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[DX] Spirit of the hobby

To: <>
Subject: [DX] Spirit of the hobby
From: (
Date: Tue, 07 Jan 97 12:01:08 CST
     BRAVO - well said.
     Remember the old Troster coloumn in QST about the guy calling "CQ CQ 
     No Lids, No Kids, First Class Operators Only"?  I don't think we want 
     the reflectors to reflect (hi) this attitude.
     I remember recently helping someone with something very fundamental in 
     photography (I was almost tempted to launch into "I can't believe you 
     don't already know this").  Two days later the same person easily 
     guided me through an incredibly complex telephone/datacomm problem 
     that had three or four tradeoffs I never even thought about, and they 
     said nothing about what I should already know.  
     Since the purpose of the reflectors is to foster communication, we 
     shouldn't flame folks who try to communicate, or we will extinguish 
     the attempts to communicate.  I think there's a line about karmic 
     justice and cosmic balance in here somewhere, but I'll save it for the 
     ham-philosophy reflector.
     73 John N5CQ

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: [DX] Spirit of the hobby
Author:  "n4si" <> at ~acs-aus
To: <>
Date:    1/7/97 9:59 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen;
I have to ask this question. On a couple of the reflectors to which I 
subscribe, I have seen more than one query made of the net that was 
prefaced with a statement to the effect of, "I don't mean to start 
up...," or, "sorry for the bandwidth, but..." Are we sending the 
right message to those that felt compelled to do that?
I've been around the hobby (okay, service) for some time, and it 
seemed to me when I came in that there were a lot of people that 
spent of lot of "valuable" time getting me past the rough edges. May 
I also point out that the same phenomenon occurred at every stage of 
my career. 
As recently as this week, one of my friends was helping me 
get in (on) the newsgroups on the 'net. He in turn takes DXing and 
contesting lessons from me since he is relatively new to ham radio.
Neither of us would remotely think of apologizing for asking the 
other's help. Neither of us would remotely think of castigating the 
other for not knowing something.
I have a lot of friends that believe the same applies to their 
particular areas of expertise and their particular areas of 
I have often heard and long lived by the credo, "there is no such 
thing as a stupid question." It's not that I'm some paragon of 
behavior. There is a long line of people, including some of the 
friends mentioned in the previous paragraph, who will testify that 
I'm not. My wife heads the list.
But think about it. The new person on the reflector may be the next 
new DXer or contestor or tower climber. We need them! If they get the 
impression that you have to already know the answer to be allowed to 
ask the question, they will leave with the correct idea that they 
don't need to be involved with pompous blowhards who don't have time 
for their education. 
More importantly, no matter how many times a concept is explained or 
a subject is discussed on an open forum such as an Internet 
reflector, there is somebody who may have just subscribed that is 
hearing it for the first time. That constitutes valuable information 
for someone, and WE made it possible.
Just today I learned the true reason for the capacitor in a CDE style 
rotor. I learned that increasing soil conductivity with salt may not 
be the best idea. I learned that virtually no commercial antenna 
tuners will put up with my Alpha. I learned that lots of people 
confuse variation with deviation and declination. I learned that 
there are ways of finding out who someone is on the 'net even if they 
try an "anonymous" address. And I have over 30 years in radio. 
Imagine how KF4xxx or KB3yyy or KC7zzz could be enriching their and 
our hobby with the generous sharing of knowledge which, in truth, 
most do. 
Tony Bennet once said that the hardest thing he had to do was to 
sing "I left my heart in San Francisco" for the 100,000th time and 
make it as exciting to those in the audience hearing it for the 
first time as when he first sang it.
The next time I explain long path to my friend, the new DXer, I'm 
going to try to give it the same enthusiasm I did the first time. The 
next time I ask a pilot to report leaving an altitude, I'm going to 
be as gracious as if it was the first time I had to ask. The next 
time I explain the licensing steps at our local VE session, I'll try 
to remember where our new blood is coming from, and try to make it 
sound like it did 12 years ago at our first.
Can we all try to do the same?
73, Rod N4SI
    The DXer formerly known as N9AKE
         (c) 5 November, 1996
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