For Nervous New Hams…

Are you a new ham who is nervous about making your first contacts?

We’ve all been there, felt that!  In this video, I give advice on how to stop putting pressure on yourself.  You WILL make mistakes… but, I teach you two words that can help you gather the courage to move forward.

As a bonus, I also teach you two acronyms:  “G.O.M.” and “N.N.”

Enjoy! – Cliff

5 thoughts on “For Nervous New Hams…”

  1. Cliff, I just found your blog and am really enjoying your videos! Very straight forward and easy to understand. Just passed my tech and am going through the general book and starting to learn CW. For us “low entry budget” guys, what about something like MFJ-9040 with a dipole? Or what is a good low cost way to get into QRP at 40 meters? (Perhaps low cost and QRP are mutually exclusive?) Anyway, great videos!

    1. Hello, Stan. Congrats on getting your Technician’s license and heading towards your General! An MFJ-9040 with a dipole will allow you to make a lot of contacts and have a lot of fun. My suggestion to newcomers is that they purchase a used radio. When you buy a used radio, you’re really getting a free radio because you can use it for a while and then sell it for about what you paid for it. As a newcomer, you haven’t yet discovered what you like and/or what you need for a long-term purchase. So, I think it makes a lot of sense to buy something used while you’re forming your opinion on what is best for you. My short list of QRP radios that you could use for 40m would be: Elecraft K1, Elecraft KX1, MFJ-Cub, MFJ-9040, TenTec Argonaut, Yaesu FT-817 (but only if it’s got an optional CW filter installed). Beware the purchase of multiple MFJ-90xx radios for different bands… for the price you’d pay for 3 or 4 of those, you could have bought a multiband QRP radio.

      You can never have too many little QRP radios, Stan! They’re a lot of fun. – Cliff

    2. BTW, if you are interested in buying a used radio, you are relatively safe in buy from the classifieds section on or Of course, the safest thing is to buy a radio from a friend or local ham. – cliff

  2. You really hit the nail on the head. I received my Tech license in 1994 and have been so concerned about making a mistake on the radio that I did not make any contacts for over 20 years. That is a long time to be full of anxiety about a hobby. The funny thing is that I was a cargo flight engineer for many years and didn’t have any problem talking on the aircraft radio. Well, I finally decided that I am just as qualified to talk on the amateur radio bands as I am on the commercial aircraft bands. I recently upgraded to General and I am finally working the world. It sure is sad to let your own thoughts of what other people think keep you off the air. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us.

    1. You are absolutely qualified to be on the air, Will. Congrats on pushing through that barrier and working the world! – Cliff

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