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Survey Question
When you tell people that you are a Ham Radio Operator how do they react?
  Posted: Apr 12, 2017   (497 votes, 37 comments) by KR5QA

  Interested and ask questions.
  Acknowledge the statement but move to a new topic.
  Have no clue about Ham Radio.
  Call you a geek, nerd, etc..
  Confuse it with CB Radio and say something like, "Breaker-Breaker" or "10-4 Good Buddy."
    (497 votes, 37 comments)

Survey Results
Interested and ask questions. 16% (81)
Acknowledge the statement but move to a new topic. 16% (79)
Indifferent. 18% (89)
Have no clue about Ham Radio. 25% (123)
Call you a geek, nerd, etc.. 4% (18)
Confuse it with CB Radio and say something like, "Breaker-Breaker" or "10-4 Good Buddy." 22% (107)

Survey Comments
TVI ...
Best response I ever got to the mention of
ham radio: "Man, you sure can mess up
peoples' TVs with those things!"

Posted by K9CTB on April 24, 2017

Be Thankful...
It's a good thing the hobby is slightly obscure and "not cool". When things
become too popular they they tend to loose their essence. Technical people I
know seem to still know and recognize it's existence and relevance. That's
good enough.

But when I get people visiting for social events, my wife usually tells
people about projects I'm working on. Then I have to let them listen to
satellites or make a contact.

Universally people are amazed. Kids too. Though most of my radios are
computer driven SDR so they don't see the equipment as the equivalent of a
"Victrola" .

When I post things about ham radio to social media I get a very positive
response from non-hams as well. Though most people I know are technically
involved or educated people.

I've made a few videos on Youtube as well which have done ok. Positive
comments from hams and non-hams. One was an Olivia contact to Tasmania.
Sometimes I live stream when I'm making contacts... some people hang around
to watch.

So I think an appropriate level of interest is there for the right people.

Posted by KD8TUT on April 24, 2017

Talk It Up
I tell a lot of people that I am a Ham
Radio Operator. 80% of them are
interested. Several have asked if the
hobby was still around because they
haven't heard anything about it in years.
(As we know it is alive and doing well
with more and more licensed Hams
worldwide). Most comments relate to
emergency communications. They have no
idea that when a hurricane, tornado or
other major weather event comes through,
the first thing to go out is cell phones,
then land lines. What's left? We are!
Just by talking about it I have had
several people get their ticket. (Even a
neighbor who had a license when he was a
youth, got his license and a station.) I
also am a BSA Merit Badge Counselor and
participate in JOTA every year, which
stirs interest in the youth.
Talk up Ham Radio....after all, it's what
we do best, Communicate! 73 everyone,
Wesley W7WES

Posted by W7WES on April 23, 2017

Ham Radio
What about our hobby makes us think that anyone should be anymore interested than if we said bird watching was our hobby?

Posted by KD8OSD on April 22, 2017

Prior to the popularity of cell phones and the internet, folks would ask questions and marvel at what you could do with an amateur setup, but now instant world-wide communication is available to everyone with no studying, not tests, no rules. Far less questions these days.

Posted by W6SWO on April 21, 2017

and they Have no clue about Ham Radio.
when you explain how how you can Talk to the World - - you then can't demonstrate that, because the Propagation is so Lousy,
and then they just laugh & walk away.

or get out their Mob 'Ph and call someone.
- just to be a smart ass.

Posted by VK6IS on April 20, 2017

25 Years Ago
25 Years ago the answer might have been "Interested and ask questions". Back then some people at least heard something about ham radio. Today they seem to have no clue, but that's just the way it is these days. It's no one's fault really. It's "progress" after all. A lot of technical advantages have occurred in the 25 years since I became a ham.

25 years ago (without making an expensive phone call). It was impossible to talk around the world without a ham license and a HF radio unless maybe you talked 'skip' on CB. Today anyone can talk to anyone around the world on their phones through the internet. Even D-Star relies on the internet.

