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[Articles Home]  [Add Article]  

Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air

from Ron Henry, KB9ZB on January 6, 2019
View comments about this article!

Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air

I teach a lot of classes for new hams and I note that as much encouragement I give them in class, only a very small percentage are actually on the air. I have been active in ham radio since I got me ticket, but I believe it was my introduction into the amateur radio world that set the stage for my activity.

I have talked to a lot of new hams who are on the air and or active in local clubs. I sense a common theme they all seem to have a few common threads: most were exposed to Amateur Radio by another ham and all have had some on the air experience. When asking about upgrading, the answer most given was they did not see any need to upgrade and or they didnít know anything about HF or have been on HF and further more saw this as a huge unneeded expense. almost universally they have never tried it and most all did not have Any knowledge of what it takes to put up an HF station on the air.

I was introduced to the service through my military service and on HF, so for me the biggest reason to upgrade was the HF voice privileges. I must confess here since I had an extras class on base he let me use his radio to get on the ten-meter band. Also I did not upgrade to general until they dropped the code requirement, 5 was one thing 15 was a mountain I could not climb!

That said, if we want more active hams that stay round we need to get them on the air, and having an HF station readily available I believe would entice many more to get active. Why HF? Mostly because there is so little activity on the 2 and 70 CM bands that the new hams will see very little need to buy a radio to get on the air.

I have talked to otherís in cities with a very active 2-meter activity and they seem to have a lot of new hams get on the air and get active. It seems that it is not just voice, but the local repeater is a good source of information for the new guys to find out where to go to find out who else has their interest such as remote control and model rockets.

I think the bottom line is we are the main reason why so many new hams are not active, we talk the talk, but most of us are not walking the walk.

Ron Henry

KB9ZB

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Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AC8S on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
what a FANTASTIC article. I thought I was the only one who thought this way. I use to be a net manager for the Thumb Mid Michigan Traffic net, which meets on 147.300 at 9:30PM Monday through Saturday. So many nets on 2 and 70 CM have not been getting checkins. I would love to see all net managers of 2 meter and 70 cm nets to move their nets to 10 meters. Then, we'll see more people get on hf, and that's what we all want, right? I sure do! I experienced the same thing the author did. In 1974, my brother Howard, (and I owe him thanks, forever for doing this), on a Friday night, brought up north where I lived in northern Michigan near West Branch, a Halicrafter SX111 receiver, and he put up a piece of wire on my curtain rod, for an antenna, and my goodness folks, hf came ALIVE, for me!!!! I first, started listening that weekend, to nets, and, to contests. I WAS HOOKED!!!! Oh yes I was!!!
He also, gave me a code key, and a code tape with Wayne Green, W2NSD, teaching me the code. I didn't do much with it at first, just kept listening to my receiver. I'm blind here, and I didn't know how I would study the theory. But on a Saturday, in December of 1976, he took me over to Joe, wb8dmc's qth. Now by this time, I had been listening to nets and contests for over 2 years, and we moved back to East Detroit, Mi. I went with Howard, to Joes house. He said "Harry, you want to get on the air, on my radio? Did I want to get on the air? You bet I did, especially, when I was on 75 meter phone, and heard w8jup, in Montague, Mi. calling cq. I knew him, from listening on my receiver, and now, maybe I could work him!!! And sure enough, I knew the lingo. So, Joe said, Harry, go ahead and call him. I said, "w8jup, this is wb8dmc, you copy?" Did he copy me? Oh yes he did, 20 over 9 on the west coast of Michigan. Now, I'm talking to this guy who I heard all these years. This for me, was like meeting a famous baseball player, or rock star!! Then, after that QSO, he said, I hear you like contests, huh? How would you like to work one? He should not have asked me that question, but I told him I did. He went on 40 meters with those great Drake twins, transmitter and receiver!!! That weekend, they had the WAS bicentennial contest on. I worked I have no idea how many stations. I was REALLY HOOKED, now, hooked enough to go home and start working on the code, and every morning at the Michigan School for the Blind, I studied the code, on my tape recorder, and was so excited to get home on the weekend from school, and I began to copy code on hf, and got faster, and faster. There is no better way to get better at copying code then to copy it in actual QSOs on HF! I took the code test in June and passed it, on the first try!!! I also, said to the radio club guys, "I'm blind, I need the theory in braille, can someone help me, please?" Oh did they ever help me. They found a wonderful woman in the Detroit area, who did braille, and she brailled the entire license manual and I read it, got the theory down, and passed my test in June of 77, also. So then, on Tuesday, July 26, 1977, I'm sitting at home, and mom was at work, and I didn't know if I passed the test or not, (you didn't know in those days, until you either got the license, or, the failure notice. Everyday, I would get the mail out of the mailbox!!! Well, that Tuesday morning, I got the mail out of the box, (mom let me do that, because she knew how excited I was every day to find out if it was my license. I brought the mail in, and that night, when mom got home from work, she said, "you got something from the FCC." She opened it instantly, and, IT WAS MY HAM RADIO NOVICE LICENSE!!!! I'm not using all caps because I'm angry at anyone, I'm doing it out of excitement. I, had, passed my novice license, and my call, wd8oep!!! Maybe some of you worked me back then. But it gets even better. We moved back up north to Sagelake, Mi. I couldn't get on the air, because I had no station, but in February, 1978, a miracle happened!! It was the middle of the afternoon, and I was very depressed, I had nothing to do at home, and I could not get on the air!! All of the sudden, Loyde, wb8ent, calls me, and says, Trippy, that's what he called me, because that's what my family calls me, because there are 3 people in my family named Harry, so it's triple. He said, "Trippy, I've a surprise to bring over to the house to you, are you going to be home?" I said yes, I'll be here." It was a sure thing I would be there, because we were having a snow storm, and I could not go anywhere. In 15 minutes, there's a nock at my door. Loyde, Bob, who is now kb8EV, and Marty, wd8mrb, were standing in my door, and Loyde said, "Trippy, would you like to get on the air today?" What could I say, but ABSOLUTELY I would!!! He said, we've got to go in your bedroom, I got something to put on your desk." We went in there, and he puts on my desk a Heath Kit HW8, and, a little power supply, for me. It was his rig and power supply, that I could borrow, until I could afford to buy my own rig. Then, after he hooks that up, him, Bob, and Marty, go outside, in a snow storm, and put up for me, a 15 meter dipole, that's right, a coaxial, 15 meter dipole!!! I'm so angry at myself, that I never went outside to feel how they made it. I've only seen copper wire dipoles, and insulated wire dipoles. Then, they come back in the house, and they turn it on, and Loyde said, Trippy, slip these headphones on, and 15 meters was ALIVE!!!! Back then, the novice round up was on, and n6lk, was calling cq novice roundup. Now I had my code key, still, that I practiced with back in 76, and he hooked up the key to the hw8, and I called him, and, he got me on the 1st call!!! I loged him, on my tape recorder log, and I was off and running!!! I worked 15 that night till it died about 9PM! Needless to say, I woke up early Sunday morning, about 7:30, and turned on the rig, and worked more stations on 15 meters!!! So, there's my story, and I'm sticking to it, hihi!!!
If anyone wants to use my story, to get woodbee hams excited, and to get them hooked, plase use it to your hearts content!73, everybody,
Trippy, AC8S
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by G4AON on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Many hams with a full licence and HF equipment tell me the bands are in awful shape and there is such a lot of electrical noise that they donít bother operating anymore. These are ďSSBĒ operators who either never learnt CW or have not progressed beyond the basic speed needed to pass the old UK 12 WPM test. They seem incapable of reducing their local noise level, or of picking optimum frequencies/times to work stations.

Every morning while participating in a 160m SSB local net, my QS1R SDR receiver, PA0RDT active antenna and CW Skimmer Server put dozens of HF CW CQ calls into the cluster screen of my logging program. After the net I often go on to have one or two CW QSOs. There is no shortage of HF activity on CW, just not much on SSB!

I donít have an answer as to why so many hams donít operate anymore, maybe they just canít be bothered and prefer to vegetate in front of a TV?

73 Dave
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by DL8OV on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I think that there are a number of reasons why we don't see many hams on HF.

The first reason is that an HF antenna in whatever form is a large item and it tends to attract attention. In my own case I have been told by the housemeister "one antenna and no more", and this immediately excludes working the Americas due to antenna direction.

Secondly, not everyone is able to homebrew their equipment and the cost of an HF station can be substantial. Even used an HF transceiver is a very expensive item.

Finally, there is the problem of operator skill. Generally, if you can hear a station on 2m FM you can work them. There are few (if any) pileups and almost a total lack of QRM. On HF there is QRM from sources all over the world, a need for more precise tuning, pileups, operators with power amplifiers and (sometimes) a need for split tuning. For some this is a step too far.

There is however a solution, the clubs. Most clubs have decent HF gear with one or more good antennas and all they need to do is a bit of elmering, get the VHF operators used to HF techniques. Once this is done and the club gear is made available to the HF beginners we should see them on air.

Who knows, maybe some of them will want to learn CW, we can all dream.

Peter DL8OV
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KW4JX on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with the author.
I think one reason may be that most clubs do not have a Club Station.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3HKN on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio is one large contest that runs 24 hours a day. Continuous competition fostered by the ARRL/QST. New Hams see that there is editorial, and content, support for winners. The poor guy with the old SSB rig and an attic dipole is not part of that clique. There is more to Ham Radio but only equipment and contests receive the attention of the ARRL. Stories about Hams getting that first contact, or reaching the Antarctica, are missing. Instead we see Hams spending outrageous sums on "DXexpeditions" to create another "goal". A goal that influences new Hams to spend more money to achieve that goal. It is a 5-9 and move on world.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KJ4DGE on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Good points all round. Cost, exposure to HF, family and jobs, newer hams are tech savvy being younger. Why invest in a 500 dollar radio when you live in a townhouse with HOA's? The "thrill" of HF is what kept me in the hobby but the silence of 2 and 440 use in the Metro areas are what drives away anyone new from using a cheap 5 watt HT. Club stations would be a nice incentive to be able to operate on HF and get a taste of what they are missing.

But then time is money and older folks might have more time than younger ones and "maybe" the money to build that station. The world has moved on.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by G3SEA on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Some relevant points above.

I have heard that some New Hams got a Licence just to load their resume for a Tech entry level job.

Others get bored with Just checking into a VHF/UHF Net for the numbers with no interesting discourse and move on to other interests of which there are now many.

Many of those who actually do get on HF have gone ( understandably in this low solar cycle ) straight to FT8 where the can make many ' contacts'.

The switch to FT8 is a current phenomenon.


G3SEA/KH6
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA5VGO on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Why look for a complicated explanation? The real reason is simple. The licenses are so easy to obtain that a large portion of those who get them arenít really committed to the hobby. They quickly lose interest and move on to something else.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4MB on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I just saw that the only country club in our relatively affluent suburb is closing. The reason stated: not enough young people are taking up golfing and they can no longer make a go of it.

In my opinion, ham radio and golfing are fairly similar in that they can (depending on how hard you shop) can take a great deal of money and time to Ďget into.í (Or, in the case of golfing, get good at it) The last couple of generations are of a Ďright nowí mindset, by and large. Yes, Iím generalizing and there are plenty of exceptions, but they are the reason Amazon next day or two day delivery has taken off the way it has. You find it online (or worse, pick it out at a local store and hose over the local merchant), click a submit button and forget about it. A day or two later, itís like Christmas and the brand new whatever is there in all itís glory. Studying - even memorizing from a pool of test questions - for a hobby which at a first glance offers them less reliable communications than the iPhone or Android residing on their hip is just not going to happen with the current generation(s). Believe me ... Iíve asked them. They wonít give you a reason unless you pin them down (they usually donít like to offend), but if you persist it will come down to some variation of the above. They are NOT impressed by it like us old coots were at their age and it does not wow their friends, for the most part.

Solution? Beats me, but in no way do I think the cause is a dumbing down of the testing or doing away with the CW requirement. But to the question at hand, so many Techs do it for EMCOMM purposes as part of their job - or maybe even because theyíve read a post-apocalyptic novel or two. The reality sets in when they fire up the Baofeng and they finally figure out the PL codes for the local repeater and get them programmed - only to find few folks monitoring or willing to talk.

Donít worry ... HF will impress them about the same - or less.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB9ZB on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
you may be correct as to why we do not get more folks into the amateur radio service, BUT we must keep the ones we do get. My article was an attempt to address that issue, not getting them in but rather retention.

One fault we all seem to have is addressing our service as just anther hobby. Once we address it as a radio service rather than a hobby, we attract more long term inclined people. once we get them licensed, we have to retain them. empirical evidence seems to indicate HF as a means of retention
Ron
KB9KB
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4PB on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Perhaps Techs are not becoming active because the Tech is the "entry level" license and yet it restricts them to CW only on all of the primary HF bands. I expect they soon tire of checking into the weekly repeater net and listening to "dead air" on 2M the rest of the time. I think we might do better to let them participate with the rest of us on all bands and all modes, but limit their power to 100W as an incentive to upgrade.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA5VGO on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
If they want to participate with everyone on HF let them upgrade like the rest of us did.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB0HAE on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The local club used to maintain an HF station at the local library. I used it a few times after upgrading to General before being able to set up my own station. It was nothing fancy, a Kenwood TS120S, a power supply, a mic, a key, and the antenna. I believe that the person who maintained the station passed away, and the club couldn't get anyone else to do it, so they took the station down and sold the equipment.

I do believe that if more Tech class licensees were exposed to HF (other than 10M which is dead most of the time these days), they might be more interested in upgrading. Some exposure to digital modes couldn't hurt either.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3UIM on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
100 Watts?? Judas Priest! We were restricted as Novices to 75 and we made it ok! It was power enough to get us into our General tickets. It seems, today, that 1 kw wasn't enough for the higher classes either.
When is it ever enough??
Charlie, K3UIM
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB1GMX on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
We need an entry class HF license. That simple.

All the techs I know of course did not realize that
every band from 10 up is available in all modes. And
life is not limited to an HT.

