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Feelings about Ham in a Day

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  • k8mhz@k8mhz.com
    I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class. To me, the class is a mill that imbeds answers to test questions in a persons head
    Message 1 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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      I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class.
       
      To me, the class is a 'mill' that imbeds answers to test questions in a persons head just long enough to pass the test, which is given the same day.  As a matter of fact, the ad for the class indicates that "short term memory" is required.
       
      How much will the students remember a week or a month after the class?
       
      Is there enough time in a cram class to discuss etiquette, repeater locations, activities, etc?  If not, who is supposed to teach this stuff?
       
      Take a look at the new test, a little different from the old, but not much.  I ask, if a person knew the answer to every question in the pool and little else, they could get a license....if you handed them a radio, could they work it?  If they did manage to get on the air, would they know how to talk or would they, perhaps, resort to the ways they learned to talk on other radio services?
       
      I guess time will tell, but soon we will see if the Ham in a Day classes produce assets or burdens to the hobby.  My feeling is that many of the students will go on the air not knowing what they are doing and the local hams will attempt to correct them.  In various ways.   Some of the new licensees will get the wrong impression and think hams are stuffy OFs that don't like newcomers.  Others won't ask for advice at all and become Lids in a Day.  A few, of course, will become fine hams.
       
      Am I being to critical in thinking that the ratio of the types above stands too good of a chance to skew to the first two possibilities?
       
      How about some chatter about this?   What are the positive and negative aspects?  The positive, of course, is that it enables people with very busy schedules to take a class.  I just touched on a few possible negatives.
       
      Thanks and 73,
       
      Mark K8MHZ
    • Bill Fries
      Ham in a Day? My personal view on the subject is that it takes a lot longer to develop a ham than a single day. I really did not get to the point of being
      Message 2 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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        Ham in a Day?

        My personal view on the subject is that it takes a lot longer to develop
        a ham than a single day. I really did not get to the point of being
        comfortable with radio until I had more time and more privileges under
        my belt. Maybe I'm still not there?! Hi

        It does take more effort on the part of the ham and the amateur radio
        community to develop a newly minted ham. Mic fright, etiquette, radio
        uses, net procedures, all those newfangled letter and number
        combinations instead of a simple name, frequencies, privileges, and the
        list goes on and on.

        My initial elmer, Tom, N8YJT, took a lot of time to introduce the
        neophyte to radio. He did a very good job with the material, students,
        and six weeks of classroom. He did not stop there and the radio club
        assisted with the duties of Elmer training. Lots of folks took lots of
        time on many sessions to get me both comfortable and productive with
        radio. I consider all those who helped in all those different aspects
        of radio to have been my Elmer, and I have lots of fine folks to thank
        and be grateful for their patient direction.

        So the short answer is that a ham ticket does not make an amateur radio
        operator. Some of those folks will pass and then forget the entire
        hobby right after getting some paperwork from the FCC. The goal should
        be to get the folks past the test and into a license and THEN get them
        an Elmer to help them learn, grow, and mature. I'd wager only a small
        percentage will ever go on to hit the "push to talk" and ever contact
        anyone without some additional direction outside of the initial
        training, even if such training were ten or more weeks.

        Our hobby is so vast and involved. The really neat thing is that
        everyone is willing to help and make the new guy, or even the
        experienced Extra guy, feel comfortable with all those modes of doing
        the basic thing of communicating.

        Don't forget the new guy. With a little effort she will develop into a
        really great asset.

        My $0.02 (how Do you get a cent sign?) (see, another question for Elmer)

        Bill
      • Bill Fries
        Another cool thing is that nobody cares if it took you a day, two weeks, two months, or twenty years to get your license. Everyone wants to help and they
        Message 3 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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          Another cool thing is that nobody cares if it took you a day, two weeks,
          two months, or twenty years to get your license. Everyone wants to help
          and they celebrate your success no matter what.

