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Thread: Hostility in the air

  1. #1

    Default Hostility in the air

    I'm making this post because of how disheartened I am at everything after a terrible situation that has happened.
    I got my license around July 2020 after getting all excited about the hobby. I got myself a Baofeng UV-82 (which given where I live and my monetary situation, was not cheap), and have been trying to make contacts since.
    I only ever managed to talk to two people on the radio since then, by tuning on local repeaters. The first one wasn't so bad, it was someone on Echolink connected to the nearest repeater. He did just vanish at some point during the conversation, but I was super excited about my first QSO anyway. Still, all the time with NO contacts except for that one was very, very disappointing to me.
    It was about one month ago, maybe three weeks, that I started suspecting there _were_ people around me listening, and I was just being ignored. That thought came to me when I heard someone on the repeater, and tried to talk, but got no reply despite knowing I did transmit (as the repeater gives a feedback noise when you hit it).

    That's when things got ugly. I went to visit a friend in the city last week, and I decided to bring my Baofeng with me. I was super excited, figuring I'd finally be somewhere with actual people to talk to on the radio... Until I pretty much confirmed my suspicion: There _were_ people on the local repeater, and still, they would never reply to me.
    The next day after I figured that (my second day in the city), I was still trying to make contacts. Finally, someone I heard talking decided to respond... That was my second contact ever, after months of having a license. But wow, was it hard. I have a bad history with bullying, and my hands shake as I type this...
    The conversation started out normal. They asked me if I could hear them well, confirmed they could hear me, the usual beginning of a conversation. Then they asked me a question. It was either where I was speaking from, or _what equipment_ was I speaking from (it can be ambiguous in my language). That made me a bit anxious. I mentioned it was a Baofeng at first. The guy on the other end just said "what?", so I figured my answer was wrong, and instead said the name of the city, but that I didn't know where exactly because I'm not from there. I must have given a long, "I'm anxious and I froze for a few seconds" pause before I did though... But why is that so wrong?...
    That's when things went south. Two people on the radio laughed. One of them started calling me a "hard mouth". I just tried to keep my cool and ask for a callsign. The first person just started asking why I needed a callsign from him, and then went on a huge rant about how "I think I'm hot sh!t" for getting my license and how I "probably bought my callsign off from someone"... Going on and on and somehow ending in just saying it was illegal, and then just chanting "Illegal! Illegal!"...

    Now. That was the end of it for me. Of talking on my Baofeng, since then, anyway. Not of how haunting that was. I studied for my license, and I know full well of how what he did isn't allowed, and how he is the "illegal" one, but still, this gets to me enormously.
    Why? Just why? Why would you not encourage someone new to follow the hobby you enjoy? Why would you do this to someone?
    I know I have issues, and those are involved here, as I have a really bad history with bullying and I can't even recall this situation without shaking, but also, how can people ignore newcomers, and why would they destroy every hope for one instead of helping them?

    I did not expect to get so emotional with this post, but I can't help it anymore. I just need encouragement here. A reason to still persue all of this, because I've honestly lost it. Please help me. I'm sorry for the emotion, but please help me.

  2. #2
    gnuuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    NW Pa,USA


    baofeng radios are considered junk by many Hams but not all of them. they tend to be noisy signal wise, but that does not excuse their behavior.
    its been a game to many now to purchase the cheap radios and use them illegally
    usually not legal radio operators anyway hence them not giving their call sign as they are supposed to.
    you also get elitist 's who think you cant get on the air without spending thousands on radio equipment and ignore those with a weak signal.
    we cannot weed these turds out without mass compliance of the operating community.
    ham operators can locate these operators and report them to the fcc but that's all they can do.
    most ham operators are courteous and helpful (at least the licensed ones)
    Im so old dirt was my apprentice

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Hi, Tony.

    Thanks for bringing your situation to the attention of this forum, and the wider community. Behaviour like this that you have experienced, is unacceptable, in any country in the world.

    The best thing to do when this behaviour happens, is to ignore it and not to respond to the idiots transmitting.

    Unfortunately, stupid, bullying, malicious people can be found everywhere in society. Please do not think badly of our hobby, because of your recent experience. All are welcome in amateur radio, regardless of sex, gender, race, religion or ability.

    The way you are conducting yourself on your radio, is the right way to behave. If people don't have a call sign, they shouldn't be broadcasting on most frequencies, certainly not the Amateur frequencies.

    You are amongst friends here, please try not to be dissilusioned.

    United Kingdom

  4. #4


    Hi Tony,

    Sorry to hear about your experience -- that is not acceptable! I suggest that you try to find a club in your area, and they should be able to help you get connected to the correct places and at the correct times to get contacts. I am not sure where you are located, but in the US there are lots of clubs that can provide a lot of help with people getting on the air.

    These forums are also helpful to get information. There are web sites that have repeater locations and that is where I would start to see if there are other repeaters around that you can connect to. You may be able to find a repeater that has better groups on it -- and you may find one that has a net on it that has helpful amateurs on it. I hope that you do not stop, but totally understand how you feel about what happened to you. What you experienced is definitely not typical -- and I hope that you persevere in the hobby and find a group that will help and are like the ones that I believe are part of the hobby -- and not the ones that you unfortunately were ones that you were in contact with.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    Could be, you didn't have a CTCSS sub-audible tone set on your transmitted signal and you were not making the repeater?

  6. #6


    Please just always ignore assholes. I pranked one of the purists at field day a few years ago by using a UV-5R on the talk in frequency. He was one of the blowhards that thought Baofengs should be banned from use because he could tell one a mile away. I told him I was on my Kenwood hand held and he told me I had a great signal and great audio. I walked around the corner while talking to him on the UV-5R and several of us had a great laugh when he looked up and I was talking to him on a "POS" radio. My advice to Tony is to keep trying. Most Hams are good people.

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