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Report on results from survey of amateur radio operators

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N8XJ, Nov 20, 2017.

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  1. N8XJ

    N8XJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Mark,
    No, I didn't look at gender issues in my report, but I can tell you that only around 5% of survey respondents were female. Again, my sample was not random by any means, but I think we can all conclude that women remain a small minority in amateur radio.
     
  2. N8XJ

    N8XJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Frank,
    Thanks for the link. I had come across your 2011 report, but for some reason not your 2013 one. It is on my reading list for the next evening or two.

    73,
    Joel
     
  3. K9GLS

    K9GLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Instead of the usual over thinking analysis, my simple minded question would be... I wonder the accuracy of surveys when only .09% (I believe that is 9 hundredths of 1 percent) participate?
     
  4. AJ4GQ

    AJ4GQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's an interesting point and he addresses that issue at the beginning under Methodology in the third paragraph where he discusses some of the limitations.
     
  5. W7DAO

    W7DAO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great work. A few years back I did a calculation based on birth and death rates in the US by age grouping that demonstrated that although the numbers appear to be slowly climbing, they were hovering around zero growth rate or a slight slow decline as compared to the general population. As a marketer looking at this data there are a number of strategies that can be considered to raise the numbers. First, embrace, accept that your primary new ham demographic is in the 45-55 year grouping. Given this, we could do deeper research to understand and to better message and improved reach out to this group. Maybe, this age group has established their careers, children older, and want to form more connections via a hobby with others. Less isolation. Of course, our 15 second contact report based conversations may not be enough to hold people in. Maybe we need to do more on this as a group.

    Second, we could take this further and direct our attention to building up ham radio and ham shacks in assisted or retirement living communities. It can help people stay connected and for emcomm it can mean having a nice fixed, mostly available net controllers. But mostly to help people form community within their buildings and with others via radio. It also, means we may get old, expired license hams, back on the air.

    Third, okay, we all want to see some younger people in the hobby and this is great. However, when I did my age break down of ham radio I found a bi-modal distribution. There was a 12 to 22 year old spike and a 45-55 year old spike. What I found anecdotally was that people who took up the hobby when young, dropped it as they built their careers and their families. Later they may pick it up again. We need to consider what will really be relevant in the Internet age to young people. I think the best synergy (yup, I do consulting) will come by fusing the robotics and maker movements, with their high young people outreach, to ham radio. Specifically, using ham radio for much longer distance remote control. Balloons are already utilizing ham radio, what about space camp using ham radio to control a Mars rover simulation, or environmental research, radio astronomy, long distance operation of robots? Radio not for radio's sack, but as tool.

    Well that's my two-cents.

    73
     
    WF3T and K2MOB like this.
  6. K1OIK

    K1OIK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    "What is the relevance of ham radio in the 21st century"
    The choice, "it isn't relevant was not available"
     
  7. KB1PA

    KB1PA Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Where does it say anywhere that amateur radio has to be relevant to exist?

    Coin Collecting, Stamp Collecting, Gun Collecting, Shell Collecting, Antique Collecting, etc all have
    Zero relevance to anyone except those that choose to participate in those activities. Same with
    Amateur Radio. Believe it or not, participants actually enjoy participating in amateur radio. When a hobby becomes a source of upset and worry, its time to look for other things that you can enjoy. Life is to short.
     
    VK6APZ, WF3T and K2MOB like this.
  8. W4HM

    W4HM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've always believed that quality not quantity is the way to go.
     
    KR3DX likes this.
  9. K1OIK

    K1OIK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Coin Collecting, Stamp Collecting, Gun Collecting, Shell Collecting, Antique Collecting do not use public frequencies. The use of public frequencies comes with a moral obligation to be relevant. The phrase, "life is short" is frequently used to excuse things you should not do. Life is not short, you were in Kindergarten a long time ago. Please look at FCC regulations and tell me where the word hobby is.
     
  10. WA7ANT

    WA7ANT Ham Member QRZ Page

    My thoughts from the perspective of a non-technical guy who enjoys ham radio...(for what it's worth)

    I didn't take the survey, but in my case it is certainly true that I had an interest in ham radio when in my teens in the 1980's. I never had any involvement with CB. Problem is, I'm not a tech wiz nor do I possess a high IQ. Also I didn't have any money nor were there any local "elmers" for me to learn from. Oh, there were one or two ham radio operators, but they weren't interested in me.

    I'm an operator and not one of those prodigy kids that took things apart as a child to see how they work. I was always more fascinated with the natural world (playing outside, looking at bugs, etc.) and literature and language--definitely NOT the typical "future ham". For me the magic was in being able to communicate with people far away--and it still is.

    I am not mechanically inclined. I drive a car, but no way in heck could I rebuild an engine or do any repairs beyond changing out a carburetor or changing the oil in my car (in the early 90's). And even what little I was able to learn took me a while, reading from a Haynes/Chilton manual.

    I can, with time, figure some ham radio-related technical stuff out, but my intelligence does not lie in that area and therefore I am not "quick" at it.

    Morse code is (a code) related to "language", and therefore for my type of intelligence, it isn't especially difficult for me to learn. The issue for me is time. I have a lot of things in my life (I'm almost 48) that compete for my time. I'm sure that if I took a month off of work and studied/practiced Morse code that I could probably hold my own in a qso.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say with all of the above is, I am probably not your "typical" ham radio licensee. My experience touches on some of the things referenced in the study, but also varies quite a bit from it.
     

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