One of the best ways to learn HF listening is participation in ARRL Field
Day. My club, Northwest Amateur Radio Society (NARS), has mentored many new
hams into HF contesting via our annual FD operation.
73, Keith NM5G
Coordinator, NARS/TDXS FD2006, NARS FD2005
[mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Martin Luther
Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2006 7:18 PM
Subject: [CQ-Contest] New contesters
Over the yearsI have attempted to introduce new hams to contesting.
Recently I have found a new problem. They do not just need to learn about
logging, pile up techniques etc they have to learn how to just listen on HF
through the noise!
Increasingly entry for the young operator to Amateur Radio is via 2M FM.
Unlike we old farts they do not serve an apprenticeship listening to short
wave signals on a pathetic receiver with lousy antennas! Even when they get
going many young ops start with adequate HF equipment that they have never
learned how to drive properly. If you doubt this just sign on to the
transceiver reflectors for more complex transceivers like Orion etc and see
the level of knowledge.
The result is that many tune around a contest for a few minutes and simply
cannot hear anything intelligible. Once taken through the way to listen, how
to use your ears to focus on the signal not the noise, then they begin to
get the hang of it! Without a mentor/helper they may never make the
transition to listening on HF in a noisy environment. They will just join
the incompetent operators that whine endlessly about contest QRM!!!! Simply
because they have not learned how to listen on anything but a "clear"
They will not learn this skill from their buddies as we did in the past
because their buddies are suffering the same deficiencies.
If we want more contesters and good HF operators we have to get into our
local clubs, fire interest and then show them - patiently - how its done.
There is no magic answer, no silver bullet! Randy is correct on the awards
etc you have got to learn to love playing the sport! If your enjoyment comes
only from getting a certificate, plaque etc, it may surprise you to know
that there are some of us that get quite serious at times but don't take
much interest in results. For me after the contest, the contest is over!!
The buzz, the thrill comes from the operating, the openings, the camaraderie
- that is what we communicate to the new guys
- if they get a certificate that is great too, but don't just rely on that
for your fun.
Tel +61 3 62602600
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