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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

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">
    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.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    When I started the ham club at my [brand new] high school in 1966, all I had to do was write a constitution and find a teacher willing to sponsor us. The electronics teacher and later the librarian who had gotten her ham license volunteered. But my impression was that after I graduated, the club probably fell apart. I think it takes a couple of leaders to make it happen and to keep it going. Since we're dealing with a very small group, the odds of having a steady stream of leaders willing to keep a school radio club going are pretty small. But I think we need to find a way to encourage it. It would help if a jock or a Key Club member would get a ham license. Maybe that would lend it an air of legitimacy.

    But maybe no one knows how to write a constitution anymore.
     
  2. W1PMC

    W1PMC Ham Member QRZ Page

    How can a spark be created in a youngster (or anybody else for that matter) if they're never exposed to something? Recently, I ranted on this board how the ARRL needs to pony up some $$ and start some major promotions to help recruit new hams. Nowadays, the average person in the U.S. never hears or sees anything about ham radio. Why is that? Because they're never exposed to it! I think that up until the 80's a lot more people were exposed to the hobby, because the hobby had to compete with fewer hobbies and interests. Well, now there are about a million hobbies and interests out there, and ham radio is just one of them.

    Why is it so hard for our few major amateur radio organizations to get a real promotion campaign going? I know that promotions cost $$, but please don't tell me that the ARRL doesn't have any. It's an investment in the future.
     
  3. W0DZ

    W0DZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Why is it so hard for our few major amateur radio organizations to get a real promotion campaign going? I know that promotions cost $$, but please don't tell me that the ARRL doesn't have any. It's an investment in the future.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Have you read ARRL's web site or QST lately?

    NEWINGTON, CT, Dec 7, 2000--Before it's even officially off the ground, &quot;The Big Project&quot;--the educational initiative of ARRL President Jim Haynie, W5JBP--already has attracted a few substantial donations in addition to several smaller ones. The project, known formally as &quot;The ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project,&quot; is aimed at providing a turnkey Amateur Radio curriculum at the middle school level plus resources and equipment to bring it to life for youngsters.

    &quot;Without asking we've already received approximately $125,000 for the project,&quot; Haynie said. &quot;They believe in this project so much they are willing to donate to it in sizable sums. Haynie has been courting corporate dollars and seeking foundation grants for the project.

    So far, the project has received two substantial donations of stock. The donors wish to remain anonymous. Since the ARRL is a 501©(3) organization, donations are tax deductible--at the appreciated value in the case of securities.

    &quot;This tells me people are very serious about this initiative,&quot; Haynie said.

    In addition, the ARRL Foundation has pledged $50,000 in start-up funds for the project. A formal check presentation is scheduled for the January ARRL Board of Directors meeting.

    As conceived by Haynie and under the guidance of ARRL Vice President Kay Craigie, WT3P, the ARRL Amateur Radio Education Project will work directly with teachers who use Amateur Radio as a teaching strategy in the classroom. &quot;The goal is to improve the quality of education for kids by providing educationally valid techniques involving Amateur Radio for teaching all sorts of subjects--science, geography, languages, speech,&quot; Craigie said. &quot;Kids get the hobby of a lifetime and preparation for good careers--that's the ultimate goal.&quot;
     
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I think the problem is that it's difficult to get excited about talking to someone on the other side of the globe.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a wonderful thing to do.  It's just not the same as when I was a kid.  Today you have cell phones, and the internet.  Want to talk to someone?  Just call.  Want to talk to someone new and on the other side of the globe?  Just log into a chat room on the Internet.  No, there is more to ham radio than communications and we need to make young people aware of that.  If you say &quot;hey kids, do you want to talk to someone the other side of the world?&quot;  I'm afraid they would say &quot;so what&quot; or &quot;big deal.&quot;

    First, you have to believe that &quot;learning&quot; is something that is exciting.  Each time you learn something new it leads to more questions.  Ham radio is a place to learn.  Make young people believe that learning is exciting and you got some new recruits.

