Hamfests and Torch-Passing

Seriously… Seriously.

I’ll not only echo Mike’s rant, but I’ll raise the ante a bit, especially after “Field Day 16″ aka what I called ” NC rolling dumpster fire of stupid”.

To the old codgy bastards- just fade off into the noise floor. Seriously. Yes, I just said that. If you have nothing to add, teach, or encourage without being a shit faced asshat then there’s a comfy place waiting for you. I’m sure if you’re just as sour to your family as some I’ve seen be to newer licensees, there won’t be many wailing for you either.

Your job is to grow the knowledge base. If you can’t do that, go home. Yes, a LONG while back now the FCC dropped the code requirement. Get over it. It’s not coming back. And guess what? I know for a fact most of you old timers just memorized the theory test answers too. How do I know? A long time Extra and good friend told me so. Instead of ham exam online they just took the whole printed question pool and memorized the answers by highlighting the correct one. So get over yourself. You know you did.

To the new guys- be humble. I’ll teach a humble guy anything and everything I can. Listen first and talk second, and be willing to help out as much as possible. To an arrogant little shite, I’ll make fun of you first, then show you my pissed off former NCO side once I’ve had my fill. It takes A LOT to get me there. Actually I’ll do that to a disrespectful old timer too. I did so yesterday as a matter of fact.

A little story- We had half the field day turnout this year from last year. And next year, we’ll (actually, they’ll…I won’t be there) probably have that many fewer. Why? Because of a handful of “I know everything, I’m holier than thou, kiss the ring” attitudes. Field Day contesting starts at 1400…so it’s logical to understand that 80m and 6m SSB is not yet open. So don’t bitch at the guys running it when at 1500 they have two contacts, as an old timer know it all did. He should know there’s little propagation on that band during daytime hours. Or better yet, just let them know they should have just stayed home and drank beer (yes, that’s what the old fuckface actually said.) And a few did just that. My guess is that more indeed will heed his advice, because they were my guys, mostly new, and running a more relaxed band- and left with a poor outlook despite my words of encouragement. They managed over 100 QSOs and a Sat contact, but hey, when the old men are busy being assholes, no success cures being kicked in the dick from the get-go.

Or the new guy, we’ll just call rodeo clown, a fat wanna be commando (but curiously, yet predictably, never served) driving an Excursion and licensed for all of two months, lecturing us on the proper erection procedure of a tower according to the ARRL book he bought on Amazon. Yes, that happened. Yes, that’s exactly what he said. Yes, it got fixed in a professional manner (well, sorta…I was tired and fed up). Both the attitude and the mismatch on the Yagi. He’s very good friends with the old shit head from above.

Field Day is supposed to be the one designated day to get out in the bush and run your kit the way you would in a “disaster”, not become one. You know, all the fun stuff I talk about in this blog. It’s not to run around being an asshole, it’s not to reinforce your own elitist attitude, it’s to work the business end of communications and learn how stuff works under less than ideal conditions.

So, before I stop, I’ll say that clubs are a good thing, most of the time. And there’s a lot of really, really good folks in the hobby. But when you see a dickhead, kindly call his ass out, kindly let him know it’s not only voluntary but something that may go away in the future, should they not be critical to national survival (yep…war powers act is real, and still on the books) and that he should kindly change his attitude. And if not, walk away and find someone who is willing to help you. We’re out there. I partly started this blog just for that reason.

And it’s fucking ALPHA, ZULU, SIERRA, and ROMEO, not America, Zed, Sugar, or my favorite, “Radio”.

Off to work some HF.

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38 thoughts on “Hamfests and Torch-Passing

  1. Chris

    110% No BS truth. As a relative youngster in ham radio at 45 years old some of the old guys are worth their weight in gold and others a waste of oxygen. I’ve found you need to attend 2 or 3 meetings before the old guys get over the “new”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If they act cold to you, return it in kind. They’re not worth your time. Find the good ones, normally the guys who make the attempt to shake your hand and introduce themselves.

      Screw the others.

      Like

      1. Aloha NCScout,

        Come out to Hawaii next year.

        There were a half dozen people that took their tests Saturday morning and stayed to work one of the three radios setup for anyone to make contacts for the collective. There were a couple of old time CW guys showing a bunch of us relatively new Hams the pleasure of using code. Yes I will be studying to use code, soon.

        There was a ham from visiting from Texas they got on the air to make some contacts then we hooked him up with the volunteers on the USS Missouri radio shack to get on the air from the battle ship before he leaves.

        Oh and the food……. Did I mention we set up on Kaneohe Bay.

        Yup, attitude is everything. This was my first field day and I am sorry I hadn’t gone to one earlier.

