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 Post subject: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 8:15 pm 
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Had to use Google maps to locate the picnic pavillion, about half a mile uphill on a secluded dirt road.

There were about 14 people, all male, one of them was under 60.

Most were quite friendly, one or two scowled and grunted when I said hello, their expression one of protracted gas expulsion.

The Pledge was said, the minutes were read, one new member was accepted in absentia, and that was pretty much it.

I have attended this meeting before last March, and there were only a handful more people.

Cliques in the group are encircled with a moat and razor wire.

I pay the dues because I occasionally use the repeater and join a net.

Depending on if the net control is part of a clique, I have actually been snubbed as have others when trying to check in to a net. (Talking 2 meters here.)

Some of these guys are kind of the ham radio Taliban, and some of this behavior is due to decades old grudges, and sadly some of it is due to political differences that have no place in amateur radio. I'm sure it's not like this everywhere, but it seems the RACES and other "emergency" types feel if you are not on their roster, you don't belong on the air. I question the seizing of a section of the band by a quasi government agency by declaration anyway.

The storm/emergency nets when I first got into ham radio in the 90's were open to anyone with a license. Now if you don't join the clique, they don't want to hear from you. So Joe Ham, who doesn't like or want to be involved with the members of the "agency" doesn't bother going on the air during a storm or whatever, even though he (or she) may have life saving information.

So, the reasons why the hobby (NOT a religion!) keeps shrinking are painfully obvious.

Rant over.

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Last edited by Dalton on Aug Sat 07, 2021 10:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 8:42 pm 
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
Tim wrote: I'm sure it's not like this everywhere.

Well... a lot of ham radio clubs here are exactly the same. The trick is to be able to "fit in" with people from all walks of life, (everyone has a story to tell) ...and for those that deserve it, give them as good as you get.

Social hierarchies are not unique to the world of ham radio.
Social hierarchies are broadly defined as systems of social organization in which some individuals enjoy a higher social status than others.

I'm okay because I only work HF 17 & 20 and stay the heck away from 75meters. lol


Greg.
oh... always pack two pistols... :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 9:44 pm 
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Location: Albion, CA, USA, 95410
I am lucky, while our local club is aged and not super active they are mostly quite nice. Rhere are 1 or 2 that I ignore.

As to your situation, I would just be nice, pretend not to notice the cliques and curmudgeons and be active. Eventually you will wear down the jerks and by being nice you give them no ammo. If you let them "own" the club, the club is doomed.


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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 10:17 pm 
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egg wrote:
Tim wrote: I'm sure it's not like this everywhere.

Well... a lot of ham radio clubs here are exactly the same. The trick is to be able to "fit in" with people from all walks of life, (everyone has a story to tell) ...and for those that deserve it, give them as good as you get.

Social hierarchies are not unique to the world of ham radio.
Social hierarchies are broadly defined as systems of social organization in which some individuals enjoy a higher social status than others.

I'm okay because I only work HF 17 & 20 and stay the heck away from 75meters. lol


Greg.
oh... always pack two pistols... :shock:


Well said,, Egg.

This kind of thing seems to be confined by and large to 2 meters.

So, I really don't need to expose myself to it if I operate on HF and VHF.

Thanks for the input.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 10:22 pm 
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madlabs wrote:
I am lucky, while our local club is aged and not super active they are mostly quite nice. Rhere are 1 or 2 that I ignore.

As to your situation, I would just be nice, pretend not to notice the cliques and curmudgeons and be active. Eventually you will wear down the jerks and by being nice you give them no ammo. If you let them "own" the club, the club is doomed.


Thanks, Madlabs.

I really do try to be nice.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 10:37 pm 
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not sure about that organization, if you dont like it try others. some of these old groups, have individuals that been in there a long time and are skeptical of new members, while others are friendly. after many yrs they will come around, just ignore them

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 11:30 pm 
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ttx450cap wrote:
not sure about that organization, if you dont like it try others. some of these old groups, have individuals that been in there a long time and are skeptical of new members, while others are friendly. after many yrs they will come around, just ignore them


Thank you.

Sounds good.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 11:46 pm 
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yeah... look around.

I should have said... and, as mentioned by madlabs, all clubs are not like that, some are more friendly than others.
The unwashed guy is often the smartest. lol


Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sat 07, 2021 11:49 pm 
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Dalton wrote:
Well said,, Egg.

