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Is Ham Radio in Australia on the Decline?

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

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  1. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try $90 per exam sitting, plus $25 to $60 for a call sign recommendation and $55 for the license. That would be the minimum, but if you went foundation, standard, advanced you can multiply that by 3.

    We had the opportunity to move to class licensing and free licensed, but old people here lost their minds about that and pretty much voted on mass to keep things expensive.

    The costs really have nothing to do with it. Its the lack of promotion and visibility that is the issue. In the USA you go to any big electronics convention the ARRL is there, wacker movement convention ARRL is there. In Australia, the WIA has no presence in any of the traditional recruiting grounds for hams, thus, old people die and the number of licenses decline.

    We navel gaze here and in fight over the ashes, rather than look forward to a future and plan accordingly. We have more peak organisations than you can poke a stick at and all of them are not worth a monkeys butt, for all the good they do. More interested in fighting each other than being the custodians and promoters of the hobby. A pox on all of them I say.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
    KF4ZKU, M1WML, VK6HIL and 1 other person like this.
  2. VK6HIL

    VK6HIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think class licensing is going to happen anyway no matter what the old guard want.

    I've never heard anyone say "I'd like to get into Amateur Radio but the exams/licence are too expensive". They are a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of equipment - 2nd hand isn't cheap anymore either.

    The WIA as the main peak body really needs to clean out the stables and get some fresh younger blood who can fight future battles not yesterdays.
     
    M1WML likes this.
  3. VK6HIL

    VK6HIL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the chances of getting 1000W in Australia are very, very low to non-existent. The regulator isn't interested.
     
    M1WML likes this.
  4. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it will happen also, ACMA wants nothing to do with us and essentially sees us as a bunch of whiny old men trying to be king of something. They will force it on us so they do not have to deal with us anymore.


    Yep, its not about the money, people do hobbies at whatever level they can afford.


    Its not really even about fighting the battles, its about having a vision for the future of the hobby and setting forth to achieve it. The problem with the WIA is that it thinks its only purpose other than supplying member services is writing letters to the ACMA. It does nothing in respect for promotion or even driving an agenda of what the hobby should be about.

    The ARRL does it with its prepper and wacker agenda, while i disagree with who they target, they at least have a plan on bringing new people in. I have been asked a number of times to be on the WIA, to which i ask, can I tell people what i think or do i have to do and say nothing like the rest of you? Obviously they do not want me telling a lot of people to F off and get out of the way so those with the passion, desire and a vision can get on with giving the hobby a strong future.

    The problem is, most of them cannot see a future because they really do not have one in the hobby. When was the last time anyone heard any of them on air? If you never use a radio, how can you ever develop a plan for future hams.
     
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  5. VK4SDD

    VK4SDD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have 20 people sitting their Foundation license in July, then another 20 in october, hopefully 20 more in Febuary 22 so at least up here in Far North Queensland its on the up!!!
     
    KF4ZKU, W4LJ, M1WML and 2 others like this.
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    This is a great discussion - it's really interesting to see/read licensing perspectives from VK land and how things work there vs. the endless discussions of US licensing.

    I'm learning a lot :)

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
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  7. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's awesome! We have about 5-10 Scouts sitting their exams locally soon plus a few more this month I believe for our local club. There is always room for improvement, promotion of the hobby more at science fairs, tech days and schools would be a start.
     
    KF4ZKU, W4LJ and M1WML like this.
  8. VK7HH

    VK7HH Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's certainly a hot topic and a passion of mine to try and get more VK's. I saw a comment earlier saying quality is better than quantity. That IMO is old school thinking and a superiority complex develops with such people. Some hear a "Foundation call" on the air tend to either a) ignore them, or b) think they are somehow superior because they've been licensed xyz years. Those types of people need to get over themselves and aren't doing the hobby any favours at all.
     
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  9. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The problem is not On Air Hayden, the problem is on social media. I spent 5 years on my fcall, worked dxcc, about 100 park activation, a few sota summits, taught myself CW, taught myself electronics and home brewing, was the first Fcall to receive the WIA F-Call DXer of the year trophy as well as doing a whole lot of other stuff along the way.

    Other than the guy who used to sit on 7.150 and make chicken noises at f-calls who wandered onto his frequency, all the drama and rubbish i have endured has been on social media. Its funny, as an fcall I could not fart without someone getting upset, now i could transmit a 2Kw square wave on 40m and work all the harmonics and no one would give a crap. Such is the hypocrisy that is displayed by some.

    As far as groups go, WWFF, SOTA, DX, 7.130 Dx Net when it was still running, Kandos Net are all very F-Call friendly places. If an Fcall cannot find somewhere they are welcome they are not getting on air all that much. Clubs and facebook groups on the other hand are best avoided.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
    N0TZU and KF4ZKU like this.
  10. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Quality is certainly superior to quantity,
    even if Marshal Stalin famously said "Quantity has a quality all its own".

    Here, we have quite extensive experience of what happens when quality is down-played in favour of quantity. In short, it does not work. For at least 25 years, the policies have been solely towards trying to recruit young people by lowering the exam standards.

    The results?

    Median age has gone up from about 45 to 66, and the numbers of measurably active amateurs have decreased dramatically. Most new amateurs cannot handle the ubiquitous EMC and RFI problems that they face, and consequently give up on amateur radio shortly after receiving their callsign.

    In order to understand the stance of the ACMA, it pays off to try "walking a mile in their shoes", and I believe that their perspective is representative for most deregulated first-world regulators which have to deal with market pressures in spectrum management.

    How do radio amateurs look from their perspective?

    A bunch of whiny old men which moan, bitch and complain about almost everything, and constantly demand expanded privileges in respect of power levels and spectrum. They would be very happy to see them go away by attrition.

    In Oz you still have the advantage of paying for the licence, as this gives some legal standing. A free "class licence" would remove this last remnant of legal protection.

    Many, if not most, modern amateurs fail to realise that amateur radio by its very definition is intended to form an elite. It was this elite status that saved us after WW2.

    This glory went with us for the better part of 60 years, but deregulation made the regulators observant of the real state-of-affairs and they did not like what they saw.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
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