Where Are They?

Discussion in 'Youth Forum' started by KB1LHE, May 13, 2015.

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  1. KB1LHE

    KB1LHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    For many years (5 in NM) I have rarely heard any "kids" on 2m, both on simplex and repeaters. So I'm wondering where they are - assuming there are lots of them with licensees. Does anyone have any stats on the percentage of young hams (ages up to high school) that are licensed ? The only time I ever hear any is during Kids Day events and then very rare to hear any licensed kids. I assume lots of kids get their ticket, then loose interest as they grow older. Seems the quickest way (financially) for them to get on the air is on 2m but I never hear any on local/regional repeaters or simplex in the eastern MA area. And that's just boys - I have not heard any girls in this age group here in MA or when I was living in NM for 5 years.

    Perhaps some young hams out here can come up with some reason(s) why they are not active on 2m in this area?
     
  2. W5AXE

    W5AXE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am not in that area, but I can definitely list some reasons.

    First, it is not often that teenagers get their license at a young age. I know that it was very surprising that I got my license recently being a junior in high school, so people even younger than that seems almost impossible to me. I'm not sure of the published stats, but I am sure that it is very low. It seems to me that if kids are going to gain interest in ham radio, it is gained in college when they need to become more specialized in a certain field. Once again, this is just my analogy, not any published stats.

    Second of all, I think that young people are more interested in long-distance communication in favor of short distance. This is speaking from personal experience, since I know that people are more interested in making contacts across the states on 10m. The long distance applications makes it a bit more significant in their eyes, and attracts them easier. I know that when I first started studying for my test, all I could think of was long distance communication, so I believe that that attracts many young hams.

    Lastly, I believe that many students that are using ham radio use 440 in favor of 2m. I'm not sure why, but I do have an example. We are doing a high altitude balloon flight, and we have several pieces of equipment flying aboard the payload (SSTV, Simplex Repeater, 440 beacon, etc.). I have noticed that all of these pieces of equipment work off of 440. The reasons behind this are still unclear to me, but I know that 440 has been the main focus of our ham radio projects this year. This may just be my area, but I know that it is the main focus.

    I hope that this can clear things up for you. Sorry I couldn't provide any statistics, but this is my analysis of the issue you are discussing. Hope this helped!
     
  3. KB1LHE

    KB1LHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the input. It would explain some of the reasons they may not be as active in some areas. While living in NM a few years ago, a similar balloon project was done with the communications on 2m probably because the population is much sparser than here on the east coast. I remember the balloon reached120,000 feet while covering some 150 miles from a distant high school. Even though the project probably had lots of students involved, seems no new hams were a result. In fact, the state, including parts of Co.,Texas and Arizona are covered by a vast 2m repeater system (The Mega Link) of some 50+ repeaters. And yet while using this system for the years I lived there, only one kid was heard while a few others on 440 were somewhat active on their parents 440 repeaters.

    So maybe certain parts of the country are more active with kids than others. After spending some time on HF, the amount of disgraceful communications turned me off and thus I went back to 2m for more civilized and classy communications. I know, I should have concentrated on the good hams there but I just couldn't stand all the disgraceful behavior of most that I heard. Even then, I rarely heard any kids on HF though my comms range covered most of the U.S. I guess with all the digital communication devices common today, I would think kids leaving that equipment and getting HAM equipment would be rare. But I'm still looking for young HAM activity on 2m. By the way, the 440 band here in SE MA is zero from a radio quiet zone made by the military with their use of a over the horizon radar facility on Cape Cod - no 440 repeaters allowed in this area.
     
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have seldom (rarely) heard teenagers on the HF, 2M going back to the 80s.

    Likely reasons include:
    -There aren't that many of them
    -They quickly grow up and aren't teenagers anymore
    -They are in an extremely busy time of life and have little time for radio
    -Vast number of activities competing for their free time compared to 40+ years ago
     
  5. KB1LHE

    KB1LHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's true but one would expect at least a few on the air from time to time. I wonder if some (most?) quickly become uninterested by not having other teens to talk to, I wonder if there is any way of looking up the ages of mew/recent licensees to help shed some light on the subject? Even with the computer age allowing Echo Link and IRLP communications around the world, there still seems to be much fewer youngsters on the air. As far as just being able to talk to people around the country or around the world, the two systems above would make it easy and much less expensive - why I wonder where they are unless there just aren't any youngsters getting licenses these days. Back in 2004, when I got my license, there were several kids taking the exam out of about 20 people. True, those kids have grown up and maybe out of ham radio but to me, that does not explain the near absence of kids on the air regardless of the bands monitored.
     
  6. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    around here (south SF Bay) one of the popular repeaters has a "kid's net" on Saturdays, early afternoons? N6NFI, 145.230 - T100. I haven't listened lately but I remember it gets enough traffic to run for an hour or so.
     
  7. KB1LHE

    KB1LHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the info - do you know if its on an IRLP or echo link node? If so, do you know the node number?
     
  8. KG8CX

    KG8CX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I run an echolink youth net on the W8PIF-R system every Sat. at 7pm CDST. It's called the YACHT youth net (Young Amateurs Communications Ham Team) We get anywhere from 5 to 10 or more check ins from many different states. Join us sometime. Adults are welcome. Check our webpage http://yachthams.webstarts.com/index.html We just had 4 of our members in the Youth Forum at Dayton hamvention. Our youth are active in many ways on ham radio. 73
     
    MI0YLT likes this.
  9. KB1LHE

    KB1LHE Ham Member QRZ Page

    KG8CX Thanks for the info. My only local repeater that has "come and go" EchoLink operations is the one I'll try to join in on.

    Bill
     
  10. KK4RUT

    KK4RUT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am 17, I will be glad to chat with anyone. my name is Zack. just send me a personal message on where and when. I am free anywhere from 2:30-10-10:30 pm est. I was licensed at age 15, and still love it today!
     
    MI0YLT likes this.

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