Most are surprised they can run 1500W on 6M SSB or
even FT8. That 2M has the low end of the band with
SSB, CW and satellites that can be worked with simple
antennas and HTs.

Pet peve, solar minimum... The bands are dead. No,
just plain no, they are very much alive just not as
much. There may be days when propagation is worse
due to variation not due to sun spots. And for a new
OP DX is every station worked so short hop is a new
state. Good place to start when better is coming.

However FT8 is draining the bands and does take the
most gear aka recent SSB radio and a computer. But
maybe my computer beeped yours and got a boop back
is not so big a deal for some. So everyone running
to FT8 makes an otherwise functional band seem deader.
Why bother with HF if it sounds dead.

I will close with this. Want more activity? Try
taking to more people on the rest of the bands.

Allison




 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4PB on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I suggested 100W because that is what the majority of transceivers put out by themselves. The difference between 75W and 100W isn't much but it saves having to teach people to dial back their transceiver power. As long as they don't run a linear, they'll be abiding by the power limit.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K1QQQ on January 6, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
100 watts ? Who enforces that ? Just like CB is limited to 4 watts output.

I have recently been knocking present amateur radio in various formats trying to figure out myself what is going on.

Clubs ? VHF/UHF ? I think I have digested that the present day Tech license crowd is simply a crowd that does not know why they got the license and all they do is talk on the repeaters about everything besides amateur radio or radio. Most always sound like they are on an ego trip. In this thread !!!!! YES...A resume of how important they are and their lifetime skills true or false. The HAM license is there to advance their careers.(possible) Then the social life is 'dinners and breakfasts' with the crowd. (minus radio as a topic)

Anything Amateur Radio that meant anything to a person decades back means zero. No interest. A subject of jokes. Contests,Paper Chasing (awards),DX, QSLS, home-brewing of anything, listening, (SWL) and the list will go on.

Get around and get involved with a club. Mostly Tech and the important ones got an extra to be important. Anything that used to interest the chronic long time Amateur Radio operator is in fact the target of a JOKE. You are obsolete.


I have noted in just trying to think what is the population of your area. Connecticut has a few million. Ask yourself are you really that obsolete if you get along with most the population fine but some in a radio club NO and the population there is 3. (or 4..or 2...or 5)

What preserves the spectrum for Amateur Radio ? Who can not guess it might be over with ?

Long ago Amateur Radio was fun. The ARRL invented Incentive Licensing and ever since ? Now they want to give some HF to Tech's when they have had 10/15/40/80 all along. They can sit there with a cw decoder and talk to the world. No interest. Why not demote Generals again.(again..again..again)

Get Extras to have incentive for the Extra Plus and demote.

I am rambling with foolish thought so excuse me. BUT there is a very serious problem here and the hobby might be gone upcoming.

I know many many who have given up the hobby because they simply can not take the Tech Crowd anymore.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KF4HR on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
To directly address the question, Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air, a few thoughts come to mind:

* Some may feel intimidated or generally unwelcome on the air.

* Some may be weighing the cost of ham equipment vs the cost of a smart phone.

* Some may be asking themselves why spend the money on ham equipment when they see so many hams migrating to the VoIP modes, and realize pretty much the same types communications can be accomplished with their smart phone and Skype, iChat AV, iSight, FaceTime, etc, complete with voice, text, and video.


 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA5VGO on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Iíve got an idea. Why donít we just eliminate all testing. Your call sign can be your initials and your zip code. That might bring in some new blood.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N1AUP on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
One of the things that I'd like our club to try is to send a letter to every new or upgrading ham in our area. The letter will congratulate them on getting their license, will introduce them to the club, invite them to a meeting, and offer to set them up with an elmer to help them in any way. We're also discussing giving each new ham a free, one year membership to the club to get them started.

Not sure if it will work, but it certainly can't hurt.

Chris
N1AUP
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AC2RY on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Today Technician privileges only practically only allow digital modes, telemetry and IoT kind of use (I know people who got it to run data streams between drones and ground stations at powers levels higher than allowed for unlicensed users). That is why you do not find them in the air - they only use computer to computer communications.

Real HAM activity is on HF bands. Any license that does not allow work voice (forget CW - no new HAMs learn Morse anyway) on HF has very little actual value. It makes sense to eliminate Technician license altogether.

Thus we need three license tiers:
1. Voice and digital on all bands with some frequency range restrictions (just like General today).
2. Voice and digital on all bands without restrictions.
3. Advanced license to operate AM voice, own repeaters or use wide band digital modes (including video downlinks from drones, microwave mesh networks etc.).

That way everyone can operate on all bands, but higher level licenses allow either transmit on additional frequencies within these bands or run modes that consume wider frequency range.

Some propose limit transmitted power, but this is very hard or impossible to enforce.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K6CRC on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
A wide variety of answers. I will toss in my $0.02
.
And, I have two twenty something boys who work in tech and film industry. Neither they nor their friends have shown ANY interest in the hobby.
One thing that we need to understand is that the thrill us OFs got from talking on a radio doesn't translate to the iPhone generation. Using a 2M HH with a repeater seems downright dumb. Call the person on a cell phone...

Not just Ham radio, but ALL hobbies are suffering. Collecting - stamps, coins, trains, etc. Old cars, hot rods, most boats. Young people are not into having or owning those things. The majority of stuff in those hobbies will continue to slide in value and in interest.

I went to a large regional car show in the fall. Hot Rods, customs, restored. Muscle cars, 50s cars, low riders, Classic cars, etc. Half had 'For Sale' signs on them. Depressingly, I was in the lower end of the age distribution, at 65! As with Ham Radio, there isn't a large interest in old cars among the young. My point is this - the Ham Radio hobby, as with other hobbies may fade no matter what we do now.

Enjoy the hobby and continue to encourage younger people to join, of course. That may mean new licensing types. The idea of a club station is a great one, allows new hams to test drive the hobby at little or no cost.
Whatever you do, ditch the 'no-coder' and 'CBer' talk. Quickest way to turn off people to your hobby or cause is to insult them. Something the political/entertainment industry just doesn't get. Nor do a lot of OF hams.

Who knows, there could be a revival of ham tinkerers with the new 'Homeland' generation (2001-?). Maybe they will get into mobile HF contesting in that 66 GTO they restored!
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8TI on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Having HF stations set up and available to local club members will probably get some of the Techs interested in HF. However, we can all make an attempt to get on the air more so that the newcomer has someone to speak with. The bands are definitely not as busy as they were twenty years ago. However, If we all try to make some contacts, even two or three times a week, the bands would be crowded again and perhaps that may interest the newcomers. I believe that if someone goes through the trouble of getting their license, they most likely want to get on the air. Having more activity on the bands will give the new people someone to talk to.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KF5KWO on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I used to wonder if it was the push to get the Tech license becuase you could use repeaters to talk to other hams around town, or support events or EMCOMM. VHF/UHF wasnít the lure for me. Iím a child of the 70s/80s and remember the Cold War and shortwave propaganda stations, etc., and being able to talk to hams in those kinds of places and conditions did it for me. With thiis phenomenon out of the picture nowadays, maybe there isnít a romantic lure of faraway locales and hams who struggle as much as we do to get our antennas up and working during a storm in spite of the local political situations theyíre dealing with. :-)

Or, perhaps now there are so many of us having to deal with HOA/CCRs and restrictions that itís kind of killing the buzz of upgrading to General to get on HF? Makes me think that it would be cool to have a special event or contest for just indoor antennas, or just HOA/CCR antenna-restricted stations, or you get extra points for a QSO with someone, something like that.

73 de Jeff, KF5KWO
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WB4M on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe they don't want to be on the air. Local repeaters very quiet, no ENComm needed, no bicycle races. Giving them HF SSB for nothing might work for some, for a while. Just imagine over 300,000 new FT8 operators! Good grief! They won't stay with no skin in the game. the latest cellphone offers them an incredible amount of fun and variety that ham radio can't touch. We have to face the cold reality that ham radio has become rather irrelevant in the world today and as technology continues to move forward we will become more irrelevant. Some Techs got their ticket and see they don't like ham radio and moved on.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by ONAIR on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
If you go over and read the "Reddit Amateur Radio" forums (comprised mostly of young hams in their 20s and early 30s) it becomes quite clear! They are mainly focused on Uhf/Vhf digital/computer modes (DMR, Dstar, etc.). Very few have any interest in HF operation, or SSB and CW.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KJ4DGE on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with K6CRC, pretty much the world is changing and the old ways of thinking about it are as well. So enjoy the hobby and don't worry about saving a ship that has a too many holes to fill (people to recruit). If this generations kids are taught in science class about a historical method of communication maybe that will be our legacy as HAMs. See my Non-article/light-hearted story posted earlier.

https://www.eham.net/articles/38040
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W3DBB on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
In this area many if not most of the new Technician licensees do it as part of a college class or as a resume builder in their bid to obtain employment in public sector emergency services. The primary focus is not to 'get on the air' in the traditional sense.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3HKN on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
If I am willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a cellphone, would I be as willing to spend a like amount on Ham gear? NO - I can talk to almost any location on the face of the Earth with something I carry in my pocket (purse). Ham Radio does not make sense relevant to modern communications. Now, is it a good social mechanism? Obviously not, look at Facebook and ask why would I want to communicate using a static filled medium?

I listened to a Ham last night, with a major money investment in the hobby, Simply say QRZ and some DX station would come back. He said 59, they said 59, he said QRZ and the next contact emerged. That is something that is NOT attractive to a 20 year-old person.To me the most generous description of that behavior is - GOOFY.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KX2T on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, we need to bring back the novice class but give them the old phone privileges that the general class phone had back in the seventies on 75 above 3.9Mhz, 40 above 7.225mhz, 20 above 14.275Mhz, 15 above 21.350Mhz and 10 would be 28.3 to 28.4Mhz. Today there is simply no learning curve and by giving a novice class maybe the current generals might just upgrade to get better phone privileges.
Another cause of none use in the CW and phone bands is the new FT8, this has become an HF plague plus tells us that most hams must be anti social, they don't have to talk to each other just press a button and make a contact even when propagation is in the toilet so now the techno newbies can play there video game and FT8 at the same time. FT8 is one of the completely lazy mans mode ever to come down the pike and has taken up so little space to the point if we don't start using our CW and Phone bands we very well may lose frequency spectrum in HF, just remember if you don't use it you lose it, this could very well happen.
One thing as far as the Tech class is concerned is that most of the techs are getting there ticket for some kind of public service not for amateur radio cause the ARRL doesn't want you to know that the increase in license numbers is really for this segment not HF, they don't want you to think that amateur radio is a dying hobby.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8FVJ on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Techs are on the air if they had not lost interest in wireless communications. 2 meter FM offers crystal clear communications for low cost. Add D-Star and the entire world is available.

HF communications with an HF radio and antenna can easily cost $1K and an amplifier costs more. I believe it is a matter of economics.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8TI on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The wonder of radio back in the 1960's when I got into it was that you could actually hear and send out a signal that traveled thousands of miles from and to strange places with exotic sounding names. The mystery of far away places is gone, of course, with the internet and cell phones. What is still interesting is the technical aspect of using and understanding electronics and radio theory, (antennas, etc.), as well as the social aspect of just being in contact with people. I used to be against granting privileges to the "undeserving," but now, I don't see the harm in it. Do we really believe that the bands will be swamped with people who are dying to use SSB or even that FT-8 mode everyone is talking about? Apparently, it is pretty easy to get a Tech license now and not everyone is rushing out to get a license. Hopefully, there will be a few people who decide they like CW because it is fun and relaxing, even though a cell phone is so much better to communicate, much like people still like to ride horses, although it is much easier to get around in a motorized vehicle of some sort. The only thing we can do is be welcoming to the new people and hope that more than just a few decide they like the hobby and stick around, for whatever the reason.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K0TNT on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Have to disagree on this one. Moved to a single family townhome (your house but a lot of HOA rules) 15 years ago. My one rule to the realtor was a long unbroken roofline. Put up a five band dipole in the attic and in the last seven years have WAS (LOTW and cards), WAC (cards) and DXCC (LOTW). Would have Triple Play (WAS CW, phone, and digital but I am missing NE and ND on rtty! When I had a decent tuner, I ran a wire out of the basement and all the way around the house on the ground for 160 contests. I have 27 states and Canada confirmed on 160!
Short answer here is to make the most of your situation.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W4KVW on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
AA4PB wrote,Perhaps Techs are not becoming active because the Tech is the "entry level" license and yet it restricts them to CW only on all of the primary HF bands. I expect they soon tire of checking into the weekly repeater net and listening to "dead air" on 2M the rest of the time. I think we might do better to let them participate with the rest of us on all bands and all modes, but limit their power to 100W as an incentive to upgrade.

Well tell us who will regulate their output power on any band? There are plenty of Technician Class hams now on 10 meters running Legal Limit amplifiers & they don't even hesitate to speak about it on the air. The FCC is a Powerless Toothless Lion who nobody fears any longer & they don't have any agents or money to enforce the rules already. Your suggestion sounds like so many pathetic ones made by that Bad Joke known as the ARRL. Let's just GIVE them everything & who cares if they earned it? How many seconds did you think about that idea if at all? If anyone can't earn it then they don't need it. Maybe everyone should just talk where they wish & do away with the license all together Right? It would for sure bring out more activity & maybe some noise toys,roger beeps,reverb, & of course echo microphones. Oh that's right we already tried that experiment on 11 meters & look at what has become of the Children's Band Today.

Clayton
W4KVW
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4PB on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Who regulates an Extra's power output? Most (not all) stick to the regulations. My thought, and I have thought about it, is that it doesn't make a lot of sense to have an entry level license that requires no Morse code skill and then limit much of the entry ham's activity to a mode that requires that skill on most of the HF spectrum. The stated problem is that new Techs are not getting on the air. Perhaps we need to find a way to integrate them into the general population rather than isolating them.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4Q on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"Perhaps Techs are not becoming active because the Tech is the "entry level" license and yet it restricts them to CW only on all of the primary HF bands."

I have a suggestion to allow the entry level license to use HF SSB and it doesn't require a change if FCC rules:

Don't tell the new ham students about the tech licence.

