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Kids are intrested, but need inspired.

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by STUCA1, Feb 23, 2012.

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  1. STUCA1

    STUCA1 QRZ Member

    I am a kid myself, I am accually going to go for my technican this may, But I understand why they dont know what we are, and what we do, I have been exposed to the radio my whole life. I tried back in 2008, I missed 13.
    I had lost my thing for it. What we need to do, is pretty much, to get them intrested, What I would think, is have a Public Field day, that we have advertised, and invite anyone to come. Teach them how to use a radio, its like school, but you dont have those pesky teachers!
  2. W7KRX

    W7KRX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, there is "Field Day" every June and many radio clubs advertise and publish their activity and location for the public to come by and see what Amateur Radio is all about, open for questions and readily obtain answers.

    You cannot "teach" a non-licensed individual how to "use a radio" but they can under the watchful eye of the control operator, make a contact with someone which is done thousands of times on the air (i.e. Jamboree (Boy Scouts ) on the air, Field Day, etc.). The major issue with the public is the lack of taking the initiative to find out what Amateur Radio is and what it is "not".

    Get hooked up with a local radio club that is active and participate. You don't necessarily have to be a licensed op to belong to a club.
  3. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Accually?" Really?

    As already stated, Field Day has always been about exposing ham radio to others, and still is. It's every June. One of the main objectives of Field Day is to promote amateur radio to those not previously exposed to it. We've always done that.

    99% will say, "Why would I do that? I have a computer, a cellphone, an iPad and all this stuff, and I can keep in touch with anyone in the world already." 1% might say, "That's cool."

    We can only hope to engage the 1%.
  4. KG4NEL

    KG4NEL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Couldn't say it better.

    My first exposure to ham radio was via Field Day, and I was hooked then and there. In the last 10 years, the local clubs in the area have done a better job getting out in the public sphere and making themselves known (Maker Faire, other events like that). That's about all we can do :)
  5. AK4PX

    AK4PX Ham Member QRZ Page

    What kid isn't interested in space? :D

    there are good youtube videos from hams talking to the ISS

    make sure they realize that is pretty much the only way to talk astronauts directly :cool:
  6. KF4YPD

    KF4YPD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got the attention of a room full of Girl Scouts last week just mentioning ham radio. Was doing some unrelated science/engineering demos/experiments (renewable power) here at Clemson U and we all introduced ourselves and talked a bit about how we got into engineering. At the mention of "talked to a guy in Ireland with as much power as a lightbulb" a bunch of little eyes perked up.

    Can't say I had them sold on ham radio, but after an hour of playing with wind and solar power to make an RC car go, we got a lot of them talking about engineering. I'm sure if we could get them on the air, we'd get the 1% that really enjoy that kind of stuff hooked.

    Once we get a few more bits of equipment, we'll try to be out on the campus lawn or in front of the library every other week or so with a portable setup. More fun than sitting in the shack anyway, plus publicity.
  7. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    There are some pretty great videos out on YouTube. The new 'DIY World Of Amateur Radio' from ARRL ought to be interesting to the techno-nerds. There's also 'Amateur Radio Today', also from ARRL, that talks about public service stuff.

    Back in ancient times, we did more public demos than we do today, with mixed results. Ham clubs should look for opportunities to show off their stuff at public events, live demos preferred, but a good static display can work, too, and is actually better than a bad live demo. I don't know if ARRL still does, but they used to make handout materials available for use at such events. You might get some ideas from this web page:
  8. G0GQK

    G0GQK Ham Member QRZ Page

    The facts are that kids are "inspired" by computers. For every amateur radio tranceiver sold, about two million computers are sold in different forms. One example, take a look at the customers and visitors to the Computer Show in Las Vegas, and see how much is spent by the computer trade.!
  9. KJ5T

    KJ5T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur radio is not for every kid or teenager -- we would be naive to think this and we need to take a step back and be sure to focus our attention on getting those interested in the types of kids and teenagers who will both benefit from being involved and who amateur radio will benefit from having involved.

    Yes computers do interest the youth, but the difference is what people do with them. I was hacking away at linux when I was 14, I had that spirit that brought me to radio when I was 13. Yes I grew up around it with my dad being a ham and a "hacker" so my perspective was different than the every day high school kid who is interested in computing. The bottom line is amateur radio has so many ties to so many other hobbies and for this reason radio is not dying.

    To the OP:

    A) There is already a field day as stated. Once you get your license though if you are able to set-up your gear and show your friends than do that. If you have dreams to get people inspired and you target the right groups than you can do that and make it happen.

