Likely Future of ham radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KR0O, May 5, 2021.

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  1. N1YFA

    N1YFA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've thought about it but my main idea is staying local, and not so much just finding people to talk to. I may do some experimentation in the future because I think I may have some advantages when it comes to HF. I've tried HF and it never appealed to me at all. That and the fact that I like staying local when talking is why I never bothered. I think that the place that I live in now has got to be the worst place I have ever lived when it comes to radio. I always joke that I live in an RF toilet bowl. A ham buddy of mine tells me, "No, get it right, you live in a porcelain parabolic dish". lol
    My wife and I are planning on doing full time RV'ing up here and when that happens, that will allow me a lot more range but for now, one thing at a time.
    KO4ESA and VK4HAT like this.
  2. N1YFA

    N1YFA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ah, the buying of radios ha ha. At this point I am on a deal with the wife. Unfortunately, After buying all this DMR, Dual band radios, Antennas, and a hotspot and having packed them away because the local traffic is slim to none, I cant buy anymore unless I buy her some new camera equipment (A deal I made with her in all fairness). Her and I are usually VERY careful on not spending money frivolously. She's not mad I spent what I have on radio so far but there are limits. She's been a real trooper with all of this to be honest. Were currently in the process of dealing with other needed financial stuff right now so money is tight.

    I have monitored the bands locally where I live and there is activity but unless its a net (which is rare) there are only bits of chatter here and there. What is more strange to me is that I have a list of local nets where I live and I have a local list of nets from where I used to live many years ago (I can check in through echolink) and there are more nets where I used to live. Every night of the week, to this day, there is a traffic net on the very same repeater for well over the past 20+ years. Up here I guess they have one once a week? I cant hit that repeater if I tried though. They have a wellness net every day since the pandemic to just check in with local hams to make sure everyone is doing ok. There are a host of other nets that are real fun all on 2/440. I just remember the days when everyone was on 2 meters. Even if they did mostly HF, there was always someone on there. Hams monitored the upper bands on a dedicated scanner and just about everyone had 2 meter simplex calling being monitored. It was how we all contacted each other. There were a lot of local things going on from fox hunts (which they still do) to using communications for local events. It was a local community working with each other. As time goes on, and as the world gets worse, it seems as though staying local and worrying about your own local people is something forgotten about. When I got into ham radio I loved that local element. The practice in emergency communications, being ready to grab your radios and setup quickly and start helping your neighbor in a disaster. That was something that attracted me to ham radio in addition to the new technology. Now it just seems these bands above 30mhz are used for occasional chit chat when the bands go dead on HF or they need to take a break. Its sad because especially where I live, what would happen if someone was hiking (which is very popular where I am) and an emergency happened? If you called over simplex, would anyone hear you? If you tried a repeater, could you get in? would anyone hear you? HF is nice for some but when it comes down to the real world, real life situations, those bands above 30mhz are key for communication. Ham radio has a lot to offer for all. Everyone has what they like, so to each their own. I haven't given up on it. I have packed all my radios away but in a go-bag kind of way. They can be deployed in an emergency if needed. My life currently is pretty busy anyhow so one day when I have the time I will probably get into it more.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  3. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    While a lot is made of amateur radio for emergency communications, for natural disasters and such like, I think it is a stretch to plan on using it for a personal emergency.

    The best answer is something like a SPOT device, which have been in use for several years now and have a proven record of success. You can get two-way or one-way communications models. For both, family at home can monitor your coordinates ("breadcrumbs") as you hike, if you want to set this up. The emergency button will summon rescue services, so you don't use that unless you actually are "down".

    "But, that isn't free!"

    Yep. If you want your trip to be an adventure and not a tragedy, you may have to spend something for emergency communications which actually work.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. W1DH

    W1DH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not to get too far off topic, but there are satellite locators that work without subscription fees. I have an ACR Res-q-link I keep in my hiking backpack at all times. I have also carried my HT but I wouldn't rely on it in the mountains where you may be end up down in a valley. If my GPS is working the beacon will likely work too.
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I had a MITS 8080B, It's power supply shorted the computer and the S100 Bus... But it was all in new quality "looks". In the late 90s, TNT had "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" on marathon for weeks... I saw 8080s working go for $4500 on Ebay in 90's dollars...

    I got mine out of storage, made sure it was museum clean and sold it as non working but like new condition for looks... Starting at $300... Sold for $1750 to a guy in Canada collecting them for show...
    KO4ESA likes this.
  6. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    440 FM is active here, not counting 2 meter repeaters clubs link to the 440 ones folks are using, Fusion, DMR and D-star are active in that order from the left to right.
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  7. K8XG

    K8XG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    The 444.950 repeater here in Toledo is active all day , maybe some 1 to 2 hour times silent but most times active for hours. It's High Profile and many call it a Clear Channel it is so clean... and no I do not own it...

    Others, 146.835 Wires-X, 443.975 YSF Fusion, 444.850 DMR, 442.750 D-star ; 147.270/442.850 linked FM , 146.940 FM ; all these have activity in our town...
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
    KO4ESA and VK4HAT like this.
  8. KG7WGX

    KG7WGX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    As to the future of amateur radio, I would not be at all surprised if someone came up with the equivalent of SOTA, but somehow involving dr0nes, which can be controlled using amateur radio. I have seen competitions in a small field with stock radios, but the greater range afforded to licensed drone "pilots" could open cross-country competitions with future drones. The radio technology would be the development of ultra-lightweight transceivers, but other corners of technology would provide better encoders and servos. And the next generation of batteries would power them. Also, the radio technology would have to involve portable antenna / controller systems, with a suitable interface for the drone pilot. With a need for range, I can see something like this being a lot more elaborate than a basic R/C box. Think what a control console for ROV submersibles looks like and build on that.

    Maybe the courses could be laid out, orienteering course style, but structured to permit solitary competition against the course. Instead of a live audience, contestants could upload their "flight logs" and check their scores against others online.

    A SOTA-like organization could handle describing the courses, making the flight log results available to members and running a forum about equipment. Also, the courses could be ranked by difficulty, so a beginner could start with an easy course and move upward. (I have no idea how the flight logs could be verified to prevent cheating, but I think something could be devised. And it might work, too, if the ARRL isn't involved... )

    You would have to have a certain willingness to handle the occasional failure. Owners of these drones would undoubtedly conduct basic flight tests to confirm a software update before risking them on an actual course. And there might be a market for companies who would operate large "recovery drones", which could effect recoveries of crashed craft. After you see the video of the recovery, you could decide whether you want to try repairs or just write it off and avoid the additional shipping fees.

    All of which will make FT8 look rather pointless. Why would anyone be interested in making QSO's in such a limited fashion when they could fly a drone at distance instead?
    KO4ESA likes this.
  9. G8FXC

    G8FXC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't know the US rules in detail, but this would require some major rule changes to be legal here in Britain! We are explicitly barred from puting any transmitter operating on ham frequencies into any flying vehicle.

    Martin (G8FXC)
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  10. VK4HAT

    VK4HAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The only rules here have to do with power density of the transmission. Essentially, if i wanted to create a mode that was 100Khz wide, I can transmit it on 40m as long as the power density does not go over some limit. So unless there are some other laws i am not aware of outside the ham ones, using ham radio for telemetry on a drone as an example would be fine and dandy.
    KO4ESA likes this.

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