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. KG5TJV

    KG5TJV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I find your Statement Extremely Accurate. I have a hard time understanding WHY they don't Understand it Unless they are Banking on Younger Kids who feel Entitled to get their Parents to Support their HAM Radio Hobby, those will be the Very Few Exceptions to the cause and Certainly Not Enough to Support the Hobby Finacially Overall. I recently Joined the HAM Radio Hobby myself and I am 56. 73 KG5TJV
  2. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Interesting study... I was somewhat surprised at the age information, too, but certainly my Tech classes are usually filled with folks nearing retirement. I've had a couple of all female classes recently, so perhaps that demographic is changing. I see a small trend of female 'makers' drifting over to ham radio out of curiosity, as well as female preppers.

    I do think the study highlights a problem with 'motivation'. Indeed, younger people don't know about radio, and most don't care. This became obvious with the publication of breathless news stories (apparently by a younger journalist) talking about how millennials had found a way to 'hack' free TV programming. The 'hack' involved reception of over the air signals. Who knew you could do that?
    I am still stuck in some kind of time warp over that one.

    Where can Amateur Radio be relevant? In teaching the whole world of RF communication and technology. The 'makers' are doing it without us, but some of them have discovered that a ham ticket makes it possible to do their 'Internet of Things' communications over longer distances. I think we really need to exploit that niche as much as we can. The same can be said for building WAN's using ham bands. We don't need to duplicate the Internet, but I think we could duplicate the old packet radio networks, but at much higher speeds, using off the shelf, affordable gear, particularly if we used the Internet to fill in the gaps until RF links could be established. This network would be used for 'Internet of Things' applications as well as traditional ones.

    There certainly are, and have been, barriers to entry, particularly for kids. Take a typical 13 year old. Even if they want a ham rig, they certainly want a cellphone and a tablet or laptop much more, and unless their parents are very rich, it's unlikely that Mom and Dad will buy them both. The computer can easily lead to a career, the ham radio not so much. I've heard this logic many times from parents of kids who were interested, but parents said 'no'.

    Antenna issues are very real, even for older newbies. I cringe when one of my students talks about their nice condo, because I know they are going to get frustrated on HF. I am a real believer in remote ops and shared stations. has made it possible for at least one old timer to resume his ham career from a retirement assisted living condo, where the RF noise is 20 over 9, and 5 watts will blow the AFCI breakers ! You can even do CW that way, now. I think we should all encourage more of these, and if you have a spare rig, put it on the air with Remotehams, and share it with those less fortunate.
    WD3N likes this.
  3. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    While what you say is very true, K0RGR, we have additional problems.

    And if you listen to the TRVE HAMS, those people should have thought about that before buying, even if they weren't even hams then.

    Me too, but again if you listen to the TRVE HAMS, "that's not ham radio!"

    That opposition by the TRVE HAMS, to solutions to real problems experienced by new hams, is what is going to kill ham radio.
  4. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I sit in stunned silence...

    We have just seen the top surface of Pat's lab bench. Unbelievable!!!! :)
  5. NN6EE

    NN6EE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    HEY JOEL !!!
    Thanks for taking that "in-depth" SURVEY, as it was VERY INTERESTING, especially about the section on "CW"!!! I've always said that "CW" would never DIE OUT", and your survey PROVED THAT !!! The bit about (FUN & LEGACY) are "spot-on !!!. Sure, it is true from the standpoint of instant communications (CW) is much SLOWER than the SPEECH/IDEAS conveyed by the human voice, BUT that particular MODE, out of many, WILL ALWAYS/ALWAYS be VIABLE/USEFUL, and those who condemn it for whatever reason are IGNORANT FOOLS!!!
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
    WF3T likes this.
  6. WB9YTG

    WB9YTG Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be interesting to survey the spending habits of amateur radio operators.
  7. K2NED

    K2NED XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I get a real kick out of my radio clubs enthusiasm to constantly attempt to engage young people into the hobby of amateur radio. Young people are to 'face into their 'I' whatever's' and social media to care about what they perceive as ancient technology. even with the digital modes available
    lets see here: ' I ' phone = 700 dollars, no antenna, amp, tuner, iambic keyer or coax needed and you can communicate with anyone you care to in voice and digital text. even random dial if you want to talk to a total stranger. Compare that to an amateur operators investment into radio gear and ancillary necessities just to initiate random conversations with total strangers !! ??
    all the above comments are very on point for sure and, certainly the generational and cultural change / gap in our world is an influencer in the amateur operator - ham radio world.
  8. KG8ZQ

    KG8ZQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    What an interesting paper! I read every bit of it. Well done.
  9. N8XJ

    N8XJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks! 73, Joel
  10. KM4HGU

    KM4HGU Ham Member QRZ Page

    That was a most interesting read. Thanx for sharing.
    My personal opinion of the high point on the New license graph presented, being age 50-59, has to do with folks of that age, have their lives established, are pretty much out of debt, and have a bit more time on their hands to fill with a hobby of some sort.
    I don't think that will change much. The sharp decline after age 59, (age 60+) I would attribute to those in that age group are already Hams, or are not interested.
    I know Hams who were first licensed prior to WWII, but went "dormant" in the '50s-'80s due to work, and family, eating up time and money. But, after the kids grew up, and the number of bills coming in decreased significantly, got back into it. Which would account for some of the age 60+ folks.

    The demographic for newly licensed pilots runs along the same lines. With the peak being in the 50-59 age group.

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