    B) Be careful what you post on internet forums as a teenager, I go back and read posts from 11 years ago when I joined this site and I was probably around your age. You will find that you will regret a lot of BS that teenagers spill (I know I laugh when I read some of the stuff that came out of my fingers back than).

    73 YM -- good luck!
  10. 2E0MLJ

    2E0MLJ DX Helper QRZ Page

    Unfortunatley these days the youth are more interested in computers and texting than they are radio because i'm the only under 18 Radio HAM I know. Being 14 like any other person it did take a bit of doing to initially do radio but after I went for a week or two I started to really love it. So then I really gave it a go and here I am now with my License. Definatley something people should get into. It's just how to motivate them?
  11. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Subscriber QRZ Page

    While off to the side with one of the kids, give em a sly look and casually tell em "If you learn enough, you will be able to modify radios to listen in on stuff da gubmint doesn't want you to know about"
  12. KB3LAZ

    KB3LAZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I wasnt interested in space or NASA as a kid. I was more curious about what was at the bottom of the ocean. =)
  13. KD0LOS

    KD0LOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a teenager and I'm staying active because of social networking on twitter. In fact, because of twitter, I am a NCS for an echolink net. There's also ham radio social networks like or To get more youth in the hobby, we just have to tell them its more than talking on the radio it expands into every day social networking!
  14. N7IC

    N7IC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, kids are more interested in computers. But this should be an oppurtunity. Show kids how you can use a computer along with a radio (rtty, PSK-31, etc...). That is what got me hooked in 1983 when I saw an Apple II hooked to a Yaesu FT-101ZD copying some RTTY at our high school.
  15. AC0UU

    AC0UU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that in order to get the youth today into ham radio we need to show how to combine computers with ham radio - but it isn't going to work to show them they can use a computer and radio to text, they can do that on their small tiny phones. We need to find something they can work on to improve what we have or come up with something new. The youth today are very very into programming and hacking and are very good at it. Why not come up with something for them to actually do that needs improvement. Show them something like like for instance digital video over radio and give them a project to work on - like maybe finding a way to improve quality in the same or smaller bandwidth. That alone would show them that there are great many things they can do to actually participate and make a name for themselves in ham radio. There are other types of digital modes which could be invented and utilized to make ham radio better for everyone. These young people are excellent with computers and how they work and how to create new things with them. This is where you will get youth interested in ham radio. Talking and texting won't do.
  16. AK4PX

    AK4PX Ham Member QRZ Page

  17. KJ5T

    KJ5T Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a VERY VERY good point. I wasn't that active in the last few years with the exception of contesting until I started watching Ham Nation, AmateurLogic.TV and listening to the QSO Radio Show Podcast. Lots of good media out there. I am now getting on the air almost every day.
  18. KD0LOS

    KD0LOS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agreed! HamNation has been really good. Haven't watched AmateurLogic.TV before but am hoping to sometime in the future. Another way to get them interested: introduce them to Radio at Field Day or how I did it, I got interested through the Red Cross truck based in KC coming out to my Boy Scout meeting.
  19. N3KDX

    N3KDX Ham Member QRZ Page

    First time I have ever posted here, but I cannot pass this thread up as its something I have felt for a while...If you want to get young people involved in this hobby in larger numbers, there is no better way than to tie it in with someone else already mentioned, the digital sound card modes are one great way to do this. Another is digital voice and data.

    I first got my tech in college, then after a year or two of listening to guys mostly three times my age talk about retirement i lost interest and moved away from the hobby for several year. What brought me back was fiddling with a Motorola XTS5000 radio and all the new technology that came along with it that can be manipulated via computers for amateur use....I am now back in the hobby full swing and have traded all the plug and play stuff from japan for Digital Motorola gear. In the process I have met a lot of people around my age working in the communications field that have the same interest.....I am having a much better experience this time around! ....computers!!!
  20. AF4LY

    AF4LY Ham Member QRZ Page

    SDR is the way to go along with digital modes. You can build an SDR from a kit. You talk about how you can talk all over the world and most kids will say, these days, I can do that will my cell phone, Skype, etc. Now show them a radio YOU built to talk to people around the world and that gets kids and young adults excited about Ham Radio. What I would like to do is start a Ham Radio club at a school, church, whatever where we take a kit radio and put it together.

    Another thing I would like to do is build a station that someone can remote into through the internet, but it would be behind a login and reserve operating time. The biggest problem when I got my General was first, affording an HF rig. $450 is not much to me now, but it was sure a hell of a lot when I was 14. Also, convincing my parents to let me put up some sort of antenna. I think this causes a lot of young people who do get a license to get discouraged and fall away. All the kid needs is a computer with an internet connection.

    Those are two ways to get kids/young adults interested in Ham Radio with the use of computers.
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