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Do Most Clubs Have A "Ghost Attitude" When It Comes To Guests...!...?

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popnokick

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#21
So picture a membership application for an Amateur Radio club that asks, "What brand of radios do you use?" You fill in the blank.... and after submitting it are told, "Sorry, but hams who use xxxx brand radios are not welcome here." Is this what we've come to?
 
Joined
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San Diego, CA
#22
This same thing happened to me right after I got my license. I went looking for a club and at one meeting I attended I was never acknowledged. I went to another club in a different part of town and the experience was entirely different. I joined that club and now seven years later, I've been the club President for almost six of those. I never did join the first club although I now know most of the members.

Baofeng_Blogger - I don't like having to admit this, but it could have been one of our meetings (we meet Mondays). I just tried to send you a PM (Private Msg) here on RR but you're either too new to RR to use private messaging or you've chosen not to receive them. In either case try PM to me here first and if that doesn't work I think the email option when you view my User Profile will work. I'd like to help you try again at a meeting... and with a proper welcome.
I doubt that's the case, since you're in PA and he's in FL...

The single amateur radio operator club meeting I attended after passing my General exam, made a point of having all of the first time visitors, stand and introduce themselves as one of the first agenda items.

Prior to the start of the meeting, the regulars were socializing with each other but also saying "hello" to strangers. Many wore name tags with name and callsign displayed. There was a roll of stick on name tags and a magic marker on the table by the door as you came in, so that you could roll your own if you wished.

In my opinion this club was in Ghostbusters mode.
We make it a point to welcome first-time visitors and members or former members we haven't seen in a long time. It's the second item on our meeting agenda right after the pledge of allegiance.

As far as the Baofeng radios are concerned, I don't much care for them either as i feel they're inferior to other radios. But I don't criticize their use by other hams. It's a choice they made and I'd rather be welcoming to people, especially new hams. If they ask me for a recommendation, then I express my opinion.
 
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Nankin Township, Michigan
#23
Same here

I didn't read all the replies to the OP, so if I'm repeating what others said, so be it.

The OP described our club. There is exactly two people that will take the time to walk over to a newcomer and introduce themselves, and welcome them to the club. And I am one of the two. The vast majority of my ham club is a bunch of curmudgeons. If you don't know what that word means, look it up. They are all in their own 4 or 5 little cliques.

Even the club president don't go around and say hey to the new comers. Now I should say that at the beginning of the meetings, there's a go-around the room where everyone says their name and call. And after the go-around, the president will ask any newcomers to stand and be recognized. But that about sums it up.

Me and the one and only other will go say hi and a handshake before the meeting starts. And me and the one and only other will go talk a bit with a new face during the break between the meeting and the program.
 
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#24
I didn't read all the replies to the OP, so if I'm repeating what others said, so be it.

The OP described our club. There is exactly two people that will take the time to walk over to a newcomer and introduce themselves, and welcome them to the club. And I am one of the two. The vast majority of my ham club is a bunch of curmudgeons. If you don't know what that word means, look it up. They are all in their own 4 or 5 little cliques.
I actually DO know what "curmudgeons" means and THIS is the reason some newcomers say to hell with clubs or even with ham radio in general.

Another word that comes to mind is "elitist", but again very few things meet the "all" category but all hams fall into "some" category. A few kind words categories come to mind such as "helpful, considerate, patient" etc.

Fortunately not all hams fall into the "bad" categories, anymore than all persons using CB are "idiots", but mileages may vary depending on locale both in the ham and cb community.
 

TailGator911

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#25
Good for you, Golay!

There is an underlying antagonistic attitude amongst the 'curmudgeons' on the air, at club meetings, field days, wherever holier than thou hams are gathered, (even here) and there always will be. You ask a stupid question, use a Baofeng, mod your radios, only have a no-code tech license, don't know how to troubleshoot down to component level, cannot brag about your $3k amplifier and crank up tower, you get the idea, you are an infidel and treated as such sometimes. Depends on the people you meet. It's like anything else, and with hobbyists anywhere no matter the hobby, a noob is a noob is a noob. You will find good-hearted people in the mix, and be thankful for them. And, you will find rude people in the mix. Guess it makes them feel better about themselves. Who knows.

Don't let the b#$@&!%s get ya down...

JD
kf4anc
 
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#26
My experience with the club I am now a member in was complete acceptance as I walked into the building the meetings are held in. They saw I had an HT on my belt and walked over and asked if I was there for the meeting. When I said yes, they greeted me whole heartedly, we exchanged names and calls and they pointed me to the meeting room. Once I got in the room, nearly every club officer found me and introduced themselves and welcomed me to the meeting. They sent me to the person with the sign-in sheet and wrote down my information. The club always gives out tickets for the end-of-meeting drawings and newcomers always get an extra ticket to help them feel welcome.

There were offers to have me join the club, but said that I was welcome to simply be a guest until I was comfortable that their club was a good fit for me (the only thing I couldn't do was vote, but was welcome in all discussions and events). One officer stated that since there were several clubs in our area, they didn't like to pressure folks to join right away and were happy to point out the other clubs, their meeting locations, repeaters, and any special interests that they may have that may fit my desires. Many of the members join several area clubs both to support them and take advantage of their special interests (they don't exclude others, but their meeting topics are often related to those topics so if you're really into DX, club A will discuss DX topics every two or three meetings while club B may discuss digital modes more often for example).

