Foundations of Amateur Radio - Episode 89

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK6FLAB, Feb 18, 2017.

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  1. W8VIJ

    W8VIJ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I often wonder that myself. I am think of getting another rig but held myself back from purchasing it because I don't hear many stations anymore especially CW!
    Yes many of the new hams can be found on BPSK-31 but after the usual sending of macros, how long will it take before they get tired of that.
    I use to hear and make many contacts on the FISTS frequencies but seldom hear anyone anymore. I hear more SK CC sending but get tired of the typical 599 my SK number is,... I like to rag-chew.
    Are we sharing what we know?
    There are some in this hobby as well as other hobbies, if you're not in their click (group) then you're and outsider! They hear you calling but you can't get in! This position does nothing to promote the hobby.
    There are some who are so "geeked" and if you don't talk their language, you are of no value to them.
    I talk to people and not down to people. I am like that when not on the radio. I tend to attract others that do also. I care what they have to bring to the table. Do you?
    I maintain a steady course in this hobby and will continue to do so regardless of the lack of contacts, lids, kids or space cadets.
    N3UIQ, VK6APZ and VK6NO like this.
  2. N3KIP

    N3KIP Ham Member QRZ Page

    CW as the saviour of all things! That's an old and cracked record. I had so much difficulty with learning Morse code that it was a miracle I ever did pass it, and to this day I have never worked CW. I haven't the slightest desire to work anybody on CW. And yet I've been a ham since 1980. That's 37 years by my arithmetic.

    73 de G8VUK, aka N3KIP.
    K5AGE and VK6NO like this.
  3. KA1LWR

    KA1LWR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It goes to show you what the internet did...It has stolen more jobs than anyone can think of...People have been getting lazy to learn the morse code ..The best thing to have happen is for Mr sun to blow away those satellites and catch everyone in the world with their pants down..I find the new people of the world are not much for anything..You can tell by the way they live here expecting everything given to them..People don't want to read the bible anymore they think they know more than God...For me long live ham radio...God bless..
    VK6APZ and VK6NO like this.
  4. WO2E

    WO2E Ham Member QRZ Page

    hobby is almost near death, I'm surprise that there is still a magazine publication still alive.
    The magic of working a far distant remote island is gone. the mystery and excitement of looking for hard to get
    dx at 3am on 80 meters is not a mystery anymore that guy back in 71 in the pacific that use to charge his battery during the day just to be able to use his military surplus 40 meter radio on cw qrp for 2 hours is long gone. the shine is gone along with the radio grams. during 911 lots of hams volunteer their time and equipment to the cause i was there and i saw. but did anyone else notice? for over 40 years this has been my main entertainment, got to know some really great folks, have no regrets except for that ic-7000 that smoke 5x. i still enjoy the hobby, still active i hope i go before the hobby does. the garbage solar cycle we having is horrible at best. this is just my opinion now for a cold beer.
    VK6NO likes this.
  5. VK6NO

    VK6NO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur Radio is dying?????

    Well let's have a look at this problem thru the eyes of an older ham. Firstly yes our numbers have gone down and will continue to fall for various reasons. Firstly I am an old timer like thousands still licensed but as sure as God made little green apples we are all designated to pass away. The Baby Boomers as we are called are a huge part of the Australian population and as we are all at retirement age we are falling away from the bands etc.

    The changing of the guard has brought upon us the digital age, so phones, computers etc have taken over where experimentations into electronics, radios, antennas and the hobby itself has all but disappeared to be left by modes a lot of old timers are not interested in, or like me, won't allow computer generated devices to control my life or hobby. Don't get me wrong as I love computers having owned, sold, programmed them from my entry into ham radio and various other fields.

    The changing of the licence standards was a big kick in the bum for the Unrestricted operators of Australia when they realised all their efforts had been in vain and we watched as the door was slammed in our faces on qualification standards. We lost a huge amount of operators due to this error of judgement, made by a few clowns that should have known better. Australians believe in a Fair Go so to keep on just taking, someone or something eventually suffers and our hobby has in some respects'.

    I hold no regrets in encouraging the new licenses on board but their influx has in no way improved retention of the amateur population in any way. They are just filling the spots left by SK's that depart this hobby by some higher authorities wishes. I welcome you all.

    What hurts the most when trying to chat on air is the new breed slang etc. I now have questions answered with the common word QSL meaning yes or no, I no longer have a name, it's what's your handle or what's your personal. Some of us oldies even get mocked on 2 meters for allowing photographs to be shown on QRZ holding cigarettes. Sometimes I receive signal reports of " You're in the cherry patch" What does this all mean????? Is it the same old Amateur radio we all knew so well, that was governed by its own operators or have we been overrun by aliens and CBers. I can't encourage people in if this is what the standards are becoming as I believe the hobby deserves better.

    Numbers are being mentioned that show us that we are holding up ok but let's get this into a true perspective too. Take away all licences that are doubled tripled up on etc. in some cases hams are licensed 4 times in Australia so there are a lot of people that don't even exist under the old system. The old system was one licence, one station. For example, I left an established station in Western Australia to work six months in South Australia. After 4 months my call was removed and I became something else even tho my station was still open to me at home but that was the regulations. Perhaps a true count of single operators is now in order to find the truth about how many are left.

