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Author Topic: The Death of Ham Radio?  (Read 21105 times)
N5RWJ
Member

Posts: 461




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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 02:01:40 PM »

Ham Radio could have a resurgence with the youth.

Though my Ham license had lapsed in the mid 80s, (recently re-licensed) I still kept up with Ham technology. Even so, I still have an opinion.

Just recently there was a complete power outage in San Diego. Many 20 and 30 somethings, knowing I was a Ham, asked me how that was handled by the Ham community. We talked about all the different options that hams had at their disposal. Each of these people were very impressed and each showed a valid interest in how they could become Hams.

Most were not aware that there was a bit of study involved in getting their Ham license. When told this, I could tell that there was a little cooling off, but they still remained interested in the emergency preparedness that Ham Radio offered.

It's my gut feeling that if there could be some relaxed adjustments, with entry level licensing, - maybe going back to a Novice Class with no code requirement and a reduced amount of electronic theory and radio wave propagation, we might attract some new blood. Keep the classes of licensing afterward, as they are, but re-introduce a Novice Class license.

Thank you for reading.

Dave
WB4LCN

I agree with you, they just need to know FCC Reg , band plan , know their radio and and Ham radio operating norms.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 02:49:21 PM by N5RWJ » Logged
K7KBN
Member

Posts: 2835




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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2011, 09:09:37 AM »

They really SHOULD know how to spell "FCC".
Logged

73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 1185




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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2011, 06:20:30 PM »

We've got fewer young people going into engineering, math, science, etc.  It's not a problem with ham radio or the licensing requirements - it's a cultural/priority shift among the young people in the US.  Technically inclined kids go into PIC programming, robots, computers, etc.  It's the wave of the future Smiley

And yet:  http://www.eham.net/articles/27107

It is interesting that the number of hams has been growing at the same rate as the predictions for the demise of ham radio.
I question how many licenses remain active once the luster has worn off? Secondly, the ten year licensing change means there
are a lot of SKs in those numbers and that might skew the totals to a small degree.

Pete
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2238




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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2011, 11:50:17 PM »

I think ham radio and the current licensing system
we have are both doing fine.

I don't understand this obsession with getting young
people into ham radio.  People who are radio enthusiasts,
be it SWL, scanner, or CB...of ALL age groups, know
we are here and how to join us.


I am not concerned over the "Death of ham radio"
or other "The sky is falling" scenarios. Get real.

Everything is going to be just fine.

To those who feel otherwise, turn off the computer,
turn on your radio, and stop wringing your hands.

73, Ken  AD6KA
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N3DF
Member

Posts: 253




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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2011, 07:06:08 AM »


The code test speed changed from 10 to 13 wpm in 1936, five years before the USA entered WW2.


ARRL had petitioned the FCC to raise the CW exam speed from 10 to 12.5 wpm.  One ARRL official later suggested that this was at the behest of traffic handlers, who felt amateur cw ability needed general improvement.  The FCC thought the 12.5 wpm standard might add difficulty to exam grading and so raised it to 13 wpm.
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Neil N3DF
N3DF
Member

Posts: 253




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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2011, 07:08:16 AM »

The CW test was 5 wpm prior to WWI.
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Neil N3DF
K0OD
Member

Posts: 2590




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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2011, 08:01:37 PM »

Quote
The CW test was 5 wpm prior to WWI.

Interesting. I would think that copying high speed code was much more difficult with spark, than CW. With enormous current on some key contacts sending fast would have been difficult too. I wonder what typical ham code speeds were in the spark era.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uua5cO3_26c&feature=related
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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3925




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« Reply #22 on: November 14, 2011, 03:00:02 AM »

Quote
The CW test was 5 wpm prior to WWI.

Interesting. I would think that copying high speed code was much more difficult with spark, than CW. With enormous current on some key contacts sending fast would have been difficult too. I wonder what typical ham code speeds were in the spark era.

The US amateur code test speed was indeed 5 wpm before WW2. This period lasted a bit more than 4 years - December 1912 to May 1917, when the USA shut down amateur radio for WW1.

When ham radio was reopened in the USA in 1919, the test speed was 10 wpm. In 1919 nearly all hams were still using spark.


The video is a bit shaky because the op was holding the camera in one hand and sending with the other.

That's a 1000 watt legal-limit amateur rotary, keyed by a straight key. Current through the key is less than 9 amps. It wasn't hard to key at all, and the code is clearly readable even if it's not a pure tone. No more difficult at all.

Higher-power spark sets used keying relays.

73 de Jim, N2EY


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K0OD
Member

Posts: 2590




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« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2011, 05:06:43 AM »

Quote
Current through the key is less than 9 amps

Could one directly key 9 amps with a bug... for long? Sparking at the key contacts would almost amount to a second transmitter.

That's the direct sound of the spark gap in the same room, not the on-air signal on a noisy night below 200 meters.... a raspy signal and a receiver without a BFO. And that KW transmitter would have been far upscale from Model-T spark coil units used early on by "novices."

