Is Ham Radio in Australia on the Decline?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by VK7HH, Jun 21, 2021.

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  1. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Round here, the majority of the serious RFI is caused by ADSL internet. The anticipated move towards fibre to the premises (FTTP) will greatly reduce that and I would expect that any remaining ADSL will be replaced by 5G which also causes far less RFI to the likes of us. I think it is almost inevitable that we will lose access to pretty much everything above 70cm and even that might come under pressure. 2m and lower is pretty safe - the limits of technology and physics make frequencies below 150MHz pretty unattractive to most commercial users - antennae are too big and available data rate too low.

    As far as the old standing of amateur radio is concerned, socio-political changes make it extremely unlikely that it could have been maintained of could be reversed. Modern politicians hate the idea of elitism - it is not possible to sell to a modern electorate. Despite your gloom, spectrum has been released to non-commercial users rather than removed over the last couple of decades. With no strong commercial pressure, the European spectrum managers have released spectrum in the UHF range to PMR446 licence free usage. The UK authorities have gradually lifted various restrictions on HF CB, permitting SSB, for example. With the bands below 30MHz effectively empty, it will be easier to convince modern politicians to increase licence-free, non-elitist access. For heavens sake don't go to any first-world politician proposing preferential treatment for "educated people" or that "trouble with "the law" or was considered "unreliable"" would block a licence application - you'll kill the hobby dead in the water!

    Martin (G8FXC)
     
    US7IGN likes this.
  2. G0KDT

    G0KDT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two parts to answer there, first the shortage of new blood, second the 'bunch of quite aged whiners'.

    I believe that there are other societal reasons for those findings, such as what is it that the students are interested in and how and who is actually motivating them. This goes for any of the sciences.

    Employers would say, 'The one sure thing is change. There is no such thing as a job for life and you have to expect to change to fit...'.

    So, we have to ask ourselves if that would make you want to specialise? For many I am sure they see troubled and difficult times more than they see an accepting and welcoming future and work society. Examples have been set, and now some wonder why it's hard to reverse that. Instead of so called authorities becoming sceptical of the field they probably need to take a good long long inwardly and start undoing some of the damage from within. I doubt that many can or will do that, without doing that you can't have refreshed version of "Yesteryear".

    Whinging and aged user base.... its kind of a by product of the first....
     
    US7IGN likes this.
  3. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    From what I have learned about the inner workings of modern-day spectrum regulators, their first-hand choice would be no radio amateurs at all, but as a distant second a small elite corps that causes them no troubles may have been accepted.

    Most people with political influence see us as "Weak-signal Talibans" that stand in the way of the deployment of solar-derived power and other energy-saving measures.

    I am frequently accused of wanting an BSc or MSc degree to be a requisite for an amateur licence, which is something I never have said. However, in the light of later developments, such a requirement seems more and more as a "good idea".

    Since I have had the opportunity to compare the two regimes,
    I very much preferred when radio amateurs primarily came from the educated classes and were considered as reliable, compared to the "spray-painted CB:ers" (the words of a now SK colleague) that we got after the standards were relaxed.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
  4. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is what amateur radio will again be - geek fun. What it was originally.

    All will be Starlink from Elon Musk...
     
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    @G0KDT
    Mentions something important, the cause-effect relations in the progress or decline of amateur radio.

    Quite little is known about what has caused the lack of youngsters, and why amateurs mostly are seen as awkward complaining incompetent curmudgeons by the Authorities.

    From my vantage point, it appears that organised amateur radio, which to a very large extent is run by control-freaks, attempts to solve new problems by using old solutions.

    Being control-freaks, they tend to develop tunnel-vision which disregards lateral thinking and fresh approaches as "outside disturbances" which may cause deviations from the "party line".

    In an increasingly hostile environment, where spectrum regulators, EMC agencies, planning boards, land-lords and neighbours mostly see amateur radio as an annoying factor, it has become very hard to "sell" the concept.

    In Denmark, there is an internal joke about radio amateurs being "sure gamle mænd i ternede skjorter" (approx. translation "mean old men in checkered shirts"), often illustrated with the old curmudgeons from the "Muppet Show":

    upload_2021-7-2_10-37-46.png

    It is probably only by changing the public perception by again have some aura of relevance and competence the hobby may have a chance to survive in recognisable forms. The addition of some social skills would not harm either...

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
  6. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My sole desire is to catch Good A1A Practices and Ethics from last era of Radio Officers.
    But I cannot turn myself into a great radio-electronician out of nothing.
    Gonna left, maybe, only one Solar Cycle for doing so.
    Then, if lucky, another Solar Cycle to pass my morse code best knowledge on to other RAs.

    Just dreaming of a quiet place with antennas, and that our beloved Anatel will not interfere into HF*.

    Lots «State of the Hobby» and such surveys made, which I duly replied.
    Surely «Après moi, le déluge» applies here, hobby, on life-support today, will not be resurrected.
    That's it, and I was optimistic, being that it mainly depends on how frequently we are on the air, how much effort we show.

    *We might keep HF untouched a tad longer than, say, your 2m band.

    Oliver
     
  7. US7IGN

    US7IGN Ham Member QRZ Page

    In Ukraine, after the outbreak of the war with Russia in 2014, a lot of radio amateurs became volunteers or joined the army and helped greatly to establish communication and apply their technical knowledge, thereby increasing their status in society.
     
  8. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, amateur radio obviously needs a new shooting war to become relevant again.

    There is no shortage of war-mongers around,
    but just do not forget to send your own children or grand-children, if you have any, to the front-lines.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
  9. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    War times giving the hobby some justification? What if most of HF were confiscated for military purposes?

    I do count digital modes (non-OOK) as peanuts, except for the challenge of the ones writing lines of code. Then all connections being established, admit it is nothing else than a way of checking propagation limits.
    But what I'd like doing would be to save a Hellschreiber Maschine and put all mechanics into work.

    Oliver
     
  10. PU2OZT

    PU2OZT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As to war times, you all are aware Brazil is at war every day/night against gangs, drug lords and other mafias, everywhere, don't you?
    A war « Gente de Bem» here will not win.

    So much that when passing the exam, that little guy from Anatel showed us a modified HT and preached us «Thou Shall Not Use That» (or face excommunication etc...)
    That was ALL we were told, how much we are considerated in Brazil.

    Welcome! into the Glorious Hobby.

    Oliver
     

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