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EEVblog => Other Blogs => Topic started by: haydenph on June 11, 2019, 02:42:49 pm

Title: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: haydenph 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ERfLGXQBH8 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ERfLGXQBH8)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: edavid on June 11, 2019, 03:04:56 pm
Is clickbait dead in 2019?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: janoc 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on June 11, 2019, 06:39:28 pm
Not this topic again :palm:
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: HB9EVI on June 11, 2019, 08:27:49 pm
The reports of ham radios death have been greatly exaggerated - to misquote Mark Twain for once.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: coppercone2 on June 12, 2019, 03:26:08 am
(https://i0.wp.com/www.thisishorror.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/tarman.jpg?ssl=1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spwyGQuIXwc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spwyGQuIXwc)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: mactechnic on June 24, 2019, 11:33:36 pm
Perhaps, we should also facetiously ask is Apple, Inc dead?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on June 24, 2019, 11:44:21 pm
It's people who keep dying everyday, but Ham Radio will live forever.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: DaJMasta 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  :-\
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: GreyWoolfe on June 27, 2019, 03:42:45 pm
 :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse: :horse:

Moderators, please lock this thread.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Mike04082015 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
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Mike04082015 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:
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 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:

(https://i.imgur.com/mv2EZS7.jpg)

 >:D
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: mark03 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: SirAlucard 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: cl5ltd 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: DaJMasta 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xrunner 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: profdc9 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 (http://github.com/profdc9)

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: DaJMasta 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.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: coppercone2 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
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: coppercone2 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.
"



Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: SirAlucard on June 29, 2019, 05:26:08 am
Personally for me, I'm a rather private person. Which makes the internet the perfect thing for communicating. Cause you only put out what you want to put out. Sure there are ways of finding people if you want to, but things aren't as simple.

What has stopped me from getting a Ham license, (and I may be wrong about this, so please correct me if I am) is that it seems that to hold a license you have to have all your info out there for people to see. Any time I've looked up someone's call sign, I got their full name, and address. I don't want that kind of information out there about myself. I'm happy just being a listener if it has to come to that. So if that's not the case, please feel free to correct me.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: DaJMasta on June 29, 2019, 05:33:24 am
Sort of, in the US the FCC requires a mailing address to reach you at, but this doesn't have to be a personal address.  I believe business addresses and P.O. boxes are acceptable, and I remember when taking my first license test, one of the VECs filling out the paperwork in the beginning confirmed whether I wanted to use my home address or not, so I believe it's a common concern and there are some ways to get around it a bit.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on June 30, 2019, 01:00:21 am
My address has been posted for all to see on QRZ.com for many years.  The only thing that causes me any trouble are the stupid ARRL advertisements.  They routinely waste their advertising money trying to recruit me.

The up side is that I don't have to tell people where I am in cases where I want them to visit or mail something.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: HB9EVI on June 30, 2019, 08:42:18 am
(https://i.imgur.com/mv2EZS7.jpg)

Just great! ...and so true  :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 01, 2019, 07:02:52 pm
The problem is nobody understand why we have to pay in the range for cheap Cellphone Contract the Amateur Radio Licence  each month. The highest Class cost 6,54€ maybe exclude Tax  :'(
Beside of that "the" Amateur Radio Club try to do everything to block any Repeater Freq for there Club so that no other System get a Permit to operate.  :rant:
The also horde a lot of Money for the case the get sued. The refuse to cut the Membership fee.

So thats why I stay with CB Radio.  >:D
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 06, 2019, 01:31:12 pm