While technological advances are good things they also have consequences too. A good example is an old packet radio video that I viewed (from 1992). It was amazing how ham radio operators were connected up back then through packet radio. They were able to send messages and "email" all over the country and even the world without even knowing about the internet.

The consequences of the rise of the internet was the gradual lack of interest in ham radio and radio itself. Today we rely on the internet way too much. It's only when the internet goes down that we realize how much we depend on it.

We need to have 'store and forward' systems and networks in place for when it does go down. We did 25 years ago with packet radio but we got away from that and it is going to come back and bite us one day.

We need to get others interested in ham radio. While watching various ham radio videos on YouTube, I noticed that the 'Prepper Community' has taken an interest in ham radio. Some even have taken an interest in packet radio again as evidenced in the 'Comsprepper' videos. That's a good start. Perhaps if we tell perspective hams that they can communicate without relying on the internet, that might get their interest.

Where will ham radio be 10 or 20 years from now? It's anyone's guess. But relying on the grid to communicate and taking it for granted is not the answer.

Posted by W4KYR on April 20, 2017

Eyes glaze over
I don't bother to tell anyone anymore. When I first got my novice ticket I told everyone-
no one cared.Now I have a roll top desk that I close when we have company and it stays closed unless I am using the station.

Posted by K2MMO on April 20, 2017

I think that people of 2017 are simply numbed by all of the
electronics that's around them to-day: cellphones, texting
devices, ipads, etc. etc. etc.

Their idea is, "Why do I need all that stuff on your table to
'maybe' talk to Australia, when all I hafta do is pick-up this
little cellphone in my hand, & dial the number…?"

We Hams are the techno-geeks of to-day, only several
decades removed. Life marches on, I'm afraid!

Posted by VE3CUI on April 20, 2017

Half a billion hours of Adam Sandler movies have been
streamed on demand since December 2015.

That's where our society is today.

Posted by K5TED on April 19, 2017

Half a billion hours of Adam Sandler movies have been
streamed on demand since December 2015.

That's where our society is today.

Posted by K5TED on April 19, 2017

Friends or guests come into the home and see the shack and
are not impressed. Ask no questions even if it is on and making
noises! Kids are the least interested

Posted by K6XR on April 19, 2017

HOA & CCR Silence
Seems to me quite a few just keep being a ham close to the vest, lest the HOA or CCR noozy bodies catch wind of a ham in the area.

Posted by K1TWH on April 18, 2017

Lots of strangers....
I'm a docent at a military history museum. I'm always surprised at how many folks "know" about ham radio. We do have a large display of military radios. Comments like "this looks like Uncle Abe's radio room" and "I had my ham ticket long ago" and "I'm a ham, do these rigs work?" etc. Now, these are the older crowd and when the youngsters come in they pretty much just walk pass the rigs without saying anything. However, once or twice a month one of the youngsters will be extremely interested in the rigs and we'll talk a bit about the ham hobby, and I'll give them some of the ARRL handouts. PS: museum call is W9VFW.

Posted by K9KUZ on April 17, 2017

Ham radio still alive?
Strange timing, I was just talking to a 40 year career engineer and I mentioned being on the air in PSK-31 this weekend. His response was "is ham radio still around"?

Posted by W0CBF on April 17, 2017

Multiple reactions
As I am in the Silicon Valley, ham radio is associated with an old guy hobby and not hip. If you are into Solar, electric cars, IoT or something cutting edge, you are cool. Ham radio is not a "hip" hobby to most of the Silicon Valley crowd. In the Silicon Valley, you have the "visual impact" requirement for houses that are not controlled by CC&Rs or part of the high density housing. Ham radio is reserved for retirees. As most people in the Silicon Valley simply do not have the time for ham radio. Commute to work, work massive hours, Commute back home, sleep, repeat.