Just tell them "you get your ham license by passing these two tests: Technician and General."

Then tell if you pass this one extra test, you get extra frequencies you can use.

Teach the class accordingly.

If we make the General license the entry level license, they all get HF access.

Honestly, it won't help get new hams active on the air... antenna restrictions, wideband noise on HF, boring QSOs on the air, the lack of interest in any type of hobby by the "video game generation".

I have observed what is mentioned above, that many of the classic hobbies which require commitment and attention are dying, or changing away from the classic format.

AA4Q



 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WB5UAA on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
New hams today are not getting their licenses for the same reasons older hams got their licenses in the past.

The two biggest revolutions in communications today:

1) Cheap/fixed rate long distance call plans, instant satellite communications, cell phones and the internet have just about obsoleted what hams used to do in the past.

2) Today's electronics have become disposable. No reason to know how a tube/transistor/CPU works.

So why get a ham license? Something to do. Looks easy enough. Why not?... Once achieved, no reason to do anything else with it.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KK6HUY on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
HF. Yeah.

I can tell you it's very simple in my case; while I have the LEGAL right to put up any kind of antenna I like, my neighbors have the legal right to bitch, moan, throw a fit and in general make my life extremely unpleasant were I to put up any of the monstrosities available and needed to work HF. Perhaps more to the point, so does my wife. And to be honest, I have yet to see any antenna where I think "damn, that sure would make my house look a lot better than it does now!"

So I don't. I've got a nice little magloop, good for QRP transmitting if I desire and listening otherwise. And plenty to do on VHF and UHF.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB2DHG on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
As much as I love this hobby there has been very little activity for several reasons. For me HF has always been interesting. Working DX and getting to know people and cultures all over the world is fascinating.
BUT the bands have just been bone dead and DX is all but gone. I occasionally scan the 2 meter band and again hear no or very little activity When I do make a contact it most likely is a fellow ham of my vintage, And Old Geezer! The younger generation sees no wonder in Amateur Radio as at least I did as a young kid. They cannot appreciate the magic of creating a magnetic wave and having someone respond from a distant land. Today these kids have the internet and cell phones that they can use without having to take a test or acquire any skills. Yes, our beloved hobby has become an antiquated dinosaur. Lets put in all the other hurdles, Cost of equipment, antennas and if they can be erected with all the restrictions we have today... Sad to say (at least as I can see it) The younger generation just don't want a challenge or have the interest to work toward something in a hobby. They want and are used to instant gratification. And my fellow HAM's we all know if you want to get into this hobby it takes a little "WORK". Yes I am very fearful that with the passing of my generation so will this wonderful hobby be gone.. I have no answer how to fix this? Even though we are in a bad cycle and the bands are dead, I still get on the air most everyday and keep calling CQ and that my Amateur Radio comrades is the only solution I can recommend.. If we do not keep trying to communicate then the new comer will hear nothing and get turned off... Get on the AIR, get into nets, modulate those radios and by all means keep a good QSO going longer than just a signal report 73 DE: KB2DHG
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K8QV on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
This debate has been going on for some time now. Ham radio is to communication as oil painting is to picturing the people and things around you with a digital camera. Painters paint for the fun, the challenge, the satisfaction. Photographers get instant and accurate results. So what is your goal in a hobby? It seems to me if you have to trick people into getting licensed so they can play with an HT while wearing an orange vest and you must beg folks to get on the air or learn to build at least a simple wire antenna, well, the hobby is on its way out due to lack of interest. Hardly anyone, and certainly not youngsters, are interested in churning butter or making button hooks anymore either. Do button hook clubs try to recruit? Just wondering.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3BXZ on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I don' think this is just a ham radio issue. People, in general, don't have hobbies anymore. My household is a perfect example. I have a bunch of hobbies (some say too many) and my wife and son don't have any and have no interest in starting any. And it is the same with most of our friends and my son's friends.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K4EZD on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with Chris (N1AUP) about contacting new hams in the area and inviting them to a club meeting and setting them up with an elmer who could show them a working station and what is possible to do with their license. An enthusiastic elmer can do a lot to keep a new ham interested. In addition, contacting new hams a year after their license was issued and asking why they are active or not would be helpful. We can go on guessing the factors involved but a simple survey would be more accurate and might reveal some reasons that we havenít thought about.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB3HJK on January 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I can say that in my case the motivation was to get on HF. Unfortunately, you have to wade through 2 meters first. When I first heard some of the idiocy on there like "roger that", "my handle is....", and the all time worst ever- "I'm destinated", that almost drove me away. Thankfully, I knew HF was different and stuck with it.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4MB on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
ďUnfortunately, you have to wade through 2 meters first. When I first heard some of the idiocy on there like "roger that", "my handle is....", and the all time worst ever- "I'm destinated", that almost drove me away. Thankfully, I knew HF was different and stuck with it.Ē

Well, Ďroger thatí has military and police roots. No biggie for me. But, yes. Having progressed quickly beyond CB, Ďhandleí still makes me ill when I hear it. Thank goodness nobody chats on 2 m while in the car very much around here any longer, because I too, found Ďdestinateí and itís forms to be incomprehensible. Still ... this HF CW guy would rather hear a bunch of guys say theyíre ďabout to destinateĒ rather than hear no VHF activity at all.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB3HJK on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree, "Roger that" is not as bad an offense. There is an hysterical write-up on this that I wish every new ham would read.

http://www.repeater-builder.com/humor/how-to-sound-like-a-lid.html

 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K6OFG on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I believe you are giving us a bit of tongue in cheek with this reply. No testing? CB all the way. Yikes.
Steve,
k60fg
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC7MF on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
We just aren't very friendly. When was the last time the "rest" of us went over to 10 meters and called CQ so a tech could have someone to speak to.

When do we get on two meters and spend some time listening for the techs and having a cordial and encouraging conversation with them.

So we invite them to our stations to get a taste of HF? Not often if at all.

Code is not the answer. Friendly is. Just the other night I spoke to a /AG on this first day on 40 meters. It was delightful. It was my pleasure to invest some time in him. And he was kind enough to speak with me.

We need to start valuing each other more. We need to invest time with each other. We need to pause in our rag chews and see if anyone is reading the mail and would like to check in.

The band conditions could be better but calling CQ works.

Note to extras. It is nice to have the extra bandwidth but we should not forget to spend time on the general portions of the band. Nice folks there. Just like we were.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WO7R on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Back when the HF phone privleges were added to the (then) Novice license on 10m, some bright local guy sponsored a Novice Net every Friday evening.

It proved quite popular. In summers, when e-skip came in, members got to exchange 10-10 numbers with people who dropped by.

Seemed to do a bang up job of getting folks interested in HF _and_ upgrading. Because, of course, the rest of us talked about what we managed to accomplish on HF that week.

If someone worrying about this wants to be part of the solution, I suggest that this is what you might try.

And, spare me the song and dance about "too expensive." You can get a wonderful rig, used, for 500 dollars or even less.

That may sound like a lot of money to older hams, but a lot of kids out there spend that much on XBoxes and video games.

Moreover, 500 in today's dollars is about 85 dollars in 1970, which many here probably remember. 85 dollars is less than I paid for my first rig.

We should also remember that a lot of newcomers aren't fifteen. They are 25 and even 45. The price of the rig is not the problem. Generating a reason to _buy_ one is.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA5VGO on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Nothing wrong with the term handle. Itís been used by amateur radio operators since long before the citizens band was even envisioned.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Rick (KC7MF) is spot on. There are lots of things that do contribute without doubt. But one thing that always intimidates me from getting back on after a hiatus is exactly what Rick states.

I find it intimidating because just listening around on the bands you hear people being belittled and scolded for doing things the "wrong" way. Kind of like what others mentioned right on this post, CB'ers, Handle, Roger that, etc... I am constantly second guessing myself before getting on. Am I following Ham Etiquette?

I realize its easy to switch frequencies when encountering the so-called entitled experts who "own" that frequency, but for an aspiring new ham it can be quite intimidating.

I am finding that even the clubs are becoming less friendly. A couple years ago I moved to a new QTH in a new town and found a local club. I went to a scheduled meeting to see about joining and meet other fellow Hams in the area. I was completely shocked at the experience. I went in and I was immediately looked at and promptly ignored. No big deal they don't know me, so I continued in and went up to a group of people, waited for a break in the conversation and introduced myself. They looked up at me and went back to their conversation without even acknowledging anything I said. Of course at that point I felt pretty silly so I started for the door with what little dignity I had remaining and left the building. Yeah needless to say, I do not associate with that club in any way.

I think as others have said, we need to get on more and start bringing the magic back. Get back to basics and call CQ on various frequencies. Being polite to others and help the ones who are new to the hobby or to a certain mode, learn. After all this is suppose to be a fun hobby, right?
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K9MHZ on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"Well, Ďroger thatí has military and police roots."

Eh, can't speak to "police roots", but in military aviation, it's NOT used in normal parlance. "Roger" has always meant "received", and "affirmative" is what's said for yes or agreement.

"Roger that" is an attempt to sound cool, and it doesn't take long for the cool guy to catch a clue that he's sounding like a dork. Teardrop RaYBan aviator sunglasses were usually the "roger that" cool guy.

 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9AOP on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Way too many Technician ham-in-a-day-classes. Just what did you expect? These perspective hams are seldom asked what their impression of ham radio is and what they expect to do with their license. I agree that the cell phone and social media has displaced ham radio. So just why do so many take the class and then disappear in stead of just not taking the class.
Art
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB3HJK on January 8, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I think all these lid speakers are wannabe somethings. What that is I have no idea.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3UIM on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I marvel at the wonderful memories I, and others of my "ilk", have of ham radio when it was filled with the magic of the hobby back when all of our experiments were "seat of the pants" and the great successes, as well as our failures, gave us a feeling that just doesn't seem to be in today's ham group.
When I was in the army in 1951 my mother sent me a clipping of a red haired kid being dragged away from his radio and ear phones. He was saying, "But I heard something!! I heard something!!"
The parents were in their "jammies" and it was probably well after midnight.
Dawgies! Can I relate!!
Charlie, K3UIM
PS. And yes, I did have red hair! Hi.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VK4FFAB on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is suffering from an identity crisis. It looks inwards in how to keep the soon to be deceased paying their dues to the national body and does little to find relevance in a rapidly changing world and does NOTHING in the way of promotion and marketing of the aspects of the hobby which make it special.

Its funny, i read all the above posts and so many of them talk about ham radio being communications. Communications is no longer a relevant sales point, communications has been won and done and the cell phone and internet win out each and everytime.

So what does ham radio have to offer people in the modern world? Well, LOTS. But you first have to start thinking about the aspects of the hobby that actually make it special and being able to communicate is no longer special.

So, you want to promote ham radio to a new generation, start looking at RETRO. Yes retro is a big thing for millennials. Vinyl over digital, radio over pod casts, retro cloths over modern fashion. CW over cell phone. Not for communications sake, but for Radio's sake.

How about Homebrewing and experimentation? The maker scene is massive, people are experimenting and doing electronics, but how many peak bodies like the WIA, ARRL or RSGB actually VALUE this most fundamental aspect of the hobby? None?

We need to stop propping up the bank balance of the peak bodies with black box operators and go back to the fundamental of this hobby. Because that is where the next generation of hams are coming from.

And if you the individual want to do something about it, stop being black box operators, get out of your safe space and sandboxes like Eham and get into Maker groups and forums and start posting about the radio electronics projects you are working on. Show the next generation exactly what RF experimentation has to offer the maker.

Lastly, the real growth in the hobby is not going to come from rich white men in western nations. Its going to come from the developing world. One of the biggest ham populations is in Indonesia and guess what, its also got the biggest population of hams who homebrew also.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VE3WGO on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Was ham radio ever really about *needing* to have a method to communicate? Wasn't the main incentive to have fun with station equipment that you somehow contributed to putting everything together, so it could transmit a signal into free space? Telephones have been around for a very long time and they didn't kill ham radio. Likewise, I think cellphones have had *some* impact on ham radio but not a lot... after all, what's the thrill of chatting with someone on a pre-made device that you don't need to do anything at all to get it to work and you did not build, you did not program, and you have no idea how it actually works? Right, no big thrill, so it doesn't seem to me to be a ham radio killer. Very few cellphone users think of their smartphones as "radios" anyway.

A large part of the excitement of getting on the air has always been that you built some part of your station. It could be an antenna, or just a coax cable assembly, or antenna tuner, a desk, a power supply, some software, a transmitter or even a receiver. For nearly 50 years, hams could get parts from discarded broadcast radios, television sets, war surplus gear, or mobile communications surplus gear. In those days, the components were discrete, removable and reusable in our projects. Surplus units were modifiable. Then in the late 1980s large integrated circuits came along and pretty much eliminated the possibility of reusing surplus gear or adding a lot of components to your junk box from the more modern discarded consumer and surplus equipment. That, coupled with the ongoing disappearance of local electronics supply and repair shops has made it hard to have a source of ready to go components for your favourite projects. Now you usually have to order them, and it takes a day or two (or more) to get them shipped. You can't browse in a repair shop or surplus store, or tear down an old TV set. Ordering all your parts is much more expensive and it's just not the same thrill as having a junk box that you can adapt something from, or spare surplus radio gadget that you can modify to get on the air. Of course not everyone built things this way, but I think a very large number of us did so until maybe 25-30 years ago. Now, if you are lucky, your local thrift ship might have some used electronics for sale at pennies on the dollar that can often be repurposed, but that's about it.

The ARRL Handbook is probably a good indicator of how interest in project building has declined over the years.... up until the midy 1980s there was still a large amount of spare-parts type project info. But it gradually evolved so that now there is significantly less construction info in it than in previous decades (I counted project pages for a bunch of my handbooks) even though the handbook itself has grown a lot in size over that time.

So, with a lot less project building going on because most of our parts sources and junk boxes have shrunk and we can't use most of the modern components, many hams have perhaps lost one major incentive to get on the air and try out our creations.

