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Author Topic: The Death of Ham Radio?  (Read 20296 times)
AD6KA
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« Reply #30 on: November 28, 2011, 06:31:48 PM »

Quote
!....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???....

KA3NRX

I agree 1000%.
This TROLL SUBJECT is getting absolutely ridiculous.


73, Ken  AD6KA
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N2VLA
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« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2011, 08:07:53 PM »

Ham radio is dead...Sorry to say.  I see young high school kids and ask them if they know what ham radio or amateur radio is.  They haven't a clue.  Ham radio is dead.  I try and explain to them what it's all about and they laugh at me.  They tell me they can do the same thing on the internet in chat rooms and messenger services.  One told me he talks to someone in Australia almost everyday via this thing called Skype.  Ham radio is dead. Once the oldtimers like myself and those even older than me pass on, the amateur bands will be dead. I guess you can say the internet killed ham radio. Kids do not see any excitement about sitting behind a microphone and talking to someone half way around the world.  Ham radio is dead. May it rest in peace.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 08:10:00 PM by N2VLA » Logged
KG6AF
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« Reply #32 on: December 20, 2011, 08:34:21 AM »

Ham radio is dead...Sorry to say.  I see young high school kids and ask them if they know what ham radio or amateur radio is.
 They haven't a clue.

But it's always been this way.  Keep in mind that, at any time in our hobby's history, no more than roughly one in four hundred Americans have been hams (at the moment, it's around one in 438).  It's inevitable that if you take a random sample of people, many of them will have little or no idea of what ham radio is.

Kids do not see any excitement about sitting behind a microphone and talking to someone half way around the world.

Again, most kids never did.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 09:51:41 AM by KG6AF » Logged
AA4PB
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« Reply #33 on: December 20, 2011, 09:00:43 AM »

In 1958 I was the only kid under about 25 years old in the local radio club. There were only two hams in my high school (no teachers).

I don't really think things have changed all that much except that it is a lot more convenient to get a license now days
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AK4KZ
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« Reply #34 on: December 20, 2011, 10:02:20 AM »

<sigh> Okay, I don't want to be rude, mean or dismissive but when a lot of the people who talk about how ham radio is dead are long gone, I'm still going to be on the air. I'm not an old timer and I really enjoy the hobby. And that kid I heard on the radio the other day will probably be here.. unless someone convinces him he's a loser for spending his time on a dead hobby. Statistically, I have to think that we're not going to be the last two hams on the planet. And with the number of licenses being up, my statistics get even more promising.

I know it can be validating to think that you're the last "defender of the faith" but let's not quite close the book on ham radio yet. Was it ever a hobby for the really cool people? Oohh... you're one of those.. hams! I can tell you that 40 years ago, the kids in my class wanted to be astronauts and rock stars. If you had asked me about ham radio then, I wouldn't have had a clue. Today, if MTV or the Kardasians aren't into ham radio, don't be shocked if high school kids don't know anything about it. No.. ham radio may never be cooler than the Beatles or more popular than the iPhone.

Like the people who will trash on this country but not leave it.. I have to wonder why, if you think that ham is dead, you're still here. Sure, it's not like it used to be.. but neither are we. And maybe that's the problem. If you're looking for the glory days of ham to return, they never left. But they have changed, for better or worse.. depending on your viewpoint.

You know, back in 1642 when some of you became hams, you had no digital modes. No video modes. You had far less experience experimenting with antennas. There were no software defined radios. There was no software to develop. And there were certainly no satellites to use. There was no DSP. There was no repeater linking. But.. I mean.. you had CW. Where else could the hobby go? Man, I would've thought that was the end at that point.

Here's just a thought.. if high school kids knew how much more there was to ham radio than talking to someone on the other side of the world, maybe there would be something to draw them. Personally, I don't like to ragchew. (No offense to those that do.) But there's so much more to the hobby, I sometimes don't know what I want to do next. I'll never run out of projects. Strangely, I've never seen anyone come out with a product and announce that, "this is going to be obsolete before your check even clears."

I'd love to help develop the next gen ham sat. I don't have the skillset but that would be absolutely the coolest. I bet there's a high school kid who could help and would love the challenge. But if they're smart enough to do that, they're smart enough to not put their time into your dead hobby.

Which brings me to another point that people have said over and over... it's a hobby. It's just a hobby. It's not a religion. We don't really have to evangelize. If you want to bring people in, just be available and helpful if someone is interested. And stop whining about it being dead. Nobody's gonna want to spend time on something that's already pointless. For Pete's sake, at least pretend it's a good hobby that you enjoy.

If what I'm doing isn't "cool" and widely desired by the masses, it doesn't change the enjoyment I gain from it. If there are no hams left, I'll still do it because I'm curious and find it challenging. High school student, middle-aged or senior... there are going to be people who like learning and challenging themselves. Welcome to the continuing story of ham radio.

73,
Chris
AK4KZ
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K3NRX
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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2011, 11:47:18 AM »

Ham radio is dead...Sorry to say.  I see young high school kids and ask them if they know what ham radio or amateur radio is.  They haven't a clue.  Ham radio is dead.  I try and explain to them what it's all about and they laugh at me.  They tell me they can do the same thing on the internet in chat rooms and messenger services.  One told me he talks to someone in Australia almost everyday via this thing called Skype.  Ham radio is dead. Once the oldtimers like myself and those even older than me pass on, the amateur bands will be dead. I guess you can say the internet killed ham radio. Kids do not see any excitement about sitting behind a microphone and talking to someone half way around the world.  Ham radio is dead. May it rest in peace.