        Scurvy
        http://www.earchi.org

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I lived there for a while. I’d be happy to visit again.

        I’m glad they were good to you guys- like I said, there’s LOTS of good folks involved- but also enough to turn off a lot of potentially great folks. And I’m fed up with seeing it.

        Operating from the Mighty Mo would be an incredible experience- I’d fly out just to do it.

        Like

  2. quietsurvivalist

    Yup

    The whole “good old boy” club attitude is running the younger guys off, and they are too ignorant to see it. The attitude of “no code” ( Im deaf so get over it, Im trying but I really don’t need it for most of what I do), digital is just a fad ( yup, right) kiss the butts of old Extra’s ( my license says the same as theirs does) and the rest of the common complaints.

    On the other hand, it wont be many more years until they all die off and we will get great prices on the gear when it gets auctioned off or when one of us joins the club at the end and gets all of it by default:)

    I don’t have time for BS and drama, I do better alone without playing mother may I as well

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mike Bishop

    Epic rant, bro!

    Sorry to hear field day turned into Ding-Dong Measurefest™ 2016.

    I’m still with you on the attitude adjustment being desperately needed.

    I had some jackwang a while back bust into my QSO, and proceed to absolutely come unglued that we were using MDC1200. Newsflash: If you don’t like what’s going on: reach for the VFO. That’s my most recent example of shitheadery…And true to form, he is a member of the Local Assholes Union. Without getting too deep into PERSEC territory, there is a particular, large, local club that is full of complete dick squeezers. They are like MS13 for the pocket protector crowd…

    I am totally queer for DMR for mobile and everyday rag-chewing; a big part of that is because every single, and I mean every damn one, QSO has been positive, and friendly. Nothing but nice dudes…so far.

    I don’t, for the life of me, get the holier-than-thou, obnoxious, “I own the airwaves” attitude.

    Be courteous. Be polite. Be helpful. Be professional. It’s that damn simple.

    While it’s no mystery that radio and comms for me is a means for disaster preparedness, training, and planning; for a bunch of dudes, for whom this is merely a means to collect cards, and log contacts, cough, a hobby, some folks get spun the F up over some absolutely dumb shit, and are more than willing to drop trousers and show their asses. I flat out don’t get it.

    That said, when the asshole hams show up, this is the answer:

    http://hamhijinks.com/

    That site is like a blowoff valve for all the cliche stuff shithams pull. Absolutely hillarious.

    Stay dangerous, brother.

    Mike

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep.

      The attitude comes from being a marginal POS in real life, so you have to take it out on everyone else where you think you have some kind of authority.

      I have no time for that.

      Great site, btw…

      Like

    1. The exercise, as intended, is actually a very good idea.

      The contesting was to bolster support a number of years ago…and then you get jackwagons like that 17A club in DC and the other ass shards like the ones I’ve put up with for far too long now.

      Whatever. I don’t need the ARRL to tell me when to hit the field, neither do any of you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I’m not a typical ham. I became a ham after some years talking on boat and aircraft radios (not CB), getting a first phone (not GROL) because I was too young to get a restricted adiotelephone or third class), and participating in EMCOMM through the government, military and Civil Air Patrol. Then I became a ham (with code, and eventually Extra class).

        To say my interest is just in EMCOMM would be an understatement. I couldn’t care less about most of the BS I hear on amateur bands. Mostly worthless. The only operating I do is under field conditions, for SAR or SOTA or whatever.

        I’ve never seen anyone or any group that I would consider reliable actually exercise on FD. It’s one day, during generally the best weather of the year, and the hams and clubs have all year to get ready for it. Try it at three AM in February, for real.

        So, they show up …. with something missing that keeps them from setting up. Like a spare fuse. They bring a generator, but how much fuel? Usually just enough for the day, maybe. Able to operate on multiple bands? As long as it’s 40 or 80. Modes? Voice or maybe CW. Survival? Well the RV is there, maybe. Food? Someone will make a run to KFC.

        And then the public shows up, and doesn’t understand what is going on, and the hams cannot explain why radio is more important in a disaster than cellphones and the net.

        Yeah, it’s a great event…..Too bad Hams are not serious about it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Mike Bishop

        The intent of FD is great…

        …until you are forced to interact with dicknosed wang-squishers.

        1) Grab up your buddies
        2) Plan a FTX
        3) Make it a regularly scheduled event

        Liked by 1 person

  4. everlastingphelps

    Instead of ham exam online they just took the whole printed question pool and memorized the answers by highlighting the correct one. So get over yourself.

