Open Roads Radio forum for Ham, Amateur Radio and RV camping


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Old 10-03-2014, 08:36 PM   #1
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Default First Impressions

Along time ago on a forum far away, the late Mike Rimmer asked me to become a moderator, and that began a journey that resulted in the creation of Open Roads Radio.net

That forum was dedicated to RV camping and specifically to the RVs manufactured by a certain company. I got my feet wet in running forums there and later Mike and I started ORR.net. When Mike was diagnosed with cancer he turned ORR.net entirely over to me.

This is a copy of my first post as a forum moderator. I still maintain this philosophy in day to day operations of ORR.net. I'd like to think it shows. And I'd like to think ORR.net is a gateway for those interested in either (or both) ham radio and RV camping, to encourage the wanna-be to be come the in-fact- is, whether RVer or ham operator. That other forum was the encouragement and guiding force in adopting RV camping as my 3rd great social interest.

I would never want ORR.net to discourage anyone from either hobby.

So here's how your beloved admin views Open Roads Radio.net. And hopefully you do, too.

OK, for some reason the powers that be chose to make me a moderator. Let me tell you what I think. (First off, it's sort of like being hit by a meteor on you way out to the mailbox...WHAP!!....ouch, why me??)

[SOAPBOX MODE=ON]

Out side of work and family I only have two social interests, one is my church and the other is my amateur radio group. What they have in common is that they are both actively looking for new people to join and become involved in both. And they are both largely populated by some of the nicest folk you ever met.

When I'm at church, I/we keep our eye peeled looking for that new face that seems just a bit out of place. This my be the first and last time that person ever comes to our (or any other) church. I/we make it a point to make that person feel welcome and at home. "Can we help you get the kids settled in the nursery?" or "Would you like to come to my Sunday School class? We have coffee and doughnuts!"

We do this because we know eternity may hang in the balance for that person and we only get one chance to make a first impression.

In our amateur radio group we self-police our repeater system (it's like a chat room or forum, except on the radio) because thousands of would-be ham-ops are out there listening via scanners. They hear what we say. We know that someone has a budding interest in radio, and all we need to do is encourage them a bit. We don't need to say something ugly, stupid or mean (offensive) because we also know...we only have one chance to make a first impression.

Which brings me to my point: There are right now thousands of people who are interested in taking their families to the outdoors, or at least Ft. Wilderness, who are searching the internet for information. They are vicariously camping with us, changing flat Carlise tires with us, haggling the RV dealer with us, sitting around the campfire with us, upgrading the water pump with us. Desiring one day to be us.

And then, once in a while, we get all eat up with the desire to be a [email protected], to win the argument at all cost, to throw manners in the black tank and [email protected] all, we have free speech here and we'll just shove our opinions down each others virtual throat!!

And the young couple sharing the laptop on the couch thinks to themselves "Do I really want to spend all that money just to park next to a bunch of jerks all weekend? I think not..." So now their two kids sleeping upstairs will never have the memory of going to the Grand Canyon in a Class C.

So while we enjoy (or plan to enjoy) the RV past time, and we share with each other about flat tires, black tanks, state parks, campfires, chiggers and last weekend in the mountains, let's not forget...we are making that first impression on many people as they pass through our forum. And we only have one chance. Let's not embarrass ourselves.

Let's make them want to share a campfire with us.

[SOAPBOX MODE=OFF]

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Old 10-04-2014, 08:46 AM   #2
W7JZE
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Morning Wade,

Beautiful post. I came across ORR earlier this year from a recommendation by someone (one of y'all, but who?) in a QRZ thread. You are dead-on about me having a vicarious RV'ing experience through this website. And, with retirement looming less than two years away, and a hope of spending 4 months a year (June - Sept) on the road each year, one of the unconscious items I guess I was evaluating was the overall demeanor of the RV'ing / Amateur Radio group.

I know a tiny little bit about Amateur Radio. I know nothing about RV'ing and less about how Amateur Radio might fit into the RVing experience.

The purchase of a Motor Home for us in 2016 will be a large part of our retirement savings. A decision that I would like to make once, and make correctly. ORR has been very important and very helpful preparing us for that decision and for this new life adventure.

The ORR community has been a welcoming, helpful community to me. Especially by answering my very na´ve questions about RVing, "toads" , RV Amateur Radio antennas, safety issues, and the list goes on.

Count me Wade, as at least one of the folks who wandered into your ORR congregation, saw something he liked and decided to come back daily.

You are doing good work here. The ORR community is delightful. I see the friendly, helpful way the posts are written and admire the lack of vitriol seen in so many other forum communities. I also enjoy the forum learning experience of how to get along with, and be helpful to, other members of the ORR community without the display of ego.

I hope you continue to find the long term enthusiasm, time, funds and dedication to keep ORR operating on into the future.

Ya' done good pilgrim . I thank you for keeping ORR "on-the-air".
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Old 10-05-2014, 10:36 AM   #3
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My family entered into the camping community almost by accident. A coworker of the wife had a used 5th wheel that they were selling. On a whim, we went over to their house and looked at it. Next thing I knew the guy was backing it into our driveway and it became ours. What a learning experience it became. What kind of hitch should I buy? How much stuff can we pack? What tools do we need? How far can we go on a tank of gas (that's an important one....)? How do we fix the refrigerator while we are camping? The list goes on.

Our two girls love to go camping, whether it's in a state park or Fort Wilderness at Disney World. We love to go fishing on the pier even if we don't get a bite. Sitting around the campfire on a cool evening or playing board games at the dining room table. Boggle is one of our favorites, you know your girls are growing up when they beat you!

The girls and I got involved with ham radio through school. My eldest, had a science project and one of the projects was getting a Tech license. Abbi had already done her project, but a friend convinced her to take the class because she didn't want to be alone (along with 15 other kids. hi hi). When Abbi came home and told me she was going to take the class, I said "I want to as well". I believe that 5 or 7 passed the test that year. We were introduced to the local club through the class, and become members at the conclusion of the class and subsequent license. The very next year, our younger daughter, Kendra said she wanted to take the class. I was now a "helper" to the instructor and Kendra passed her test as well.

Being a ham has also been a great learning experience. What kind of radio to buy? What kind of antenna to buy or build? How do I set up a radio? How/ what are all of the different modes can be operated? How do I stay out of trouble with the feds? The list goes on just as it does with camping.

I believe that kids will be involved with extra activities when they are encouraged and supported by their family. The girls and I are very active in our local club, and it is a way for them and I to have quality time (Dads..get out their and do things with your kids... even your daughters). I really enjoy the time the girls and I spend together doing things we all love, and besides, it gives mom a little time to herself. Mom supports ham radio, because it benefits our family.

Am I proficient in camping? Nope, but it is a learning process that I hope to never "know it all". Am I proficient in ham radio? Not even close. I try to learn something every day. When we stop learning, we stop living.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W7JZE View Post
I came across ORR earlier this year ... You are dead-on about me having a vicarious RV'ing experience through this website. ... I guess I was evaluating was the overall demeanor of the RV'ing / Amateur Radio group.

Count me Wade, as at least one of the folks who wandered into your ORR congregation, saw something he liked and decided to come back daily.

You are doing good work here. The ORR community is delightful. I see the friendly, helpful way the posts are written and admire the lack of vitriol seen in so many other forum communities. I also enjoy the forum learning experience of how to get along with, and be helpful to, other members of the ORR community without the display of ego.
Thank you and you are welcome. And thank you for being part of the online family that makes ORR.net special among forums.
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2007 F-150 SuperCab - 2009 Rockwood 8280SS
Lot's of mostly Kenwood stuff

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