    To show you want I want to see return to our bands. I have had a bad two weeks at the dentists, I dread this place but so far it's been full of joy as everyone regardless of age or gender have been working as one with conversation and smiles on their faces the entire time. Yesterday was Tuesday and I went to my grandson's school. This school is for disabled or children with autism. Here we had 200 plus children all in different moods etc. Some were crying or in terrible moods but not one aide, teacher or parent had a frown upon their faces. We all bogged in and continued to make Tuesday a truly great day for us all. Bring back the old things of helping everyone and ham radio will prosper forever.

    Cheers until I'm taken by that big hand in the sky.
    VK6APZ likes this.
  6. KA2UVI

    KA2UVI Ham Member QRZ Page

    With the lethargy I see, even if you granted techs those privileges, I cannot see that happening.
  7. W0ZF

    W0ZF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been licensed continuously since 1980. I've been hearing that Ham Radio is dying or nearly dead that entire time. Funny thing is, I continue to have more fun with ham radio every year.
    Are things different now than 37 years ago? Sure! We have more choices of better performing equipment than ever. Rather than killing ham radio, the Internet has made it possible to obtain information, buy and sell gear, and get help with specific projects in a far more timely way than the old days of paper magazines, occasional hamfests, and tracking down local experts. High-quality, lightweight portable gear with modern battery technology makes portable operation accessible and productive. Other hobbies like drones, RC cars, microcontrollers, 3D printing, etc. have helped drive down the cost of technologies that we can and do adapt for use with our radio stations.
    If anything, this is the golden age of Ham Radio, for those who are willing to embrace it. If your whole reason for Ham Radio was to use the local autopatch (remember those?), or to avoid long distance charges (remember those?), then yeah, the world has passed you by and ham radio is no longer relevant. If, on the other hand, you enjoy radio because it gives you a chance to experiment, meet interesting people, operate from the field, build stuff, participate in events, etc., then there's never been a better time.
    By the way, we have use of more bands, frequencies, and modes than ever. If you can't find a spot to operate, even during an international contest, you're not trying very hard.
    KN0DE and K5AGE like this.
  8. K1SCE

    K1SCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello, I've been a ham almost 60 years. I enjoyed ham radio when you built your own equipment and had long conversations on HF and VHF AM. My concern today is the digital modes, not cw or rtty, etc but more jt65 and eme/HF. Please don't get me wrong I do enjoy eme, I've made over 1000 eme contacts.
    But one day I sat back and gave it a thought, Here is what goes on. The computer does all the work. The computer controls the antennas, both elevation and azimuth, the computer also can also set the radio frequency, the computer will hear someone off the moon and if it does not hear the full call sign it will make an educated guess using the grid square and a list of eme operators that is already in the computer, It will then decode the person calling cq. The computer monitors the entire band, vh, ufh. microwave, etc. when the operator see someone calling cq he/she will click on the call, then the computer will take over. All the operator has to do is click on roger-over, roger-roger-roger and the qso is complete (some will send 73 but not necessary). The ARRL will then give an award for the usual, was, wac, etc. I think the computer should get the award.
    The challenge was setting everything up. It took time and lots of frustration (a few cuss words too) as well as lots of money. When the antennas (I use 4, 2 meter 9 element beams and 1 kw) were set up, programming downloaded and working, then the fun began. The thought of bouncing signals off the moon was great and fun. But then I realized I wasn't doing the communicating the computer was. Now I cut back and went back to HF, calling or answering cq. Now I can enjoy ham radio the way it was meant to be, re: talking to people around the world.
    One more thing, You use the computer to exchange signal reports.

    PS: Well that's my thought on ham radio. Though I do have modern equipment for all modes including HF, I occasionally will fire up my Yaesu ft-101 and Dentron gla1000B amp and talk to someone on some 1970's equipment. You have to tune the transmitter, remember that, dip and peak... 73 all, enjoy ham radio
    VK6NO and VK6APZ like this.
  9. VE3ZUP

    VE3ZUP Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's my 2-cents:

    The highly stratified licencing classes in the USA work against HF activity. I suggest changing to a more international amateur spectrum management method.

    - Two or three classes of license: 'foundation', 'basic' and 'advanced.'
    - CW not needed (GASP!).
    - For the examinations, intensify the regulatory knowledge and total systems knowledge requirements.
    - Avoid formal band-plans. (The community enforces a decent 'as is best' band plan.)
    - Adopt emission bandwidth restrictions, not modes. (For example, 160, 80, 40, 20, etc bandwidth at 6 kHz.)

    73 de CG3ZUP
  10. K5AGE

    K5AGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    YOU are the problem with ham radio, along with everyone else pointing and wagging their finger at society. Who are you to judge?

    I can't believe the wide casting generalizations I am reading in this thread, it's no wonder we have such a hard time attracting young people. For example, when you have the idea that "new people of the world are not much for anything...." it shows, like a stain on your shirt people read you, and would rather not have any conversation with you. How about you get off your high horse and quit judging.
    K1SCE likes this.

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