    Second, you have to want to be part of a group.  A fraternity.  Common interests lead to friendships.  I don't think that most young people want to hang out with us seniors (anyone over 20?).  School clubs are essential!

    Cost of equipment?  Don't be silly!  You see what an X-box, Nitendo, Playstation costs?  And have you see the cartridges/discs that cost $60+ each.  How about the $1000+ home computers?  If the kids were interested they would find a way to get the radio toys!

    It takes a lot to get kids excited nowadays.  We are competing with video games, the internet, rock groups and space travel.  Amateur radio sounds a bit boring compared to these things.

    If we try to integrate what makes amateur radio fun with things that excite kids we have a good chance of keeping the hobby alive.

    If we take some of the subjects that attract kids and combine them with radio we may succeed.  Kids know a lot about computers.  Show them how computers can be used to control radio equipment.  Show children how rewarding it can be to build something that actually works!

    When I was a kid I was facinated by communicating with people all over the world.  Now, that's easy.  But learning and doing are still exciting.  I think most kids would agree if aimed in the right direction.
     
  5. KC9CNN

    KC9CNN Ham Member QRZ Page

    You guys like to write a lot. (My first time on the boards here.) Just got my ticket earlier this month. I hope to maybe start a club at my high school. Fremd Communication Club. FCC;) If you have a few radios, what are you crabbing about. As for the comment by maniac about people who like math and science being attracted to ham radio. What is your basis for this comment? I don't really like math or science but do like english quite a bit. Last time I checked ham radio was about communication. That seems to me to involve more talking than it does science and mathematics. I am 15 also and the hobby does not seem to attract many people my age because, like everyone has said, there are so many other ways that teenagers can occupy their time. Also peeps our age can't understand the purpose of using a radio when they can use a telephone, cell phone, and internet. They are right to a certain extent I suppose. I guess they need to experience the motivating feeling you get from seting up your own station and making contacts all over the world. Concerning you situation, get the guy some sort of filter to stop interference. Stop complaining on these boards which really won't help you solve much. You need to think of a plan and then do what you need to put the plan into action. Also, I don't see why you cannot transmit late at night. I am talking about 3-4 in the morning. Or is that past your bedtime??? Don't let your neighbors stop your hobby. Ham it up!
     
  6. K3UD

    K3UD Guest

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (MattBeers @ Oct. 24 2002,00<!--emo&amp;[​IMG])</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">Gasoline in 1980: 80 cents per gallon
    Gasoline today: $1.30 per gallon

    Milk in 1980: $1.80 per gallon
    Milk today: $2.80 per gallon

    Starting engineer salary in 1980: $28,000
    Starting engineer salary today: $50,000

    So, it sounds to me like the prices have not quite doubled since 1980.  Rig prices have WAY more than doubled!!![/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Using the CPI data, that engineer's salary has lost about 17% of its purchasing power between 1980 and 2001 (the last year we have CPI data for) gasoline has lost 25% of it's value and milk lost about 27%.

    On the other hand I was paying about $2,400 a year for family health insurance in 1980 and now pay $9,600 for less coverage, higher co-pays and more out of pocket deductables. This is 86% higher than the CPI would predict. My 1980 Olds 88 cost about $5,500 The similiar vehicle today costs about $25,000 or 112% higher than the CPI for the time period.

    Some things have gotten more expensive in terms of the CPI and some things have declined in expense. Unfortunately it is things like salary, health care, real estate, and transportation that have been adversely affected the most.

    Has the cost of a capable rig come down or gone up?  It all depends on your definition of capable. An Icom 701 (considered to be a breakthrough rig in 1980) cost about $1,400. A current IC-718 can be had for $650 on closeout.

    This is a new rig that does the same things the IC-701 did, uses newer technology and will most likely last longer then the Ic-701 but is priced at 46% of the 1980 IC-701 price. The CPI shows that the 701 price would have climbed to $3009 in 2001 making the IC-718 a real bargain at 22% of the CPI adjusted price.