The various clubs do work together to help with presentations so "the good ones" may be given at various times at several clubs. They also join forces to help out with large events (a two-day 100 mile bike race is one example) that would be impossible for a single club to staff on their own. They also do joint events like field day where smaller clubs can join together to help staff the whole time period and provide special items (like the communications trailer from one club and the tower trailer from another) to provide a really special experience.
 

belvdr

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#27
I was invited to be a guest speaker at the club I first showed interest in. I think each is different.
 
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#29
My first club back in the 80's had a committee member 'greeter' at the door who shook hands with every member as they came in. Anyone unknown got warmly greeted and then was introduced to another senior member to be shown around, introduced to the other members, shown the shack and asked to give a small speech about himself at the 'visitors' portion of the formal meeting. The prospective member was invited to stay for the supper and didn't have to pay the evenings fee.

I moved away to another city and went to one of their meetings. Totally ignored. Not a single word was spoken to me all evening. The lecture items were very interesting and an equipment demo was good too but it was quite clear that the majority of the members were 'appliance operators' not really interested in construction or the technical aspects.

20 years later I moved again and tried my luck at the local club. Same treatment.

I'm still a member of the national society and they have a good magazine but now I see they are crying out for members. I wonder why?
 
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#30
I'm still a member of the national society and they have a good magazine but now I see they are crying out for members. I wonder why?
Your post seems to go along with several others here from folks who have been hams for a long time.

I was interested in two of your comments...the one quoted just above for one. Why is the ARRL looking for new members? As a new ham I haven't looked their way too much (there are many other sources of info) but I'm wondering if THEY have truly embraced where ham radio might be going today compared to the "olden" days (whatever decade one chooses)?

Even a newbie like me knows (from reading) something about SDR (which I think some old timers deride as not being true ham radio) and I've read about other aspects I have no interest in as well.

>>>>>>>>>>>

This ties in a bit with your other comment which mentioned "appliance operators"...wasn't sure if it was a semi-negative comment or not, but those folks clearly didn't share your interest in the more technical aspects just listening to the "AO" label.

Anyway, I looked up appliance operator (thinking I probably was one) and I am going to start a thread on that subject. I'll include why I became a ham a month ago and it wasn't because I wanted to grab a soldering iron and start creating things.

Generally my thought about the clubs and the "AO" users is that ham radio is big enough to include everyone whether a causal user or an extreme devotee (in any aspect). I would say that newcomers who disregard the rules of usage and on-air etiquette need to take a different path as no one wants interference in the name of reckless use.
 
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#31
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This is a wonderful exploration of the Radio Club dynamics.
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I sense, except for the rare examples of N5IMS's club and his positive experiences, that most ham radio clubs are stumbling dinosaurs that social events and technology will shortly eclipse.
Want an example?.. look to these forums- Are they not a form of radio club, albeit one scatter'd world wide (Hey, Majoco ! :) ) ?
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I, for one, can embrace the technology that brings me in contact with like mind'd individuals, rather than sitting down in a room full of nasty Old Farts that don't even acknowledge this Space Alien is occupying one of their chairs, .....
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Anyone out there taking/taken Continuing Education via the 'Net ?.. done group meetings over the Web?... conducted a seminar ? etc. etc. etc. in real time- Big screen, Surround sound :) ..... ?
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I do this almost every single day... and its The Most Wonderful alternative to a sit-down, face-to-face meeting **.
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Can you'all envision a Virtual online radio club?
Do you like this novel idea?
Smiles,.................... then remember me.... :)
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Meanwhile, Dinosaur's beware- your days are number'd !.
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Lauri :)
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______________________________________________________
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** Altho I am right at this moment sitting in a hotel room far far away from home in a place that doesn't speak my language-- tomorrow I give a presentation I could do on simple Skype.... Ah !.... but then I'd miss the banquets that follows -
............ Somethings I'll never relegate to the Web !..... ;)
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#32
Even a newbie like me knows (from reading) something about SDR (which I think some old timers deride as not being true ham radio) and I've read about other aspects I have no interest in as well.
Perhaps the OT's don't realise that inside most of the modern rigs there is an SDR and the required computer is now the front panel! I have had an SDR since the RTL USB sticks came out and now have a WinRadio G33DDC which is a great toy. I am not an active ham now, my little TS120 transmitter is a signal source for checking VSWR, but still very interested in building and keeping all my receivers, old and new, in top working order.

You also said "I've read about other aspects I have no interest in as well.". That's great, where ham radio was talking to the other side of the world on HF was the zenith, now there's every little branch that you can be an 'expert' in, you can't be expected to know about it all - do what you want to do and have the interest in - you'll find out more as you go along. Don't forget it was ham experimenters who found that you can get communication around the world with comparatively low power, not the so-called 'experts' with all their resources and finance.

"Appliance operators"? Those who buy an expensive bit of gear, read the first few pages of the owners manual and understand just enough to get it onto the local rag chew net. If you ever listen to one of those, you find that they wander all over the place frequency wise because they didn't read far enough into the manual to find what "RIT' is and so end up changing the Tx frequency so that the Rx sounds right.... :)

Hey, Lauri, the NZ branch of RR seems to have four members and maybe more "lurkers"... :)

On a similar note to the 'group meetings' we tried it with another club, nothing to do with radio so non-technical, on Skype. After a face-to-face on how Skype worked and how to set it up, we had a trial run. I assumed the rank of net controller but it was like herding cats! I couldn't get the 'one person at a time' concept across so it was a bit like our committee meetings - a shambles! Our Pres is a big guy who can assert some control but on Skype everybody is the same! Can you be invisible on Skype - some people might not want to be identified or just got out of the shower..... :)
 
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