What Keeps ham Radio From Growing

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KD5SYH, Oct 20, 2002.

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  1. W0DZ

    W0DZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, OK, by "complexity of the VE system", I meant that you need to figure out the process. That was also true of the old FCC system. All the more reason to join a club or have access to a local repeater (upgraders), so you can stay in touch with people in your area who know the procedure. (Can I just "show up"? How long does the test take? Do I need to fill out any forms in advance? What do I bring? How much does it cost? What do I need to know?)

    As far as the expense goes, $5 for a license every time you upgrade, $5/yr for ARRL membership, $79 for a Heathkit DX-60, $79 for a Heathkit HR-10, who knows how much for a stock of crystals, a few bux for a dipole, etc., was a fair amount of money for a high school student in 1965. (My part time job paid $1.10/hour!) The Heathkit SB series, or God-forbid, a Collins KWM-2 was completely out of reach.

    However!! Once you decide to become a ham, none of that stands in your way. I don't really understand the notion that cost would be the thing that keeps you from doing stuff you really want to do. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, good report card presents, part-time jobs, used or loaned equipment, help from friends -- those can all help get a newbie started. But there is no denying the curve flattening in 1964. Societal change isn't a totally satisfying reason to explain it.

    I discovered there was a thing called ham radio on a GR-64 shortwave receiver dial. My dad had to ask at his work what it was. I don't think it's much different today. But somehow, once kids show an interest in electronics and/or radio, I think they eventually learn of ham radio. Still, it doesn't hurt, especially today, to get our story out there.
     
  2. KD5SYH

    KD5SYH Ham Member QRZ Page

    ive tried solid state, QRP, all bands, and many different antennas, everything in his house is set up right (i used to take care of his dog before the ham radio thing "upset' him...) its jsut that his TV has fundemental overload... Everything at my QTH was doen right, proper grounding, etc...i couldn't go any higher than 20ft though, because his house is right there and any higher and I woulda come across the electric lines very nicely if it got blown down. No money for a tower eather, or room for guy wires. Random wires? Froget it...that made alot of QRM!!! Than fully I am moving to my dads soon where (when I had my station set up) everything worked fine, no complaints, plenty of room), so I'll be back in ham radio soon. However, what if someone is stuck in my position and can't move?

    About ham radio pricing...being that I cant get a job (I'm 15) and everyone around here is scared of lawsuits (meaning that I can't do "handy-man" type jobs, or mowing the yards), it is near impossibly expensive for a teen to set up a ham radio station. i was lucky becasue I was able to buy old junk CBs, scanners, and shortwaves, fix them up, and resell them for a profit, or trade them in bulk for a piece of ham radio gear. Due to lucky sircumstances, I ended up with an Icom IC-271A (in perfect shape) and a Kenmwood Ts-830S (in ok shape, needs some work and does very strange stuff now and then), and of course when i first got my license the club donated an 8amp power supple and a Kenwood TR-7400A (which I am very thankful for).

    TNX & 73's,
    Fabian C-S.
     
  3. mackinac

    mackinac Banned

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (KD5JDG @ Oct. 22 2002,15:00)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">About ham radio pricing...being that I cant get a job (I'm 15) and everyone around here is scared of lawsuits (meaning that I can't do &quot;handy-man&quot; type jobs, or mowing the yards), it is near impossibly expensive for a teen to set up a ham radio station. i was lucky becasue I was able to buy old junk CBs, scanners, and shortwaves, fix them up, and resell them for a profit, or trade them in bulk for a piece of ham radio gear. Due to lucky sircumstances, I ended up with an Icom IC-271A (in perfect shape) and a Kenmwood Ts-830S (in ok shape, needs some work and does very strange stuff now and then), and of course when i first got my license the club donated an 8amp power supple and a Kenwood TR-7400A (which I am very thankful for).[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Let's see, you're only 15 and can't get a job, yet you've managed to acquire an IC-271A, a TS-830S and a TR-7400A.

    You've said the &quot;it is near impossibly expensive for a teen to set up a ham radio station&quot; and then told us how you acquired a fairly decent station without even having a job. You have done a good job of illustrating our point that cost is not a major barrier to entry to ham radio.
     
  4. W5ATX

    W5ATX Guest

    As for the TS830 that &quot;needs work and does very strange stuff now and then,&quot; here's your opportunity to learn what makes it tick and fix it up. Then you will be on the way to fitting in the ham radio some of us remember as being &quot;a technically oriented service.&quot;

    I was 13 when I was first licensed, and my options were simple: fix it when it didn't work, or stay off the air. So I learned. And now, 28 years later, I'm not an engineer, but I have a good understanding of how my toys work.

    As for money, my first transmitter was homebrew and my receiver was 30 years old and needed TLC - which I learned to give it. Nothing too expensive. I took what I had, did what I could, and enjoyed.

    Your rigs sound pretty good for an unemployed teen. Now it's up to you to make the best of it.

    73,

    Chris
     
  5. N5GZI

    N5GZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    The thing I find missing today (and some will say, always has been) is PASSION. I do not see many adults or children participating in activities with sufficient heart. It's almost like they are being forced to do whatever it is they are involved in, whether it is sports, outdoor activities or just hanging out!

    Very few adults I work with have any hobbies or interests; they just sit around at night and watch TV! They certainly show no drive to learn anything new or challenging at work. If it is not easy, they complain and skip over the task at hand.

    I see very little interest in anything that requires more than a minimal investment of brainpower or time. They are missing out on so many things that give so much joy and satisfaction!!

    Unfortunately, many children that exhibit passion are considered either &quot;Obsessed&quot; or &quot;Hyperactive&quot;.

