View Full Version : I don't believe it, but I heard it today!

05-02-2008, 04:26 PM
I heard a couple of guys talking on a repeater and one of the contacts told the other to go to simplex.
The second guy said what's that. Now I thought he meant what frequency.
Nope, wrong. He did not have a clue as to what the term simplex meant.
The other guy tried to explain it to him and how to tune his radio etc, etc but the guy just did not have a clue! :eek:
You have to wonder who set up his memories for him because he sure didn't do it!
To date the best question I had ever been ask (by an extra no less) that had just bought an amp for his station was "what do they mean when they say tune to resonance, what's that? If you don't know maybe you should not have an amp! :confused:
Now maybe it's a tie, but we are getting dumber out there.

05-02-2008, 11:00 PM
It started several years ago when they made it too darn easy to get a HAM license. We will never be able to go back to the good old days. Now all you have to do is get a copy of the test questions and remember the correct answers. The days of building a radio etc are long past.

Richard Stouffer
05-03-2008, 07:17 AM
I don't know... I’ve asked some pretty dumb questions and really appreciated the patient and polite responses I get on some of the bands (except 75 meters). Sometimes I forget and sometimes I'm just not tuned in, pun intended, to the subject at hand, and sometimes I don't really know even if I should.
If we are too critical and unforgiving of honest, albeit, really dumb questions (yes there really are a lot of dumb questions) ham radio becomes an unwelcome place for the novice and forgetful. We’ve all been novices once and we are all going to forget something. If we get too critical only perfect people will be involved. That means it will only be you and me and how much fun would that be?

05-03-2008, 08:02 AM
That means it will only be you and me and how much fun would that be?

aaaHEMP!! You've forgotten your beloved admin :mad:

I believe there dumb because we have not taught them. Thus one of the basis for this forum...to eliminate dumbness for two of my favorite subjects...radio'n and rv'n.


05-03-2008, 08:30 AM
I don't mind answering questions at all.
But for anyone to have a license, not understand the term simplex or have the ability to put the radio on a given frequency when requested is just ridiculous.

Richard Stouffer
05-03-2008, 09:36 AM
OK then, but my XYL always knew I was rediculous.

But if it really bugs you, why don't you check to see if that guy is properly licnesed, or "certificated" as us folks in the know say.

I did come across a novice one morning on 7.173 chatting away like a pro. When one of the others on the net found out what was going on via QRZ.net he sent him a polite e-mail. The novice hasn't been back since. Perhaps that novice will be motivated to get upgraded. If he'd been ridiculed, he might just give up the hobby.

05-03-2008, 10:06 AM
Radio, you have it right! We do not share our knowledge as we should. I watch in amazment as new folks come to a club meeting, and noone goes up to them to include them in the discussion. There is, as always, a select group of members who hold close communication with one another but few are apparently willing to expand that clique.

Even in RVing you see that same pattern. It's discouraging to the newcomers and bad for our common interests.

As a newcomer to Ham radio, with fifty years behind me as a First Class Radiotelephone Operator, with Radar Endorsement, even I have found the air of exclusion to be a bit frosty!

I hope my involvement as a SkyWarn spotter and VE will help break down the barriers.

73, AE5FH

05-03-2008, 01:19 PM
There are several kinds of hams.. Me: I'm a certified electronics technician. I studied the ARRL Extra Class license manual, I've been licensed for over 40 years and though I took a rig out of a box, pluged it in and use it. IN the past I've been known to build my own, both from a kit and from a parts-list, including doing the design work on some modules. (Still do a small amount of that, kind of fun)

Others,, Well, they read a book, or took a "Fast start" class, and opened a box

Others Well, I won't mention the name of the "School" or book, but it's a memory cram course, This question is answered this way, That quesiton that way,, Nothing but questoins and answers and hints as to how to remember the answer.. NO theory, NO rules (Save for the answer to the question) NO "how to" just the questions and their answers. Nothing more.

I suspect the OP.. And in fact most (if not all) the folks here, are in the "Knows the smell of hot solder" group. And I do admit... When you are at the stage where.. Well, earlier today someone ask me a math related question (What percentage of 5 is 3) and I had the answer dang near before he finished the question (60).. I mean this is right around 1st grade math.. But where as I can do problems like that in my sleep.. Some folks hear a question like that and go "OH, That's math, I can not do math" and hit a mental wall.

(I majored in math, and science, and electronics)

Then there is another syndrom which we all suffer from time to time.. I call it the "Name Tag" syndrome

You know why salesmen wear name tags? A:IN case they forget their own name

From time to time.. You will, for some unknown reason, draw a complete blank on YOUR OWN NAME. This is not a warning or danger sign (normally) it's just your mind travling a different path and .. Well... You draw a blank.