So thats why I stay with CB Radio.  >:D

CB is totally dead in my area.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 06, 2019, 01:53:51 pm
CB died two decades ago here.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 06, 2019, 02:56:28 pm
I noticed that in UK Digital PMR446 is a common thing?
How common are the?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 06, 2019, 03:14:12 pm
Hardly anyone uses them. Most people use mobile phones. Calls generally cost nothing in the UK these days and they have a better range :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 06, 2019, 03:25:59 pm
 ;D sure Phone Company also make Backups from each Call.  :-DD
So a CB, PMR446 is more private. Especial when I use just Numbers instead of Words.
Try to decrypt 4 - 1 - 9 - 9 - 3 -1  :=\
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 06, 2019, 03:49:26 pm
Everyone knows that. The terrorists use Disney Club Penguin and speak in code  :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 06, 2019, 04:13:44 pm
 ::) Nope the have there own Alphabet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NATO_phonetic_alphabet
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Richard Crowley on July 06, 2019, 04:26:23 pm
OTOH, there are continuous schemes to take over more and more spectrum for mobile consumer gadgets, like 6xx MHz and, 7xx MHz bands, etc. the VHF TV band, and the upper 1/2 (or 2/3) of the UHF TV spectrum, etc. And recently the very popular 2m 144 MHz band has come under attack. So Amateur Radio may succumb to death by a thousand cuts.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 06, 2019, 04:30:17 pm
I doubt it. 2m is rammed here. ISS uses it. Not gonna die.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Richard Crowley on July 06, 2019, 06:10:43 pm
I doubt it. 2m is rammed here. ISS uses it. Not gonna die.
But that's the point. Even very popular bits of spectrum like 2m are chronically coveted by other services indiscriminately. Constant vigilance is required simply to maintain the status-quo.

I just watched a YT video by DXcommander on the rising noise floor of HF. He blames regulatory authorities and mega communicaton companies for viewing it as a relic of yesteryear not worthy of protection.   :-//

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVV30d9hGG0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVV30d9hGG0)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xrunner on July 06, 2019, 06:32:09 pm
I just made a contact from TX to Svalbard - on 6M FT8!   :phew:
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 06, 2019, 06:38:56 pm
I doubt it. 2m is rammed here. ISS uses it. Not gonna die.
But that's the point. Even very popular bits of spectrum like 2m are chronically coveted by other services indiscriminately. Constant vigilance is required simply to maintain the status-quo.

I just watched a YT video by DXcommander on the rising noise floor of HF. He blames regulatory authorities and mega communicaton companies for viewing it as a relic of yesteryear not worthy of protection.   :-//

Yeah and the ARRL, RSGB at least are all over it. Fine summary here from RSGB:

https://rsgb.org/main/blog/front-page-news/2019/07/01/144-mhz-and-the-wrc-process/ (https://rsgb.org/main/blog/front-page-news/2019/07/01/144-mhz-and-the-wrc-process/)

As for the noise floor, it's not that bad. Seriously. I live in possibly the noisiest place on the planet for RF. Mega city suburb with 30 wireless networks visible, overhead telephone wires galore (all ADSL), right under the approch for the world's busiest airport, next to a rammed main road and a gigantic sewage farm full of high power industrial equipment.

Meh fine. Here's a long wire in the tree in my garden:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXScgtVxN6k (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXScgtVxN6k)

Most of the noise floor was my youngest with a hula hoop in the background :-//

I just made a contact from TX to Svalbard - on 6M FT8!   :phew:

Congratulations that's a pretty good win on 6m!  :-+
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 06, 2019, 07:52:56 pm
If Ham Radio is really dead, then it would be a great time to work some DX on 20m band, where it used to be melting pot band.
It would be therapeutic to listen and work some far away DX even with less than 5 Watts PEP. :D
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: RobBarter on July 08, 2019, 12:30:29 pm
We made just over 70 contacts on 23cm over the weekend.  Some over 800km even with a blown pre-amp.

Not quite dead yet.... :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 08, 2019, 12:45:53 pm
I still receive a lot of Amateur Radio Stuff but mostly old People who talk about there decease.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: kf4hzu on July 08, 2019, 12:46:33 pm
My Saturday (July 6th) afternoon was spent helping put up a new antenna for a 70cm analog/P25 repeater on a 500ft tall building because the previous antenna got fried by lighting a few days prior.

