Using Seminars for Ham Radio

15 comments

Early in October, I received an e-mail from our ARRL Section that announced an antenna seminar at a convenient location. The subjects of the antenna seminar were:

  • Antennas 101 — all about the basics of antennas
  • Portable Antennas for EmComm — antennas that you can carry easily and work in a variety of circumstances
  • Round Table Discussion on Antennas — answer questions from the audience

The reason this was interesting to me was because the seminar was not held in conjunction with a swapfest or any other radio event; it was just held in a convenient meeting location and hams (others?) were invited.

This is an interesting approach to reaching out to hams and others.

Why don’t we do more of these? Or do more seminars at swapfests?

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  1. An excellent idea and one worth transmitting into ham radio’s social network as well. Seminars are attractive while reaching outside the bounds of traditional clubs. One can host anywhere, anytime and communicating date/time is relatively easy.

    You got me thinking…

    73
    Scot, KA3DRR

  2. @Scot – For the past three years, the Kalamazoo Amateur Radio Club has put on forums as part of the local hamfest. We have covered a variety of topics from jnos packet radio to setting up your first HF station. This year we had the K4TWJ Morse Code Key display and presentations on getting started in CW by Dan Romanchik K6NBU. We feel this is an opportunity to focus on a topic and get a wider audience than we would at a local meeting.

  3. Hello

    Our group has been doing this for the past 9 years, Jan 2009 will be our 10th.

    Check out the website
    http:/www.hamradiouniversity.org

    Its a real fun day, all forums, club and organization exhibits… no vendors..

    CU -Tom KA2D

  4. But did they take it to the next level?

    Stream it “live” or bring in an expert Via Skype Video? Was it supported with Video, posted on the web? Did they use common presentation platforms like Adobe Captivate?

    I offer this because these are common routine and tools and communications methods people use daily in business…..but they are alien to Hams.
    .
    So while I applaud the educational/learning environment —- It is disappointing that so many hams remain mired in an analog/blackboard world. And their activities reflect that.

  5. The Ozaukee Radio Club (WI) has had seminars at our spring swapfest the last few years. I personally did one on WSJT and an intro to the HF bands right after the no-coders got HF priveledges. Other talks in recent years included antennas, VHF weak signal work and HF transmitting tubes.

    I personally attend just about any seminar at hamfests I attend. Apparently not a lot of other attendees feel the same way. We would typically only have 4-5 people sit in.

    I’m not sure. Don’t hams want to learn anything new anymore?

    73, Gary, W9XT

  6. While I have several hobbies, two stand out immediately in their use of, or lack of use of, seminars. I have been to several sci-fi conventions, the most recent in Chicago and there were more panels (seminars) there than any ham radio event that I have been to except possibly Dayton. I would posit that many of the speakers who chair the sci-fi panels may receive some form of compensation where-as the panelists in a ham radio seminar are not compensated.

    I also get the feeling that the panels at the sci-fi conventions I have been to are more of the primary focus with the vendor and art exhibits being, although important, the secondary focus of the convention. In amateur radio, it seems like any seminars are of secondary importance to whatever even they are held at, be it a swapfest/hamvention or local club meeting.

  7. @Gary, W9XT – I would say it is tough to get hams to learn new stuff. There is a good group that likes to do so, but new technology and change is a frightening thing to too many hams.

  8. @Mike – True enough. The seminars tend to be a specific convention-type events. DX Conventions, Visalia, Dayton. But, except for Dayton, not a lot of vendors there. And, they are oriented to people are already ham radio operators.

    Not so much outside of the specific interests in the hobby.

  9. @Mike/WA4D – Hey, Mike. I recently presented a webinar on kitbuilding that was “attended” by more than 450 people. This webinar was organized by Bill, N3LLR, the ARRL’s Atlantic Division Director. That it was attended by so many people shows how much demand that there could be for this type of information.

    I was so impressed by the technology that now I have signed up for this service, and am capable of organizing these webinars myself. Being a web developer by profession, I’m offering this service to my customers, but since I’m able to hold as many web meetings or webinars as I can manage, I’ll also offer this to anyone out in the ham universe that wants to hold one.

    Contact me for details.

    73, Dan

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