Author Topic: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?  (Read 8209 times)

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Offline haydenph

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Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« on: June 11, 2019, 02:42:49 pm »
Is Ham Radio a relevant hobby? Or is Amateur Radio obsolete and dead now with the many different methods of communication available to us in 2019? In this video I explore how we can promote and reinvigorate our hobby.

« Last Edit: August 24, 2019, 09:24:21 am by haydenph »
 

Offline edavid

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 03:04:56 pm »
Is clickbait dead in 2019?

Offline janoc

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 03:28:50 pm »
Seriously, I am pretty tired of these "Is HAM Radio dead?" threads. And I am a HAM myself. How many times does this stuff need to be rehashed? Or did something suddenly change in 2019 that the stuff from 2018 is not relevant anymore?

This is just spamming your Youtube channel for views, IMO.

If you want want to evangelize it (which is a worthy cause!), then there are much better ways of doing that than a video on Youtube. Work with your local schools, hackerspaces, fablabs, show the radio to the kids, attend stuff like Makefaires (well, maybe now it will be called something else, given that Make Media has gone under), science fairs, etc. That's how you get new people into the hobby.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 05:26:22 pm by janoc »
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 04:37:31 pm »
I don't worry about the death of ham radio.  In many ways, it has been dead for decades.

Instead, I refine my station, work lots of DX, continue to make new friends, go to hamfests, tinker in my lab, and in general don't worry about what others say or do.

I do find the major interest in contests demoralizing.  Bands are open but nobody uses them except on weekends.  At the last hamfest I found entirely too many licensed operators who have no idea what Morse code is all about.  I did my part, giving an idea of how much fun it can be.  I decoded a repeater identification message, and showed another guy how to do his callsign.  These people aren't into radio for the classic reasons, but that leaves more radio space for guys like me.

I will also say that most of the people there have never wielded a soldering iron.  But they look so cool wearing their HTs on their belts, except for that damned antenna sticking out.  Cellphones have largely displaced these guys.  I tell them that my HF setup requires no infrastructure and is totally free.  When I hook up with a guy in France or Japan or Namibia, it's from my house to his, no Internet or repeater involved.  All I need is electrical power and some ionospheric propagation.
 
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Offline Quarlo Klobrigney

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2019, 06:39:28 pm »
Not this topic again :palm:
Voltage does not flow, nor does it go.
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2019, 06:42:57 pm »
I’m a relatively new ham and it has died at least eleven times since I got my license.
 
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Offline HB9EVI

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2019, 08:27:49 pm »
The reports of ham radios death have been greatly exaggerated - to misquote Mark Twain for once.
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 03:26:08 am »


 

Offline mactechnic

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2019, 11:33:36 pm »
Perhaps, we should also facetiously ask is Apple, Inc dead?
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2019, 11:44:21 pm »
It's people who keep dying everyday, but Ham Radio will live forever.
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2019, 12:14:12 am »
I got my first license and fully upgraded all this year.  Saw other people passing their tests at every exam session and every one had more VECs than required and were running every month.  Powerful, versatile equipment has never been cheaper.


Super dead, definitely  :-\
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 03:42:45 pm »
 :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse:

Moderators, please lock this thread.
I am of the age that my brain no longer says "maybe I shouldn't say that" but "what the heck, let's see what happens"
 
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Offline Mike04082015

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2019, 04:14:07 pm »
I find this pretty silly.  It is much like asking: "Is walking dead?"  "Is watching TV dead?"  "Is canoeing dead?"  Ham radio is a hobby.  It entertains people who are entertained by it.  Who says hams have to know code?  Who says they have to solder?  The hobby THEY engage in is what pleases them.  If you don't like contests, don't join.  I don't see why some feel the need to bash others for what does not interest them.  There are many many things I don't enjoy doing ... so I don't do them.  I don't try to stop others from doing them.  Do what you want to do and let others do what they want.  Who knows, by hearing what someone else is enjoying you may become interested yourself.  ;D
 

Offline Mike04082015

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2019, 04:17:32 pm »
Are you serious.  You don't like what others think so you want the moderators to shut them up?  You are trying to stifle those who are trying to stifle those who like ham radio.  The irony is so think you can cut it with a knife.  :palm:
 

Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2019, 04:48:18 pm »
There will always be people who say ham radio is dead.  And those who use it as they choose.  I don't put down the no coders or the contesters; I just say that they may be missing something.  Last night on a net I heard someone make the comment that ham radio is maybe 1000 hobbies in one.  If you are tired of some aspect, there are always others waiting for you to participate.  And the things that bore you now may later find your interest again.

