new hams guide
       OR    -----Understanding the old timers----

May I suggest,  you join a club, and ATTEND the Meetings, BE part of the group,
you may need to attend several meetings before you are accepted as one of the gang.
It doesn't mater which club, pick a club , probably the best is your hometown club??
Try to find a club that isn't focused on one narrow aspect of Ham Radio, Clubs that only
do encomm or DX chasing, find  a club that does it all !!
There is a big world of interesting things you can do,  Two Meter FM is just one little part of Ham Radio.
If 2 meter FM is all you know about, you may never  fit-in.!!

Understanding how it was in the olden' days,
Lots of old time hams started as Shortwave Listeners  SWL's,  when the ham bug bit
they got a 5WPM  Novice License, the Novice was CW only on a few small segments of 80-40&15 meters. 
The Novice was a NON-renewable license, 1 year license. You had to get moving to become a General
or Technician within one year, NO other options.  for a general class license , you had one year to get your CW speed to 13 WPM.
After a trip downtown to the FCC field office, and a little luck,  you had a General License.
Many guys wanted more frequencies and maybe some prestige, went on to get  an Advanced, 
or the 20 WPM Extra. That code test was 5 minutes long, you needed to copy ONE minutes worth 100% perfect, no multi-guess or fill in the blanks
That's just the way it was.  HF was where it began.  
In the 1970's came 2 meter repeaters, and lots of hams got a 2m rig to talk with there friends,
but HF was still the place to be, with  DX, traffic nets, Contests, a Rag Chew's, CW, RTTY and more
and to make new friends in far off place.  

May I suggest, you buy some kind of Short Wave Radio, tune around,  find out about WWV,
shortwave broadcasters, etc.  Do a little SWLing. There's a great big spectrum just full of strange signals. 
what to look for in a SW radio ..  However,,,     don't spend a fortune doing this.
as of 2024,  I know there is little to hear on shortwave,  a few broadcast stations,  mostly spouting either crazy GOD broadcasts
or total RIGHT WING  BS.     so again don't spend a fortune on a radio,    see the link above for some tips.

How to get a contact,   FIRST CONTACTS
well on 2 meters , it seems the norm is to "just give your call", I Personally
think this is crazy,  for whatever reason,  CQ ing  isn't totally accepted on two meters..
BUT if you put out a quick CQ I think it's OK or  "this is KE7ABC looking for a contact".
or  "CQ this is KE7ABC is anyone around for a QSO" ... etc.. You can do it a million ways.
2 meters is a ""clicky"" world. There could be 50 people listening, and no one will
answer, that's just the way it is.  Now here's a thought: (?) if you attend club meetings, and get
to know the guys, more of them might answer your calls. ie:  talk with their friends (see above)

What to say,
when someone answers you, you might want to have something to talk about !!! ?? 
I hear so many new guys get a reply,  and then have absolutely nothing to say
Don't make the old timer pry the information from your lips !
The only way two people can have an intelligent conversation is to exchange
information about yourself,  start with your NAME then move on to things like ???  your past,
your job, your family, your radio,  your life,  your location, your life, your driving conditions,  
YOU've got to tell me something about yourself  otherwise I have NOTHING to respond to.
Most HAMS are talkers, so talk about yourself, find common ground to become friends..

if you were a CBer:   FYI  

A little history, , 
Most  HAMs that have been Hams  for more than a few years,
DISLIKE CB radio,  Freebanders, ETC.  Why? Because
These groups are basically made up of unregulated goofs and law breakers.

Hopefully you  became a ham to get away from the children's band stuff ? SO
If your background is CB , the best thing to do is forget everything you did, heard or thought. 
burn your cb radios,  don't admit you had a modified Yaesu 101  with a slider & afterburner,
Pushing 5 KW.............after all , every bit of that was totally illegal ,
 OH you didn't know it was illegal  ??
well don't admit that either ..

some points to think about,
1. Ham's are mostly law abiding citizens. They respect the rules of Ham Radio.
2. Ham's are not interested in your lawless CB days.      
3. Ham's CRINGE at CB slang. 
4. Ham's CRINGE if you talk like that fat cop in the movie "Smoky and the Bandit"



First,  Speak English, clear English. Don't mumble.   Be proud of your Call Letters, they are unique and  you earned them.
They are yours, and yours alone, totally unique, the only one like it in the world.
YOU DIDN'T  get them in a Cracker Jack box, or make them up one evening chat'en with your Buddies down on 19.
You got them from the FCC.
Hams have their own lingo,  don't use CB slang.. here's some tips
if you use any of the language in red, you will give yourself away.

You have a NAME or maybe a Handle, not a Personal  , this has to be the worst example of CB,
everytime a seasoned ham hears this he knows exactly where you escaped from ! 

Ham's don't ask if  your "EARS" are on , we have  RECEIVERs or a rig.

Don't talk like that southern sheriff , with an IQ of 10.     and speaking of ten,, 
10 signals aren't used much in Ham radio. saying  10-4 gud buddy  , isn't  good
or "what's your 20 buddy" also NOT GOOD 

The term  73  is used at the end of a QSO,  it's kind of a "good bye for now" or "best regards"
it's pronounced,      SEVEN THREE,  or maybe SEVENTY THREE,  
BUT NOT  Seventy THIRDS ...     its a 3,  not a 1/3rd

your signal is MAKING A GOOD TRIP,,   ?? it would be better to say,  you have a good signal. etc

ham rigs Don't  PUSH 10 watts, ...  I am running 10 watts

the easiest thing to do is Speak ENGLISH.  Be intelligent ! Your a HAM now.
Everyone starts at the bottom of the ladder. I'm sure back when I was a 15 year old
novice, the Old Timers were positive the "end of Ham radio" was just around the corner.?.
But the new guy learned from the OT'ers, and life is good.

If you are a Technician, and desperate for a contact, you might want to UPGRADE your
license and try HF, that's where "the action is" .


The above ideas and thoughts are those of KIP, and only KIP.  I'm the Webmaster.