those clubs are oriented toward, they DO very much welcome newcomers. Once involved and immersed in these sorts of clubs, one can expect lifetime friendships with other hams.

Both of these examples may be a bit extreme, in terms of what a typical new hams is looking for, but I use them as an example as to why someone such as yourself may feel the way you do. It's not a desire to exclude, but it's a desire to maintain an organization to be true to it's roots and intended purpose. It's easy to lose sight of a clubs goal of specializing in some particular technical orientation when they're busy trying to chat up new operators on the two meter repeater. So they don't.

A lot of new hams are coming into the ranks through CERT organizations, and are wanting to be involved in emergency communications. Personally, I avoid those operators because that's not what I'm interested, and many of those folks aren't interested in what I'm into. So, if I don't chat you up on the local repeater, don't get offended. I'm busy doing meteor scatter or moonbounce or high speed cw ragchewing on 20 meters or something. Each to his own...

Also, I assume many of them would be retired and not be too concerned about spending time enjoying a good conversation on the radio, or even helping new ones out?
If that's what they're into, sure. But not every ham is interested in helping new hams out, nor are they required to be. You need to adjust your expectations a bit, and expend a bit of effort to locate the hams that do want to help new hams out. I assure you, there are plenty.

Maybe its just me, but I find many of the middle aged ones are not all that interested in mentoring any of those who are new, or wanting to get into the hobby. Just my two cents/perspective.
While it's a valid point of view you hold, it doesn't necessarily reflect the reality. Ham radio represents a wide cross section of society. There will be some middle aged hams who want to mentor, and there will be some who don't. It's up to you to find the ones who will. They won't come looking for you.
 

mauiblue

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
52
Location
Maui, Hawaii
I've been back on the local analog repeater system for a couple months after falling out of the loop for a few years and I find hardly anyone on there to converse with. Most are just lurkers and listeners. When I first got on the repeater system back in 1994 lots of contacts from new and experienced hams. So a couple weeks ago I figure try a new venue - DMR. Well it's just as quiet as analog. Maybe a couple nets on a week and then silence.

Locally, there are 14 repeaters all linked and covers basically the whole island of Maui and parts of the island of Hawaii. This repeater system is also linked to an Oregon repeater as a former Hawaii resident moved there and wanted his repeater to be linked to Hawaii. Most of the day it's just silence.

I just upgraded my license to General Class earlier last month. Looks like I'll be moving to HF if I really would want to appreciate what this hobby has to offer other than emergency and storm watching.

Sent from my HTC6545LVW using Tapatalk
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,669
Location
Central Indiana
I've been back on the local analog repeater system for a couple months after falling out of the loop for a few years and I find hardly anyone on there to converse with. Most are just lurkers and listeners.
Do you have a favorite hobby outside of amateur radio? Is it something that might interest others? Maybe some evening, key up a local repeater that has a pretty good coverage area and say "Hey, does anybody know anything about ______?" Fill in our hobby or a question you've been wondering about. You just might shake some lurkers and listeners out of the woodwork.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
14,672
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Do you have a favorite hobby outside of amateur radio? Is it something that might interest others? Maybe some evening, key up a local repeater that has a pretty good coverage area and say "Hey, does anybody know anything about ______?" Fill in our hobby or a question you've been wondering about. You just might shake some lurkers and listeners out of the woodwork.
I heard this exact conversation last week while traveling.

Guy comes on and says "Does anyone know the rules about flying with an amateur HT?"
Got a couple of replied.

Then in true amateur radio fashion, an argument started about who was right and who was wrong, the definition of "battery", the size of the battery, the model of HT, where he was flying, what airline, carry on or checked, how to pack it, etc.
Went on for about 1/2 an hour. Guys came out of the woodwork where normally the repeater is dead quiet. Haven't heard that much discussion in years.
 

AK9R

Lead Wiki Manager
Super Moderator
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
6,669
Location
Central Indiana
And, while it may be aggravating that such a question starts an argument, at least you can't say that there's no activity on the repeater.
 

mauiblue

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
52
Location
Maui, Hawaii
I understand what you guys are saying but I guess the local hams are just jaded. Basically the same questions comes up -

Where are you located?
How are you doing?
What radio are you using?

Some of my friends say I have the gift of gab, but after a while the conversation becomes dry as it takes two to keep the QSO lively and interesting.

The last few weeks I've made my presence known on the repeater system (both analog and digital). I'm not one to give up. I'm sure there are some hams that just want to talk but don't have the chance because no one makes the effort.

I'm sure HF will be different as I won't be locked into a select amount of channels. I'm looking forward in moving to that aspect of ham radio. In the meantime listen out for me on DMR North America talk group.

Sent from my HTC6545LVW using Tapatalk
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top