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2014-12-02


Looking back to YOUR start in Ham radio, with an eye to "...the way things are in the world" to-day, do you think that you would have become an Amateur radio operator if you were somehow miraculously the same age as when you started, but in 2014?
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Manager - VK5LA
Andy Williss (VK5LA) Welcome to the Survey Page.

The goal is to help us all gain a
better understanding of the ham
community... what we like... what
we don't like... about various
aspects of our hobby. Let's make
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humble survey manager.


Please note that there are many
potential surveys in our queue, and
many of them are duplicates.
Sometimes we combine several
questions into one. We at eham.net
make every effort to present all
content in a way that will be
easily understandable and useful to
an international audience.

How long have you been a licensed ham?
  Posted: Jul 06, 2015   (1297 votes, 77 comments) by KA2VTI

  1-2 years
  2-4 years
  4-8 years
  8-15 years
  15-20 years
  20-30 years
  40 or more years
    (1297 votes, 77 comments)

Survey Results
1-2 years 4% (52)
2-4 years 5% (63)
4-8 years 5% (61)
8-15 years 8% (110)
15-20 years 6% (78)
20-30 years 28% (362)
40 or more years 44% (571)

Survey Comments
I have been licensed so long I operated the Special Event Station at David vs. Goliath.

John AF5CC

Posted by AF5CC on July 26, 2015

I have been licensed for 35 years but there is no option if you have been licensed between 30 or 40 years.

John AF5CC

Posted by AF5CC on July 26, 2015

Ham License
I became a Novice in 1971 and went to
become a general the following year! It
took me 5 attempts at the FCC office to
finally pass the code and technical part
of the test! I have joined the ARRL and ha
ve become a LIFE TIME member which I have
never ever regretted! Ham Radio sems to go
in spurts with me: CW,SSB> PSK-31 I have
tried and lovd it all includinf a mobile
set up in 2 vehicles my Jeep Grand
Cherokee and Chev Sierra Pick-up truck! I
loved going mobile. We have the hreatest
hobby ever invented by man! I do love it!
Bob Gorman WA1SCH

Posted by WA1SCH on July 26, 2015

4z5my
member arm/ER1IM/ 1978 plus iarc 2000

Posted by 4Z5MY on July 26, 2015

60 Years
...and my Elmer who was licensed about 7
years before me, is now 95 and doing fine.

Gary W4GAL

Posted by W4GAL on July 25, 2015

KA6MLE
I think the fact that that the absence of that seniority group
was simply an innocent error on the part of the survey
writer...

No discrimination, or anything otherwise untoward, meant at
all, I'm sure!

Posted by VE3CUI on July 25, 2015

Posted by KJ4DGE on July 24, 2015

34 Years
Us 30-40 years guys don't count! :D I have a feeling there is a bunch of us

Posted by KA6MLE on July 24, 2015

How Long Have you been a licensed ham
Been licensed since 1960 or 1961. Can't
remember, since first license was destroyed
in Agnes Flood of '72. 27 ft. of water.

First of 9 hams in the immediate family.
Guinness World Record???

Greatest Hobby in the World!

90% of my closest friends are hams.
73 Gerry K3MKZ

Posted by K3MKZ on July 23, 2015

time ( )'s
Why no choice ( )'s for 30-40 ?

Posted by N4OYT on July 22, 2015

Never gave up
I was first licensed around 1967 then life intervened. 44 years, 4 wives 4 children later I got my General class, upgraded to Extra and have been enjoying the hobby almost 4 years now. Like others I prefer "older" equipment that I can work on as needed. There is something special about the glow of a vacuum tube.

Posted by W4RHH on July 22, 2015

53 Years and Counting
Got licensed in 1962. That is when vacuum tubes and
slide rules ruled, and you had to log everything you did on
the air. A lot has certainly changed since then. Happily
most for the good. It has been a good ride

Posted by K1YPB on July 21, 2015

60 YEARS
Still love the hobby. 3 kids..3 wife's. same hobby. Idea.. want more ham's.. give a license with each new car, and a free QST. Bob W5RG

Posted by W5RG on July 21, 2015

Best of both worlds!
Marriage license and ham license in same year, 1990. Still have both!