These days my ham radio pursuits largely involve working HF DX and tinkering with test equipment.  I also like doing repair work.  I have a well equipped laboratory and very much enjoy using it.  Last night I did some TDR work, measuring the characteristic impedance of a piece of coaxial cable.  I played with a function generator and three oscilloscopes.  I worked a few Europeans and had a nice ragchew with Australia.  I used both CW and SSB on 20 and 40 meters.

If you haven't tried doing any of this, perhaps you are missing something.  Not to say that most people would enjoy it, but many who say they don't do so haven't tried it.  I recall a new ham watching me copy some CW and he was amazed that people could actually carry on conversations in that mode.

I have fooled with RTTY and SSTV and PSK and Packet and AMTOR, to name a few modes.  Each has its charm and its limitations.  I was in MARS for several years.  I have gone to swap meets, barbecues, and even did Field Day a long time ago.  Club meetings bore me but I have tried that too.  Antenna parties are fun; you get exercise and fresh air and learn a few things.  Working on boat anchors is a kick too; I am so old I remember a lot about tube circuits.  For years I played with VHF FM but burned out and don't even have any gear for that any more.  I do have an all mode 2m rig I am trying to repair so I can try 2m SSB.

The list is long, and keeps growing.  I have watched people jump into FT8 and burn out of it too.  I haven't done it yet but it's pretty low on my bucket list.  My shack keeps changing as I implement new ideas and eliminate old ones.  I have two transceivers and two antenna towers.  When a ham visits I hand over the microphone and suggest they try to work someone.  I recently got another Vibroplex bug and now that's set up on the desk.

I am not smug about any of this.  I have fun, and that's what it's all about.  Find your path, enjoy it, watch for other paths and try them too.  If someone can use help, offer it.  Become a VE if that's your personality.  Be patient and affable.  The world is a great place - not that there are any other places.
 
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Offline bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2019, 05:27:29 pm »
Are you serious.  You don't like what others think so you want the moderators to shut them up?  You are trying to stifle those who are trying to stifle those who like ham radio.  The irony is so think you can cut it with a knife.  :palm:

No I'm sure GreyWoolfe (a licensed ham) is just fed up with this thread coming up every two minutes on every forum where there are more than two hams. I know I am (also a licensed ham)

And now for some light entertainment:



 >:D
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 05:29:44 pm by bd139 »
 
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Offline mark03

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2019, 07:46:17 pm »
Are you serious.  You don't like what others think so you want the moderators to shut them up?  You are trying to stifle those who are trying to stifle those who like ham radio.  The irony is so think you can cut it with a knife.  :palm:
No, the reason for locking the thread is because the OP is transparently click-baiting to get extra views on his youtube video.  If he had merely asked the question like a normal person, it would still be an idiotic question, but not grounds for locking the thread.
 

Offline SirAlucard

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2019, 11:46:15 pm »
I think the real question should be is HAM at all being picked up by the younger generation? As I look around I see mostly the older generation that still utilizes Ham. However most younger folk don't much know about it, nor care about it. I'll be honest I think it's an interesting subject to dive into. However I feel that it's full of older people that I have nothing in common with and have no interest in getting to know. So is it dead in 2019? I'd say no, but I'd bet it's going to dwindle downward for a while. Cause I think if we ever have a technology crash, or a post-apocalyptic point in time, being able to use basic HAM devices and being able to make them is going to be a worthwhile skill.
 
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Offline cl5ltd

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2019, 12:52:32 am »
Attracting new people to the hobby is the biggest challenge.  However the emphasis on STEM at schools does provide an opportunity.

How can AR become relevant to more younger people?  How about repackaging it as a pathway to electronics, design or professional comms?    So the skill set acquired can be used towards recognised courses.  ie recognition of prior learning

Also thought the entire 4WD & Prepper groups are low hanging fruit for recruitment.

I'm a marketing & salesperson so can't help but sell the hobby and also a 20 plus year HAM.   I know enough tech to be dangerous but most tech people have little concept of marketing/sales.  I've sold to tech people for 20 years!

It's such a diverse hobby also and my interests change over time- currently elbows deep in restoring a 40 year old Swan radio - it's stretching me to learn and challenging me- which is exactly why I'm enjoying it.
 

Online DaJMasta

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2019, 12:57:44 am »
It's as fascinating and in depth as it ever was, but a lot of what it offered - largely free communication over long distances - can be almost entirely replaced by the internet.  It will always remain as a niche, I think, and in my opinion it's worth getting your license if you have more than a passing interest in RF electronics just for the concepts and things that you study along the way, but I think especially early in the 20th century the big draw was making contact with people you otherwise couldn't, being part of something people relied on, and putting together the radio to do it at a fraction of the price of a commercial or industrial solution... now those are basically all replaced with modern tech: the internet, existing commercial networks and network infrastructure, and extremely cheap, small integrated radios.

