Growing Ham Radio -- PART 3: Club Promotion

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K8QS, Mar 26, 2021.

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  1. N1IPU

    N1IPU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I do like the idea of awarding new licensees with a handheld. Would be something the ARRL could actually do easily but don't expect any movement from the Geritol brigade without it directly filling their pockets or prestige. Going to have to come from the movers and shakers like Fred here.
    Still we need to pursue quality over quantity above all else I think. Those are the ones who will move the art forward rather than just adding noise. It's tough though, been working on a young tech wizard since he was sixteen and no matter what showed very little interest. He was here a while ago and watched me make a JS8 contact in Australia. Being a computer geek he perked up and had many questions. Left with a thumb drive full of info and the tech manual. One just never knows what will trigger your target. Ten years after our first convo. Maybe it will stick.
    It got me to thinking that maybe we should come up with a thumb drive package of material's. Like an intro to the many goings on in the hobby in chapters with a test guide. The one I put together was rushed and limited. But thinking of having a few to bring around with me and when questioned just hand the prospect one. Could include an Elmer list or club inks contact info.
    WQ4G, K9GLS and WA9TDD like this.
  2. WA9TDD

    WA9TDD Ham Member QRZ Page

    In my humble opinion, I think we are missing an opportunity in recruiting for ham radio within the "Makers" groups. "Makers" are already focused on technology at a hobbyist level. These are not your gamer folks for the most part, but are developing technological skills built from the ground up much as ham radio operators did 50 or more years ago. Integrating maker skills into amateur radio is not a far stretch. More participation by clubs in presenting amateur radio at "Makers Fairs" could not only help advance the numbers, but integrate more savvy tech inclined operators and developers. Ham Radio at Maker Faire 2019 - YouTube
    WQ4G, KG5THG, W5MOY and 2 others like this.
  3. W1YW

    W1YW Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Maker Fair approach has had some limited success (for getting new hams). It may still succeed, but the issues are a bit bizarre and unfortunate.

    Best example: in several cases, parents were bringing their kids to ham radio 'maker' activities and leaving them (with cell phone in hand--enjoy that irony) as a 'baby sitting' activity. ..
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This has been gone over so many times I'll hold off comments for now.
    One thing that needs to be repeated...Quantity is never a substitute for quality.
    WQ4G, KR3DX and K9GLS like this.
  5. NI4TG

    NI4TG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Simply stated, I want to present every newly licensed ham with a new radio.

    Will it be an HF radio? No, but it will be something that will put them on the air. Of course, we're talking about a new handheld radio. Brand new, no strings attached. I'd like to present new hams with a radio to commemorate their achievement for taking the initiative to study and pass the test, and for having an interest in our hobby. As a comparison, the ARRL is talking now about paying the new $35 FCC fees for new youth hams. I'd like to step that idea up a notch.

    I'd be very interested in hearing what others think of the idea. The program would be sponsored by various companies, which are also keenly interested in a growing amateur radio population.

    -fred AA7BQ[/QUOTE]
    I recently formed a Finance Committee at our club. We want to generate creative ideas to raise money, and create more value to members. One thing I want to finance is giving each new technician who tests with us, a preprogrammed Baofeng radio. Some of these new radios are almost impossible for an experienced ham to program even with software. You have a great idea.
    NJ4Z likes this.
  6. AA7BQ

    AA7BQ QRZ Founder Administrator QRZ Page

    Gee, this reminds me of the old software engineering axiom: "The attributes are Fast, Cheap, and Good. Pick two of those."

    You can't have a population of so-called "quality hams" and at the same time attract new members in sustainable numbers. In other words, there aren't enough quality people out there to make such a proposition work. WA9TDD has it exactly right - the Maker community is the closest thing that exists to the Heathkit builders of the 1960s and '70s. We've just opened up a new Makers Corner forum and I've started posting some of my hobby projects into it.

    If the goal is to fill a VW Bus with quality hams, then it will probably be successful. What about those who are hams but don't know it? What I'm talking about is exposing people to ham radio so that if there is a spark inside, it might just ignite a lifelong passion. There could be some great ham innovators out there who simply haven't discovered the hobby yet. If we're going to throw down a bunch of eligibility requirements just to come into our world and take a look around then we're dismissing a significant number of people before they even learn about us.

    Don't kid yourselves either because there are some great non-hams out there that we could all learn from. We don't know what kind of ideas they might bring to the hobby because we don't know what we don't know. Do we seriously want to lose out on some of the brightest minds of our era because of our exclusivity? Okay, so I hear you saying "NO! We want those people, we just don't want the stupid appliance operators"! How then, do you differentiate between them? What's your basis for determining "quality"? Name another hobby, any other hobby, that acts like this. Maybe the Mensa Society?

    Ham radio needs to be the most welcoming and inclusive hobby on the planet if it is to have any chance of surviving.

    73 -fred
    N1IPU, K4FMH, N9LCD and 3 others like this.
  7. WB4JHS

    WB4JHS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Back in the 70’s one club in St. Petersburg Fl had an Elmer program where they would loan out an HW-16 for 90 days to encourage getting a license. If they got their ticket the radio was available at the club’s cost and they bought or built others or found used rigs that they refurbished.

    The new comer had skin in the game and actually made a deposit for the loaner. A great time of trust. Great YouTube!

    WQ4G, WA9TDD and NJ4Z like this.
  8. NJ4Z

    NJ4Z Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    The FCC and The ARRL are looking in to exempting those under 18 from the fees, at least that is what I have read in several articles. I am not sure of the impact on the at large public, if the $35 fee will prevent folks from join us in the best damn hobby on the planet!!! de NJ4Z 73
  9. NJ4Z

    NJ4Z Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Fred, that you for all you do for the hobby, I check QRZ everyday and use it for logging, also am a platinum subscriber. It is great to have people join us in this hobby, we really need yo make sure these folks get on the air, I was talking with an ARRL section manager and he said the ARRL has data that if a new licensee does not get on the air in the first year there is only a 12% chance they will ever get on the air. We really need to help new hams getting on the air, this will preserve our hobby, that we love so much and it will also help us grow. We all know the passion for this hobby can be infectious. If each new ham entices 2 people to join the hobby in the first 3 years the growth will be amazing. I am doing my part I have bring 7 people in the hobby in the past 4 years, just by talking ham radio with them and showing the power of Ham Radio. I agree with most of your comments, with the exception of testing... if we open this up without some sort of skin in the game, I think we will doom the hobby, it will become modern CB. We try to reward at least one new ham every testing session with a Radio, we as a club do not have the financial resources to do more even at $20-30 dollars a radio. That can easily translate to $150.00 a test session and $1800.00 a year. At this point we are not able to fund that. I know of at least one club that received a Federal DHS grant to supply a radio to each new Ham. I am urging our club to look into this type of grant. Again great insight Fred... all the best de NJ4Z
    WA9TDD likes this.
  10. WA9TDD

    WA9TDD Ham Member QRZ Page

    But just maybe, if someone would talk to those kids at an engaging kid level and show them what ham radio can do, it might spark an interest. Give a basic chat about what ham radio is, show them a video of kids in a classsroom talking on the radio to ISS, let them see how APRS can track a weather balloon around the world, let them have a quick chat on an HT. Kids are not dumb nor uninquisitive. Make a presentation that they can understand that has them leave going WOW! It might apply to some adults too.
    WQ4G and W5MOY like this.

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