          I fondly remember the two meter repeater literally lighting up when I
          announced success in a test session. Everyone was pleased and provided
          encouragement and well, maybe even amazement. No matter. Here was a
          bunch of folks who really cared and showed an interest. Maybe you get
          that in astronomy or stamp collecting but it is not universal. When I
          hear a guy get a QSL card from some DX I'm just as happy as if that card
          were in my hands. We rejoice and that sets us apart.
        • George (Skip) VerDuin
          Kewl question Mark... ... We are part of a shrinking population. If the class can do two things successfully I m good with the concept. First - if lowering
          Message 4 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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            Kewl question Mark...

            On Wed, 2006-08-02 at 12:57 +0100, k8mhz@... wrote:
            I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class.
            We are part of a shrinking population.  If the class can do two things successfully I'm good with the concept.

            First - if lowering the effort will attract more hams it is a good thing.  One day is pretty short to do more than teach "where is the resource to avoid going beyond the bounds of satisfactory radio operation".  The questions heighten awareness for the most critical issues.  After locking out the repeater for two days is too late for civil discussion, but to demand electronics degree is too much.

            Second - if adequate esprit-de-corps can be instilled in one day it is a good thing.  No "lids".  Joining the ranks of hams brings with it a certain respect for others and some enthusiasm for the hobby.  We talk about CB in disparaging terms and if one day can weed out the miscreants let's do it.
             
            To me, >SNIP< above stands too good of a chance to skew to the first two possibilities?
            Well expect some "turn over" - every grad will not be active after a year...for various reasons.  Hold on to the idea of tar and feathering...
             
            How about some chatter about this?   What are the positive and negative aspects?  The positive, of course, is that it enables people with very busy schedules to take a class.  I just touched on a few possible negatives.
             
            Thanks and 73,
             
            Mark K8MHZ

            You know, our hobby has become less grass-root build Heathkits and more interconnection of high level components.  By putting modulator circuits on the exam and leaving the different approaches to measureing DC thru microwave off the exam we demonstrate a certain "not staying in step".  If we need anything, we need more follow-on to the class in form of networking (one-on-one?).  The social animals with tickets may be our greatest asset in ham radio...

            Like you. __

            73
            de Skip k8rra k


          • Linda Rosenthal
            This topic reminds me of why I became a ham in the first place...and why I felt comfortable doing so. Rewind the tape of time to a few years ago, over four,
            Message 5 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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              This topic reminds me of why I became a ham in the first place...and why I felt comfortable doing so.  Rewind the tape of time to a few years ago, over four, to be exact.  I was getting involved in sailing and I wasn't comfortable talking to anyone on marine VHF.  This is not so good, I thought, especially if I have to ask for help in an emergency.  Around that time period, Bill and I met Clarke Cooper, K8BP, through his brother Larry.  I noticed Clarke's ham license plate and batted around the idea of asking Clarke how to become a ham radio operator.  I didn't know diddly squat about ham radio, but thinking that it was a way to learn to be comfortable using a microphone and talking to others on the air, I decided to ask him.  Clarke, who was president of the MAARC at that time, is passionate with a capital "P" about ham radio and he suggested that we try the ham radio classes that Tom Porritt was teaching.  Before we took the test and as we took the classes, we got to go into the field during a very snowy day and help Clarke and other hams set up a remote site, where we learned about VHF repeater operation and what packet might do.  We froze our butts off, but the ham radio hook was in and we weren't spitting it out. 
               
              We further enjoyed the 6-week long technician class and from my point of view, I can say that it was a class that helped far more than a one day blitz might have done.  While I could have handled a one-day blitz, I am happy that I didn't have to do that.  I don't like being rushed through material that I want to learn.  I like to have time to think about it and feel that I have understood it and not just memorized it.  Granted, amateur radio at a higher level IS a complex subject and I am still learning new things all the time as an Extra class licensee.  That said, the extended class gave me an opportunity to think and get more excited about ham radio.  The joy that Bill and I felt when we found out through the Internet, on our vacation, that our licenses had been issued made us like kids with new toys!  We had time to make friends whom we later talked with on the local repeaters.  And luck of all luck, we didn't get blasted on the local repeaters for our tentative operating skills.  I can now talk with the best of 'em and I attribute that to folks who were willing to take time with us and introduce to an interesting hobby that they love.
               