Ham Radio is still very active and experimenting with various technologies around here. On this same roof is HamWAN gear.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 08, 2019, 12:55:23 pm
Cool stuff. So much for dead :D

Some solar cycle fun yesterday. I was playing with my radio's ATU, RBN, CW and a really crappy indoor wire antenna around my living room ceiling yesterday. I got spotted by SZ1A in Greece from the UK on 2W out on 20m on the first TX. 1353 miles on the steamiest turd of a situation.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on July 08, 2019, 03:55:44 pm
Yeah on 20m last night I worked New Zealand and Spain, CW and SSB respectively.  Got S9 plus reports both times.

I don't mind ham radio being dead.  But you can check that any weekend and see the contest people filling the bands.  Some of their antennas are awesome.

I heard one guy saying his vertical antenna had 250 radials.  That's a lot of wire, maybe a few hundred dollars' worth, for 40 meters.

A guy I know said how come so many DX stations have these amazing setups?  I replied that those are the ones you can hear.

I did hear some old timers talking about their physical ailments.  They aren't dead yet, but it's certainly true that not many young people are very interested in putting up a tower and sitting cloistered in their rooms trying to get DXCC.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 08, 2019, 10:12:30 pm
Yeah, young people these days are more interested in staring at their phones all day like my daughter. :D

I tuned up my new SWL receiver XHDATA to HF today, and alas the band was dead. I heard some weak CW qsos on 20m and 40m, but only one station on 20m, and he was in Indonesia YB call.

So, the HF condition must have been quite poor due to Sun Spot cycle going minimum these days? I am not sure I have not bee active for 5-6 years at least doing other things.

I will return to full activity on Ham Radio when things get settled more. So it is not the Ham Radio which is dead, but people get busy and take break, and do other things, but in the end, they do return to the hobby.

But the band is a bit dead it seems. But whats wrong working local stations for rag chew on 40 or 80m band?

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Bud on July 08, 2019, 10:32:47 pm
I still receive a lot of Amateur Radio Stuff but mostly old People who talk about there decease.
There has always been stuff like that on the lower bands, it does not have anything to do with the current era.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 08, 2019, 10:56:55 pm
the stuck on the repeater on 430 - 439.100
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Bicurico on July 08, 2019, 11:08:37 pm
Couldn't resist and joined the conversation. I guess this topic pops-up every now and then on different forums about electronics/satellite reception.

"Is HAM Radio DEAD in 2019?"
Yes.

Why?
Because of two inventions that completetly killed HAM Radio:
- The Internet
- The Mobile Phone

Also, in Europe, you cannot listen to Police, Fire, Ambulances and other govermental services, as they changed to digital and use encryption.

I remember the 80ies as the prime time of HAM Radio and how I dreamed of one day being able to do it myself: unlimited communications around the world for free! Being able to listen to services communication (Police, Fire, Ambulances,...).

Then the 90ies and first amateur digital communications: sharing mailboxes, pictures, etc., for free!

Then I heard about intercontinetal communications with stratosfere or moon reflection...

Amazing!

Today the facts are:
- You can use the Internet to speak with anyone in the world, secure if you desire, including 3rd world countries.
- You can share documents, pictures, whatever over the Internet - including music and commercial contents (forbidden on HAM communications)
- Mobile phones let you do all that on the go

So, from a traditional HAM point of view, it just does not make sense to setup a huge antenna in the garden (if you have one), invests a lot of money in a transceiver and accessories, so that you can make a contact with a Japanese HAM, with whom you aranged a time and date over the internet...

BUT:

HAM is not really dead! Even I have a valid amateur radio license!

Why? Because I want to be able to experiment and make some transmissions.

I don't want to talk to anyone nor do I want to listen to some boring conversation.

I want to LEARN, UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPTS, BUILD MY OWN SOFTWARE/HARDWARE. Just for the sake of it.

And this spirit still exists. People just don't have a radio shack in the backyard with a 2.000 Euro/Dollar Yeasu or Icom transceiver.

Instead they have a HackRF, ADALM Pluto or other SDR hardware. They use GNU Radio and listen to ISS or other services with 8 Euro RTL2832U dongles.

And, best of it all, they even don't really need any license: if they do broadcast, then it is with such low power, you cannot measure it through a wall or at 5m distance. So why bother with a license, at all?

