BlackKnight_UK wrote:Do amateurs every talk about anything other than what radio they are using, what antenna, how much power, what the signal strength is, etc. etc.?
That's all I ever hear - even on repeaters where you'd think it didn't matter.
On CB we used to just chat about anything and everything - I rarely hear people chat about anything other than amateur radio on amateur radio?
Does part of the course involve you being brainwashed into a boring radio user?
The biggest number of users on repeaters seem to talk just for the sake of talking, not because they have anything to say. Using a repeater you are not having a two way QSO, other than with a repeater & so signal reports etc don't count. Although with a fully quieting signal into the repeater you can tell someone what their audio is like.
But having said the above I have heard some not so ex CB'ers with intermediate licences passing someone around between them, to see who could work him/hear him as he was a DX station!!!!!! And those not very ex CB'ers were part of the local clubs training group
As a whole most people away from 20 meters do have QSO's.
I have discussed all sorts on the bands. Once talking about radio signals I mentioned a comment by Crispian StJohn AKA Howard Rose & Jay Jackson. The listener does not care about your carpets, they only care about your content. "I'm from Northampton was the reply & I knew Howard well. The next hour plus were spent in a growing net talking about free radio.
Operating from a RAF cold war radar base I have spoken to former RAF & Russian Air Force personnel, who knew of the base. Away from there I have also spoken to people operating mobile as they drive across the Sahara. And to a German operator who was interested in WW2 history..His father knew my area, but never stopped, just passed through..
I have also had long chats with current & ex Scouts when operating stations for various Scout events & not just with other SES's either. The same type of thing has happened when operating from windmills, railway stations, lighthouses etc etc. People want to talk.
But some times I have also just swapped signal report & callsigns when the signal was too weak & unreadable to do little else, or when we both lacked a language in common.
Personally speaking, I stopped using VHF FM as too many of the users were talking for hours, but had nothing to say. I do not personally mind the my radio & my antenna is. Type comments..As that is far preferable to 5 & 9. 00123, 73, QRZ. We all run very different stations, some are wholly or partly home made, some use ex military or commercial equipment & it can & often & normally does lead onto other topics.
During one 80 meter QSO from the RAF radar base SES, I asked where he was & it finished the QSO, but in a most interesting way..."I'm about 10,000 feet from Luton." Which explained the strange callsign. He was not a legal amateur radio station, but an ex RAF, now a commercial pilot heading in or out of Luton. I told him to look us up, send us an SAE & we would send him a card to prove he had spoken to us, sorry heard us.