The barrier to entry for a young person is almost nonexistent with cheap IoT devices being available and a wealth of tutorials which can replicate a lot of the communication capability of a ham radio with less training and expense, and the microcontroller route offers the versatility of doing all sorts of non-communication projects.  Wireless communication is, if anything, becoming more popular, but since it's so widely available, so broadly connected, and so reliant on devices too small and intricate to construct or modify yourself without exotic tools, there are a lot of alternatives to ham radio for someone who's taken interest in something that used to be found primarily in ham radio.

Still, if tube amps in audio are still around and classic cars are still on the road, ham radio will live on as a rich niche for a long time yet.
 

Offline xrunner

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2019, 01:06:59 am »
I think the real question should be is HAM at all being picked up by the younger generation? As I look around I see mostly the older generation that still utilizes Ham. However most younger folk don't much know about it, nor care about it. ...

I'm a ham, so the following is a little of self-reflection.

Ham radio is essentially about communications technology. Back in the day it was either a telephone or send a letter. The whole time I was growing up that was it. So hams could communicate ways the average person couldn't. It was fascinating.

Now, the tables are turned. Hams (using technology normally associated with them) are in the rear view mirror. People could care less if you can talk through a repeater. You know one of the big things back in the day was the phone patch. Get on the repeater and make a call. Wow, who else could do that?

Now - who cares?  :-// There is nothing about ham communications technology that the average person cares about. Cell phones with real time video, cameras, email, texting, games, color LCDs - put that next to a ham handy talkie and ask a young person to grab the one they prefer. Oh, and for an emergency, make sure you have your cell phone, not an HT.

You want to talk HF? Ha! No one cares. I know people now who don't know what ham radio is. They don't know what the shortwave bands are. They don't care anymore. Hams keep getting new technicians because the test is so easy. So you got them and then what? They get bored with talking to the walking dead on the repeaters and move on to better things.
I am a Test Equipment Addict (TEA) - by virtue of this forum signature, I have now faced my addiction
 

Offline profdc9

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #21 on: June 29, 2019, 01:57:36 am »
My approach to revitalizing ham radio is to make projects for hams to do.  I think the hobby is about learning, and learning is mostly doing.  So besides actually operating which is very important, I am working on projects like vector network analyzers, amplifiers, automatic antenna matchers, etc.  Ham radio was originally about experimentation and with so many resources available on the internet, it can be nowadays more so than ever.  The internet does not obviate the need for ham radio, as ham radio was never about just being another method of communication; it is really about learning radio and the community interested in radio technology.

Anyways if you want to check out my projects

http://github.com/profdc9

 
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Online DaJMasta

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2019, 04:28:13 am »
I guess I said it sort of wrong in my post, it's not that the internet or modern technology has replaced the hobby, it's that a lot of the things that once drew people into ham radio can not be achieved more simply and more inexpensively because of them.  I agree that the learning and doing part of it is the reason why it's valuable and its main staying power, but I think because of the ease of introduction to other, somewhat related electronics hobbies, ham radio now gets a smaller portion of the new converts.

Not that they're exclusive, or anything, but if a young maker type wants a way to get into electronics, ham radio shares the stage with a lot of other technologies and is somewhat more involved than many, which contributes to the fewer incoming hams.
 
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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2019, 04:42:19 am »
i think alot goes to show for the progression of the hobby, especially that the WPM requirement for the license went way down because it evolved from a civil defense war mindset
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2019, 04:43:49 am »
out of curiosity, what was the military specification for morse code through put from a radio operator (maybe different in different branches? ).

Do they requires the skill, or at some point, when they did require the skill, what was the training requirement?
some insight:

https://forums.qrz.com/index.php?threads/military-morse-training-how-did-they-go-about-it.299469/

it seems that veteran operators have some not so good things to say about morse code

"   

    G0GQK said: ↑

        During WW2 many hundreds of thousands of people had to learn Morse Code and after the war they were pig sick of hearing it and that was it. I was told they had signallers at it eight hours a day, many developed glass arm and it drove them nuts. Some had difficulty sleeping because their heads were pounding and I can quite believe it. The RAF fella's were trained with noise and were supposed to be able to send perfectly, all numbers, while the Rolls Royce Merlins in Lancasters were roaring away over Hamburg and flak was coming from all directions and the morse key was strapped to your knee. John Wayne never did that !

    I can believe it might drive some folks bats. Many contesters talk about a persistent after-effect of CW contesting. After so many continuous hours of focusing on the din, when the contest is over, many participants keep hearing Morse patterns in all manner of things; tire bumps, ventilation fans, washers, driers, etc. It can take days for the effect to diminish, after even a single weekend. I can imagine what days and months of active listening to it might do to some folks.
"



« Last Edit: June 29, 2019, 04:53:07 am by coppercone2 »
 


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