YYYYAAAAAAAWWWWWWNNNNNN!!!!!!....Did someone say something?Huh...... Roll Eyes.....

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W4KYR
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« Reply #36 on: December 30, 2011, 04:38:17 AM »

 The whole notion that ham radio is dead is nonsense. Some facets within the hobby might have dried up, such as packet radio BBS. But that has been replaced by APRS .

  Computers didn't kill ham radio, it only enhanced it with the advent of popular digital signals communications such as PSK31. With a simple interface between the radio and the computer...anyone can communicate around the world without the internet, without cellphone towers nearby. This can be done in the wilderness, the desert or after major storms or other disasters have bought the grid and phone communications down.

 During the early 90's after the NO CODE Tech license was available. If you asked high school students then (and anyone else for that matter) what is ham radio, they didn't know then either. Yet oddly enough we had a tremendous growth in the hobby then. So explain that?

 Kids probably do find excitement talking on ham radio. However I am sure that they know far more about computers than most adults do. I'll bet that they would enjoy using their computers with ham radio as much and even more than the internet.

 Nothing is new under the sun. Ham ops were texting in the 1950's, it was called RTTY. Ham ops were sending pictures to one another , it was called slow scan TV. Ham ops went to their radios to get the latest weather  it was called a Weather Fax. While anyone can do that on their cell phones now,  hams did that first 50+ years ago well before cellphones, blackberries and iPad's. Hams can still be able to do those things without the 'benefit' of the internet and for a fraction of the price of what it did in the 1950's.

 So what is the allure of ham radio? It is reliable, it is ready to go at a moments notice, it saves lives and brings people together. It is a challenge, it is different, it is not a matter of picking up the cell phone and calling across the country and where is the fun or challenge of that?  No, ham radio is different,  it is challenge, it is rewarding, it is a skill. .

  Speaking of skill....For the same reason why games are so popular, it is a challenge. Games are a challenge. The gaming industry is a billion dollar industry. While the old fashioned board games lost popularity. The new electronic games are more popular than ever.

 Maybe the notion of one sitting over some old fashioned boat anchor trying to contact someone 50 miles away with AM on 80 meters is not appealing as it once was. However sitting on the back deck with a laptop connected up to a FT 817 running less than 5 watts into a hamstick using PSK31 to communicate with someone 5000 miles away would seem more appealing to the younger crowd. It has that cool factor..


 Ham radio is so much more than just calling CQ on some band. With the marriage of computers and ham radio, the sky is the limit. With the dropping of the morse code requirement, more people are flocking to the hobby then ever.

Older ham radio equipment is not only maintaining its value, but even have gone up in price! Radios that were closed out at $400 are selling for as much as $650  as with the case of the Icom IC 703. How can that be in this economy?

Even the 20+ year old Radio Shack HTX 100 ten meter rig is selling for as much as $150 on E-Bay, about the same price when Shack ran a sale on them in the early 90's. If ham radio was dead or dying, these radios would be at least half of those prices. The infamous HTX 202 handheld still sells around $100, even though one can now buy a Baofeng dual bander for half that.


Witness the new popularity of the trail friendly radios like the KX1 and HB1A and now HB1B. These are just CW only radios and they are selling quite well and that is interesting in itself since morse code has not been a requirement for a license in several years.

Yet another new radio will soon be released, and it has been causing a major buzz around the ham community. It is the KX3, and this is yet another new generation of radios that older and newer ham operators will be using shortly and into the future.

Today we have more ham radio operators than ever.  Ham radio never died, it just shifted gears again...this time...into overdrive.



 
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 05:00:08 AM by W4KYR » Logged

Still using Windows XP Pro.
KA5N
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« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2012, 10:54:10 AM »

Does this thread have anything to do with that Mayan calender thingie???

Allen
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N8YX
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« Reply #38 on: January 02, 2012, 05:46:05 AM »

I think the excessive emphasis on emergency communications will be the death of ham radio.
This bears repeating x infinity. The Faustian bargain that is DHS/FEMA grant money bolsters the downward spiral.
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K1ZJH
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« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2012, 09:20:20 PM »

I think the excessive emphasis on emergency communications will be the death of ham radio.

I've heard several hams say the exact same thing.

One thing is for sure, EmComm is becoming more and more mainstream.
Almost all of the magazines have columns dedicated to the subject, and if I see one
more example of a "go kit" with a two meter rig shoved into a plywood box I going
to upchuck.
 Grin
Pete
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KB0FMJ
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« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2012, 02:13:38 PM »

If ham radio is dead, then why are there more licensed hams than EVER before right now in the US.   Over 700,000 as of October.

http://www.arrl.org/news/us-amateurs-now-700-000-strong

I see plenty of young people showing interest, the main problem is some of the old timers are not very friendly :-)
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KC7MF
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2012, 02:06:59 PM »

If ham radio dies it will be because business wants the frequency spectrum.  We can't defend against that.  The current crop of conservatives want to sell everything to the highest bidder.  They can get a ton of money for two meters. 
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