Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N8XJ, Nov 20, 2017.
Interesting study... I was somewhat surprised at the age information, too, but certainly my Tech classes are usually filled with folks nearing retirement. I've had a couple of all female classes recently, so perhaps that demographic is changing. I see a small trend of female 'makers' drifting over to ham radio out of curiosity, as well as female preppers.
I do think the study highlights a problem with 'motivation'. Indeed, younger people don't know about radio, and most don't care. This became obvious with the publication of breathless news stories (apparently by a younger journalist) talking about how millennials had found a way to 'hack' free TV programming. The 'hack' involved reception of over the air signals. Who knew you could do that?
I am still stuck in some kind of time warp over that one.
Where can Amateur Radio be relevant? In teaching the whole world of RF communication and technology. The 'makers' are doing it without us, but some of them have discovered that a ham ticket makes it possible to do their 'Internet of Things' communications over longer distances. I think we really need to exploit that niche as much as we can. The same can be said for building WAN's using ham bands. We don't need to duplicate the Internet, but I think we could duplicate the old packet radio networks, but at much higher speeds, using off the shelf, affordable gear, particularly if we used the Internet to fill in the gaps until RF links could be established. This network would be used for 'Internet of Things' applications as well as traditional ones.
There certainly are, and have been, barriers to entry, particularly for kids. Take a typical 13 year old. Even if they want a ham rig, they certainly want a cellphone and a tablet or laptop much more, and unless their parents are very rich, it's unlikely that Mom and Dad will buy them both. The computer can easily lead to a career, the ham radio not so much. I've heard this logic many times from parents of kids who were interested, but parents said 'no'.
Antenna issues are very real, even for older newbies. I cringe when one of my students talks about their nice condo, because I know they are going to get frustrated on HF. I am a real believer in remote ops and shared stations. Remotehams.com has made it possible for at least one old timer to resume his ham career from a retirement assisted living condo, where the RF noise is 20 over 9, and 5 watts will blow the AFCI breakers ! You can even do CW that way, now. I think we should all encourage more of these, and if you have a spare rig, put it on the air with Remotehams, and share it with those less fortunate.
While what you say is very true, K0RGR, we have additional problems.
And if you listen to the TRVE HAMS, those people should have thought about that before buying, even if they weren't even hams then.
Me too, but again if you listen to the TRVE HAMS, "that's not ham radio!"
That opposition by the TRVE HAMS, to solutions to real problems experienced by new hams, is what is going to kill ham radio.
I sit in stunned silence...
We have just seen the top surface of Pat's lab bench. Unbelievable!!!!
HEY JOEL !!!
Thanks for taking that "in-depth" SURVEY, as it was VERY INTERESTING, especially about the section on "CW"!!! I've always said that "CW" would never DIE OUT", and your survey PROVED THAT !!! The bit about (FUN & LEGACY) are "spot-on !!!. Sure, it is true from the standpoint of instant communications (CW) is much SLOWER than the SPEECH/IDEAS conveyed by the human voice, BUT that particular MODE, out of many, WILL ALWAYS/ALWAYS be VIABLE/USEFUL, and those who condemn it for whatever reason are IGNORANT FOOLS!!!
It would be interesting to survey the spending habits of amateur radio operators.
I get a real kick out of my radio clubs enthusiasm to constantly attempt to engage young people into the hobby of amateur radio. Young people are to 'face into their 'I' whatever's' and social media to care about what they perceive as ancient technology. even with the digital modes available
lets see here: ' I ' phone = 700 dollars, no antenna, amp, tuner, iambic keyer or coax needed and you can communicate with anyone you care to in voice and digital text. even random dial if you want to talk to a total stranger. Compare that to an amateur operators investment into radio gear and ancillary necessities just to initiate random conversations with total strangers !! ??
all the above comments are very on point for sure and, certainly the generational and cultural change / gap in our world is an influencer in the amateur operator - ham radio world.