My conclusion: Yes - talking on the radio about reception quality is dead (at least in Portugal and probably remaining Europe), but there is a new generation of people interested in RF for totally different reasons, interests and projects.

Regards,
Vitor
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 09, 2019, 12:23:03 am
Quote
Also, in Europe, you cannot listen to Police, Fire, Ambulances and other govermental services, as they changed to digital and use encryption.
The Germans still use unencrypted Analogue Service do to lack of funding.
Quote
it just does not make sense to setup a huge antenna in the garden (if you have one)
Trust me what I got for recommendation from some insane CB User like move the Apartment to lay a 100m Antenna Cable from the Roof into the Attic.  :palm:
Quote
Even I have a valid amateur radio license!
depend what you pay for the licence each Month.
Quote
And, best of it all, they even don't really need any license: if they do broadcast, then it is with such low power, you cannot measure it through a wall or at 5m distance. So why bother with a license, at all?
Well you can legally use CB Radio, PMR446 (without change anything in the HW). There are some interresting Projects who I know with the legal 443Mhz, 868Mhz stuff and Zigbee, LORA,...

The think who sucks a lot is:
a) The people behind Amateur Radio are that old the maybe fall death from there chairs. So nothing change...
b) Digital is evil do to there mind.
c) The "evil" Main Amateur Radio Club put on any Hill an Repeater to argou that no "other" competing repeater System is needed
d) After passing the Test once the never need to renew it.  :--
e) So the start to chatting around and refuse to research,...
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on July 09, 2019, 02:55:38 am
I certainly don't quarrel with this tirade.  For all those reasons, ham radio has dwindled to a rather low population, at least in the US.

But an important element has been omitted.  For me, at least, talking on the radio with foreign countries is fun!  I could call these guys on my phone but where's the fun in that?  I don't know their telephone numbers anyway, and on the radio nobody will answer me unless he wants to talk to me.  The phone is an entirely different matter.  I can check into the ANZA net down under and guys will ask to talk to me.  And while most are guys, some are female.  There are hundreds of other nets, each offering something slightly differrent.  I even have a girl friend in Indonesia whom I met on 15m CW; she is a CW instructor and has a ton of trophies she has won in competition.  Then there are the DXperditions to unheard of and unpopulated places.  Those who go there spend a ton of money and risk their lives just to set up unique stations so we here can have another place to contact.  And for the most part, they don't have the Internet there.

So ham radio does have a lot to offer.  It depends on what interests you, and unless you check it out you have no idea what you can do with it.

The idea isn't necessarily communication, although it's that also.  I love operating the equipment, setting it up and repairing it.  My station is always changing, adding or removing or improving this or that.

So yes it's dead.  And no it's alive.  Depending on your perspective.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on July 09, 2019, 03:27:08 am
Never open and look into the box.
Quote from: bob91343 on Today at 21:55:38 (https://www.eevblog.com/forum/index.php?topic=192828.msg2535525#msg2535525)
So yes it's dead.  And no it's alive.  Depending on your perspective.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: coppercone2 on July 09, 2019, 05:30:17 am
this thread got so complicated I can only think of the necromonger lord marshal from the end of riddick
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 07:49:42 am
It would be a bit frustrating for those people with large antennas set up in the garden, and radio gears sitting in house taking up space, but they are not getting used at all.

I recently bought a tiny portable SW SSB AIR band radio called XHDADA for 70£, and it is a bit disappointing there is no much going on in HF bands.  I heard some faint CW signals from a few hundred miles away on 20m 40m and 80m bands, and some rag chew on 80m at night and early morning. That's all.

The HF band is also dead, it seems.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 09, 2019, 08:08:19 am
That's probably a combination of a crappy antenna, crappy front end and not knowing were to look rather than nothing going on in the HF bands.

I just fired up my K2 with the bit of wire running around my living room and pulled in 7 QSOs (not just calling CQ) on 20m CW right now. I didn't bother tuning up to SSB half of the band.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 08:44:38 am
XHDADA is an excellent SW radio with superb front end.  Antenna I am using is about 20m long wire in the garden, so it is not a DX antenna costing hundreds, but adequate for SWLing and listening to SSb on HF in good condition.