Posted by VE3TMT on July 21, 2015

Best of both worlds!
Marriage license and ham license in same year, 1990. Still have both!

Posted by VE3TMT on July 21, 2015

Novice Enhancement
I have been licensed since
1988...back in the Novice expanded
privileges era.

5 WPM and actual theory. None of
the "cram to ham' nonsense of
today.

John KB2HSH
Springbrook NY

Posted by KB2HSH on July 21, 2015

46 Years
Retired deign engineer that stays mentally alert by designing equipment and maintaining my old and new equipment. My age is 70.

73s Bryan KB5RU

Posted by KB5RU on July 21, 2015

46 Years
Retired deign engineer that stays mentally alert by designing equipment and maintaining my old and new equipment. My age is 70.

73s Bryan KB5RU

Posted by KB5RU on July 21, 2015

61 years
1954 as WN8RPW, only change has been dropping the N in early 1955. I still like the old gear that I can work on and not have to go through some 100 page menu. So many changes that I do not care for, but that is they way most things go. Certainly object to the license in a cracker jack box that we have now. Always sort of amusing when one mentions running a pair of 833s or pair of 304TLs and get the response "not acquainted with that rig"! Have to go and feed the dinosaurs, they are waiting for breakfast. Bernie W8RPW

Posted by W8RPW on July 21, 2015

Long time ham
I was a ham before the Dead Sea got sick and went SK!

Now, that's old!

Posted by W6AAJ on July 20, 2015

Abv.

Going bk. to the 1962 era, I first
started out with a dx 40 and a
Hallicrftr
s 11. I was only a kid then, but
mastered the code with a J 38 key and
my
Heathkit DX 40, staying in the novice
area of the 40 meter band. Lo and
behold
as time passed by, I went QRT, and the
activity with the hobby went idle for
nrly 30 years !!! I went QRV bk. in
1997
and have been active (mostly CW) ever
since. It's a great hobby, and I'm here
to stay. 73 to all

Posted by WX8NN on July 19, 2015

Survey years as a ham
I got my teck license in Sept. 21, 2001 my
call was KC8SGA! Then in 2013, a year after my
dad died, I got his call, W8ERK! This call I'm
going to keep, because it was dad's!

Posted by W8ERK on July 19, 2015

No choice for 30-40?
Well, I've been licensed since 1978. Got my first ticket about a month before my 18th birthday. So I've been licensed for 37 years, and have had this call for 36 of those years. The only other thing I've had that long, is my wife. We've been married for 32 years (in a row). And since age was talked about, I turn 55 this month.

73 de N8AUC
Eric

Posted by N8AUC on July 19, 2015

How Long?
Since Moby Dick was a sardine!

73 es GUD DX de KC5NGX

Posted by KC5NGX on July 18, 2015

G8' etc
Where, on earth, are the UK hams hiding??????????


G8HOU

Posted by G8HOU on July 18, 2015

58 years
And to the shegrin (sp) of my mom, I did follow my dad into ham radio as he was the original W6ZKH and my call in 1957 at age 15 was K6YDW. Mom hated ham radio, but she always knew where I was as a teenage, sorta. Dad and I had a basement station, so she'd think I was there when I was actually doing other things I wasnt suppose to. And to follow that up, and have gone back to my roots in ham radio and work mostly AM using old 1950-1960 Boatanchors. At lease I can still repair them, compared to the new, SMD stuff where only the factory can.


Posted by W6ZKH on July 18, 2015

No category for 30-40 years so I ticked 20-30
since I'm close to 30 than 40. I knew
Amateur Radio was an aging hobby but looking
at those results I didn't realize how 'much'
it was age biased!

Posted by VK3DMN on July 16, 2015

1974. Do they have a HCWA? At least that would give me something to look forward to.

Posted by W8AAZ on July 16, 2015

Radio Hobby
After a hiatus of 50+ years I got licensed again approx. 3 years ago. I skipped out of the hobby for college and a lifetime of on-air work in radio. Now retired I plan on getting involved...ham radio is like a brand new hobby since I received my first ticket @14!!

