Monday, June 16, 2014

It was the coax!

After being stuck inside during lunchtime last week, due to workload and/or weather, I was finally able to get out today.  This was the first opportunity (if you don't count the weekend) that I had to try out the tri-magmount with the Buddistick since changing out the coax. Well, it was the coax that was giving me fits.  With the new coax, the KX3 tuned the antenna in mere seconds and once it tuned, it stayed tuned. No phantom jumping SWR values, everything behaved nicely.

For my efforts, I was able to work W1AW/5 in Arkansas on a different band, Don K2DSV who is a fellow K2ETS Club member, as well as XE2ST, Fernando in Nogales, Mexico.  So I am considering the surgery that I performed on the antenna base to be an unqualified success.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about a posting on KB6NU's blog about how "New Hams are Different" and the responses that Dan has received.  I think that times have greatly changed, or maybe that's just my perception.  When I was a Novice back in the late 70s, and joined a local club (which is no longer in existence - and this may be the reason why) there was a kind of a "keep your mouth shut if you're a Newbie" mentality going on.  New callsigns appearing at meetings or on the repeaters weren't welcomed all that enthusiastically (as a result, that may be why I'm not real big into VHF/UHF to this very day).  I guess there was kind of a "pay your dues" mentality, back then.  For better or worse, that was the way it was. But guess what? I survived, more or less.  ;-)

I really believe that I saw that change in the mid 90s, though.  I joined a couple new clubs and was welcomed.  Even though I was licensed for quite a while by then, I was still a neophyte compared to the established "Old Timers" who were a large part of the membership, and I was a comparative stranger, to boot. But in both cases, I was welcomed warmly - I was not shunned, I was not looked down upon, I was accepted into the groups without question.

And that's the way it should be.  I currently belong to three active local clubs - the K2ETS Electronic Testing Society of NJ, the W2QW Raritan Valley Radio Club as well as the NJ2SP South Plainfield Amateur Radio Club (which I helped to establish).  Since SPARC is so new, I am going to leave it out of the mix for this discussion, but the same philosophy holds there, as well.  In both K2ETS and W2QW, newcomers are welcomed enthusiastically and with open arms.  There's no "we vs. they" mentality when it comes to new members. Everyone is encouraged to participate, and everyone is listened to. Your age, your gender, your level of experience is really of no matter.

I really don't see any wide gulfs when it comes to "new" vs. "old" technologies, either.  Those who primarily operate HF only seem to peacefully co-exist with those who like to experiment and build and toy around with Arduinos, Raspeberry Pi's and the digital voice and data modes.  In fact, I see a lot of the groups co-mingling and getting pointers, answers to questions and operating tips from each other.  Just the way it should be.

Newcomers are welcomed for their new ideas and enthusiasm while "Old Timers" are respected for their experience and built up wealth of tribal knowledge - again, just as it should be.  Guess I've been very fortunate to not be involved with "cliquey" organizations. Hopefully, that is becoming everyone else's experience as well.

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

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