There are some weak CW stations on 20m and 40m bands today, but not as strong as usual normal condition of HF.  Usually at this time of day, 20m would be filled with European and Russian hams, but what I heard was G4 station on 20m via short skip? This is definitely not normal condition of HF.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 09, 2019, 08:55:32 am
It's probably not as good as it looks. The dedicated ham band receivers have a very very narrow band specific front end versus a general coverage receiver so you don't get all the other SW stations causing blocking and overloading.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 09:06:02 am
I used to run high end HF rigs from Kenwood ICOM and Yaesu and even Ten Tec, and got DXCC years ago, so I know how they are like.

These high end rigs are not much better than this little £70 SW radio on receive. This radio has built in DSP and Digital filters of various widths, so it is quite good. I was quite surprised when I got this XHDATA for its superb performance.

But with bigger and more efficient antennas set up high and clear, I am sure you could hear a lot more than just with a piece of wire in the garden.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 10:28:17 am
I got my DXCC worked over 250 countries with my 20m long wire in the garden.
With that long wire, I could hear and work most remote part of the world with 30-50W pep SB and CW when in good condition.

Last couple of days I could hear a faint European CW and G stations only with the same long wire.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 09, 2019, 10:32:50 am
Yeah it's the ass end of the solar cycle now, that's why. Give it a year.

Still getting weak signal spots here on the other side of the planet.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: FransW on July 09, 2019, 12:32:15 pm
I sense a lot of frustration in this topic.
It's easy, if you can not find what you are looking in this hobby, please quit and stop bothering others who are finding their joy in experimenting and exchange information by way of ham radio.

Or, alternatively visit:
https://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/ (https://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/)

Regards, Frans (PE1CCN, full license)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on July 09, 2019, 12:33:56 pm
For fun try WBCQ 9330 at night with 500KW. Mega power that can be heard with a 6" antenna.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 09, 2019, 01:03:42 pm
Quote
with a 6" antenna.
:-//
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on July 09, 2019, 01:20:45 pm
I work on a lot of restorations. Their signal closes many eye tubes completely with just a 6" antenna. On portable SS radios, I totally close the telescoping rod and they still come right in.
This in reply to a numb receiver mentioned previously.

Getting back on topic, Ham radio is not just old people talking about their ailments and who passed on. There are many new young people coming in to the hobby. This isn't 1970 anymore with the influx of of that era, but it still is valid.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 02:31:25 pm
Everybody will die eventually, not just old people. That's just the destiny of life.  I have seen plenty of unfortunate young people on wheel chairs in hospice either by terminal illness such as cancer or strokes, or accidents getting fed and cleaned and medicated by the staff,  when my father was in there.

HF condition is definitely down, even commercial broadcast stations are pretty weak, and not many on air. I suppose even they have cut down the service and doing something else recently.

I just heard a CW station F6HKA calling CQ on 20m 14.051 for almost 30minutes, and no one replied to him, so he sent NIL, and then packed in.

I agree that Ham radio has more to it,  than just talking about trivialities of life. It is also for people who love learning, building and practicing electronics communications in more traditional way.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 02:36:57 pm
double msg. deleted.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xrunner on July 09, 2019, 02:58:01 pm
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.

You are either fascinated with RF propagation and radios/antennas - or you aren't. Take in the ones who are and leave the rest to their chosen enjoyment.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Bicurico on July 09, 2019, 05:12:21 pm
I forgot to mention, that Internet actually includes "Internet Forums" - probably one of the best inventions of the Internet. Forums allow people with otherwise rare/obscure hobbies to find like-minded people and discuss these topics with them. Which is what I am doing right now!

I think that in the 70ies-90ies, many electronic hobbyists had to rely to some extend to amateur radio to be able to contact people with similar interests. The same goes with magazines... Who still buys the Elektor or similar magazines?