This kind of thing seems to be confined by and large to 2 meters.

So, I really don't need to expose myself to it if I operate on HF and VHF.

Thanks for the input.
Actually the problem can occur anywhere, but it's not ham radio. It's people. Some are obnoxious, most aren't. I always try to keep this in mind; 10% of everything causes 90% of the problems. You can apply this everywhere including hams (happens in radios too :-) ).

In answer to the idea that it's a 2 meter thing. No, it's not. For example, before I retired I used to talk for years with an ever changing group of people on 2 meters on the way to work. We all were on the road roughly between 6 am and 7 am. Then I retired. For three years now I get out of bed at 5:30 in the morning on weekdays to get outside and talk with these guys from my HT as I am walking and they are on their way to work at 6 am.

We don't share the same politics, religious beliefs, or much of anything except having conversations about everything and welcoming anyone and everyone who cares to say Hi. Everyone is respectful and we have a great time especially when someone new comes along. Remember now I am a 69 year old curmudgeon and the rest of these guys range from just a few years younger to decades younger. The one guy I wish we could get to join in is a 99 year old ex B-17 pilot several of us met on HF. I think 6 am is a little early for him.

I've heard really obnoxious people on just about every amateur band at one time or another. Fortunately they are not the majority.

We do ourselves and others a disservice when we treat each other as "groups" or "tribes" rather than as individuals.

Curtis Eickerman

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 12:53 am 
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“We do ourselves and others a disservice when we treat each other as "groups" or "tribes" rather than as individuals. “

Curtis Eickerman

Well said, Curtis.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 1:31 am 
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Location: Montreal, Quebec
If I dropped by the local club, I'd probably be among the longest licensed, but the youngest of them. A "premature grumpy old man".

People still talk about the hobby as being exclusive, a perception that seemed to start with the license and morse test. "They have this testing to keep us out". Outsiders still say that despite a simpler test and no code test. And they talk about how "everyone is old".

I suspect that sets the tone, a perception that isn't changed by experience.

Groups, by definition, exclude others. They form around some point, and others not welcome. That's simply because others don't share the interest.

People in general can be intolerant of people not like them.

So a ham club is like that because of the people involved. Lots of other situations, it would be the same. But since there's public griping about ham radio, it's easier to pull that on.

Maybe the club members see it as a social club. Other clubs might focus on something else, like keeping a repeater going, or getting new hams. So involvement might be along other lines. Maybe membership requires some level of involvement, maybe just coming to.meetings more regularly, or helping set up at some event.

I remember going to a hamfest about 1975, and somebody griping about "a kid" touching things. I was just as young, but somehow didn't count. That's not ham radio, that's some grumpy guy. And it always existed, because of individuals.

I think in general, many hams don't know how to bring in new members. So the local clubs never advertise the fleamarkets away from ham radio. It's not to.keep people out, it's that they don't think of the value, or can't imagine that people don't know about the hobby. (This is the nature of a grouo, surround yourself with people who share something, and they forget what it's like to be an outsider).

I haven't been to a ham club meeting in at least forty years. After the first six or so years, I just lost interest in the meetings. So socially I'm not part of the club, except I've been licensed for 49 years, and represent the hobby as it is. I avoid one fleamarket, because it's small and there might still be people I know. The larger one, I can go, not needing to talk to others, but feeling a belonging because I know all that junk. I belong more than a lot of other situations.

Amateur radio in part is about sitting home and talking over the radio. A weird mesh of being social, at a distance


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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 2:49 am 
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mblack wrote:
I haven't been to a ham club meeting in at least forty years. After the first six or so years, I just lost interest in the meetings. So socially I'm not part of the club, except I've been licensed for 49 years, and represent the hobby as it is. I avoid one fleamarket, because it's small and there might still be people I know. The larger one, I can go, not needing to talk to others, but feeling a belonging because I know all that junk. I belong more than a lot of other situations.

Amateur radio in part is about sitting home and talking over the radio. A weird mesh of being social, at a distance
I relate in many ways. I'm not the "social butterfly" in person either. In groups of people I tend to disappear into the background and just listen and/or observe. I do like to visit the fleamarket hamfests for kind of the same reason. I get to see all those old rigs I would have died for when I was a teenager (first licensed 57 years ago at age 12).