Many builders these days create software instead of hardware, but even that has tended to have become very modular and high level since the earliest days of computer programming, when we used to use machine code or assembler or Basic and a hacked together Apple IIe or 6800 project computer with a cassette deck and TV set on the bench. These days the satisfaction of plugging somebody else's code into somebody else's hardware often lacks the thrill of doing it all yourself but that is getting harder to do.

I think that in order to solve the decline of project construction, which is a major incentive for many hams to get on the air, we first need to invent a way to get back into the project construction mode, with easy to get components. And most importantly, these new hams need to *clearly see* that station building is fun, relatively easy and thrilling to get it on the air. It needs to be made a lot more obvious to them. If they can't clearly see that, then they just won't be easily convinced, and they might never get on the air.

IMHO, anyway....

73, Ed
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8TI on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Extremely good points. There is excitement that cannot be beat in making something that works out of a bunch of parts. Making contacts on the radio is proof that what you did actually works. That is why QRP is so popular with the homebrew or maker crowd.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3UIM on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Is there such a thing as a "maker crowd" forum? I'd like to find one!
Charlie, K3UIM
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VK4FFAB on January 9, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Is there such a thing as a "maker crowd" forum? I'd like to find one!
Charlie, K3UIM

Yes there are dozens of them. EEVBlog, Redit, All About Circuits, Hackaday, Radio Electronics and dozens of electronics groups on facebook and google+.

Podcasts like the Amphour and Embeded FM,

Youtube channels like Mick Make, EEVblog, The Signal Path, Great Scott, Andreas Spiess, Element 14 Presents, Fran Blanch,

There is seriously so much maker and electronics content out there its crazy. People are doing electronics like never before.

Cheers,
Rob.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KW4JX on January 10, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I once went to Denmark to see an electronic course sponsored by the European Social Fund. All the students had to do was build a simple short wave receiver. Isn't that how the ham license should be run?
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VE3WGO on January 11, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Back in the 1960s and 70s, in the height of the Cold War, there was a lot of push to get high schools to teach more technical subjects. Oh we had the usual classes, like Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, but also could elect to take electronics, mechanical, and advanced math with mainframe computing. My high school class had to build 6V6 audio amp in Grade 10, and an "AA5" AM broadcast receiver in Grade 12 ... we had the choice of making a tube model or a transistor one. Either way, we had to build it, test it, align it, and get it marked for performance and craftsmanship.

I wonder if high schools do anything like that anymore.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by NY7Q on January 11, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I have been in and out of HOA properties since the beginning of them. Always on HF, working CW and SSB. the people who complain about HOAs mostly are too lazy to build an appropriate antenna for the bands they want to work. The interest in ham radio has faded with electronics, CW, club meetings...etc. I work alot of CW and it seems a new digital system is out and people just jam in and work where they feel like working, jamming CW and SSB. Rules are to be broken seems to be the norm nowadays. The hobby of gentlemen is no longer.I have sold most of my gear and gone back to teaching private and commercial pilots in the classroom. Not as much fun as radio, but very close.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K8QV on January 11, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
To simply answer the question implied by the headline "Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air" it would seem that they, for the most part, did not intend to become ham radio operators in the first place but rather emergency whackers. Having helped teach Tech classes years ago and following up this has become evident. In fact, I know of only one such Tech from the group who went on to learn, upgrade and actually use HF. In other news, hardly anybody wants to learn how to put shoes on their horses anymore.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N4MJG on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Back in 2001 I always wanted to get on ham radio to get out of cb radio I study like hawk online testing to see how I do. after I passed the no code tech 2001


Since 2001 I been active to ham radio until now I have'nt been on 2 meter that much anymore expect 2 meter mobile radio . I would like see more tech on the air !
Then I get real interested in morse code I took code right before they drop the code requirement !I did good when I sending !

I need to get back into 2 meter more often ! checkin those nets besides the HF or morse code !

73 to all N4mjg


 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9AI on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Maybe their teachers/elmers should explain to them what they are getting in to. With a little more depth on the subject.
It takes 2 to tango.
As far as I'm concerned, we should still have the code requirement. That's when you separate the 'want tos' from the CB ranks that hang on VHF.

Good Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KD6UBX on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Times are a changin and Ham Radio needs to keep up with them.

Fact is, Ham Radio divides the men from the boys by HF privileges, however, many techs see these hf bands as unnecessary, costly and noisy etc.

There is a vast world of privileges for technician class that can suffice their radio needs and keep them interested in this part of the hobby, without having to "power up" on hf.

HF has become a club of "elite" radio enthusiasts, but the bait is not the right bait to catch the fish.

The Iphone is the go-to form of communication now, thus everything ham radio has to offer was made obsolete to the population of the world.(as opposed to 30 years ago)

Ham radio must use a flashier lure and open up everything to potential techs to draw them in. This mass of new hams can even help keep the cost of manufactured equipment down by creating a bigger market and competition.

We need to quit thinking we have a Maserati and realize we have VW technology in the eyes of the general population.

There is strength in numbers, so we must change with the times and get those numbers up.

Open up all the bands to techs as you suggested.


BTW...the argument is made that HF will invite abunch of riffraff into it, but I hear riffraff anytime I tune to 80 meters(music, cussing, etc).

Abunch of late night, drunken extra class operators acting like CBers.

I can only do demonstrations for non hams on repeaters, and not on HF.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W4KVW on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Better question is how do we get any Amateurs on the air? Band conditions have the number of operators way down & for sure those of us who like working DX with Phone & not with some digital mode where computers are doing all of the talking. It's far from just Techs but we have given them more than enough & they can earn the rest which is EASY & not really much effort for something we call EARNED as it is.

Clayton
W4KVW
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by ZENKI on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The internet stole the microphone. Thats really the modern day ham radio syndrome that has caused activity to drop.

Hams sit on their computers surfing the internet and tune the radio while expecting other hams to call CQ and work the DX so they have something to listen to while surfing the net. When the real hams have called CQ, opened the band and picked up a nice DX station, the internet ham will jump in and scream "contact", "breaker , breaker" and interrupt the other parties QSO because they dont want to call or want a contact with the DX station. You will even hear them say "oh whats the other stations call, that I want to call" Its the lazy hams method that is practiced today. Its the most obnoxious ham you can find on the HF bands today. They dont have the callsign of the station that they want to calls, they dont have pencil to write a name or callsign down and they break up other peoples QSO's to make contacts.

In the past anyone who wanted a contact installed a station that was effective and called CQ. These days people spend 20,000 on the latest radio and solid state amp and put up a Ebay wire antenna and need other hams to bring the the stations to them by breaking into other peoples QSO's Its the new ham radio way of operating. Its called the "breaker" technique.

EMC and noise is also the big issue. Governments are great at making laws that they dont enforce. It just takes one noisy led light and the associated switching power supply to destroy your ham career. I live in a country area and I am chasing down noisy LED floodlights from 1km away from my antennas. The authorities are not interested and tell hams that its the "modern era" and noise is part of the modern era rather than telling hams that they not doing their jobs by enforcing their regulations. The garbage non compliant rubbish from China is being imported into everyone's country without checks or controls. Really who can enjoy ham radio when the whole spectruum from 1 to 30 mhz is full of S9 noise and birdies.



 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by NN2X on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Anyone that was required to pass the code was really interested in Ham Radio, and that drive propelled to the next step, which is HF.


When FCC the code, that was that..

However, manufacturer are happy, get to sell more VHF/UHF equipment.

C U on the bands

NN2X
Tom
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by NN2X on January 12, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Anyone that was required to pass the code was really interested in Ham Radio, and that drive propelled to the next step, which is HF.


When FCC did away the code, that was that..

However, manufacturer are happy, get to sell more VHF/UHF equipment.

C U on the bands

NN2X
Tom
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AA4PB on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Originally, a Novice only had one year to upgrade before the license expired. Talk about incentive! I've known a couple of people who got a Novice and then let it expire.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KD6UBX on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
You know, they idea that "I earned it the hard way, therefore everyone else should go through what I had to go through" is unreasonable.

This thinking is equivalent to making someone carry buckets of hot tar up scaffolding instead of pumping it up on the roof because we did it in the "good 'ol days".

Times change....think about it.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KB6QXM on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Simple answer: They do not value the license, because very little work was needed to obtain the license.

Published question pool. Simple questions through dumbing down the question pool. No code, therefore no need to actually learn a skill and put some genuine work into obtaining the license.

In the former world of amateur radio when you had no published question pool, had to study code at 5WPM, had a 1-year non-renewable license exam, there was real skin in the game. You either upgraded in 1-year or you found another hobby. The "inclusion" crowd had not taken over the hobby yet.

You had to take your exam at an actually FCC field office. No VECs. You followed the rules as there were actual FCC listening posts.

It is simple, you give something to someone for almost no investment in time or effort, the perceived value is low and therefore the person will potentially not use the license. The elmer support is not what it used to be anymore either.

The Technician class is just another example of how the society has changed to an instant gratification society.

Little outreach to the youth to promote amateur radio. I firmly believe that the hobby will be nearly non-existent in 30 years. The next step for the "inclusion crowd" pushed by the ARRL will to either make amateur radio License-free or test free.

 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3PM on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
How many licensing instructors offer code classes to those who may be interested in working CW?
Mike N3PM
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3BXZ on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I got tired of guessing why the kids are not getting into ham radio, so a asked a few STEM students I work with. These kids are High School age, taking math and science honors and AP classes. They all want to get into science or engineering careers.
Their answers were very simple and all centered around a common theme, "What can I do with it?".

If they want to talk to people around the world, they can already do that. Why should they try and use HF radio which is slow and a lot less reliable?

They see repeaters as a lower-tech form of cell towers. Less coverage and you have to manually switch between them.

They understand CW and a few of them have memorized the letters and numbers for fun, But to them, it is an inefficient way to relay information. It was fun to learn, but using it is too slow.

If they like to build, they can do it too without having to study for a license. They know the electronics and they build, they just aren't applying it to radio.

A few of you might be thinking, what about Emcomm when the radio infrastructure stops working. Some of the kids conceded that maybe a ham license would be good for that. But that is the only thing they saw of value for ham radio. A few did say, they could use a CB.

I want to keep the hobby going too. But we need to answer these 2 questions if we are going to attract new blood and get them operating.

"Why should the New Techs get on the air?"
"What can they get from Ham Radio that they can't get anywhere else?"
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by NN2X on January 13, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KB6QXM Spot on...

No skin in the game...No hardwork, therefore no satisfaction and therefore no retention. This not the hard way versus easy way, or old way versus new method.

If the rigors were to be applied today, I am willing to bet there might not be as many passing the exams, but those who do, will be active...

This implies in other aspects, like other Hobbies, profession and relationships.

I remember passing the Extra, back in 1980, holy cow, I was really one happy camper, That code I tried my tail off! I even passed the 1st class license (Phone), just for kicks!

My BSEE degree, a breeze, compared to the above..

Anyway, so be it..

C U on the bands..
NN2X, Tom

 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W4AMP on January 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Just reading the comments in this thread answers the question.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3FHP on January 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Sir, that was 75W INPUT, about 30-40W output on a good day and yes, we worked the world. Laziness and lack of curiosity is what is killing ham radio. You can get WAS and DXCC on six and ten meters and gain skills while doin so. The ARRL proposal is far to generous.... and will virtually eliminate the need for upgrading. In this part of the solar cycle.... and cycles to come, wide privileges on 40 and 80 would remove much impetus for upgrading. Likewise, the output power proposed is too high as well. Of course, if they run their xcvrs at100w digital, the problem wild take care of itself.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KD6UBX on January 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I got tired of guessing why the kids are not getting into ham radio, so a asked a few STEM students I work with. These kids are High School age, taking math and science honors and AP classes. They all want to get into science or engineering careers.
Their answers were very simple and all centered around a common theme, "What can I do with it?".

If they want to talk to people around the world, they can already do that. Why should they try and use HF radio which is slow and a lot less reliable?

They see repeaters as a lower-tech form of cell towers. Less coverage and you have to manually switch between them.

They understand CW and a few of them have memorized the letters and numbers for fun, But to them, it is an inefficient way to relay information. It was fun to learn, but using it is too slow.

If they like to build, they can do it too without having to study for a license. They know the electronics and they build, they just aren't applying it to radio.

A few of you might be thinking, what about Emcomm when the radio infrastructure stops working. Some of the kids conceded that maybe a ham license would be good for that. But that is the only thing they saw of value for ham radio. A few did say, they could use a CB.

I want to keep the hobby going too. But we need to answer these 2 questions if we are going to attract new blood and get them operating.

"Why should the New Techs get on the air?"
"What can they get from Ham Radio that they can't get anywhere else?"







Now here is a realist that thinks down the road.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC1GWX on January 14, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I'm a fairly new ham (General license in 2017, actually was only going for Tech but ended up passing General by a hair).

For new hams who just have a 2 meter handheld -- I'd like to see clubs make a bit more of an effort to host interesting nets. There's a lot of traffic nets, but while I listen to them sometimes I don't really want to work traffic.

I'm thinking of nets with a ham radio topic covering some of the things you can do beyond 2 meters, and how to get started. Examples: What are good used HF/6 meter rigs that are good for newbies, and don't cost a fortune. If you want to get new folks interested, be INTERESTING.

And techs shouldn't ignore 6 meters. Granted, it needs a lot of patience but when sporadic E gets hot you can work all over the place with a pretty minimal antenna.