              Strange to say, though, I still don't talk much on marine VHF.  The fish don't bite much when we're sailing, so we don't have much to say to the charters...but we have talked with Georgia on 20 meters through that Outbacker mobile antenna perched on the transom.  And I'm one QSL card away from my DXCC confirmation.  ;-)
               
              Linda, AB8QH
               
               -----Original Message-----
              From: WestMichiganHams@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WestMichiganHams@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of k8mhz@...
              Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:57 AM
              To: WestMichiganHams@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [WestMichiganHams] Feelings about Ham in a Day

              I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class.
               
              To me, the class is a 'mill' that imbeds answers to test questions in a persons head just long enough to pass the test, which is given the same day.  As a matter of fact, the ad for the class indicates that "short term memory" is required.
               
              How much will the students remember a week or a month after the class?
               
              Is there enough time in a cram class to discuss etiquette, repeater locations, activities, etc?  If not, who is supposed to teach this stuff?
               
              Take a look at the new test, a little different from the old, but not much.  I ask, if a person knew the answer to every question in the pool and little else, they could get a license....if you handed them a radio, could they work it?  If they did manage to get on the air, would they know how to talk or would they, perhaps, resort to the ways they learned to talk on other radio services?
               
              I guess time will tell, but soon we will see if the Ham in a Day classes produce assets or burdens to the hobby.  My feeling is that many of the students will go on the air not knowing what they are doing and the local hams will attempt to correct them.  In various ways.   Some of the new licensees will get the wrong impression and think hams are stuffy OFs that don't like newcomers.  Others won't ask for advice at all and become Lids in a Day.  A few, of course, will become fine hams.
               
              Am I being to critical in thinking that the ratio of the types above stands too good of a chance to skew to the first two possibilities?
               
              How about some chatter about this?   What are the positive and negative aspects?  The positive, of course, is that it enables people with very busy schedules to take a class.  I just touched on a few possible negatives.
               
              Thanks and 73,
               
              Mark K8MHZ

            • Andrew Young
              The very fact that the questions/answers are published has opened that door already. I studied the Q&A book for a week on my own and passed the test. I think
              Message 6 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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                The very fact that the questions/answers are published has opened that door already.  I studied the Q&A book for a week on my own and passed the test.  I think it would be good for someone who is interested and has some prior knowledge or has been studying.  Taking a class is not a prerequisite to getting the license, so it's better than nothing.  At least it means a person is willing to learn from others if they attend.
                 
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: k8mhz@...
                Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:57 AM
                Subject: [WestMichiganHams] Feelings about Ham in a Day

                I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class.
                 
                To me, the class is a 'mill' that imbeds answers to test questions in a persons head just long enough to pass the test, which is given the same day.  As a matter of fact, the ad for the class indicates that "short term memory" is required.
                 
                How much will the students remember a week or a month after the class?
                 
                Is there enough time in a cram class to discuss etiquette, repeater locations, activities, etc?  If not, who is supposed to teach this stuff?
                 
                Take a look at the new test, a little different from the old, but not much.  I ask, if a person knew the answer to every question in the pool and little else, they could get a license....if you handed them a radio, could they work it?  If they did manage to get on the air, would they know how to talk or would they, perhaps, resort to the ways they learned to talk on other radio services?
                 
                I guess time will tell, but soon we will see if the Ham in a Day classes produce assets or burdens to the hobby.  My feeling is that many of the students will go on the air not knowing what they are doing and the local hams will attempt to correct them.  In various ways.   Some of the new licensees will get the wrong impression and think hams are stuffy OFs that don't like newcomers.  Others won't ask for advice at all and become Lids in a Day.  A few, of course, will become fine hams.
                 
                Am I being to critical in thinking that the ratio of the types above stands too good of a chance to skew to the first two possibilities?
                 
                How about some chatter about this?   What are the positive and negative aspects?  The positive, of course, is that it enables people with very busy schedules to take a class.  I just touched on a few possible negatives.
                 