I do run into a few hams I actually know more from work than anything else (now retired, as are they). Strangely enough, last year I was going to make an effort to actually get to know more of the local hams in person, attend club meetings (yeah, been a member of one for many years without ever attending), talk to more people at the local hamfests in March and December, then 2020 happened and the best laid plans of mice and men went up in smoke. Well, maybe next year.

Your comment about ham radio being this strange sort of socialization at a distance makes sense to me. I remember how well it worked for me as a 13 year old whose voice had changed. I was talking to grown-ups and they were treating me as a regular person. I talked to doctors, lawyers, a B-52 weapons officer, a Treasury Agent, a TV writer, the grandson of a president, we were all on equal footing. Where else could you do that in the '60s and '70s?"

Curtis Eickerman

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 4:05 am 
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egg wrote:
yeah... look around.

I should have said... and, as mentioned by madlabs, all clubs are not like that, some are more friendly than others.
The unwashed guy is often the smartest. lol


Greg.


:lol:


Thanks, Egg!

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 4:08 am 
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Eickerman wrote:
Dalton wrote:
Well said,, Egg.

This kind of thing seems to be confined by and large to 2 meters.

So, I really don't need to expose myself to it if I operate on HF and VHF.

Thanks for the input.
Actually the problem can occur anywhere, but it's not ham radio. It's people. Some are obnoxious, most aren't. I always try to keep this in mind; 10% of everything causes 90% of the problems. You can apply this everywhere including hams (happens in radios too :-) ).

In answer to the idea that it's a 2 meter thing. No, it's not. For example, before I retired I used to talk for years with an ever changing group of people on 2 meters on the way to work. We all were on the road roughly between 6 am and 7 am. Then I retired. For three years now I get out of bed at 5:30 in the morning on weekdays to get outside and talk with these guys from my HT as I am walking and they are on their way to work at 6 am.

We don't share the same politics, religious beliefs, or much of anything except having conversations about everything and welcoming anyone and everyone who cares to say Hi. Everyone is respectful and we have a great time especially when someone new comes along. Remember now I am a 69 year old curmudgeon and the rest of these guys range from just a few years younger to decades younger. The one guy I wish we could get to join in is a 99 year old ex B-17 pilot several of us met on HF. I think 6 am is a little early for him.

I've heard really obnoxious people on just about every amateur band at one time or another. Fortunately they are not the majority.

We do ourselves and others a disservice when we treat each other as "groups" or "tribes" rather than as individuals.

Curtis Eickerman



Well said.

Thank you!

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Bright antenna bristle with the energy"


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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Sun 08, 2021 4:17 am 
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[



quote="mblack"]

"I haven't been to a ham club meeting in at least forty years"


I have heard similar statements from many others, the only difference being the time frame.

I used to wonder why when I was first getting into this.

Not any more. .

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Mon 09, 2021 12:17 am 
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I have been to a variety of clubs over the decades and had a variety of experiences. But I started back at a club last year and felt that my reception felt kinda cold, as if at some time I had told them their wives were fat and their kids ugly, or something. So that petered out for me. And I should try to go to the major club near me now, where I was an attendee in the 70s or so. I recall one fellow with an attitude that practically assaulted one of my radio friends at a meeting because he thought he did not like his looks, maybe. That guy is dead now. Karma. I have no radios on the air and no antennas up yet but the pangs are pretty weak, to be frank. Earlier times I would have been chomping at the bit and trying to load up a random wire strung around haphazard just to get out. I sort of enjoy ham radio estate sales, feeling that my own is closer but not yet impending. If I knew the guy was a grumpy old jerk I would enjoy lowballing them for steals that much more.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Mon 09, 2021 2:12 am 
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Four years ago we had a MAJOR wild fire sweep through our immediate area.
Thousands of homes burned and about two dozen died including a couple
3 blocks from our house. Our house was surrounded on three sides by this
fire and its a miracle our neighborhood survived.

Prior to this, wild fires like this were almost unheard of here, the previous one
being in 1964 so everyone was caught off guard. Police and fire crews
did little other than evacuate people, most of who had no idea what
was going on. There was NO, ZERO, ZILCH info available on local
radio stations for many hours. Truly horrifying.

