CQ Magazine Replacement - RadCom

As I wait for the refund I requested on October 2, 2014 (which I am sure I will never receive from CQ Magazine), I did decide to go ahead and subscribe to RadCom and also become a member of the RSGB. My packet of information arrived today. Gosh, they send you a pin, key-chain, pen, coaster, membership certificate, catalog, welcome letter and a copy of the February edition of RadCom. Officially my membership and subscription starts March 1, so I guess I got the February issue as a bonus. Nice magazine, great articles....so it's a good replacement for CQ Magazine and a nice supplement to QST. While the membership is pricey compared to QST/ARRL and even CQ magazine, at least it will arrive on-time just like QST and not like CQ Magazine which is such a waste of money at this point. Give Radcom/RSGB at try if you are looking for a CQ Magazine replacement.

Wow, been a while since I posted - CQ Magazine again

I cannot believe it has been more than six months since I posted anything. Well had some family issues to deal with, but hopefully that is settling down a bit.

The CQ Magazine saga continues. The delivery of the magazine (paper edition) did not improve at all last year. When October came around, I'd had enough. I sent CQ an email asking to cancel my subscription and refund the balance of my subscription.

They replied that they would extend my subscription three months. I said no thanks, extending a magazine which is always late was not compensation, that I really just wanted my money back.

Since that last email, no replies, no refund and no magazines.

Yes, they did cancel my subscription. I have not received an issue since September. But I have not received a refund and all emails asking them to respond and send a refund are just ignored. You cannot have it both ways CQ, either send the magazines on-time, or send my money back.

I still have an on-line subscription which I did to get the CQ Plus digital only content, but that expires this summer. But CQ also just cancelled the CQ Plus offering so now I will not get that either. Things are pretty hosed up at CQ.

So if you have money to risk and enjoy companies who abuse you as a customer, by all means, renew or sign up for a new subscription. But it you want value for your money and get what you paid for, then you might want to reconsider giving CQ Magazine any of your money.

CQ Magazine, same old, same old

Remember CQ telling us that the combined March/April issue was going to get everything back on track?

Remember the promise the May edition would arrive before Hamvention? Mine didn’t, it arrived after the Hamvention.

Well, here it is June 16th. Still no June issue of CQ. In fact, last Friday, I received the July issue of QST.

You see magazines are supposed to arrive some time the month before the publication date on the magazine.

So if you are a ham vendor who advertises in CQ, see about getting your Christmas advertisement in the October issue so people can see it in November or December when the magazine may or may not come out; who knows for sure.

Also noticed on the May issue mailing label, it no longer shows my subscription expiration date is which is both interesting and concerning.

I hope they make it, I really do. But they have handled this ordeal so poorly that I just don’t think they are going to make it since they have alienated so many of their customers.

If they make it another five years, I will be surprised.

CQ Magazine - In a Death Spiral?

Today CQ has announced that the February edition will NOT come out in print at all. Everyone can get a free pdf copy of the February issue from the CQ Magazine website. NOW the March/April issue will be sent out in Mid-April.

This is the third delivery promise as the last two were not fulfilled.

I believe CQ Magazine will not exist in a year. I think the "production problems" are in fact a money issue. They don't have the money to print the magazine. Don't know anything for sure, just my belief and opinion.

The reality is that hams are losing faith. No one who knows about the delivery issues are going to subscribe. Advertisers are not going to pay for ads that people are not able to see. A digital ad does not have the same impact or retention as a print ad.

All this has gone on far too long and as a result, I think it puts them into a death spiral.

I hope it does not happen as I have about two years remaining on the subscription, but that's how I see it. Too bad, they were a great magazine and I enjoyed reading it.

That's my opinion, if they are still a going concern next April, then I will take it all back. We’ll see!

Hams aren't spending enough on their hobby

Hams are obviously not spending enough money on their hobby.

In recent weeks this has become more evident. As a result, companies are going under. Some are cutting back on products or product introductions.

First, we recently saw CQ Magazine cut back on the number of paper magazines they publish. They even cut back on the electronic editions eliminating World Radio altogether. Now, one magazine remains in paper format - CQ Magazine. The December 2013 issue arrived for most hams around mid-January. Obviously they are having some financial issues.

Second, Tokyo Hy-Power announced it is in bankruptcy and not coming back after a re-org. They are done.

When we look back a little further we see other troubling signs.

Ten-Tec is no longer manufacturing a high-end HF transceiver. Kenwood has yet to introduce a digital radio either in competition to DStar, or an actual DStar radio.

Yaesu cut back on the annual hat give-away at Dayton replacing it with a cheap mousepad instead.

Many vendor booths at Dayton are empty. The flea-market is half of what it used to be.

Radio Shack no longer exhibits at Dayton like they did for years.

All this has happened at a time with the number of licensed hams continues to grow.

People we need to help keep these folks in business. Patronize their businesses or lose them.

Got to love the ARRL LoTW

I know some people hate the ARRL's LoTW. They say it is not easy to set-up and use. They even complain it has too much security. The reason of course is that people cheat, hence the security.

Frankly, I have found LoTW to be easy to set-up and use provided you follow the directions. I have also posted positive reviews of the LoTW on various websites like eHam. After the posts, I get emails from people saying that it is too hard to set-up and some even say that I MUST help them set-up LoTW since hams have always been a helpful group.

So I always email them back and offer to help, but I also ask some basic questions. Funny thing is with the complainers, I never get a response from them. Here are the "complex" questions I have asked.

"Did you follow exactly the steps outlined in the ARRL installation document?" I mean the installation tutorial is a step-by-step procedure that if you follow it, it will work.

"Did you apply for the certificate and did you receive it yet?" Pretty basic starting point right?

Never hear from them again. I even offered to go to one guy's house to set it up since he lived near me. No response.

Seems funny that people complain, you offer to help, and they don't respond. I guess they really don't want to set it up and just want to complain.

In any case the ARRL finally got the CQ Magazine WPX Award implemented within LoTW. Well what do you know? I had 472 QSLs available for the WPX Mixed Award. I applied right on line. Simple and easy.

That makes the third award I have received using the ARRL LoTW. This is a great thing.

If you are not using LoTW yet and like to work towards operating awards, I suggest you do so soon. Apply for the certificate, then follow the set-by-step instructions. It's easy and you can get a lot of QSLs for a lot less money than the paper QSLs. It's a great thing.