Monday, September 21, 2009

Does competitive radio make people rude?

After I posted on the Elecraft reflector yesterday that I was going to sell my K3 and give up Elecraft for good I have received getting on for a couple of dozen emails from people, many of whom I have never heard from before, urging me to reconsider my decision, "keep up the pressure on Elecraft to get better" and "nil illegitimi carborundum" (don't let the bastards grind you down) - the bastards in question being my attackers, not Elecraft, I hasten to point out.

It has been very morale boosting to know that there is a largely silent group of list lurkers who share my views. It's a pity that more of them don't put their heads above the parapet sometimes and draw some of the fire, but some of the opinions I've read from supporters are far more inflammatory than anything I'd ever dare put.

I was musing to one of my correspondents that the Elecraft list was not the pleasant, friendly community that it was ten years ago in the days of the QRP K2. It started to go downhill when the KPA100 was introduced. I can remember a few flame-wars between the diehard QRP fraternity - of which I was, at that time, a fully paid-up member - and the 100W brigade. I think it was about that time that a guy called Nils Young, WB8IJN, a.k.a. El Gringo Errante, who would regularly entertain us with his musings, bowed out. I wonder what happened to him?

I was informed yesterday by one user that the K3 was meant to be a competition grade radio, not something to make repeater contacts with. It's a pity no-one told Wayne, N6KR, who that same day announced a firmware update with a 1750Hz toneburst specially for UK repeaters.

Does pursuing competitive ham radio - contesting and DXing - make people bad tempered and aggressive, or is it the other way round? My recollections of the early Elecraft days make me think that QRPers are nicer people, more thoughtful and more laid back. If I keep the K3 after all, perhaps I should remove and sell the PA. :)


goody said...

The "quiet lurker" element in amateur radio annoys, or perhaps a better verb is disappoints me because they are quiet. If everyone in amateur radio who had a clue called out the jerks, morons, and trolls in amateur radio, it would eventually make these clods leave.

Elecraft aren't the bastards who are attacking you, but when I was on the reflector they didn't call these people out.....although they were busy trying to figure out how to manufacture the radio they had announced months before....

Larry W2LJ said...

I like to entertain the notion that the QRP community on the whole is a nicer fraternity and what is "normally" out there. This is probably just a desire on my part to have the group of folks that I choose to associate with be known for being politer, smarter, more resourceful and more helpful than typical Hams at large. My heart wishes that this were so - my head tells me that in the end, we're just a microcosm of the bigger picture.

Dick said...

I think the QRP community is a considerate group in attitude and philosophy. What other niche offers encouragement and resolve to another QRPer when the QRPing gets tough. Sell the PA

Anonymous said...

I saw your post on the mail-list, with answers, and follow your blog.

What was unclear to me was your real goal: If your real goal is to know the price of a used K3 on the UK market, i'm sure you can have a fast answer by putting an ad on some UK websites, offering your K3 for sale at its original price, for example.

So i guess the real goal was something else, like "putting the pressure" on Elecraft, showing them that they will lose customers if they don't fullfill their initial commitments.

When you decide to "put the pressure" on someone, you should be prepared to receive some pressure back !

Then, if your logic is to say you're leaving Elecraft because (1) they don't listen to their customers requests (2) some of their customers are assholes, i would advise you to consider homebrewing your next transceiver, because i fear that these 2 points will not improve (to say the least) by choosing another brand !

Best 73

Laurent, F1JKJ