Tom KB3ZAA

Posted by KB3ZAA on July 15, 2015

60 years and counting
I will be in ham radio 60 years come this October. Started at age 15 which makes me 75 now. First station was a Harvey Wells TBS-50D Bandmaster Deluxe 40 watt AM/CW Transmitter and a Hallicrafters S53A receiver. Sure miss the magic of those days. 73 de Joe W1HFF

Posted by W1HFF on July 15, 2015

since.....
long john silver only had an egg on his
shoulder

Posted by M6RGX on July 15, 2015

Half my Life!
I have been licensed 21 years or half my life now...! I will be the ripe old age of 43 in September...! Still as excited about the hobby as the first day I was licensed...! 73, K7SKE Mike Boise, Idaho

Posted by K7SKE on July 15, 2015

How long have you been a licensed ham?
First licensed at the age of 13 and I have enjoyed the hobby now for 40 years this month....Wn9vmr

Posted by WN9VMR on July 14, 2015

Age:60
Been a ham since 1971(44 years). Bought used or home brewed equip for the 1st 20 years. World Greatest Hobby!

Posted by NT9E on July 13, 2015

How long have you been a licensed ham?
Well this info is really not useful without including the age. This only leads to thinking that all the long time hams are really old, however this might not be the case. So I would suggest the same survey but also include age input as well and get an average age of each time group. I for instance am only in the 4 to 8 year range and am 43 yrs old however I know some my age and younger who have been hams a good bit longer.

Posted by K5WCF on July 13, 2015

39 YEARS / X BOX
The younger Adults, have many other options,
like XBOX, Play Station, and the rest of the
entertainment consoles.

I am very happy, I was exposed to Ham Radio,
as this hobby provided me with not only my
career in satellite communications, but
indirectly found my wife!

Tom Wright
NN2X

Posted by NN2X on July 12, 2015

39 YEARS / X BOX
The younger Adults, have many other options,
like XBOX, Play Station, and the rest of the
entertainment consoles.

I am very happy, I was exposed to Ham Radio,
as this hobby provided me with not only my
career in satellite communications, but
indirectly found my wife!

Tom Wright
NN2X

Posted by NN2X on July 12, 2015

Next question
The next question should be, what is your
age? That should tell us if we have enough
young people entering the hobby. I'm of the
belief that you don't usually follow in your
parents hobbies, cuz what they do ain't cool.
(My sons laugh at me and "my ham friends" and
compare it to being in the chess club in high
school; nerdy.) BUT, grandpa and grandma are
cool and what they do is pretty fun. So I am
hopeful for a new crop of young folks. (My
five year old grandson is in awe of grandpa's
"glowing goodies.")

Posted by WA8MEA on July 12, 2015

Next question
The next question should be, what is your
age? That should tell us if we have enough
young people entering the hobby. I'm of the
belief that you don't usually follow in your
parents hobbies, cuz what they do ain't cool.
(My sons laugh at me and "my ham friends" and
compare it to being in the chess club in high
school; nerdy.) BUT, grandpa and grandma are
cool and what they do is pretty fun. So I am
hopeful for a new crop of young folks. (My
five year old grandson is in awe of grandpa's
"glowing goodies.")

Posted by WA8MEA on July 12, 2015

Been a ham for 23 Years. My first radio was the Radio Shack HTX-202.

Posted by W4KYR on July 11, 2015

51 years and still counting!

Posted by K8BDW on July 11, 2015

Survey, Years had licence
58 years, a lot has changed since first licened.
K1DPB

Posted by K1DPB on July 11, 2015

32 Years
Almost 32 years.

Posted by KB4MRX on July 11, 2015

24 years
Jeez, just realized...I can join the QCWA
next year! I love it

Posted by N2MWE on July 11, 2015

What happened to the 30-40 year category?
I guess we don't count?

Posted by KA3NXN on July 10, 2015

15
Months...and counting. :)

I've already spent enough money on this hobby
to buy a decent used car, a nice two week
Hawaiian vacation, or several cases of fine
Scottish whiskey. I think the radio gear will
outlast all the above though.

Posted by KG7KMR on July 10, 2015

Yeah, right.
The only way this poll in any way "helps us all gain a better understanding of the ham community" is by showing us that all too many of us will be dead soon--and this hobby will probably go with them.

