In many respects, ham radio is the original social media outlet. Long before Internet access was commonplace, countless individuals communicated and formed lasting friendships via ham radio. Although the Worldwide Web now fulfills this purpose for many people, ham radio maintains a solid following in the U.S. and abroad. Whether you’re looking to meet new people or simply have a pleasant conversation, ham radio can provide you with the means to do it – provided, of course, you adhere to certain rules. Novice ham operators who are eager to start making friends will be well-served by the following tips.
1. Communicate Clearly
Making friends via ham radio can be difficult if other operators can’t understand what you’re saying. With this in mind, make sure to equip your console with a powerful antenna and high-quality directional couplers. Not only will this help make your communications clearer, it will extend your range, enabling you to connect with more operators. Having an expansive range is particularly important for operators who live in secluded areas. In the interest of clear communication, you’ll also need to speak clearly, properly enunciate and hold your mic about an inch away from your mouth.
2. Avoid Dominating Conversations
As is the case when meeting new people in real life, it’s important that you avoid dominating conversations with other operators. This is particularly important in the case of group conversations. Because of fluctuating frequencies and signal interferences, carrying on an extended conversation with multiple operators is difficult enough with one person constantly trying to make his or her voice heard. If other operators feel that they’re unable to get a word in when speaking to you, don’t expect to form many friendships.
3. Eliminate Hiss on Your End
As any seasoned operator can confirm, nobody relishes speaking to someone who produces excessive hiss. In addition to making it difficult to communicate, loud hissing can be very hard on one’s ears. Fortunately, hiss is fairly easy to minimize. In many cases, a good antenna and mic can go a long way in reducing the amount of hiss an operator gives off.
The Internet is now an integral part of our lives. However, that doesn’t mean ham radio has entered obsolescence. While it may not be as popular as it once was, ham radio provides operators with abundant opportunities for meeting new people and forming lasting friendships. As long as the tips discussed above are adhered to, new operators can make friends with other hammers in a timely manner.