Posted by KB6QXM on April 16, 2017

Posted by PU2LXN on April 16, 2017

None of the above...LOL!
I really don't talk to that many strangers. My friends are long time ones and know what I am about, which includes a love of radio and stereo gear. If it has lots of buttons, knobs and switches, it's a toy to enjoy!


Posted by WA7SGS on April 16, 2017

Ham Radio
Had a friend of mine at work was asking about ham radio, saying how it or what about cost , etc etc etc !!!

He was telling me he is thinking about ! I hope get invold in ham radio !

Posted by N4MJG on April 16, 2017

How do they react?
For most people I get the same reaction I'd get if I told them I collected stamps.

Posted by KF4HR on April 15, 2017

No vote on this one
because what I always hear is "My grandfather/father/uncle/etc. was a ham radio operator. He had this room full of equipment." I get this all the time. Seems like everyone had a ham in their family.

Posted by N3EG on April 15, 2017

Embroidered Shirt
My wife custom embroidered some shirts for me with a radio tower and my call sign. Perhaps one out of hundred people will ask me what it means.

Posted by KKADAN on April 14, 2017

Ham Radio
I don't give anyone a chance to divert me or avoid an answer. I can get way with it from having been a college prof for 40+ years! It's easy to engage people when they don't know that they are going to be engaged whether they like it or not.

Posted by AB3MO on April 14, 2017

The CB thing
If I mention it and I seldom do anymore, I
get a lot of "is that like CB"?

Now 'days I answer, "more than I would have
ever thought possible!!"

Posted by K0CBA on April 14, 2017

Oh, that guy...
Mention that you are a ham radio operator and the first thing that comes to people's minds is that you are the guy with the antenna farm at his house dragging down their property values!

Posted by WD4ED on April 14, 2017

I'm a Ham
When I mention I am a Ham, I usually get the comment "That's Nice" and then the subject is changed. No one really cares. It actually frustrates my wife when she tells people I am a Ham and gets that answer. I would guess that is why we are only about 0.2 percent of the population!

Posted by WA0TML on April 13, 2017

I'm a Ham Operator...
Usually, When I mention this fact, there is a
silence then... someone will say: WOW! ...
and, then I will say, "I talk around the
World." I've found that people will think
about Emergency Communications -or- they will
think about CB Radio. Otherwise, people
really have no idea what Amateur Radio is all

Posted by AA7LX on April 13, 2017

identity crisis
Years ago at Boeing I acknowledged having a
hamtoid ticket with a few best buds/fellow
engineers (per the vehicle license plate
questions). Forever after, in the labs and
office meetings, they began addressing me as

Posted by K8RY on April 13, 2017

When I bring up ham radio I am quick to say
it's not CB totally different you must take a
test and are licences kinda like a radio

Posted by KA5ROW on April 13, 2017

The response that I get is, "Can you really talk around the world?"

Posted by W0VKW on April 13, 2017

Oh really
So you talk to truckers and stuff?

Posted by N0FPE on April 13, 2017

Radio Shack Stare
Just doesn't seem to be a good feeling for or intrest in the hobby for conversation purpose.

Posted by KE4EX on April 13, 2017

Often I'll get a response stating that a relative is or was
a ham.....but generally not a lot of discussion on ham
radio ensues from my announcement. If any does, it is
often guided in terms of emergency communications
type activities.

Posted by K7AAT on April 12, 2017

N2MG --- Right On
N2MG, you are so correct.

I get that most ALL of the time here, as in, "You mean there
still really IS such a thing as 'Ham radio'…? Wow!"

Posted by VE3CUI on April 12, 2017

N2MG --- Right On
N2MG, you are so correct.

I get that most ALL of the time here, as in, "You mean there
still really IS such a thing as 'Ham radio'…? Wow!"

Posted by VE3CUI on April 12, 2017

old school hobby
I don't tell anyone

Posted by SSBER on April 12, 2017

"Does 'Ham Radio' still exist?", is more like it.

Posted by N2MG on April 12, 2017

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