Posted by K1CJS on July 10, 2015

How long have you been licensed
63 years. I led to a wonderful profession and a great
retirement.

George, W6GF

Posted by W6GF on July 10, 2015

Available Call Signs
If this pool is accurate, there are going to
be a lot of great calls available within 5-10
years... "/

Posted by AB9TX on July 10, 2015

Years as a ham survey
Another beautiful rising Bell curve that has no mirror
image falling half. ;)

Mortality is the "great decider."

Posted by W3RSW on July 10, 2015

HOW LONG
LICENSED FOR 58 YEARS. NOVICE KN4PHY 1957.
NOW HS0ZDR (N4CT). EX T5CT, SV0CT, TJ1AW, K4PHY/YV5, G5BAU, GC5BAU, DL5IX, KH6/N4CT, K4PHY. STILL LOVE HAMMING.
HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THE YEARS WENT, HI.
73 DE CHARLIE N4CT HS0ZDR

Posted by N4CT on July 10, 2015

Never a dull moment on Ameteur Radio!
Been licensed since 1988 (27 years). Traveled around
the world on Uncle Sam's dime and operated from many
locations. Throughout my life, amateur radio has been a
fun companion. Can't wait to see what the next 27 years
will bring. 73 all!

Posted by KG4CLD on July 10, 2015

Well, pfthhhh! I ticked the wrong radio button for the survey. I shoulda hit 20-30 years, but for some mysterious reason I clicked 15-20! The mind is the second thing to go...

First licensed in 1989. Occasionally, I'd muse, 'someday, I'll be eligible for the Quarter-Century Wireless Association...' It seemed so far removed. Last year, I hit the 25-year mark and looked into QCWA. Well, they didn't seem to do anything I was really interested in, so I didn't bother joining. LOL!

Posted by W3HR on July 10, 2015

50+ years!
Loved that smell of glowing vacuum tubes! Still very active after all these years.

Posted by WB2RCB on July 9, 2015

Licensed how long?
Got my license in 1994.Just over 21 years so
far & I hope for many many more.Love the
Hobby.Much more time for operating now that
I'm retired so I am making many more contacts
these days. {:>)

Posted by W4KVW on July 9, 2015

37+ and Still Having Fun
There is no option for my number of years of 37 so I checked 40 plus because I played with radio years before I got a ham license. I was licensed at 15 years old like a great number of hams back in those days.

Posted by AA5TB on July 9, 2015

Career Director
First licensed, Novice, in 1956; Conditional in 1957. No renewal from grad school. Ham radio led me into chemistry, chemical instrumentation, and teaching Analytical and Organic Chemistry on the college level for 35+ years. Radio work while earning private pilot, instrument, and seaplane ratings was a breeze. Returning to Ham Radio was easy as I had been using the amateur background for a long, long time. Took all three exams, 35 minutes, at one time and surprised myself. Great retirement present! So, do I have 10 years with a license or 59 years -- I don't know.

Posted by AB3MO on July 9, 2015

Cycle 19
I'd like to see this expanded beyond the 40
plus years to see the impact of Solar Cycle
19, Sputnik, etc. I was licensed in 1957--
how many others were licensed in 50s, 60's

Posted by K0SUR on July 9, 2015

60 Years plus
I began swling on my parents Philco radio
when I was in the 5th.grade,1948. My Mom and
Dad got me a crystal radio in the 6th grade
1949. Met my first ham W8ZOO,Kelly,sk 1950.
Built the Knight 10 in 1 lab kit for my
8th.grade science project, 1951. I received
my Novice License in January 1955. First
receiver S-38C and HB 2 tube 6V6/6L6 crystal
rig with plug in coils and 2 crystals.
Wow....what fun! 60 plus years of great
amateur radio enjoyment!

73, Ned W8VFM

Posted by W8VFM on July 9, 2015

World-Wide People Contact!
Interest began in 7th Grade...led to Career(s) in Electronics and Communications Engineering and to further Education. I don't know of anything that beats talking to others locally and then, also being able to talk around the world; Making friends. The excitement of the unknown when you speak into the microphone; Watching Middle School Students eyes light-up talking to far-away places...! Thank You, Mom and Dad.

