Ham radio club's end

In any ham radio club, the members' activity is of primary concern. If it is lowered, they might think the raison d'etre of the club is lost. They invent a various measures to keep it active such as contests, awards or on air meetings. I fully understand of this movement. If the club gets static, it won't be worth being in the ham radio world.

Nowadays, they seem to look up for each member's activity using the internet dependent tool like Reverse Beacon Network. It may enable to investigate quantitatively each member's activity in real time. It is a handy tool in fact.

However, if such investigation data directly connected with evaluation of members' activity is used to recommend any member with apparently low activity to withdraw the club, they might lose some aspect of the club qualitatively important, even more important than the activity itself. Such a member could be inactive due to his/her personal situation. Or he/she might be enthusiastic at homebrewing QRP which sends out only weak signal undetectable by skimmers etc. The quantitative aspect of member's activity is only a factor to secure the most important thing in the club. Friendship over the air through CW. If this ultimate object is forgotten in the management of the club, we would feel suffocated in the club. It could turn to be only enforcement of the activity to the members regardless of the qualitative aspect.


  1. Shin

    RBN is quite useful for analysing how many times an operator calls CQ. I appear quite often on RBN (but not as often as you !) but it does not mean I am engaging in any meaningful communication. Most of the time my calls go unanswered, probably due to local noise. So anyone could set up a PC program to call CQ on all 9 bands sequentially if they also had the auto band-change interface to their rig, and get many RBN spots, but they could be asleep at the same time.

    I think I mentioned my "friend" who, a few years ago, was DX in Guam for several years, and we met for a very interesting meal in Singapore when he was passing though, together with a real friend Peter 9V1PC who is now SK. Now my Guam "friend" lives in DU land, and I answered his CQ just after Peter passed away, telling him at 25 wpm the bad news. He did not understand, and did not know who I was.

    Then this evening he was calling again on 30m and I answered, trying again. I sent something like "name is John friend of Peter 9V1PC who SK 3 years ago. We met in 9V a few years ago for dinner, how are you?"

    The answer was an automated-sounding "9V1VV 5NN TU, QRZ?"

    I am very sorry but I lost my temper and sent "Idiot"

    But he did not even understand this.

    What is happening to ham radio?

    1. I fully understand what you have experienced with that person. Honestly, he must have a kind of dementia without being consious of that. It is sad but there are such cases from time to time. I won't be an exception. The average age of CW operators are getting higher. This trend must be more and more evident in a few years.

      If I behave the same way with you in several years, tell me you have been forced to go for the orchestra practice and to listen to Brahms nr2 symphony. Maybe,I shall react to such words. Music is most closely linked with our memories.

      Say hi to your Brahmsian toddler.


    2. Hi, Shin - this "activity" issue periodically comes up with the Potomac Valley Radio club, which of course is a Contesting-focused club: activity translates to activity in contests that increase the Club's score.

      Every decade or so, the "should members be made inactive if they don't contribute scores" issues comes up and every decade we have stuck with the "once a member, always a member" approach.

      I did the "long QRX" from about 1999 to 2009, as work and family made ham radio recede into the background. Yet, via email and at occasional in person chats at hamfests, I was still a member - which played a strong part in me getting back on the air in 2009.

      Now, every club I have ever been in (not many) also invariably runs into an unspoken question: "Can we separate contributing members from complaining members??"

      But, I suppose that is true of any group of people...

      73 John K3TN

    3. In such a contest oriented club as PVRC, they might be more concerned about the members' activities.I am a bit surprised to know the issue is settled down with "once a member, always a member" approach.

      I was thinking of FOC, where, as you know, there are limited number of members. I guess they need to replace the inactive old to the new. I understand it. But the replacement should not be based on such data obtained activity analysis by RBN. It could be too rigid and inhumane.

      Shin@maybe regarded as an always complaining member haha

  2. Interesting. I was a member of the FRC, with the same "once a member, always a member" understanding. It's the best. Lives change. Priorities change. The hoddy should be the "biggest tent" possible.

    1. You are right, Jim. Any club should be in that stance.

    2. Shin
      I asked for associate status to relieve some of the pressure I felt was starting to arise to appear on RBN frequently.
      You can notice that this year on the reflector there are many members posting year-end results, numbers of QSOs, etc.
      These types of postings weren't there a few years ago. You even have some members saying they don't do any ragchewing, and sounding quite proud about it. Soon we may have another contest to see who makes more QSOs per year.
      There are still many members in US, EU and UK who enjoy conversational Morse, but unfortunately these people are also normally using quite modest antennas and power, so I don't hear them.
      I will keep trying.

    3. I could not help chuckling at those posts. What do they want to do? Competing with others as for the number of QSOs? Preempting the head's intention? At least, I will not do such a thing. FOC should change its name to First Competing Operators Club. Shame on it.

      Yes, I know those loving ragchews always have only small set up all over the world. I thought I would downsize my set up in retirement. But, so far things allow it, I would keep this set up here in order to get in touch with some of them.


  3. Shin.
    Indeed, composers seem sometimes to take risks in their later works. I am thinking of Mahler who approaches 12-tone structure in the adagio of his unfinished 10th symphony. It precedes Schoenberg by several years.
    Tonight we are going to see the local orchestra performance some more approachable works; Mendelssohn violin concerto and Ravel La Valse.
    Happy New Year

    1. I would think they were getting free from the traditional style etc at the last part of their lives as if we won't care for what to wear now haha. In the New Year's Days, I was listening to the 9th by Mahler conducted by Abaddo. Abaddo must has been sick with his gastric cancer at the time of the recording. It is so beautiful as if he tried to sublime the fear of death with it. The 10th is another great music. I will listen to it later.

      Mendelssohn and Ravel are suitable for the New Year. Have a great time with your family. HNY!


  4. That concert (Lucerne Festival, Abaddo, Mahler 9), must be one of the greatest ever. I cherish my blu-ray DVD of it.
    Good luck with the eye-recovery. May father had cataract surgery in his 87th year and has recovered well.