                Thanks and 73,
                 
                Mark K8MHZ

              • Tom Porritt
                Ham in a day, Ham in a week, Ham in a month. Bottom line is that none of it scratches the surface. An active club with lots of educational opportunities and
                Message 7 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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                  Ham in a day, Ham in a week, Ham in a month. Bottom line is that none of it scratches the surface. An active club with lots of educational opportunities and Elmering is the answer.
                  Tom Porritt


                  Andrew Young <ayoung@...> wrote:
                  The very fact that the questions/answers are published has opened that door already.  I studied the Q&A book for a week on my own and passed the test.  I think it would be good for someone who is interested and has some prior knowledge or has been studying.  Taking a class is not a prerequisite to getting the license, so it's better than nothing.  At least it means a person is willing to learn from others if they attend.
                   
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Wednesday, August 02, 2006 7:57 AM
                  Subject: [WestMichiganHams] Feelings about Ham in a Day

                  I am very interested in what other hams feel about the Ham in a Day class.
                   
                  To me, the class is a 'mill' that imbeds answers to test questions in a persons head just long enough to pass the test, which is given the same day.  As a matter of fact, the ad for the class indicates that "short term memory" is required.
                   
                  How much will the students remember a week or a month after the class?
                   
                  Is there enough time in a cram class to discuss etiquette, repeater locations, activities, etc?  If not, who is supposed to teach this stuff?
                   
                  Take a look at the new test, a little different from the old, but not much.  I ask, if a person knew the answer to every question in the pool and little else, they could get a license....if you handed them a radio, could they work it?  If they did manage to get on the air, would they know how to talk or would they, perhaps, resort to the ways they learned to talk on other radio services?
                   
                  I guess time will tell, but soon we will see if the Ham in a Day classes produce assets or burdens to the hobby.  My feeling is that many of the students will go on the air not knowing what they are doing and the local hams will attempt to correct them.  In various ways.   Some of the new licensees will get the wrong impression and think hams are stuffy OFs that don't like newcomers.  Others won't ask for advice at all and become Lids in a Day.  A few, of course, will become fine hams.
                   
                  Am I being to critical in thinking that the ratio of the types above stands too good of a chance to skew to the first two possibilities?
                   
                  How about some chatter about this?   What are the positive and negative aspects?  The positive, of course, is that it enables people with very busy schedules to take a class.  I just touched on a few possible negatives.
                   
                  Thanks and 73,
                   
                  Mark K8MHZ

                • Ken Lenz
                  Being licensed 30 years ago I guess I have some right to approach a response from an older and somewhat crusty viewpoint. Back then learning was by study with
                  Message 8 of 14 , Aug 2, 2006
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                    Being licensed 30 years ago I guess I have some right to approach a
                    response from an older and somewhat crusty viewpoint. Back then
                    learning was by study with an Elmer, reading books and going to the
                    very sanitary government FCC office in Chicago to take a test. No
                    question pools online, no wholesale VE testing. (except for a Novice
                    license). Study of 5 WPM then 13 WPM code but developing a mental
                    block of 20 WPM.

                    I think that if a person can get a ticket in a day it is a wonderful
                    thing and we as a community should continue to round out the person's
                    eduction with Ham experiences and the crusty 'ol fashion Elmer
                    process.

                    Did you study for weeks on end before learning the Internet in order
                    to embrase or use the technology. Likely not but you learned from
                    experiences. How to connect to the web, perform a web search and even
                    post to a group.

                    Look at the demographics of our community... getting older aren't
                    we. Time to bring in the 'Nintendo kids' to help advance some of the
                    technology. The Internet, APRS, Echolink and D-Star were not widely
                    known, used or in existance when I started. If all we had to offer
                    today was study, study, study to listen to us talk about the old
                    days few of the newer Internet generation would take us seriously.

                    BTW - I traded my straight key and FT101B for a TNC and APRS with an
                    IGate.

                    My 2ยข

                    Ken - KB9NK
                  • Jim KC8PCJ
                    ham in a day or a year you really don t start learning until you are on the air and learning from so many others that have learned from so many others that
                    Message 9 of 14 , Aug 3, 2006
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                      ham in a day or a year you really don't start learning until you are on the air and learning from so many others that have learned from so many others that have learned from so many others. I studied for months and passed my General, but did not learn what I studied until I put it to use and recieved so much help from other hams both on the air and off.
                    • Bill Fries
                      All: The MAARC (the Muskegon radio club) is having a Founders Day Picnic and YOU are invited. We will feature a pig roast, Special Event, special
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 7, 2006
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                        All:

                        The MAARC (the Muskegon radio club) is having a Founders' Day Picnic and
                        YOU are invited.