 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KZ4P on January 15, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
AC8S

Fantastic story and thank you for sharing

Brian -KZ4P
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by DONB on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I am not a HAM. Folks were. I have a HF radio and listen every day. Mississippi Magnolia Net is a favorite. Point: Would love to chew the rag on 40 or 80 meters, antenna permitting. I would not be interested in code. I could take code at 25 wpm in the Navy. I do not consider it communication because it is "cold", no human talking on the other end. So I communicate on 11 meters and listen on the other HF frequencies. It is not ideal and I do not Xmit where Im not allowed. New prospective HAMS that donot think the code is "neat" will not get there. If they cannot talk they're not willing to listen. Heck they don't "talk" most of the time on their phones - they text. Of all the ideas I believe yours would receive the most notice from young and middle aged people. HF is the place to be. Sorry for rambling.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by DONB on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
To AC2RY, 7 January 2019. I am not a HAM. Folks were. I have a HF radio and listen every day. Mississippi Magnolia Net is a favorite. Point: Would love to chew the rag on 40 or 80 meters, antenna permitting. I would not be interested in code. I could take code at 25 wpm in the Navy. I do not consider it communication because it is "cold", no human talking on the other end. So I communicate on 11 meters and listen on the other HF frequencies. It is not ideal and I do not Xmit where Im not allowed. New prospective HAMS that donot think the code is "neat" will not get there. If they cannot talk they're not willing to listen. Heck they don't "talk" most of the time on their phones - they text. Of all the ideas I believe yours would receive the most notice from young and middle aged people. HF is the place to be. Sorry for rambling.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2QYM on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
IMO, what attracts most people to ham radio is the novelty of having the technology under your control to empower independent world wide communication. From there it gets murky. If you follow the lock step ARRL way there's an attempt to regiment ham radio communication into segments with hierarchical 'ways to do things' as mandated by the ARRL. I don't want any private organization or commercial entity dictating to me how I should conduct my communications; my license is with the federal government and I follow part 97.

If I live in the USA the constitution allows for freedom of speech and that's the way I will communicate. I may say things that offend others but it's my right to say those things in conversation with others. MY QSO partners may or may not agree with me but we can have healthy debates on all subjects. Just because Hiram Percy Maxim's ARRL put forth limits on subjects that hams could and could not talk about on the radio doesn't mean it's the law.

To get to the basis of this post. I think many technicians and new hams in general get very quickly disillusioned with ham radio (at least regarding phone) when they tune around the bands and listen and or participate in nets. Since nets dominate all bands lets pick apart the typical net and the approach. The Net control operator calls the net to order, he reads some ancient preamble that somehow imbues ancient historical traditions harkening back to the early days of phone radio communication. Once done calling for emergency traffic, mobiles, etc. stations start blurting out their call signs or special net numbers (no call sign...is this legal?). Net control responds and reads out the roster in the order he received the IDs and then calls the first station on his list. That first station IDs then almost immediately spurts out his local weather report and wraps it up with other boring items like he's taking his wife to the early bird special, has to change the spark plug in his lawn mower, and that he's going to the doctor in the afternoon. Then announcing that all his important information has been shared (does anyone really care) he passes the frequency back to net control. Net control repeats some of this uninteresting information back to the rest of the net in case others did not copy the first station and then proceeds to call the next station on the roster. This repetitive, boring, useless waste of spectrum communication is repeated with every station for the entirety of the net. Successively each net participant remains in a vegetative state until he is called by net control. The net can last for hours like this, sometimes a new net control operator comes in to replace the first guy. Sometimes a new net starts up on the same frequency but each successive net follows the same boring repetitive pattern and the same brain dead hams returns day after day to follow the same operating pattern. As mentioned, this pattern is followed by many nets and on all ham bands; there's no escape from these nets.

Other types of nets concentrate on 'brokered' quick signal reports where the net control generates a list of stations and then announces the roster to all net participants. He then calls each successive station and asks them to call the station they want to reach. The Net's club sponsors awards for these contact nets but often most persons would never dream of calling the other stations because they can't accurately hear them. Instead the net control operator blurts out the call sign of the calling station who then calls a station he can't hear. With no response, the net control station calls out the other station and now both contact stations know they are engaged even though under normal circumstances they would never make contact with each other. The only thing each of the contact stations need to do is listen for signal reports. Usually both stations scream out '22 22 rifle shot'...then net control says 'over' signaling a successful contact. A contact that under normal circumstances without a net control operator around to relay would never have occurred. In other words, bogus, contrived contacts leading to some silly paper certificate. Well I guess it's a hobby but come on now, how long does crap like this remain a novel excitement?

Intelligent people are seeking other intelligent people to have a conversation. When hams exclusively keep all their communication to weather reports, signal reports, and other limited non committed subjects it gets boring very quickly at least on phone. My own interest of conversing with someone I meet on the air is to usually get a little personal and share something meaningful with the other person. I understand that most hams are fearful to do this so these are the guys I don't want to waste time with. The weather and 'how's my audio?' types of guys.

So after a thinking person gets a belly full of stupid talk on phone many delve into digital. Talk about truly boring pursuits. Program the software with canned function keys and automate the robot radio on FT8, PSK or whatever the popular digi mode of the day is. Hell you can take a bio break for half an hour and come back to find your log has twenty contacts. So what, you don't know anything about these avatars your station contacted. In other words you spend some time configuring canned software and components and let it loose on the band. It hardly required any effort after the initial setup...You aren't yawning yet?

At the end of the day CW offers the purest ham radio operator an escape to the essence of wireless radio communication. You have the key, an instrument of aesthetic industrial beauty, a radio, a wire, and the ether. Just have to master the code and find people who send as slow as you can. Good luck on that, LOL.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
KC2QYM,

the beauty of what you wrote is, it is both correct and wrong at the same time. You are correct in describing some of the ways Ham Radio is used. You are wrong in your tone and way you describe it.

You see the best part of Ham Radio is you can do exactly what you want with it. You insinuate that those net's people join are bad, or the digital mode they may use is bad etc... To the people using those methods, it is exactly what they may want.

Just because you may not like those things does not mean it serves no purpose. If it was as ridiculous as you indicate, nobody would be doing it and your point would be moot. Alas, it may not be your cup of tea. In which case turn the dial and do something else.

73
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2QYM on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree with your response to my post to a point. But I contend that more new people will find that the nets for example dominate much of day to day amateur radio operations and the majority will quickly loose interest just in that area alone. Yes there are other aspects of interest but they are often thin in the current propagation environment.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on January 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Do you dislike the net concept altogether? Is there a type of net we can start that would draw more interest? I read an earlier post someone mentioned the same type of thing trying to get interest by means of interesting topics.

I admit I never do much with nets other than an occasional check in just to say hello. But Iíd be willing to be part of something a tad different.

I usually try to challenge myself by doing things I generally donít participate in, so what the heck! LOL.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KD6UBX on January 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Nets are fine, contests are fine but ragchew is better.

Whatever floats one's boat, but ragchew is the "Boston Whaler" of ham radio.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2QYM on January 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Yes I second that! Rag Chew (Conversation) is better as long as you can find someone who can carry a conversation on the subjects discussed. Rag chewing is not for shy people because it requires you to be an active contributor in a conversation. Don't entertain engaging in a rag chew if you are shy and don't have some minimum subject matter knowledge of a variety of subjects. For example, if I came across a few guys talking about auto mechanics I would not break in to say hello because I don't believe that I would be a worthy contributor on their subject. On the other hand if I came across a rag chew session where current events, politics, world wide issues were being discussed I would jump right in. Being a ham for twelve years I can honestly say that most hams don't have what it takes to be a true conversationalist. They have to first get past their shyness (many hams are shy), then they need to possess knowledge of a subject and introduce their premise, beliefs, opinions (most hams are paranoiac about expressing their opinions). When you tune around you only occasionally come across good rag chews. If you're not afraid to talk to people on a variety of subjects and do more than just sit around falling asleep waiting for net control to call you for your weather report...call CQ and start you own discussions. It can be very invigorating.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA4KCN on January 17, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Depressing. How is it that today with low low activity levels manufacturers are producing and selling radios like hot cakes. Are hams buying and not using?
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WW6L on January 18, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I think that the obvious is being overlooked. Why would a millennial choose to talk to "old conservative white guys" ? oil and water don't mix gentlemen.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AB9PM on January 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
If I demonstrate Ham radio on a day with a contest, I get MANY negative replies about Ham Radio. Persons who are looking for an interest in Ham Radio want to Rag Chew a little.

When I passed my license I asked the Ve's "Why don't you people use 2 meters or 440?" The answer I received was we want to keep those frequencies open in case there is an emergency. Keeping them open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day is just what you got. Who would knowingly want to be a Technician Class Ham? I bet the majority of these people figured it out!

"We want to keep those frequencies open in case there is an emergency."

Look at yourselves in the mirror people, as with most of human kind you self-destruct your own hobby, business, government.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by AB9PM on January 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
You are a very honest man.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WH6WJ on January 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Ham Radio needs to move forward just like how a company markets itself to the public. If the company does not keep up with trends and fails to appeal to the public, then it will soon loose profits and go bankrupt. Ham Radio may seem to be going in that direction. Ham Radio needs to embrace technology both present and future because equipment manufactures will. Of course many operators will want to keep this hobby in the past.

New ways need to be developed to attract new and aspiring operators of future generations as the old ones pass on. Everything today and in the future is and will be about technology and it is this that will be needed to attract the new operators.

73...Sterling
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on January 20, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Sterling:

I agree with you 100 percent.

New ways need to be developed to attract new and aspiring operators ...

FIRST, SOMEBODY MUST FIND WHAT IN HAM RADIO WOULD ATTRACT NEW AND ASPIRING "OPERATORS".

SECOND, THEY MUST SHOW HOW THAT FULFILLS OR SATISFIES A NEW OPERATOR'S NEEDS.

Re-studying Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" leads me to believe that ham radio probably could satisfy the needs for "ESTEEM" and "SELF-ACTUALIZATION", the second and the highest needs.

The biggest problem with efforts to attract and retain new operators is that it satisfies organized ham radio's needs and not the new operator's needs -- THE NEED TO LOAD THE BANDS SO HAM RADIO DOESN'T LOSE THEM TO "COMMERCIAL" INTERESTS.

Jerry
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VE3WGO on January 21, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Jerry and Sterling, I also agree.

Esteem, self-actualization, and self-esteem.

Self-esteem comes from, among other things, visible success. And practicing and developing one's skills to achieve success, in various areas such a difficult to pass exam (advanced radio theory or CW for instance) or making something that actually works in some way (a radio for example), can provide that self esteem.

Over time, it has become more and more difficult to find a radio licence exam that is highly challenging to the prospective ham. So the radio amateurs of days gone by were rewarded with the self-esteem that comes from studying hard to learn fast CW and continue learning it to achieve a loftier goal, or study radio theory in increasingly complex levels to pass a tiered exam structure that would provide even more of that self-esteem. Not so challenging today, and the result is so obviously predictable. What is today's entry level exam worth in the minds of the public? Not as much as it might have been 20 or 30 years ago. Simplification carries a hidden cost.

Much the same problem now exists with making things that actually work. The magical feeling of successfully making a receiver that snatches minute electromagnetic signals from the ether and presents them to your ears is quite possibly unmatched by anything that is done today in any other hobbyist field of endeavor. But it is now so easy to get a ready-made receiver from any online source almost instantly, that the number of home-brew receiver makers has dropped to perilously low levels. In fact, most hams nowadays probably have no hands-on idea of what is actually in a receiver... Superhet or SDR, the self-esteem achieved by successfully building one from scratch has been completely missed by most hams in the current times. (plugging some canned software into a PC to make an SDR dongle work is just not the same thrill as building one from scratch, something is essentially nearly impossible to do nowadays)

And so it goes. Ham radio these days has few obvious things to offer people who seek a sense of achievement. Ham radio is presented to them as easy and fun, rather than something to do to develop yourself. Yes, there are antennas to build, but like handhelds and HF radios, they are more often than not bought rather than built, and the self-esteem that one got by building their entire station in 1969 does not easily arrive to the ham of 2019. The only other area for achieving lofty goals is in the number of contacts a ham can make in contests or for awards, and modern digital modes are even trivializing that to a greater degree then ever before. So ham radio's challenges are steadily being knocked down to the point that there are few real challenges left. What is there to achieve? What is there to help a new ham see as lofty goals to strive for and build that so eagerly sought sense of pride and self-esteem?

One might say that modern hams have less skin in the game. Somebody else designed and built everything in their station. They miss (or never even got) the feeling of pride in having made it themselves. No wonder they opt out so quickly and stay off the air.

I still have one of my first receivers I ever built from the 1970 Handbook, my slow scan monitor that I built from a CQ article and received Voyager 1's images of Saturn from W6VIO which I was exhilarated by, and an RTTY decoder to receive shortwave signals on a surplus Teletype printer I got, and a 2-meter converter that I built and received the first signals from the RS-15 satellite when it was just a couple of days old. These things were thrilling, and really cemented my lifelong interest in ham radio.

It would be good if national ham associations would take a look at this problem and make it their top priority to create and execute a strategy to get hams back into the station-building aspect of the hobby. I am a firm believer that enthusiasm and capability to do station-building would get hams more interested in staying with the hobby long term. It would require research, education, and a component planning exercise on the part of those associations to make plans and parts clearly easily available to electronics hobbyists including hams. Because the consumer electronics industry has virtually left North America, this last step could be difficult, but not impossible to achieve.

73, Ed
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 21, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I am that new Ham.I got my Tech in September, my General in November and will soon sit for my Extra.
because my wife had to have her Tech license to operate a radio in the E.R. during emergencies I elected to do the Tech Exam for fun. Its a disease! Now I had to try the General. I was discouraged the first few stabs at the training system but then found the challenge stimulating. Now its the same for the Extra, intimidated at first and now can not seem to get enough. I am not a electronic inclined person, in fact it is a new experience. I can not build my own. In fact like most new persons, I know enough to pass the exam, yet not enough to put it into field use. I have accessed local repeaters with my sign and "listening" with no reply. Monitored the 2 and 70cm up the I95/I81 corridor hearing only one person. Soon as I have a free 30 dollars I will join the local club in hopes of being someones wingman to soak up some knowledge and working experience. I told my self I was only going to get the Extra License for my own gratification then no more, but the Morse is now making its siren call to my mind. God willing and the Creek don't Rise,I will be able to hook up with someone more knowledgeable and willing to impart that.

 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by VE3WGO on January 21, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
To KN4PWE, that is great news to hear!

Soak up as much as you possibly can, and find things to keep you challenged.... whatever it takes. And then you will grow with the hobby.

Maybe some day you can try out building a kit that you can make by yourself for that extra level of satisfaction. It will glue you to the radio hobby. As you said, it can become like a disease! A good one, of course.