Posted by AA7LX on July 8, 2015

Got my Novice July 12 1984 that will be 31
years 4 days from now.

Posted by KA5ROW on July 8, 2015

37 years
Learned code first (CG RM "A" School 1974-75) then got my Novice Ticket in 78. ZUT - CW forever!

Posted by WQ5O on July 8, 2015

40 or more
I've been licensed 47 years last January. Held every class US license and have been licensed in 2 foreign countries on different continents. WOW - what a ride!

Posted by WB0HZL on July 8, 2015

Old Old Timers
Since better than half the responses right
now said "40 or more years", maybe this
survey should be redone to break it down even
more than this.
Me? 38 years and counting...

Posted by AD7DB on July 8, 2015

54 Years +
Thanks to my high school friend Harry Leiser
K1HL (ex WA2MEW)Who made my hobby into a
career.

Posted by W4EG on July 8, 2015

54 Years +
Thanks to my high school friend Harry Leiser
K1HL (ex WA2MEW)Who made my hobby into a
career.

Posted by W4EG on July 8, 2015

54 Years
1961, cost me $2 to get on the air with recycled twin-lead, an old Zenith SW rcvr, and a 6L6 Colpitts built from junk. The $2 was for the used 7187kc xtal and a cheap plastic-base key, both of which I still have to this day. Probably spent $20K on the hobby since then, and still find CW to be the most rewarding operating mode (for me).

Posted by K4IQT on July 8, 2015

Great for me
Ham radio indirectly found my wife, and the
Ham experience provided a handsome living for
40 years, while traveling in 69 countries.


Today I find many young adults playing on
various platforms outside of Ham Radio. I
don't think these new hobbies, such as XBOX,
and Play Station can offer such opportunities
as I had through Ham radio!

Posted by NN2X on July 8, 2015

My ham radio activities are explained in my page in this eHam.net. I had used this high Callbook page since 1970's years when it are annually printed list book. It was the first list that I had used for many years for my hams researchs.

PR7CPK on July 6,2015

Posted by PR7CPK on July 7, 2015

30-40???
Oops, just noticed there is no category listed for those licensed between 30 and 40 years !!!

Posted by K7AAT on July 7, 2015

50 years
Glad to see a new survey ! This one is pretty basic, but a pretty darn good subject. Probably should have had a 40-50 year range followed by a 51+ range, given the age of hams today... but it will be fun to follow this survey and watch the bottom choice grow and grow. I hit the 50 year mark this year. Sure miss the old days in some respects.

Posted by K7AAT on July 7, 2015

46 years
Still love it.

Posted by WX4O on July 7, 2015

How long have you been a licensed ham?
The days of paying $300 for a radio and then buying crystals (one for transmit and one for receive) at $12 each are gone, thank god. Now I can buy a dual band HT for $30 and toss it if it gets hosed and now software defined radios. It just gets better and better.
43 years and counting.

73, Larry WB8LBZ

Posted by WB8LBZ on July 7, 2015

35 years actually.

Posted by F8WBD on July 7, 2015

WOW!! STILL AWESOME
54 years now. No looking back to the "good old days" for me.
The hobby has been getting better and better as the years
have passed. Compare my 1961 Heathkit AR-3 receiver and
Heathkit DX-20 to my modern Ten-Tec gear. Would not go
back to those days for anything. TODAY is the good new days
for me. Forget the good old days - they were not that good.
IMHO of course.

Posted by K7NSW on July 6, 2015

How long have you been a licensed ham?

First it was all of the mailings from the
AARP three days before my 50th birthday.

Now I can sit around all my boat anchors
and recall countless stories of iced-up
antennas, near electrocutions, the DX
that got away, and the feeling of green
ice cubes forming in my intestines as I
faced down that steely-eyed FCC examiner
just before the 20 WPM code test those
many years ago in the Norfolk, VA FCC
office, not to mention the magic that
came from being transformed from WN4FOM
to WA4FOM. Sheer magic.

Yes, I'm proud to be an old fart. 73!

Posted by WA4FOM on July 6, 2015

member rsgb pluss arrl and darc since 1960

Posted by LA3EI on July 6, 2015

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