RE: [AmateurRadioLeadership] Introductions, Please
- Greetings All!
I am Frank N. Haas KB4T. Licensed 47 years. Started in Ham Radio at age 14
after 3 years of experimentation and SWLing. Licensed in junior high school
in New Jersey. Have lived in Florida since age 17.
Spent most of my operating time for 40+ years on CW, mostly on NTS as a
traffic handler and CW ragchewer. Had early interest in contesting but not
so much now. Have ZERO interest in DX. Today I split my operating time
between straight key & bug CW and Enhanced SSB ragchewing. Also playing in
the virtual ham radio world on QSONET and HamSphere. Over the years, I've
held these ARRL appointments: ORS, OPS, OO, OBS, Assistant Director and EC.
After graduating from college with a BA, worked in radio broadcast
journalism for a few years. Found it unsatisfying. Pursued my burning desire
to become an RF tech. Now celebrating my 34th year of nearly continuous
employment in the Land Mobile, Personal Computing, voice and data
communications network integration field. The last 8 years have been even
more satisfying as a Power Line Interference Investigator and Comm Systems
Tech for a large electric utility here in Florida. I also own and manage a
small personal computing sales and service company celebrating its 23rd
anniversary this year. Amateur Extra Class since 1979. Also hold FCC GROL
(formerly First Class Radiotelephone Opr), NARTE Master RF Technician
Certification and numerous other industry certifications.
Over 47 years of active ham radio involvement, I've been President,
Secretary and Treasurer of my local ham radio club multiple times. I've been
EC of our county. I've repaired radios, built towers, helped build and erect
antennas, provide technical consultation, taught ham radio classes, been a
VE and active emergency communications participant. I've built and
maintained VHF and UHF repeaters. I've been a control operator and
Yahoogroup owner and moderator. I'm currently on the Board of Directors for
the international Straight Key Century Club.
Professional obligations over the years have created brief periods where my
involvement in local ham radio activities has waned somewhat. Yet I've been
a dues paying member of the local club continuously since 1973 (39 years.)
The hobby seems to have shifted from a mostly technically-oriented avocation
to an appliance-based past-time with substantially less technical
understanding and interest. At the same time, we have all witnessed a
societal shift from a group-oriented "work together" model to a wholly
self-focused model. The evolution of our parental practices and social mores
has created generations focused solely on "What's In It For Me" (WIIFM).
Most people seem so self-absorbed and spoiled that anything that requires
personal responsibility and effort is shunned as repulsive. To succeed in
Ham Radio requires effort, education, patience and perseverance. These
qualities seem lacking today which may explain why the hobby is so bottom
heavy these days.
Amateur Extra Class hams were my personal idols. They were knowledgeable,
experienced and (for the most part) exhibited the finest qualities of ham
radio. They were often more than willing to share their expertise. Amateur
Extra Class was a badge of honor and a sign of true achievement. Today,
thanks to lowered standards, most Amateur Extra Class operators have little
technical knowledge, often exhibit poor operating practices and are so very
proud that they memorized the question pool and passed their test with
little understanding of the underlying theory. Instead of the personal pride
of accomplishment, they are solely concerned about the STATUS their Amateur
Extra Class license bestows upon them. Ham Radio does mirror contemporary
I'm not as proud of ham radio today as I once was. It's likely that my
attitude is significantly impacted by the WIIFM attitude exhibited by so
many I meet. To be a leader among hams once required highly respected traits
such as knowledge, operating skill, compassion and leadership skills. Now it
seems that anyone who can spell and form a coherent sentence is shunned
because they make other lesser humans feel overwhelmed, intimidated or
embarrassed. Perhaps I'm immersed in a sea of mediocrity without a view to
the (superior?) larger universe. I speak with hams all over the country and
I seem to encounter the same sort of characters.
I clearly need an attitude makeover. The electrodes need to be attached and
a few milliamperes of kilovoltage applied to get my head re-aligned. I once
enjoyed being a leader in the ham radio community. Now I feel overwhelmed by
effects of poor performing public school systems, bad parenting, narcissism
and really bad manners. I truly feel as if I'm on the outside looking in
and, frankly, I don't like what I see. Perhaps this group might be able to
I didn't intend to become a curmudgeon. I believe I was pushed into it by
unrealistic expectations in the face of a devolving society.
Frank N. Haas KB4T
- Gee ... thanks for the downer, Frank. I was feeling pretty good about
becoming a ham in the past few years... passing my Extra Exam...
learning how to build kits... winning a prize for designing antennas...
becoming part of the "design team" of a commercial antenna company...
being invited to be a member of multiple contest teams... being invited
to operate some special events stations (e.g., Ships on the Air) ...
being appointed to a repeater board... designing and building small
accessory circuits... and so forth.
But now... I see I have not done enough and should be ashamed about
being an appliance operator (I mean amateur radio operator) and that
I have not done enough in the past four years as a ham ... it now
appears I spent 30 years in the wrong profession and should have stayed
out of ham radio because I just ain't good enough to measure up to the
standards listed in your diatribe... oops, I mean bio sketch. which is
more of a missive than a biography.
Shoot... I don't dare post MY background now.
Happy trails y'all.
========================== K8JHR =====================