73, Ed
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 21, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks Ed. Unfortunately I do Not believe I have enough time left like the youngin. About to turn 69 yrs.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
answers many questions
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
would you enter a hobby dominated by people that advocate entry level should be made harder? After learning that, persons are more inclined to seek another venue as a hobby. They really do not want to re experience the high school clique again.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
would you enter a hobby dominated by people that advocate entry level should be made harder? After learning that, persons are more inclined to seek another venue as a hobby. They really do not want to re experience the high school clique again.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WA1FOK on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
WA1FOK
WA1FOK
Ham Member
QRZ Page
New
It is interesting that at one time the arrl decided to take
privileges away from generals and advanced classes to encourage upgrading now they want to grand
privileges for no reason to people who are licensed for the wrong reason, Most of the tech licenses in my town are held by "no show hams" who hold licenses but have never had a qso or been active, This is mostly because they are "emcom" licensees who spent an evening or two getting licensees for the glory of responding to so called emergencies. The league has done such a poor job of growing amateur radio that they only have about 25% of hams in their ranks. Incidents such as the recent bod fiasco further alienates people from joining or remaining league members.
The league should make it priority 1 to attract new members who will fully embrace ham radio. It is a fantastic hobby that is not obsolete and since I have bee licensed has grown from mostly a cw and phone hobby to the digital age where in addition to cw and phone almost every month there is a new mode or new whatever to keep interest up. A good start would be for the league to have a booth at every Makers ( a large international group that focuses on making things such as robotics crafts electronics etc) .If we do not have new younger members the hobby will surely die .
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I for one would love to see more emphasis on building.

The only building I ever did as a kid was a little shortwave kit (cardboard frame with the little springs to connect the components together - remember those? LOL). But it got me hooked! I even attended some college for Electrical Engineering. The math heavy courses however did little to explain (other than the very basic principles) how things really worked. I could calculate "Q" and graph out an RC time constant, but I had no idea why I was doing it. Every now and again I stumble onto something in HAM radio that gives me the Ahaaaa moment. Where the college courses I took 25 years ago make sense all of a sudden.

With that said, I would love to find a group of people with an instructor and just build a radio. Starting with the basic components and just keep building it up. Learning the theory and how it works as we go.

That would be ideal for me. I have built non radio kits in the past but other than reading a diagram, soldering, and recognizing components, it does little to teach much in the way of how it works.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3BXZ on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
"With that said, I would love to find a group of people with an instructor and just build a radio. Starting with the basic components and just keep building it up. Learning the theory and how it works as we go."

What a fantastic idea! Have have been looking for something like this for a while. May a one evening a week course spread out over a month or two. At the end, everyone has a working QRP radio that they understand inside and out along with a solid knowledge of basic radio and electronics theory.

How can we make it happen? Would ARRL help develop a curriculum that could be disseminated? Is there another organization that could help? Could we get sponsors? Is a there something like this available already? Or something close that could be adapted? Would anyone want to teach a course like this?

Would current or potential hams be sparked by this sort of thing?

Tate
N3BXZ
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on January 23, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Well like I said, I would be interested. I would gladly pay a course fee for this (to compensate the instructor) as well as buying the radio kit. I think the problem we would find is the instructor part.

If the ARRL got involved it could possibly be a way to boost their exposure as well. Kind of like how the NRA does training classes.

I am not sure the feasibility in all of this, but I would jump at this opportunity in a heartbeat.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WD4ED on January 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Consider these comments:

1. Bands reallly are bad.
2. With electronics skills essentially wiped from the testing and computers plug and play hams have lesson common to discuss.
3. Modern society. We used to be able to put politics and social activism aside for the good of the hobby.
4. Maybe a subset of #3. Intolerance. Nuff said.

Combine those things and the numbers of any hams, new or old on the air will probably be noticeably reduced.

Thatís just what I have seen and why Iím not on the air much any longer. Bottom line. Many of you just arenít likeable. Yes, I might include myself in the category but Iím not on the air showing my ass to the world. Just here! :-)

 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KE7MAV on January 24, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Here's my story. I'm a long-time shortwave (tropical bands) and foreign medium wave DXer (not interested much in North American MW stations). I acquired my Tech call 12 years ago, but it was only to make it easier to purchase transceivers, as some of them have great receiver sections on SWBC and also MW (less common).

Having a license to pull out is also really helpful to show to border guards when taking an SUV-load of radio gear and wire into British Columbia for a medium wave coastal DXpedition! I've saved a lot of time and hassle just by mentioning I'm a licensed ham and showing the ticket. (Never mind that I have no interest in the ham bands :^)

I enjoy and participate in many aspects of the hobby--kit building, antenna experimentation, writing articles and reviews, and repairing/restoring vintage solid state gear. I've owned many models of commercial and mil-surplus receivers, but enjoy my IC-7300 and FDM-S2 SDR receiver the most. I have a number of licensed ham friends who are enthusiastic MW DXers but are rarely on the air any more.

I've heard very little that makes me want to participate in SSB, as so many QSOs are nothing more than a quick call & signal report, or a litany medical ailments and local weather comments. I do get the impression that the QRP crowd is more into moving the hobby forward and the technical side of things.

Maybe one day I'll upgrade for HF privileges, but I find the challenge of chasing medium wave DX from across the Pacific more of a thrill. By the way, the bottom of the cycle is a GREAT time for low band and medium wave!
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 25, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
After reading this, I had an idea. So I set it into motion. Below is an excerpt of letter sent to the AARL with my thought.
od morning.
Times certainly have changed in the past several(or more) decades. Some organizations move with the times and some remain stuck in time.
The field of technology has evolved so rapidly and in such a manner as to be mind boggling. What was considered high technology in the 60s such as HAM Radio has been replaced with Silicon Valley technology.

That being said, I have noted that HAM Radio operators seem to be conspicuous by their absence. Oh we are still here, and on occasion in the public eye, just not as many. Our ranks are dwindling. A re vamping of the Exams has drawn some in but they do not seem to be active. Could it be the frequencies most used by a Technician are empty? Could it be attitudes of the older veterans of the hobby project an ďits my turfĒ image thus contributing to lack of interest? Perhaps many bright young inclined prospects are drawn to Computer technology instead.


I believe all of the aforementioned are factors, yet something is missing, something we have not recognized. Often its right in front of us, so obvious and glaring we just overlooked it.

So, after reading a forum in eHam regarding lack of Technicians I picked up QST to peruse through and this idea came to fruition. Why can not the ARRL publish a well though out series of questions to be projected towards the membership in its entirety. Of course this is where you come in with your vast access to the knowledge of our hobby and resources. Your staff is vitally needed to formulate this Poll of Questions of what membership sees as lacking and what is not. What would encourage recruitment to the rank and file and entice them to stay and improve their skills.

You cannot change human nature. We will always have those in clubs and organizations with attitudes and preconceived notions of who should be and who should not be granted entry into the vaulted halls of membership and acceptance. Again, this is where you may contribute by skillfully poised questions in a poll.

The response you obtain and analyzation by your staff may reveal some surprising conclusions. In todays world of indifference towards others do I hold out hope that this will happen? The juries out. As said in the Good Book We reap as we Sow, well folks, the crops are in, what are you going to do about it?









Respectfully

SW Smith KN4PWE
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KE6SCR on January 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Wow. Okay, I'll be honest, I'm not an active Tech. I was at one point, but I haven't touched a rig in a long time.

Now, my other hobby is woodworking. Specifically, using hand tools. "Why use those old things? Are you kidding me? You can do that faster with power tools and be done sooner!! Etc, etc.. " The reason is three fold. 1, because I almost removed my fingers, 2, I don't have to room or money for power tools {Anyone can buy a good table saw for $500!" and 3, I like the quiet of working by hand. .

For new comers to hand tools, there is a awaking of old ways to work wood going on in the world. Luckly, the hand tool world is filled with people that encourage newbie's to work, learn and make mistakes. Most comments are directed to help the new woodworker learn how to do things that will look alot better and help them grow. What's this got to do with this discussion? Alot..

A new Tech gets his ticket, gets a radio and gets on the air. What's he hear? A net if he's lucky. He might call on the repeater and hear nothing. I remember doing this and hearing this. So he tries a couple of things and still hears nothing. Then he comes to a place like this, reads a thread like this and see all the *wonderful* responses about new techs and NoCode and all that. You might even get comments when you are on from some OM. It's kinda like almost cutting off your fingers with a table saw. It hurts like hell, you get blood all over and you loose the use of your hand for 8 weeks. And you see '"Cutting your fingers is part of the joy of Power Tool Woodworking." So you decide the heck with this and sell the radio (or saw) and take up a new hobby. He may come back to it, but he'll want to do something different. And maybe, like FT8, he finds a crowd that encourages him. Now it's fun!

You want new people to enjoy your hobby? Start acting like it. Turn you radio on, answer a call of a new person and help them get over that first contact hurdle. Don't get your nose out of joint cause they didn't do it "the way you did it". I don't encourage new hand tool users to chew up three fingers on a saw to get started. That would be stupid. Help the new people get on the air. You know, Elmer. Just cause you've been on for 25 years doesn't mean you turned on a radio for the first time and made DXCC that afternoon. When I got my NoCode Tech 25 years ago, I spent time listening to this crap then. But I met several OM's that were good guys who didn't let dits and dahs get in the way of having fun.

Now that my grandson is getting older, I'm thinking about putting a station together so he can enjoy it. Maybe he'll get the bug. His mom spent lots of time as a young girl at HRO and Jun's listening on the HF bands in the store. I would like for his to get the same enjoyment. And yes, I will teach him that some hams don't like new people. So avoid them and find the good guys out there.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WG8AR on January 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I've read all the articles. I've been a ham over 25 years now and I hold an extra class certificate.I've been President at 3 different clubs so I've seen several changes in the hobby.There is enough different modes and opportunities for everyone. Maybe the ARRL had it right with a change licenses. Give the techs voice on their part of the bands (all of 10m- some of 15m,20m,40,80m.)
Then let them work for the General and Extra. Keep them 100watts until they "Learn the Ropes".After all alot us achieved DXCC on a dipole and 100 watts.
Giving new hams membership the first year is nice but it does not always prove out the way we hope.Club stations are good too but alot of clubs meet in libraries
and churches and private businesses.
The cost is probably a large factor. After the $50-$100 HT it can be tight on a budget. BUT take a look at Bowling a couple times a week.How about Golf. The shoes, a bag, clubs, irons, green fees and carts. WOW there is real HF station wright there, not to mention Ham Radio is a Year Round Hobby.Rain, shine, snow ,ice who cares, GO PLAY RADIO.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on January 29, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
And the beat goes on
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on January 29, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
VE3WGO:

I thought about "building", "learning","pride","LEARNING"
and my kit building days some 25+ years ago.

I probably built about a dozen Heath Kits ranging from a digital alarm clock to an O-scope calibrator. All but the calibrator worked from the get-go.

I learned how to solder solid-state components, IC's, work in cramped quarters and work slowly and carefully.

Did I learn anything about the gear I was building? NO!

I was just like any other worker on the assembly line -- AN APPLIANCE BUILDER!

What "hollow state" electronics I learned, I learned from READING AND RE-READING military Tech Manuals & then working on the gear. R-388, R-390A, SP-600, BC-342, BC-348, AN/GRR-5 to name a few.

I learned more from "RADAR ELECTRONICS FUNDAMENTALS", A WW II text book than from all the League's books.

We need a true, "experimental: learning process. I remember, back in the 50's, there were any number of books wherein you started building a crystal set using an oatmeal box; added an audio amp; moved-up to a regenerative receiver; and a proximity switch.

I think that today's new hams lack a background in "hands on" experimental lab work and the math background to work back through an equation.

EXAMPLE: Given a frequency - F - and the value of an inductance - L -, what capacitance is needed for a circuit to be parallel resonant at the frequency, F?

Any experimenter should know why, if one part of a circuit changes, WHY and HOW the output changes. Otherwise they're NOT LEARNING!

I have nothing against skilled "appliance builders". Let's face it: most of what we use is built by "appliance builders".


 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WB6MEU on January 30, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Here's my 2-cents worth!.... there is little incentive for new hams to get on VHF. Local communication is easier with a cell phone! By comparison, 2m (etc) is old, outdated, obsolete, and boring. The thrill of ham radio is on the HF bands, which the Tech. license doesn't support sufficiently. AND....can you imagine a 12 year old kid trying to navigate thru the Tech or General exam? If we want to get KIDS licensed and EXCITED to be hams, there needs to be a license class that (a) is written so kids can understand it and (b) offers LOTS of HF possibilities. I just did 3 hours of "Kids Day" with my 8 year old niece. She was thrilled by the experience! But there's no way she could comprehend the current license exams. They're written for us old coots, not kids! We gotta get 'em interested while they're young, before peer-pressure takes over and coolness is all that matters.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3UIM on January 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
WGO: (Quote) "We need a true, "experimental: learning process. I remember, back in the 50's, there were any number of books wherein you started building a crystal set using an oatmeal box; added an audio amp; moved-up to a regenerative receiver; and a proximity switch. I think that today's new hams lack a background in "hands on" experimental lab work and the math background to work back through an equation. EXAMPLE: Given a frequency - F - and the value of an inductance - L -, what capacitance is needed for a circuit to be parallel resonant at the frequency, F? Any experimenter should know why, if one part of a circuit changes, WHY and HOW the output changes. Otherwise they're NOT LEARNING!" (End quote)

My "bible" back in the 60's was UAR. Understanding Amateur Radio. I probably was able to pass 20 or more Novices and that was the "Textbook" we followed as Novices. We would keep in touch as far as having problems with whatever circuit, project, etc we'd be working on.

I have been fortunate in that I have found two copies on Ebay, (different years), and am having a ball reliving those "days of yore". LOL.