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N2EY
Member

Posts: 3925




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« Reply #24 on: November 14, 2011, 05:33:59 AM »

Quote
Current through the key is less than 9 amps

Could one directly key 9 amps with a bug... for long?

No. But by all accounts speed keys weren't in general use on the air back then. Not by hams, anyway. Their main application in those days was landline telegraphy - which is why automatic dashes didn't catch on for a long time.

Sparking at the key contacts would almost amount to a second transmitter.

Nope. The contacts of the straight key used with the rotary in the movie hardly sparked at all.

That's the direct sound of the spark gap in the same room, not the on-air signal on a noisy night below 200 meters.... a raspy signal and a receiver without a BFO. And that KW transmitter would have been far upscale from Model-T spark coil units used early on by "novices."

They all sounded different on the air, which was an advantage. The sound and fury of the kilowatt rotary in action are not captured by the movie; they must be experienced in person to be truly understood. It's one of those things about which it can be truthfully said: "Until you have been there, you don't really know."

It must be remembered that the actual number of amateur stations in the early days was relatively small (only a few thousand) and that the range of most was very limited, even late at night.

Which reminds me - 90th anniversary of the 1921 Transatlantic Tests coming up.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 1185




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« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2011, 12:48:45 PM »

I think the ARRL and others are missing the market regarding targeting potential hams. Young kids are caught
up doing their own thing; and very few show any interest in ham radio.

In my humble opinion, the baby boomers are prime targets for ham licenses. Most are retired, and many have
disposable income and many are bored and looking for hobbies or pass times. Even in retirement communities with
HOA covenants, there is usually a community center that supports  woodworking or other hobby pursuits. Given enough interest, a ham station that served a percentage of the residents would certainly seem feasible if
presented properly.

Pete
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N9AMI
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #26 on: November 20, 2011, 07:38:13 PM »

Anyone can pass the test ANYONE. My fiance passed Tech and General 10 day of study with zero knowledge of anything! Took both tests at one time.. Done..


ARRL is just marketing Emcomm and "radio sport" (that really makes me laugh). Radio sport? Contesting trying to make like it takes real talent to work a contest? Come on! Oh yes all your nerds will respond that sit in your little mission control room all weekend long calling cq contest. How about this? Get off the radio and go out and do something else.  Tongue I laugh at these guys who spend there life on the radio. Did you ever see what the average ham looks like? Fat old greasy... etc etc...

 Radio is a fun hobby but many of you guys think  all there is in life is radio and, I have a big problem with that. Its a hobby remember that.

 Back to the ARRL. They have always been out for themselves and you people that pay that yearly due, and actually pay to have your cards checked and then go on to pay for a dam award are nuts. All you do is feed these guys to do nothing. I will never join ever. Its all political that's the bottom line.
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AB9NZ
Member

Posts: 177




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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2011, 09:05:14 PM »

Quote
Back to the ARRL. They have always been out for themselves and you people that pay that yearly due
  I don't always agree with everything our League does, but it's the best friend amateur radio has. If you take the time to get to know the people who volunteer for, or are employed by the the ARRL, I think you'll find them very dedicated and hard working.
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K1ZJH
Member

Posts: 1185




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« Reply #28 on: November 28, 2011, 11:09:58 AM »

Until something better comes along, the ARRL is all we have.

Pete
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K3NRX
Member

Posts: 2073


WWW

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« Reply #29 on: November 28, 2011, 03:06:32 PM »

Ham Radio could have a resurgence with the youth.

Though my Ham license had lapsed in the mid 80s, (recently re-licensed) I still kept up with Ham technology. Even so, I still have an opinion.

Just recently there was a complete power outage in San Diego. Many 20 and 30 somethings, knowing I was a Ham, asked me how that was handled by the Ham community. We talked about all the different options that hams had at their disposal. Each of these people were very impressed and each showed a valid interest in how they could become Hams.

Most were not aware that there was a bit of study involved in getting their Ham license. When told this, I could tell that there was a little cooling off, but they still remained interested in the emergency preparedness that Ham Radio offered.

It's my gut feeling that if there could be some relaxed adjustments, with entry level licensing, - maybe going back to a Novice Class with no code requirement and a reduced amount of electronic theory and radio wave propagation, we might attract some new blood. Keep the classes of licensing afterward, as they are, but re-introduce a Novice Class license.

Thank you for reading.

Dave
WB4LCN


Dude....Stop it!....there has already been enough "relaxing" of requirements to get a ham radio license.  It never fails, you give an inch and they want a mile...So why even have testing at all?...I mean, it's always the same, "We need new blood otherwise the hobby will die"...yabita yabita yabita....Ham radio...The only hobby on the face of the planet that has been on LIFE SUPPORT FOR 100 YEARS!....It is easier than ever before to get a ticket....Can we please just leave things alone and stop with "the sky is falling (no new blood) the sky is falling" nonsense???....

V
KA3NRX

« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 03:13:25 PM by KA3NRX » Logged
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