    What a shame, missing out on such great activities! (OF any KIND)

    Mike
    N5GZI
     
  6. K7ADB

    K7ADB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think it's a lack of knowledge about amateur radio by the general public that keeps our hobby from growing. I am 25 years old and 90% of my friends have no idea what amateur radio is or even heard of it. I think more needs to be done to educate the public about amatuer radio. Maybe the ARRL should spend some time and money putting up commercials educating the public about the capabilities and fun of amateur radio. If they did that, they would get more money from new members, the airwaves would fill up with people, and the FCC would have a much harder time selling off our part of the spectrum since they would be full of people.
     
  7. K6UEY

    K6UEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have read here a couple of very good posts which I think hits the nail on the head. So I had to jump in and comment.
    I also got bit by the curiosity bug at the age of 12 or 13 and Ham Radio was the perfect channel to satisfy my curiosity of just how Radio Communications was made to tick. Below the High school level the only classes available were about Electricity, and the first door bell ringer you built was interesting but from there on they were of little satisfaction. You did learn things like you always adjust a Jacobs Ladder when the power is disconnected a fact that was easy to retain especially the second time. Radio as such was becomming of age,there was talk of TV and how you could have a visual image of the action as well as listen,and that possibility was exciting,of course it would be many years later before the average household could afford a TV set.Except for the Political side of it I think that was the begining of the Dumbing down of America phase. In Radio you had to listen and learn and think to get the most of the program being presented,and there were a lot of afternoon serials for the after school crowd. You had to think and visualize the action was as you listened,then came along TV and your brain could remain dormant while you watched. Soon the TV became the baby sitter turn it on in the morning and park the kids in front of it and they were there for the day. I think that lack of ability to use your imagination and think has molded several generations and what has evolved are people who are not willing to think and show no curiosity for the sciences at all,they are willing to accept sitting there and having the world wait on them and when it refuses to, they whine and cry that they are being mistreated.
    In our schools today some academic  classes are filled 100% by the girls and at best the boys make up 20 % or less,because the boys are led to believe that all they require is Sports to acquire a well rounded Education.Not that Girls can't learn Engineering and the Sciences,as a matter of fact most of the graduates today in the Sciences are girls who have excelled in their field. The point being with out a proper education in the basics of the 3 R's the Scientific fields are going to seem to be more of a chore than the students are willing to take on.
    We see it today, and I'm not trying to stir the pot to have the discussion digress,but as the exam standards are lowered more and more the whining and crying and bitching gets greater about how hard it is to pass the exams.
    It was several years later when I enlisted in the US Air Force that I had the time to get my ticket,and an enlistee's pay was not the thing for buying Ham gear.By that time TV had become popular and broken TV sets contain a wealth of parts for building power supplys and IF strips . Dismantelling TV sets and a little scrounging around and some horse trading with other Hams and you could put together a Ham station that was quite presentable.Of course you didn't have a Collins rx or a Johnson desktop Kilowatt but you had to learn to crawl before you could learn to walk.    
    Again the point is you can advertise the product of Ham Radio all you want, but with out the natural curiosity that man once possessed you can't compete with the some thing for nothing internet and Cell phone crowd,that is if you want some thing better than and advanced CB service.Many of the Scientific break throughs in the Communications world have been attributed to Ham Radio.I'm not saying you have to be an Engineer to join the Fraterity Of Ham Radio but the glue that holds it together is is the common interest in Radio Communication and what makes it tick.

                                       73,   ORV

    ENJOY !!! Life is too short for QRP.......
     
  8. KC7HDE

    KC7HDE Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Let me start with I think that Nintendo and computer games have made Ham radio not as fun as.

    If the kids could only experience the thrill of that first contact or the thrill of that next DX contact that they waited so long in the pile up to reach.

    Maybe the reason is that not enough time to do any thing any more is the problem.

    The fast pace lives that we all live any more.

    I think that maybe Ham Could be come more if We all would be come more like an ELMER to most in stead of &quot;are they interested only to rip me off when I'm not home to sell my gear for drugs&quot;.

    I have thought these things when CB'ers have inquired about Ham Radio and What fun it is to a Ham and ?Why?

    Thats my say

    73 de
    Norm. T
    [​IMG]
     
  9. K6UEY

    K6UEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I usually do not follow one post with another,but I have noted a theme that keeps reoccuring. The foundation and original purpose of Ham radio that has kept it flourishing these many years was not to just find a way of spending our liesure time. This seems to pop up in many posts as the main purpose now that it is only a hobby.As previously stated it was the curiosity and desire of individuals to learn more about the operation and technical workings of Radio Communication. With the invent of the computer/internet operating skills and technical understanding are no longer required to be a user,this philosophy is carried over into Ham Radio,and to be just a user is contrary to the basic foundation of Ham Radio. With out contribution from the individuals with in Ham Radio, it will as we are witnessing die on the vine......                                73,   ORV

    ENJOY (while it lasts )!!!  Life is too short for QRP......
     
  10. K7ADB

    K7ADB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have to disagree with the posts that suggest that the lack of curiosity by younger generations is the cause. Yes, a lot of young people are glued to TV sets and their Nintendos but what other options do they have?

    Budget cuts in the schools have removed most of the after school programs, including an amatuer radio club I was trying to start while I was in high school. I tried to receive help from local hams in the area and sent out 400 letters and even visited many in person. Out of that 400 only 2 responded back but ended up backing out at the last minute.

    In order to create curiosity there must be something to spark that interest. If a person does not know something exsists how are they to be curious about it? Perhaps the older generations need to set down their mics for a while and help the younger generations learn more about amateur radio. I bet most kids would be happy to have an alternative to thier TVs and Nintendos.
     
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