eHam – Ham Community Cross Section or Ham Hobo-Land?

Has eHam become the Ham Community with the cross section of writers, reviewers, forum participants and readers originally envisioned, or has it become too much of a Wasteland of the ultra-biased, the negative, the ham internet trolls, and the self-important?

When posing this question to a group of very well published Radio Amateurs I was surprised to receive back comments like:

I could write a fifty-page blog entry about the foolishness of the people who run eHam. I had a run-in with them several years back over their unauthorized posting of some of my copyrighted material and it got ugly very fast.

I read the note from Bernie this morning on the Daily DX list and could see this turning stupid. I don’t know if Bernie advertises with eHam and if that would have made a difference? Wayne and Eric have “spammed” the Elecraft list from time to time soliciting eHam reviews and I’ve yet to hear of that being a problem — but of course Elecraft does (or did) advertise on eHam.

I remember well when XXXXXX (who was indeed a pain in the butt) had a run in with one of the “editors” on eHam a few years back. They edited his profile to say he was a “pain in the ass” and then locked him out from being able to edit his own profile… a childish and petty act by any measure.

The equipment reviews are the only thing worth a nickel on eHam and even those require much data mining. Too often I’ve seen reviews there that start out, “I don’t own this equipment, but my friend does and he said it sucks” with the requisite ZERO score given. How silly that anyone trusts these reviews and that process…

Sorry for the long retort but it touched a nerve. I despise eHam and the horse it rode in on…just to be clear. I look forward to the day when high-quality ham blogs put it out of business for good.

I have abandoned eHam.

I would try to participate in a meaningful discussion and would be met with the worst kind of ad hominem attacks, reply posts about farting, and worse.

It came down to this: would I recommend that a new ham, anxious to learn about the hobby and its participants, go to eHam to read and get questions answered?


Emphatically no.


Not quite the two-sides to the story sorts of comments I expected, but first hand complaints of the eHam problems.

So which is eHam?  A Ham Community Cross Section or Ham Hobo-Land?

The answer appears to be in the middle of the two extremes this piece’s title suggests.

The underlying issue that their can be no effective level & equal quality control in an unmoderated forum/venue/website seriously undermines the eHam model.

It is worth remembering that eHam basically costs nothing to read, costs very little to subscribe to, and like free publications everywhere it should be taken with a grain of salt.

eHam has a serious problem working things out to balance the negative and troll posters.  Personally I have been lambasted by self-appointed forum guardians who do eHam no good whatsoever.

This also means that until an amateur is experienced enough to be able to wade through this unfiltered mess of webpostings, that eHam is a pretty screen but not much more.




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5 thoughts on “eHam – Ham Community Cross Section or Ham Hobo-Land?

  1. Anonymous Long-Time Ham says:

    eHam suffers from the pool of posters, not because of anything inherently wrong with *it*. Unfortunately, it’s ham radio that suffers from a glut of negative people with nothing better to do than lambaste others. Any ham radio blog or site would suffer the same fate.

  2. WA6WTF says:

    There are a few folks who post some fine tech articles and are willing to engage in polite discussion for the betterment of the hobby. However, I would suggest that this behavior is in the minority.

    Having only been licensed 5 years and pushing 60 years on the planet, I am quite amazed at the poor socialization skills exhibited by some of the folks in our hobby.

    Personal experience has shown me that once the protection afforded by the microphone is gone, they tend to lose the hostility and arrogance when dealing with a “come to jesus” eyeball QSO.

  3. Bob K0NR says:

    I was first encouraged when was established….now I use it only occasionally. The eham forums are sometimes useful….more often some troll jumps in and ruins it. I do find the equipment reviews useful….you just have to wade through them a bit to find the general consensus and real issues. Reviews that are written in complete sentences with coherent thought get weighed high while the others get ignored. If a piece of gear has a chronic problem, it will generally be surfaced. On the plus side, there are some really good articles by folks such as Steve Katz WB2WIK/6 and Alan Applegate K0BG. So come to think of it, it is really the “anyone without a brain can express an opinion” portion of the web site that drags it down.

  4. k9zw says:

    If you want to have fun, post something sensible to some of the forums (Emcom comes to mind first) and watch a predictable sequence of events – someone will tell you that the question is stupid, then that they have so much experience that they are the guru with all answers, that people out where you live must all be stupid and it goes on….

    The responses are illogical, unfounded, and the way they handle themselves unbecomming of a fellow radio amateur.

    There are good nuggets of information on eHam, but you have to dig through much that is negative or false to get to it.

    It has been my experience that any forum that allows unverified members and allows obscured user IDs has the same problems as eHam.

    Well moderated forums where participants are vetted and must use their known ID work much better.

    I’m offering up all of my product reviews for addition to the reviews.



  5. KB2OXR says:

    For a short time, I used to think Eham was a good place to get answers and maybe learn but, over the last few months with time to really dig into posting by ” Chosen Ones ” its a blasting ground for K0BG who seems to think he is the know all, be all of ham radio .Allen and a few others , seem to get a thrill out of belittling people and especially new hams who want to lean and ask questions . Yes I will agree that some of the questions that are asked are things that should have been STUDIED !!!!! but they wern’t , but, the only dumb question is the un asked question .
    Product reviews have become a big joke . I wonder what this hobby is going to be like in 10 years . I was in one of the HRO stores not to long ago and was playing with a Pro lll when I heard one of the HRO personal tell a perspective ham ” you dont even need to study, just get the questions and answers book and memorize the answers and go take your test” . I WAS MORTIFIED
    I know for a solid fact that the way K0BG and his boys bash people on Eham has stopped many who were interested in getting a ticket from doing so , they have left people with the impression that all HAMS are like K0BG . THAT IS SAD

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