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Author Topic: What happened to H.S. radio clubs?  (Read 4608 times)

Posts: 49

« on: October 17, 2006, 09:23:23 AM »

After 20+ years I went to see if my old H.S. still had a ham radio club. It was not much of a surprise to see that there was no listing on my H.S. web site for a ham radio club.For which I was active in back in the late 70's. There were clubs listed but no radio club.
I found the old call sign and again the license had long expired. And the trustee that I knew had retired to FL.
Although the tower and antennas are still on the roof as I often drive by my old H.S. And after all these years there still standing.
I guess kids in this day and age don't find ham radio is something they want to be bothered with. I guess I'm showing my age.


Posts: 9

« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2006, 12:37:50 PM »

Clubs need sponsers.  If no one on staff is licensed, you might consider cozying up to one or more of the Science teachers and volunteer your services.

Posts: 1190

« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006, 12:13:23 PM »

"After 20+ years".......    

says it all.

Posts: 3333

« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2006, 10:58:44 AM »

I'm a parent of two high school age kids (honors students, musicially inclined, active), and they have LOTS of friends.  I talk to them all, largely because they ask about the antenna on the car or about the big tower at my house, and, these are really great kids.  (In some cases, their parents have encouraged them to ask me about the hobby.)

These kids ARE interested in DX and learning about other cultures and geography, and, no surprise to me, they are also VERY interested in Morse code!  Also not a surprise: They have almost no interest in FM/repeater operation.

I *stongly* believe that if Morse is dropped as a license requirement, the kids will view that as meaning the license means less of a differentiation to their peers (nothing really cool about it if all you do is take a written test) and their interest in amateur radio will DECREASE, not go up.  Think like a kid, and you'll see that this is obvious.

But ... it doesn't matter.  These same gifted young people are NOT interested enough to put out any effort to getting licensed or operating, because of the other demands on their time.  

You couldn't GIVE most of them a ticket and gear, and get them to operate much.  Only exception?  

Even more interesting ... they like contesting, especially RTTY and CW.  They REALLY "get" that, bigger antennas, bigger amps, this is something they latch on to IMMEDIATELY.  

Why?  It appeals to their innate competitive streak; most of them comment after their initial exposure, almost to a word, the following quote: "what would it take to be able to beat those other guys we heard?"

Remember:  This isn't hearsay, it's 1st-person information.  Come and talk to the kids, they are not shy, they will tell you themselves.

Posts: 5

« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2006, 06:57:02 PM »

I lived in a place where there was a choice of where to go to High School. Since I wanted to become a ham, I chose a school with a radio club. When I got there and went to the first meeting the President reported that the former faculty advisor stole the Swan 500 that was the main rig for the station. For the next two and one half years we raised money by selling the military surplus gear and getting money from the student government. It also took me that long to take the exam for my novice ticket. It was hard to get funds. Without a station on the air there were no members. Without members there was no funding. Finally we got an NCX-3 and an HY-Gain 18AVT on top of an 8-story building. Of all the members only four of us were licensed. I went off to college and found another club that had a Collins S-Line. The club could not agree on how to monitor the activity in the shack and prevent the gear from getting stolen so for four years the door to the shack was never opened. One of my friends was trying to tap in to a television antenna in her dorm. There was no cable TV on campus in those days. She stuck a straight pin into a cable coming down from the roof and shorted out the finals of a CBer with his Lafayatte Comstat radio. He wanted payment. So she called me in to mediate. I told her to pay the $35. He told me he was a ham W2CXN. I told him that he couldn't have that call sign as it belonged to my high school club. I looked up the call and found that it was still listed as a club. My son goes to a school that has a conspicious beam on the roof but there is no club. They are all in to computers now. I expect there will be a radio station that will be on broadband rather than a transmitter or local AM carrier. Anyway, his friends think that my knowing morse is very cool.

Posts: 37

« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2007, 11:04:57 AM »

I'm a highschool student in wisconsin. I would really like to get a club goin at my highschool, but i dont know how I could get funds, and I cant see anyone being interested.....maybee one or two kids. Whenever I drive by the public hs(i go to a small private school) I see a big 4 element beam. Im not certian, but its got to be an old hf beam from a past club. I think the only clubs left are at a few colleges, i guess the high school club thing is dead......not sure what I could do........I think a club would be awesome at my school or the local hs.

Posts: 3746

« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2007, 02:31:19 PM »


try a search on arrl site for a club local to your area.

many clubs are 503C not for profit and receive gear and then donate it to the schools.  Several clubs in my area have done this with great results.  One of the schools made contact with the ISS !

Big problem these days is the antenna restrictions where we live so unless you have a callsign on your car or truck most people do not know you are an amateur radio operator.

I agree, the kids always go for the straight key for the morse code at the radio demonstrations.

73 james

Posts: 1

« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2007, 02:15:30 AM »

hey Guys

I am in the process of startng a ham radio club at the school where I work .... Canterbury College near Brisbane Australia.

I am fortunate indeed to have Ron Bertrand VK4DQ who runs the Radio and Electronics School, come in to run some foundation licence classes for my students.  (Here in OZ the foundation licence is the entry qualification).

The biggest problems I have encountered, even as a teacher at the school, has been a degree of inertia at admin level with regard to "new" ideas, and a complete lack of knowledge about what a ham operator is and does. One of my collegues asked me in all seriousness,  what type of music we would be playing.

My advice to anyone wanting to start or re-start ham radio in your local school is to contact them directly. The science or math teacher is a good start. Letter followed by a phone call.  A local club affiliation with promise of mentoring, teaching, donated equipment and assistance is also good.

Once you have some interest, go for it, even if only with a few students and make a fuss of them. present their licence/certificate personally at the school, wine and dine them ( figuratively speaking of course ) at your club, make them feel special.

I am under no illusions as to how long this will take - dont expect a quick response or to start a club immediately. Be patient .... I reckon even as a teacher it will take me up to 18 months, certainly a year. to get it going

Good luck to all.  

PS  If you hear us calling on IRLP, please respond.  The kids love it!

Tim Roberts
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