                        We will feature a pig roast, Special Event, special presentation, lots
                        of photographs and video, and tons and tons of fun for our families.

                        The event starts at 11:00 am and lunch will be noon. It is a pot luck
                        thing so bring along a salad or desert to go along with the pig roast.
                        Cost will be $8 for adults, kids 5 to 12 will be $4, and under five kids
                        are free.

                        Bring the family, your friends, hams of all ages, and the kids. We will
                        have games, radio, fun, and all manner of picnic related events. Can
                        you pin the antenna on the transceiver? Volleyball? Games? Fun!

                        Mark your calendar for August 19, a Saturday. We'll run until the cows
                        come home.
                      • Tom Nickisch
                        Bill, forgot to mention the fresh local Michigan grown corn on the cob. Bill Fries wrote: All: The MAARC (the Muskegon radio club) is
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 7, 2006
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                          Bill, forgot to mention the fresh local Michigan grown corn on the cob. 


                          Bill Fries <bill_fries@...> wrote:
                          All:

                          The MAARC (the Muskegon radio club) is having a Founders' Day Picnic and
                          YOU are invited.

                          We will feature a pig roast, Special Event, special presentation, lots
                          of photographs and video, and tons and tons of fun for our families.

                          The event starts at 11:00 am and lunch will be noon. It is a pot luck
                          thing so bring along a salad or desert to go along with the pig roast.
                          Cost will be $8 for adults, kids 5 to 12 will be $4, and under five kids
                          are free.

                          Bring the family, your friends, hams of all ages, and the kids. We will
                          have games, radio, fun, and all manner of picnic related events. Can
                          you pin the antenna on the transceiver? Volleyball? Games? Fun!

                          Mark your calendar for August 19, a Saturday. We'll run until the cows
                          come home.


                        • Bill
                          Do you know that the picnic will be at the clubhouse? 2888 Scenic Drive a quarter mile south of the Red Rooster Tavern, a stone s throw from Lake Michigan,
                          Message 12 of 14 , Aug 9, 2006
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                            Do you know that the picnic will be at the clubhouse? 2888 Scenic
                            Drive a quarter mile south of the Red Rooster Tavern, a stone's throw
                            from Lake Michigan, and between Muskegon and White Lakes.
                          • Bill
                            Founders Day Picnic We are going to enjoy the upcoming Founders Day Picnic at the clubhouse on August 8. The fun starts at eleven o clock in the morning.
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 25, 2009
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                              Founders' Day Picnic

                              We are going to enjoy the upcoming Founders' Day Picnic at the clubhouse on August 8. The fun starts at eleven o'clock in the morning. Lunch will be a potluck affair at noon. In the afternoon, there will be games and fun for the entire family. Please note that we will have old-fashioned games (sack races, three legged races, and related games) for the kids so bring the kids and grandkids to this event. We will also have fun games for the "older" participants, too. This event will run into the afternoon.

                              We have invited Karl, W8KGR, and his museum quality spark shack. Join the fun as we see how the "old-timers" did radio. Maybe we'll even earn the prestigious WAN (Work All Neighbors) wallpaper during the demonstration.

                              There will not be an additional cost beyond the potluck dish you will pass, so pack the watermelon and sweet corn. Bring along a dish of potato salad or brats for the grill. Leave the ants at home. It's an old fashioned picnic. Does anyone have an ice cream maker you can share? I'm going to bring a tablecloth and we'll picnic right on the grass under that steel tree in the yard.

                              We hope to see all of you there. Bill, NA8M, Linda, WA8M, and other friends of the MAARC host this picnic. You don't have to be a member. You do have to drop in and help us enjoy the company and fun.


                              Note: The Muskegon Area Amateur Radio Council has their clubhouse located at 2888 Scenic Drive in Muskegon. Google the address.

                              This event is open to all who want to enjoy the picnic regardless of amateur radio license status. It's going to be great fun. Come on out.

                              de Bill, NA8M
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