Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Someone made a comment the other day

 about handful of people that seem to get into ham radio with more money than brains and treat it lie a drag race. They get their license on a Saturday and Monday morning the team of experts from Motorola shows up and installs s 1500 watt state of the art unit in his house sand he goes on the air.

It made me think that this hobby is little different than a whole lot of others. There is always someone out there that doesn't seem to get it.

Take the Hometown, USA hot rod club.

Something like this is generally a bunch of guys that build their own rides in their garages of for that matter, in their driveways. They do their own engineering as best they can, their own mechanical and body work and build their own ride. Some of the members are talented and maybe they will swap skills here and there but the bottom line is that they are doing their own projects and share interests.

Enter some rich guy that doesn't even know what a wrench is and goes out and buys a $125,000 rebuilt Shelby or something like that from some custom builder and shows up with his ride at a meeting and wants to join.

Or the wooden boat club that consists of talented guys that have either built or rebuilt their own wood boats that really are in the under 25 foot class.

Neeedless to say there comes a day when someone with a 65 foot wooden boat with a crew of three shows up and wants to join the little boatbuilders club even though he has never picked up so much as a paintbrush. He's had everyone else do it for him.

A club like that is more of a builders club than a boat/ham/hotrod club. It is not a show-off club, unless you are showing off something you made or did on your own.

Quite often the club in question will be nice about things and let the guy join, of course, and sometimes the new guy gets it, sometimes not. Occasionally they might politely explain why he might not fit in.

Many moons ago I was in a sports car club and some guy with a hopped up lineburner came and joined and found out he was an orange in a barrelful of apples.

There is a saying that has a grain of truth to it. "Straight lines are for fast cars, curves are for fast drivers."

The lineburner guy with his powerful Daddyboughtme V-8 kept trying to get the rest of the club to straighten the course out because his hopped up lineburner was a fast car that could rip two black lines of tire from here to the horizon but couldn't turn for sour apples. Of course, we refused and he wound up getting angry and finally quit the club in a huff, running his mouth that he had quit because he had the fastest car in it and we were jealous.

A few weeks later at the pizza place he ran his mouth and got challenged to a race by a fast driver. He accepted and in the first tight turn lost because he ran his lineburner into a tree after he lost it trying to keep up with a nimble Triumph. He was lucky he didn't get hurt too badly.

What was kind of sad about this is that there was another club in the area that was a drag racing club where he would have fit right in.

I've also seen it in service rifle competition when some guy shows up with a target rifle and gets told he can shoot but in ineligible for prizes because his rifle doesn't fit into the class of rifles we are competing with. Sometimes the guy with the high tech rifle gets it and has no problem in which case he is cheerfully respected, sometimes not and the service rifle guys get an ear beating about how it's not fair.

Something like shooting is a pretty broad field when you look at it. There are all sorts of little niches in the shooting sports and my field is service rifle, both current and obsolete. While I occasionally hunt, I consider myself a service rifle shooter.

If these people would think a bit and look at things and see where they fit in they might be a little happier before they got into something they do not understand.

I entered ham radio knowing I was going to be in a small niche and with a fairly limited group to be a part of a very broad area and I was surprised to see that an awful lot of people opened up to me.

What is interesting is that the hobby has a bit of a reputation of being attracted to techies and that I am not. I can't fix a radio. However I can figure out a way to get an antenna up onto someone's roof or get it set up in some out of the way place, so I guess there is some use for me.

When I got into the hobby I had no real desire to set up a high powered station and all of the stuff that went with it. I just wanted to hilltop with a backpack set. While I have set up a modest station at home, it is the little backpack rig that brings me the most joy.

While I have long figured out where I fit into the shooting sports, I have also found out where I fit in as a ham.

I'm surprised to see how much I have been accepted. I think it's also nice that I feel I have something t offer, too. One of these days I am going to have to get someone to drop by and teach me PSK 31.

my other blog is: http://officerpiccolo.blogspot.com/ http://piccolosbutler.blogspot.com/


  1. Pic, there is always someone wanting to take the easy route and substitute technology for skill...and that method always comes off like the fit of a cheap suit..

  2. That doesn't gall me half as much as someone that joins an organization and immediately wants the rules changed to suit him.

    The guy that's 1/4 Italian and joins the Sons of Italy and because he's 3/4 Irish wants the Son's of Italy to add St. Patrick's Day to their list of official holidays, for example.