The kids today haven't a clue of the thrill of modifying the ARC 5 receiver and working many qso's with it. I cannot begin to recall how many of the circuits I have built or modified with that wonderful book! What a sense of accomplishment, each and every time!!! (Goose bumps!) Ö sigh Ö

Charlie, K3UIM
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3LI on January 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I agree. Weekends with Contesting station that think they own the band and will move down 1khz from where your calling CQ are terrible. Want more newbies on the radio, get rid to the stupid mine is bigger than yours contest. Dumbest and most detrimental thing there is to ham radio. Even worse than HOAs.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K3UIM on January 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
LI:(Quote) Even worse than HOAs. (End Quote)
Watch your mouth, fellow! Nothing's worse than HOA's! LOL
Charlie, K3UIM
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W7LQ on January 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Speaking for younger hams, <40:

1. Cost - Time and money. Don't underestimate this for a young guy paying his dues or a family person working 50-hrs per week. It's tough to find time and tougher to justify the money for the benefit. I'm using dad's spare radio.

2. Lack of mentors and/or publications that explain the different subjects within radio. There's sat work, mesh networks, HF, digital modes, building; Ham radio has something for everyone. Elmer's tend to show kids what interests them, often from a 1950's perspective, and not the entire package.

3. HF propagation sucks. People can get past all the ridiculous nets and contesting when the bands are active. When guys can communicate xoceanic with attic dipoles, interest will increase. Those are the rank and file ragchewers.


 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8TI on January 31, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I donít want to appear out of touch, but ham radio is about one of the cheapest activities that there is. You can buy a good radio off of eBay for about $400 and then put together an antenna, including coax, for about a hundred. The young people spend a few hundred every month for video games, coffee and movies. I donít think it is the cost that is a barrier to this hobby. A normal mountain bike cost at least $500 and there are certainly millions of those sold each year.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
A: $400.00 plus extras is nothing to sneeze at for retired persons and youngsters

B: Not all spend money on Video games, movies, ect ect..most that wish to get involved in Ham Radio are much more serious types.

C. Not all can afford a 500 plus mountain bike, most do not have such an extravagance
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WO7R on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
<<<< $400.00 plus extras is nothing to sneeze at for retired persons and youngsters >>>>>

The 1970s called and want their argument back.

Sure, if you are really poor, then 100 dollars for a personal computer is a lot of money and a 400 dollar rig an impossible luxury.

But, most people who have the interest and wherewithall to get a license are _not poor_. They never were. Ham radio, as practiced by just about all of us, is not a choice between eating or not eating.

400 dollars today is less than 100 dollars in 1970.

A good 500 dollar HF rig is within the range of most of us who are actually licensed and even in the range of most of our kids.

Most of us buy our kids computers in this kind of price range.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Well, you keep telling yourself that. Doesn't make it true, only a subjective opinion. as is the SA comment about l970s. You're not part of the solution you're part of the problem based on your reply. There are people from all walks of life involved. To make an assumption otherwise is a contributing factor as to why this forum subject came about. But, enough of the quibbling, I certainly hope someone with more intelligence and understanding of human nature than us figures this out, otherwise, Ham Radio is going to die a slow death. Of course when that happens and they are needed, and they will be, the question will be posed as to what happened? The answer will be , we drove them out of the hobby with an onslaught of attitude and self righteousness, rather than the opposite. Have a wonderful day.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KD6UBX on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
There are some folks so set in their ways that they think we should go back to enforcing the code on techs.

I am glad the roofers dont make fella's carry buckets of hot tar up the ladder any more or hand nail shingles on a roof for a buck a bundle anymore.

I like change.

Gotta keep the hobby easy and fun, not laborious.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
A good radio off eBay for $500? That's almost as good a joke as "honest politician".

The XYL said "take $500 and get yourself a radio. Quit complaining."

For $400 - $500 I got two pieces of junk that had to go back. For $750 I got a complete & like new go kit. The XCVR was inoperable. The complete kit went back.

To put a HF station on the air, you need; transceiver; microphone; power supply; antenna tuner; antenna; coax; and lightning protection. From multiple "pricing" exercises, it comes to $1,000 - $1,200 from a dealer.

Everything today is plug and play, ready to go. Cars, computers, cell phones, even meals. You can even a kit to prepare a complete, multi-course dinner -- all the ingredients and instructions.

New Tech class hams have grown up in that enviornment. That's what they're accustomed to; that's what they want!

I think new Tech class hams eed a complete, packaged ham station. I believe that you can put a new, off- brand QRP station on the air for $500 - $600.

Introduce new Tech class hams to one mode, the most natural mode, VOICE. Let them get on the air and GET COMFORTABLE BEING ON THE!

Don't dump everything on ANY new ham all at once. They'll get overwhelmed,lose direction and drop out.

YOU HAVE TO CRAWL BEFORE YOU CAN WALK AND YOU HAVE TO WALK BEFORE YOU RUN.

Let's apply that to new Tech class hams and maybe we'll get more of them on the air.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2NIK on February 1, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
@N9LCD

Your comment is just not true. I got my first rig an Icom 718, with an MFJ VersaTuner II, powersupply and a 40m dipole. All for $300. You can get a 718 new for $650!! And let me tell you it is quite a decent rig for the $$.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
every now and then you run across a great deal, your in the right place at the right time.congrats to you. happy to hear it
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WO7R on February 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
<<<<< Well, you keep telling yourself that. Doesn't make it true, >>>>>

Um, pot meet kettle.

But, this idea that HF is priced out of range of most hams is . . . reality challenged.

If the rigs were priced too high, then the retail ham business would be very different than it is.

If there was a huge, untapped market in 500 dollar rigs _companies like Baofeng would ensure they appear_. After all, they do 30 dollar HTs. Not wonderful rigs, but _they exist to serve a market niche_. They get folks on the air at a price.

Remember, this is a world-wide market. China has more hams than ever. So, there is plenty of potential demand at any price point that balances between function, price, and performance.

Meanwhile, when I look at the actual lineups of rig manufacturers, I see a marketplace dominated, even at the entry level, by rigs well over 500 dollars.

Now, if you want to believe that marketplace exists to serve only the richest 10 per cent of hams, or something like that, I would like to know your basis for it.

AFAICT, it's economic nonsense. Electronics are cheaper than ever. Rig manufacturers are subject, to a degree, to Moore's Law also.

And, the way they have kept their prices up has been do to what computer and other electronics folks have done. Instead of cutting prices, they have increased features. We now are seeing things like built-in sound cards, built-in RTTY and other advanced features that take. . .more circuitry. This has been true for years.

Why are they doing that if there is a huge market for hams that can't afford even an entry rig?

If there really was this huge market for 500 dollars or less for HF, instead what we could easily see (but do not see) are rigs that are basic Superhet designs on the traditional 5 bands or even single bands with no other features whatever. Removing bands, after all, reduces circuitry and (therefore) cost. A lot of rigs in the "old days" used to cut 160. Well, cut 6, 160 and the WARC bands. Or even make it single band. We already have a few rigs near 500 dollars now. We could get under that if it mattered.

And, I'm sorry you had trouble with used rigs. But, that's just your experience. In my experience, used rigs can work out exceedingly well. I have purchased five over the years, not one of which was a lemon. This is also the experience of the hams that I know.

So, sure, there are hams out there who cannot afford 500 dollars for a rig.

But, the active new and used market proves they are a minority of hams. The market, new and used, is mostly 500 and up (well, you can get things like a TS 430 for about 350, but it's mostly 500). That isn't because most hams can't afford such prices. It's because most of us _can_. That would include students and retirees.

Nor is every retiree living in poverty. Never true. A lot of folks get by on SS. But, a lot have a gross income of 1500 dollars a month. That's not a lot of money, but it can support a once-every-decade purchase of 500 dollars. And, a lot of retirees have pensions and 401Ks. The ones buying dog food for their regular food supply have my sympathy, but they aren't doing hamming. They have other priorities.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WO7R on February 2, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Another thing. If the price of rigs was this huge barrier, _where the the clubs that exist to get around it_?

We have formed clubs to sponsor repeaters since forever. Repeaters, especially modern ones that meet all the coordination requirements, are not cheap either. We used to have clubs which featured (in part) the ability to use/share an HF rig and a little better station, too.

I don't know all the ins and outs of it, but AFAICT, some of the radio sport clubs in the old Soviet days existed, in part, to get around the price-and-availability problems introduced by communism.

If "nobody" or a lot of nobodies could not afford the price of an HF rig, there's a well-trod solution to the problem. It would be work, true, but clubs would appear precisely to solve that problem.

If you think this is a problem in your locale, I commend the solution to you. It would be a very interesting experiment. Form the club. If you could not recruit a lot of hams to it, then that tells the store in terms of entry rig price.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on February 3, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Gentlemen:

I apologize. I was trying to make a point and failed.
The radio / transceiver is ONLY PART of the cost of a ham station. I would estimate the cost of a transceiver to be from 50 to 66 percent of the total cost of the station.

There's a microphone; speaker / headphones; power supply; antenna tuner; antenna; lightning protection; miscellaneous cables and small "supplies".

And then there's getting everything to work together as a station.

If we want to get new Tech class hams on the air, let's make it as simple as possible -- a carefully coordinated of ALL the gear and detailed instructions to set-up their first station and let them go!

As they broaden their skills and interests, they can expand their station and diversify their operations.

REMEMBER: A new licensed private doesn't jump into the left seat of a Trip 7 or Dream Liner the day after they get their license. They have to DEVELOP THEIR KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS to work their way up the ladder.

WHY DO WE EXPECT LESS OF NEW TECH CLASS HAMS?
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by WB4FDG on February 3, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I am a fairly new ham, been into it over a year now and have my tech, gen and extra lisc and also a VE. Our problem is several, one, cost of equipment, and second is having mentors to help with this. Most of our club members are over 70 years old and hardly anyone can climb towers and set up antennas anymore. This has been a real problem with getting interests up in our area. At our club we are promoting contests and other activities and trying to get younger people involved. Anyone with any other good ideas on how to help with this problem??
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on February 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
WB4FDG:

The problem is finding mentors/elmers who have enough GUTS to admit that they don't know the answer or that they don't go "by the book".

I've been near "ground zero" for four lightning strikes.

The sound is something that you'll never forget. We're fortunate that we only had damage once from a hit on power lines; the surge caused a lot of arc-overs in 60+ year-old bx/romex wiring -- about $600 to fix all of them.

So lightning protection is big for us. Three times I've asked Extra-class hams how to implement the "recommendations" in the manuals.

"I don't have any lightning protection. you don't need it."

"It'll take out that 200 foot steeple across the street before it gets your antenna.'

"There's a high tension line 88 feet away. That'll be a good lightning arrestor"

AT ALL COSTS, AVOID OF LIKE THOSE! THEY'RE A TURN-OFF!

 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2QYM on February 11, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I hear a number of guys stating that the cost of equipment and particularly rigs is a hindrance to many younger people getting into HF. A hobby worth pursuing is worth saving for as long as you're really serious about getting into it. If you are not lucky enough to have a friend or relative who is a ham that you can reach out to then it's certainly worth approaching an amateur radio club in your area.

Hams are very supportive and helpful in a club environment. Many ham club members usually have many years and many piles of equipment they might possibly be willing to part with. For instance I bought a working Kenwood TS820 with a microphone from a club member for $200. I built a long wire antenna for $15, and a used an MFJ tuner for $75 and was on the air for under $300. Was it a high end station...well no but I made contacts with that rig in every part of planet earth and I still use it after 11 years.

In other words, I don't buy the excuse that the hobby is not affordable. It's just that some guys feel they have to have a Porsche before they can even drive. There are plenty of affordable lower level rigs that work just fine. Some of the older rigs are built very well, even better than the pure plastic crap that comprises most new rigs.

And back to cost...what are people spending disposable money on. If you're in school and your parents are footing the bill for everything...get your act together and find a part time job. Some small modicum of discipline is required to save some money. Do you have what it takes to save some money?

For older 20 and up types, stop complaining and apply a little fortitude. Again you don't need the latest and greatest equipment to get on the air and have fun. As a matter of fact the youngest rig in my collection is twenty years old. So what if you don't have the funds to buy the IC-7300 out of the gate...buy the TS-440 or something like it. They work! Build your own wire antenna, you don't have to buy it...you're supposed to be a ham... right?
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by K1CJS on February 15, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Another factor these days is cost. Yes, you can get a China made radio for a few bucks, but when it comes time to get on the higher bands, even used rigs are way out on the price level for most newer hams.

Another factor (at least in my case) was I was soured to the hobby by then active hams who would not let the newer hams (not only myself) become really involved in activities they wanted to, who would push aside the newbies aside for opportunities they themselves wanted, and who also would not let newbies into their 'cliques' if the newbies didn't "tow the line" and do as the longer time hams said to do.

Recently, I was somehow attracted back to the hobby, but found that instead of getting better, in many ways the hobby, as far as co-operation and costs, has gotten worse. Gone are the days that help and other things are freely given. Many people want every penny they can get for rigs that are halfway between junk and useable, and rigs that are better are priced more than even new rigs.

I guess I'm saying that getting out when I did the first time is a favor I did myself, and I'm not inclined to repeat the mistake of getting back into the hobby that I made the first time.

In other words, so long to an enjoyable hobby that has soured all too many people to the world of ham radio.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KC2QYM on February 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
K1cjs, sorry about your sour experience on ham radio. Not sure what you are seeking in the hobby or what your budget is. However if you think $425 is too much for a TS-440, a Kenwood power supply and an MC-60 mic then you really are in the wrong hobby. This rig was recently posted in the eham classified section. There are tons of very functional used radios out there at very affordable prices. If you are really destitute then I can understand that even $20 is hard to come by in which case you don't have hobbies anyway.

Getting back to your sour experiences well that's just your personal experience and it may not be applicable to all. And again, as far as affordable hardware to participate in the hobby, well it's all out there.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Hang in there bud, you're not alone. As with life the old guard is fading into mamory(pun intended). Just look at the number of New Licenses being issued and you see whats coming down the tracks. Keep working on your upgrades, not for someone else but for your own self satisfaction. Your Extra is within reach.