05-03-2008, 01:49 PM
I used to sell a technical product and found that a lot of my competition did not have a much technical background. I really resent dumb sales people and sill walk on one that starts the high pressure bit on me.

Being a mechanical engineer, electronics does come slowly, but I do enjoy trying to understand. I was so glad that they did drop the code requirements because I simple do not hear letters from the dits and dahs. I did not memorize the answers, but learned the material for both the Tech and General license. The test is provided in a very simple manner and some people will memorize answers rather than learning the material.

I study fro the Extra class and some day, I'll take the exam and hopefully learned the material.


05-04-2008, 12:41 AM
It's not just hams. I had a capacitor on my computer video card go south. The card is a high end card that would cost about $300 to replace. I decided to replace the cap instead. Had a tough time finding it. Took 3 days and about 15 calls before I located someone who would sell me just 2 (One spare). One of the most frequent comments - Why replace it, just buy a new card.
In this day and age no one builds or troubleshoots anything. That is why we are seeing some folks get a license that can barely tell daylight from moonlight. Why study when you can memorize it, after all, who needs to know the theory behind it. That is why they call it push to talk.

05-04-2008, 08:08 AM
Such is life in our throw away society today.
When it comes to the tests my back round involved almost 6 years as an op for the Army ( I learned some self repair while there) and CW training at the time.
Then 4 years in an electronics mechanic apprenticeship for the US Navy as a civilian.
I got my Novice class right after the Radio schooling we went through.
I left the hobby as I did not have time for it and came back when I retired for good a few years back.
I got my Tech+ and then General a week apart. I should have just taken both tests at the same time. The code nor the electronics were much of a challenge at that point.
However, when it came to the extra test I took in less than a year, it seemed there were many subjects I had no or very little exposure too during my working career in the field of electronics so I had to so some reading to understand it.
I think when I took my test (not for novice but for tech, gen etc and above it seems to me that you had to know a little about theory. But there is little demand now for the most part it seems.
I know when I started to get ready for the general class you had to know how to draw a basic oscillators and some other circuits at the time. No multiple choice pix were there for that test.
I do think you should know something if you are going to adjust transmitters and fool around with amps.

05-09-2008, 09:10 AM
You know, I've been licensed almost 50 years, and have been an Extra since 1963. By now I ought to know everything, but I still ask dumb questions. Ain't it just awful!

Richard Stouffer
05-09-2008, 02:19 PM
A long time ago I was involved with a flying club that was sponsored by my employer. It was a great set-up because you could save a lot of money getting a private pilotís license through the club. When it was decided to increase membership a survey was commissioned to determine why folks who had expressed initial interest hadnít followed through. We thought cost would be the main issue. Instead we discovered that when someone made an inquiry of a member or a flight instructor, they were often told how difficult it was to learn to fly and that flying wasnít for the average person.
The guys providing the answers werenít trying to discourage the prospects. Instead they were proud to have a license and were just embellishing their own accomplishments. Once we understood that we provided our members the kind of information that the prospect should receive and let those members know how important it was to the club and to them to encourage an interest in flying and to increase membership.
Maybe there is some of that in any sophisticated pursuit, be it a hobby or a profession. I donít think ham radio is any different. But the downside is that if we discourage new blood we end up suffering the consequence of waning interests. If radio sales decline, investments in new product development and production declines and if that happens we all end up paying more for less desirable equipment and have fewer people to QSO with.
Dumb questions are an opportunity for those in the know to prime the pump for new and enthusiastic participants. Any questions?

05-09-2008, 03:13 PM
Dumb questions are an opportunity for those in the know to prime the pump for new and enthusiastic participants. Any questions?

Hmmm, I think when/if we redesign the ORR.net banner we just might have to incorporate your quote as a motto.



Richard Stouffer
05-10-2008, 05:49 PM
You're welcome to it.

05-11-2008, 11:17 AM
Dumb questions are just fine, we all have to learn. I know I have ask my fair share of them.
But when someone has had a tech class license for a long time and is on the radio all the time using repeaters they should know what the term simplex is or at least have a some idea of the concept.
It's kind of like sticking your fingers into an powered amplifier when you have no idea what you are in for.
You might say that could lead to a higher education the hard way. :eek:

05-11-2008, 12:25 PM
Why study theory when you can memorize answers?

Well.... When I decided to go EXTRA class... The first study guide I got was what's his call's memorize the answers guide... Got no where fast

The 2nd one was the ARRL guide.. Which teaches theory... I missed 2 on the test

That's why.. It is so much easier to give the right answer when you actually UNDERSTAND the right answer.

05-11-2008, 08:41 PM
Dumb questions do not bother me....the first time it is ask. When they ask the same dumb question again....that is not right. I expect to learn from a question and would expect the same from someone asking a question.