Around noon, 10 hours after we were aware of the fire storm and it
looked like we might make it, got onto the local repeater associated
with the EOC and has their station located there. My question was;
"does anyone know where the fire is now and what direction it is
heading?". And was told to take a hike, it was a directed net and
apparently I was not on their list. Listened to that repeater the rest
of the day, along with a scanner. Dead silence on the repeater.

I'm still furious! As a kid was involved with the local RACES group
in west central Fla. It was a large, very well organized group and
ALL hams were invited. There was no membership. Just hams that
wanted to be involved. Quite a contrast!
Steve W6SSP

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Mon 09, 2021 2:15 am 
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zarco wrote:
Four years ago we had a MAJOR wild fire sweep through our immediate area.
Thousands of homes burned and about two dozen died including a couple
3 blocks from our house. Our house was surrounded on three sides by this
fire and its a miracle our neighborhood survived.

Prior to this, wild fires like this were almost unheard of here, the previous one
being in 1964 so everyone was caught off guard. Police and fire crews
did little other than evacuate people, most of who had no idea what
was going on. There was NO, ZERO, ZILCH info available on local
radio stations for many hours. Truly horrifying.

Around noon, 10 hours after we were aware of the fire storm and it
looked like we might make it, got onto the local repeater associated
with the EOC and has their station located there. My question was;
"does anyone know where the fire is now and what direction it is
heading?". And was told to take a hike, it was a directed net and
apparently I was not on their list. Listened to that repeater the rest
of the day, along with a scanner. Dead silence on the repeater.

I'm still furious! As a kid was involved with the local RACES group
in west central Fla. It was a large, very well organized group and
ALL hams were invited. There was no membership. Just hams that
wanted to be involved. Quite a contrast!
Steve W6SSP


EXACTLY what I am talking about.

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Mon 09, 2021 2:20 am 
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wazz wrote:
I have been to a variety of clubs over the decades and had a variety of experiences. But I started back at a club last year and felt that my reception felt kinda cold, as if at some time I had told them their wives were fat and their kids ugly, or something. So that petered out for me. And I should try to go to the major club near me now, where I was an attendee in the 70s or so. I recall one fellow with an attitude that practically assaulted one of my radio friends at a meeting because he thought he did not like his looks, maybe. That guy is dead now. Karma. I have no radios on the air and no antennas up yet but the pangs are pretty weak, to be frank. Earlier times I would have been chomping at the bit and trying to load up a random wire strung around haphazard just to get out. I sort of enjoy ham radio estate sales, feeling that my own is closer but not yet impending. If I knew the guy was a grumpy old jerk I would enjoy lowballing them for steals that much more.



Yes, but if you lowballed at the estate sale, the guy might haunt your shack! :lol:

I had a very weird experience one time at a ham estate sale. Let's just say someone was not very happy seeing their Collins gear go for less than half of it's worth! :D

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 Post subject: Re: So I went to the local ham club meeting
PostPosted: Aug Mon 09, 2021 2:46 am 
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Posts: 1644
Location: Albion, CA, USA, 95410
zarco wrote:
Four years ago we had a MAJOR wild fire sweep through our immediate area.
Thousands of homes burned and about two dozen died including a couple
3 blocks from our house. Our house was surrounded on three sides by this
fire and its a miracle our neighborhood survived.

Prior to this, wild fires like this were almost unheard of here, the previous one
being in 1964 so everyone was caught off guard. Police and fire crews
did little other than evacuate people, most of who had no idea what
was going on. There was NO, ZERO, ZILCH info available on local
radio stations for many hours. Truly horrifying.

Around noon, 10 hours after we were aware of the fire storm and it
looked like we might make it, got onto the local repeater associated
with the EOC and has their station located there. My question was;
"does anyone know where the fire is now and what direction it is
heading?". And was told to take a hike, it was a directed net and
apparently I was not on their list. Listened to that repeater the rest
of the day, along with a scanner. Dead silence on the repeater.

I'm still furious! As a kid was involved with the local RACES group
in west central Fla. It was a large, very well organized group and
ALL hams were invited. There was no membership. Just hams that
wanted to be involved. Quite a contrast!
Steve W6SSP


I would still be furious too! While the repeater system used by the EOC up here (one county up, Mendocino) can be a bit short during situation like that there were regular updates and the repeater system really was being used for traffic. Something about being *almost* involved in EMS that brings out the pompous self important buffoonery in a certain type.


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