There are quite a lot of really great old timers willing to share and have an open mind when it comes to change, you just have to find the right club, might mean a little extra travel to meetings.


ps : dont push Morse aside as draconian, it is tried and true when all goes sour, Morse will still be viable.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3KCM on February 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a ham since 1991. I saw the decline in SSB activity after the code requirement in the US was dropped. I'm not a huge fan of CW because of the speed snobs, but it had its place in regulating who got on HF. Those who worked at it for the love of the hobby were rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. Those that were working at it had the drive because of the goal of new bands and modes. When the requirement was dropped, SSB turned into high powered CB. With relative ease you could tune around on 40 and 80 and listen to profanity and rudeness. There is no drive or goal anymore. Getting on HF was such an accomplishment, and now any idiot can get on. Oh wait, not the techs, but the assl is changing that. It only gets worse from here when we let the dumb ones in to play. I went to digital to get away from ssb cb shenanigans . I got into digital qrp dx for the challenge. Funny people criticize it, but it is no different than cw dx chasing, 599 tu. Now we want to let all the techs in on HF SSB and digital? They didn't learn it, they didn't earn it! Dumbing this down more only helps the ARRL collect more membership fees! Let's get back to having goals and a sense of pride and accomplishment which will put more people back on SSB instead of chasing them away.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N3KCM on February 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I've been a ham since 1991. I saw the decline in SSB activity after the code requirement in the US was dropped. I'm not a huge fan of CW because of the speed snobs, but it had its place in regulating who got on HF. Those who worked at it for the love of the hobby were rewarded with a sense of accomplishment. Those that were working at it had the drive because of the goal of new bands and modes. When the requirement was dropped, SSB turned into high powered CB. With relative ease you could tune around on 40 and 80 and listen to profanity and rudeness. There is no drive or goal anymore. Getting on HF was such an accomplishment, and now any idiot can get on. Oh wait, not the techs, but the assl is changing that. It only gets worse from here when we let the dumb ones in to play. I went to digital to get away from ssb cb shenanigans . I got into digital qrp dx for the challenge. Funny people criticize it, but it is no different than cw dx chasing, 599 tu. Now we want to let all the techs in on HF SSB and digital? They didn't learn it, they didn't earn it! Dumbing this down more only helps the ARRL collect more membership fees! Let's get back to having goals and a sense of pride and accomplishment which will put more people back on SSB instead of chasing them away.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KF5KWO on February 16, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
When I first got onto HF as a general licensee, I had to go with stealth/indoor antennas. Having a family took up most of my free time, so instead of going to clubs where I did feel out of place being quite younger and coming from a different era, I did lots of reading about stealth and wire antennas. I bought an MFJ-1786 mag loop, and made a 40m inverted-V. Aside from online help (eham.net and qrz.com), I didnít have any in-person help with those. And Iím not the most ďhands-onĒ guy, so if I can do it, chances are most of us can. :-). Thankfully, there are PLENTY of videos on Youtube and Facebook groups that are an excellent substitute for that kind of in-person help. Thanks to these methods, Iíve built a handful of antennas and learned as I go. Perhaps the clubs are not what todayís new hams have to look to, given all the knowledge available online.

I donít agree with comments about hams these days not having to ďearn it.Ē Iíve been a ham since the mid-90s, and I took all the tests that were being used at the time. Just because the Morse test isnít a requirement today doesnít mean I look down on new hams; theyíre just taking the tests that are being used now. And they still have to pass the written tests. Thereís always been bad behavior and rule breakers ó we are human, arenít we?

And do we really have to keep sliding in the, ďWhy not try CW?Ē everytime someone vents about current sunspot conditions? Iíve seen this response quite frequently since the code requirement was dropped. Nothing wrong with encouraging ďnew-to-youĒ modes, but it elicits eye-rolls when the stock reply for just about anything is, ďTry CW!Ē Maybe CW just doesnít appeal to new hams (or any ham, for that matter). We should consider the fact that new hams are not coming from the same ďCW requirement, taking the test at the FCC office, [insert ways of doing things that were good at the time but have been phased out unmaliciously]Ē era that many of us came from.

So, in short, new hams might try being comfortable building wire antennas, reading online about antennas and how people have made them, check out Youtube for great ham radio channels, and try some of the radio-related social media groups. There are fantastic elmers out there!

73 de Jeff, KF5KWO
Helotes, TX



 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W9ZIM on February 18, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
The big problem in my area is that the repeaters are almost dead. There are over two-dozen repeaters in my city, and I'm lucky if I can find any activity on them during my 20-minute drive to work. I can see how a newly licensed ham with an HT could quickly become discouraged.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N9LCD on February 18, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
W9ZIM:

You got a great point there.

I don't know how times I tuned the IC-R7000 across VHF & UHF bands and found absolutely NO activity with the exception of a Hispanic repeater on 2 meters and net nights -- all listening and no conversation!

I had most of the repeaters with about 25 miles of ORD in the VX-7R -- a lot of good it did.

I ended up selling the HT.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 18, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
DEAD HORSE NOW BEING BEATEN.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W6KAN on February 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Ron,

It is really sad but true. There are so many competing venues for young people that amateur radio is not on the short list. Maybe it has to start at a much younger age. Several years ago I was asked by the principal of our local elementary school to do a lecture on electronics. The course was voluntary. We had eight boys sign up. I tried to keep it interesting starting with the atom structure and how transistors work - AC/DC - resistors, capacitors etc. At the end of the course I gave each kid a short wave radio kit. Out of the eight there were three that seemed very interested. All three called me after getting their kits together - very excited. Maybe they would be new hams?

I think it takes the magic of building something that works to stimulate excitement.

Tom W6KAN
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W6KAN on February 19, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Hi Ron,

It is really sad but true. There are so many competing venues for young people that amateur radio is not on the short list. Maybe it has to start at a much younger age. Several years ago I was asked by the principal of our local elementary school to do a lecture on electronics. The course was voluntary. We had eight boys sign up. I tried to keep it interesting starting with the atom structure and how transistors work - AC/DC - resistors, capacitors etc. At the end of the course I gave each kid a short wave radio kit. Out of the eight there were three that seemed very interested. All three called me after getting their kits together - very excited. Maybe they would be new hams?

I think it takes the magic of building something that works to stimulate excitement.

Tom W6KAN
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by W7LQ on February 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Regarding affordability, some of you guys have forgotten what it's like to be young. Perhaps is was a long time ago.

Yes, I probably could have afforded a $500 HF setup in my early 20's. It doesn't come down to being destitute for crying out loud. It has to do with being fiscally responsible by saving for your first house, car and life events car without going into debt. Millennials get a lot of grief on the internet for not being fiscally responsible and you guys want them to prove their worthiness to the hobby. I get it. It does take commitment. But, if you want those guys to actually get on the air then it's going to take some help. If you don't care, then don't bother being a part of this discussion.

Mentor these folks. Teach them how to fish. If you can get a $500 HF station, show them how. That much money for old used equipment without a manual on eBay seems sketchy to most. Show them what to look for and skills required to make the station work. Hand them off to others if they show interests in things you aren't interested in. Ham radio is a unique hobby. Nobody's born knowing how to wade through it.
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by N8TI on February 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I think that every hobby comes with some expense. If a person jogs for fun, he or she has to buy running shoes. If they want to hike, they need hiking shoes and a backpack. If they want to be on the water, they need a boat. If they want to play video games, they need a video game system and games. A golfer has to buy golf clubs. I don't think it is unreasonable to assume that someone coming into this hobby is going to understand that there is an expense of five hundred to a thousand dollars as an entrance requirement. I believe that that bigger problem is that the new Hams get their license and there is simply nobody on two meters anymore. If the local radio clubs can't show the newbies that ham radio is fun via Field Day or other activities, then the new Ham naturally loses interest.
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KN4PWE on February 27, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
first I would like to apologize for printing comments. Second I would love to find a way to just turn this article off. It is obvious there are still the premadonnas whom look down long noses at all others. "Its not like it was when I started".....poppycock!
Then there are those that just have to have their time in the limelight, without reading previous answers. And of course the high and mighties self aggrandizing whom assume they, and they alone have all the answers to everyones problems, from jogging and running shoes to bicycle riding to, you must be a dumb ass to not have an extra G-note handy.

Get off your thrones gentlemen! Read through this article and look at all the negatives. Ya really wanna know why the Techs are not here? Really? Or are you just hear to hear yourself talk and come back time and again to read and re read what "you" wrote. Just read the unwarranted criticism and visions of superiority! IF you don't get it by now, then you truly are a legend in your own mind. We are the reason they will not come back. I need to cancel this eham on net crap. Buncha children refusing to listen to cries for help. Have fun! The new Techs..........they are much smarter.....they see the smarmy comments and say its not for me. Why invest into something to hearsBS? 73
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KA4GFY on February 28, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Iíll offer another possible reason for inactivity from new hams. Some new hams have no real interest in the hobby.

Many new hams are interested solely in emergency communications. They study on their own or take the weekend crash course to get their license, buy a cheap $30 handheld on the internet, download free software and buy a $20 cable to program it because itís too complicated to program by hand. That is their entire investment in amateur radio. Ham radio is simply a backup form of communication to them when the landlines, cellphones, internet and other mainstream communications facilities go down. They are waiting for the ďBig OneĒ to occur.

In the meantime, they NEVER get on the air. The radio sits in the closet or worse, in the charger. What few skills they learned in the book or crash course quickly become a faded memory. Since they most likely never get on the air, they will have absolutely no idea how to use that $30 radio, what local frequencies to use, who to call when they DO get on the air during the emergency, or even how to make a contact. We all need an Elmer to show us the ropes. The book and/or crash course only goes so far. They seem to think everything they need to know will come together when they need it. They donít get the concept of practice makes perfect. Even casual conversation is practice.

The only interaction some of them will have with the local ham radio community is at the exam session. So, when the there is an emergency event, they plan to come out of the woodwork and communicate. With who? Those of us who are active know the battery in that $30 handheld will most likely be dead just when they need/want it.

I have yet to find a way to motivate those folks to get on the air to use and develop the skills they learned. We all started out not really knowing how to operate on the air, but over time, we got better. The only way we got there was practice. Lots of practice. On the air with people who are better operators than we are. We learned from the seasoned operators. Itís like learning to drive a car or fly an airplane, you get the license, but then you have to get out and do it to become proficient.

Our club tries to get some of them to become active in the local ham radio community by giving everybody in our classes and exam sessions a handout of local clubs, with website and meeting information. During class, we strongly encourage them to join a local club, any local club that meets on a regular basis. Some of them will take the bait. The idea is if they become involved with a local club, maybe they will become active. Not only that, the locals will know who they are and will be friendlier to them. Donít forget, the friendly factor works both ways.

Whatever the hobby, without some real investment in time, money, and interaction with other like-minded people, people will lose interest. Yes, there are numerous other activities to take our time and money, but if somebody has a real interest in the activity, whatever it is, they WILL make the time and spend the money to get into it. If you donít have a real investment in the activity, you wonít take it seriously.

73,
Rich, KA4GFY
 
Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KEV92833 on March 3, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
Good Afternoon All,
I am a new Ham. I do not have a rig yet but i did get my technician and General license. I'm currently studying for my Extra. My primary motivation is simple life ling curiosity. I am older, 56 to be exact and I'm looking for multiple hobbies to keep myself busy after I move to my retirement place.
I currently live in Southern California and will be moving to Northern Idaho in less than 10 years. I have a few different reasons to get "involved". Forst, I like electronics and have always been amazed at power systems and harnessing energy. I am not a great communicator but I do use a radio for work almost everyday. Cell phones do not always work and currently where I'm moving to most people do not get reception unless they travel to the top of a mountain. I want to get involved with emergency services and to be of some kind of service so I feel like radio will be the best way to stay active in that. I'm a bit of a loner and I work a lot. My kids are grown and I'm single now. Obviously none of these things are a prerequisite to become a ham but I do have the time to devote to a fantastic hobby that I am just barley scratching the surface of.
The excitement of starting my own shack and finding the "right" rig is another fun oart of this whole experience. I am a member of a local club but I haven't reached out for any help with gear or rigs because I'm learning so much on my own just studying for the tests and reading all the technical data on all the new rigs.
Finally, I WILL be on the air and WILL sound like an armature and make some mistakes. I WILL enjoy all of it and won't trade it for the world because I am looking forward to meeting all of you in the future on one of the many frequencies I'll be licensed for.
Until then new friends, thanks for letting me spew a little bit
Kevin
KM6ZQC 73
 
RE: Why New Technician Class Hams Are Not On The Air  
by KG7JVF on March 7, 2019 Mail this to a friend!
I read almost all the above comments. There is plenty of explanation offered if you just read those.

A challenge not mentioned is the limitation of station control. As a ham operator, unless you are off air building something, you need to be "at your station" to be part of the hobby.

Compare that to Facebook. A Facebook user (I don't) can post picture and comments to their site. They can then leave for a few minutes, hours, or weeks while that site keeps engaging their friends, etc. When *they* choose, they can re-engage Facebook and interact some more. I'm not a young person-- but my opinion is that is hugely more attractive to a younger person interacting with friends and society in a way they prefer.

A glaring omission in my Ham study was representation by a local club. Yes, club members were there to administer the test. But once I passed the test I kind of fell off the cliff. If club members worked in a few brief presentations in conjunction with the training, it would help eliminate that cliff.

After passing the test, I bought numerous HT units and then a HF radio. Most of it gathered dust after the first month or two, as I was "on my own" with not many resources to turn to. Yes, the resources are probably out there, but .... umm, exactly where?

Finally, the club in my area meets once per month. At 8am at a restaurant some driving distance away from the population center. What? I have animals, etc. that involve morning chores. I hear it is a good club, but have never attended as I pretty much can't. Am I going to contact the club and ask if they will change their meeting time to accommodate me, a one-time member who never attended a meeting and whose membership then expired? No, I would not do that.

When my membership expired, ..... nothing. Nobody contacted me to ask why.

I believe there are some really good people in the hobby. But once you are in the hobby for a while, I think it's hard to envision the barriers that newly licensed people (like me) contend with.

I am getting back in the hobby now. Been playing with 2 meters and APRS. Will probably venture back into HF this summer. I'd like to increase from my single HF QSO of the past.
 
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