    Although some may argue that the 718 is not today's equivalent of the 701 and we really should compare the IC-746 or IC-756 and their prices to it, a case can be made that in the area of overall performance, the 718 may be it's equal (or better).

    You would have had to be able to purchase a ready built SSB / CW rig for about $300 in 1980 to equal the price value of the IC-718 today. I do not think those rigs at those prices existed then, other than a Heathkit HW series. (I have used the IC-718 as a basis of comparison becuse I saw a recent price on it. I do not own one)

    The used HW-101 with power supply cited as costing $75.00 in 1980 would be about $162 today. However, it is difficult to purchase capable used SSB equipment for under $200 today. I have seen the Kenwood TS-520 series at $200 - $250 used but to get any lower you would have to look at things like the old Swan 350 or Cygnet series which sometimes go for under $200.

    My Novice station was a Hallicrafters SX-110 receiver and a Heath DX-40 transmitter. The total cost (used) was about $225 in 1964 money. This was probably a typical Novice station of the period. $225 then is now worth $1,284 in terms of the CPI. Think of all the rigs than can be purchased today for $1,300 or less.

    In all, it is probably less expensive to get into ham radio today than it was 30 or 40 years ago.

    73
    George
    K3UD
     
  7. K3UD

    K3UD Guest

    Matt,

    You have pinpointed the true nature of the CPI. It is made up of what they call a market basket of goods and services and everything has a mathimatical weighting assigned. I personally belive that the CPI is actually understated, judging by my own spending and income ratios over the years. [​IMG]  Prices go up and prices go down in relation to it.

    It really does not matter what makes prices go up or down it just matters that they do. There is general agreement that since the 60s, earnings have gone down in relation to the CPI. This makes it tougher to purchase things that have risen, usually big ticket items like houses and cars, than it was during the base period, regardless of why they increased in price.

    Agree that the IC-701 might not have been the best comparison, maybe the Hallicrafters FPM or the Collins solid state transceiver from the early 80s would have been a better one especially the Collins if compared to rigs like the IC-777 or the FT-1000 series  Although the IC-718 may not have the best specs today, I would guess that they are better overall performers than the Heath HW series, the Swans, Hallicrafters, Nationals, Yaesu 101s, Kenwood 520 etc. all available in the 70s. Again it is all relative.

    An IC-718 appearing in 1980 at a $650 price would have caused a sensation.

    I also agree with you about used equipment although I did purchase a nice 520s for $225. This is more the exception than the rule though.

    Good Exchange

    73
    George
    K3UD

    PS  I apologize to all for getting far away from the thread.
     
  8. mackinac

    mackinac Banned

    I found a 1978 Burstein-Applebee catalog and was going to give some prices, but it just confirms what has already been stated. For basic HF capabilities, the prices have come down.

    Someone complained about the price of antenna wire and cable. A comparison of the price of #14 copper-weld in 1978 vs the price in the latest AES catalog shows that the price has not gone down. The inflation adjusted price is almost the same. These days a 150ft roll, enough for an 80M dipole, is going to set you back $27. How can anyone afford that? :)

    It's really hard to find any ham radio stuff that's more expensive today than 20 or 30 years ago.

    Note: there is a nice inflation calculator accessable from the BLS web page at http://www.bls.gov
     
  9. K6UEY

    K6UEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    one small element which I have not seen introduced into this discussion is the fluctation of the Yen to the Dollar over the period in question. Of course wire and ancilliary modules  that make a station operate may or may not come from the far East,the major portion of the station the transciever ,linear  ect.... are all subject to the variations of the Yen to the Dollar.
    Good discussion keep it going......     73,   ORV

    ENJOY!!! Life is too short for QRP......
     
  10. AE4FA

    AE4FA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Darn, Orv

    You're back to that old &quot;Life is too short for QRP&quot; stuff. Heck, QRP might extend life - it sure extends the fun . . .

    73, Bob
     
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