    Hell, that’s how I did it, and I’ve only had my ticket for a couple of years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Back in the day thats how you studied for the FAA exams, too – at first various companies would pay you to come out of an exam and remember a question or two, they would compile the questions and answers into books and publish them for not a small amount of money.

      Later the FAA (and the FCC) decided to just PUBLISH the entire bank of questions for each exam, along with the answer….kind of put the question compilers out of business. A few will try and explain WHY a certain answer is wrong.

      The difference now with the FAA is that you have to have a sign-off that says you’re probably qualified to take the test, either from a class or home study course or an instructor signing you off. Flight instructors are loath to do that, since too many students failing and you’re being evaluated as a flight instructor: Ground instructors on the other hand….nobody cares. So, a LOT of flight instructors became ground instructors also…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Scurvy

    NCScout,

    If you can put up with a couple of retired Navy CT types and will make the introductions to get into the Missouri Radio Shack.

    you should have my email.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Slightly off topic- there’s an old (1970’s ) steel antenna tower that a local guy used for his ham until about 6-7 years ago when he passed away near me. A friend now owns the house so I can have the towtower I take it diwn and haul away. Motor to turn antenna still works,everything involved in moving antenna moves- nothing is jammed up.Not sure of height-higher than telephone poles.
    Is it worth getting tower and setting it up elsewhere?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yes,need an antenna-this is just tower.
        legally-yes,I can put it up.
        Have truck and can borrow trailer.
        Pad it’s on isn’t that big-I’ll just mix Quickcrete in mortar mixer,and pour it myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good – but the footings for towers are usually fairly deep – 3 to 5 feet or more. The mass of the footing has to counteract the lever arm of the tower/antenna against the wind pressure, and it usually takes a good big block of concrete to do that. A little pad may not do it.

        For example, check out the Rohn web page for similar size towers and their footing requirements.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all I needed to know- consensus seems to be go get the tower-I didn’t know if it was worth grabbing it or not.
        I’m new to radio,still looking at options for equipment.
        Will be taking test over the winter,as that’s when work is slow for me.
        The tower is less than 3 miles from my house too.
        Going to take apart,lower sections by chaining/strapping to bucket of track hoe-(pays to have friends in the excavation business)-and load onto trailer that he hauls the track hoe around on for the trip to my house.
        Then,we’ll bring the machine over here,and put tower back up.
        There’s a reason I’ve been reading sites like yours,Brushbeater’s,
        Sparks,etc. You all already know what you’re doing-I don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scurvy

        Remember to do a site survey/evaluation of where you want to put the tower.
        Imagine the tower in place and fully extended, now push it over in your mind. Didn’t notice that 14kV line running across your neighbor’s property? And they always fall in the direction to maximize damage. I’m just saying.
        I hope this goes up without a hitch and you talk around the world regularly.
        73

        Liked by 1 person

  7. We had a similar issue on 40 as you mentioned about 80. We were running a sloper and could hear folks, but not get them. it went on for three hours. Of course nothing I heard was strong, it took some effort to listen. Finally after trying a few things we raise one leg and presto, we made contacts. Now, we were at a high elevation, about 5,000′ and not exactly QRP. I’m not going to fuss, but, in my view the pressure to make contacts was a detriment. “Hurry up and make contacts” cost us three hours, we should have known earlier we had an issue.

    Every station I logged we had to use phonetics. Those non standard phonetics were a waist. The standard ones you could pull out. Not so much with the bastardised phonetics.

    I could go on and on about my FD observations and add stories I’ve been told from old HAMs. But, I will say, it is indeed a learning event and if you’re just getting your ticket, jump into one both feet sometime and take notes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Henry Bowman

    Epic! You nailed it BB, as a Tech for a couple years now, i too was disappointed by the holier than thou, “i’m an extra,” crowd and meetings that really did not offer much substance.

    I have gotten more useful info/edumecation from fellows like you and others, various forums, etc., than i ever have from guys at clubs.

    Factor in my own tinkering and just plain “doing it live,” individual ftx’s/field days, and i feel pretty confident in my ability to respond to an event at 0300 if need be.

    Field day this year for me was just another day out, 100% self sufficient and a great test and verification on what works, and doesn’t…Overall pretty pleased with this field day event…

    I was fortunate, the group i was with, although most were old timers, did not have the attitude, and seemed genuinely pleased i was there, extra points for my solar gig and 2m simplex qso’s notwithstanding, and asked many questions and offered to assist…

    I agree 100% in meeting like minded fellows, F2F either locally or at hamfests, and getting together to form ad hoc groups and learn from one another….I honestly do not see any other way to do this emcomm thing….

    Thanks for all that you, and others do, for fng’s like me….

    RF

    Liked by 2 people

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