Another thing that changed, I think, is that more and more people live in the city or at least in metrolpolitan areas, where there is simply no possibility of having a 20m wire as an antenna. I am fortunate to live in a house, but there is no space for such big antennas. Again, I am very lucky, as I do have a total of 10 satellite antennas (60cm to 120cm) on the roof, which is not accessible to most people.
But amateur radio communications really scream for big antennas.

Regards,
Vitor
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 09, 2019, 05:19:16 pm
Quote
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.
Thats not true! If the old Fosiles would not argue against the digital Technique!  :box:

The give a sshhttt. The dont show where which Digital System is in use and how to configure it rite.
Quote
But amateur radio communications really scream for big antennas.
You can get a Digital Radio and use an Local Repeater to talk to the World.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 09, 2019, 05:32:32 pm
Also there's still pirate FM!  :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on July 09, 2019, 05:47:56 pm
On milsat? I know.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 09, 2019, 06:53:38 pm
It's not about being able to share photos or talk to anyone in anywhere in the world. It is about personal liking about the hobby. I like the tone from SSB reception and rhythmic CW.

Also, although frustrating it may be, unpredictability of the band conditions are more exciting and fun than 100% reliability of internet.

Being able to talk about the band condition, antenna, rigs and electronic topics with other Hams are incredibly fun too.

Ham is not about more efficient communication or high tech, but for me, it was more fun contacting stations using 1 Watt Homebrew kit radio powered by some cell batteries, and getting good RST.

In that respect, no Ham Radio is not dead, and it will never die regardless how much internet takes over the world, how high the tech developed, or how many people are coming in or going off the hobby.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Quarlo Klobrigney on July 09, 2019, 08:53:37 pm
Here's a young fellow who would disagree with the naysayers, 12 year old Steven (7 minutes in):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th2e9v08r70 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th2e9v08r70)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vk6zgo on July 10, 2019, 02:27:53 am
Quote
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.
Thats not true! If the old Fosiles would not argue against the digital Technique!  :box:

The give a sshhttt. The dont show where which Digital System is in use and how to configure it rite.
Quote
But amateur radio communications really scream for big antennas.
You can get a Digital Radio and use an Local Repeater to talk to the World.

Analog Repeaters are linked to the Internet, too!
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: RobBarter on July 10, 2019, 11:09:01 am
You are either fascinated with RF propagation and radios/antennas - or you aren't. Take in the ones who are and leave the rest to their chosen enjoyment.
Actually I'm using the hobby to further my interest in electronics in general, not just RF propagation, radios and antennas. Stamp collecting just would not give the breadth of learning experience I'm after.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 10, 2019, 09:37:25 pm
I noticed unusually high level of static on my XHData radio when tuned to HF.  It took me a few hours to source the problem. It was power supply for my Scanner WS1065, and some other switching power supply for phone chargers.

I unplugged them from the mains, and wow, the reception on XHDATA HF bands cleared like blue sky with no clouds.

I heard a lot more Ham stations on CW, and some SSB station on 80m.  But still there were no much if at all activity on 40m and above for SSB.

40m bands is busy with CW stations but still weak signals.

When band condition was good, I used to hear on 20m band at night West coast American stations 59+20 on my portable receiver and telescopic antenna.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on July 11, 2019, 12:21:11 am
Propagation being what it is, you never know what you might hear on the different bands.  I always check 20 m first because that's the most fun for me.  If it's crowded, I look at higher frequencies.  If it's dead, I drop down to 40m.  Between 20m and 40m these days I can usually scare up a QSO, even DX.

Lately the propagation has improved.  For a long time there was hardly anything but now I can hear and work some good stuff occasionally.  Sometimes the bands are great and other times not.

The propagation forecasts are, for me, worthless.  The so-called sunspot cycle is a joke.  The correlation between sunspots and propagation is very unclear, if it exists at all.  My method is simply to listen to see if it's worth getting on the air.  If Europe or Asia or Africa is coming through I will settle in and see whom I can work.

It can be fun if your attitude allows it.  And, being a hobby, that's what you want.  Fun.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 11, 2019, 10:42:12 am
That's the way I usually check the bands as well.

Last time I was active on the HF was 2015, and bands were excellent.  I was able to work most European and Russian stations with 3W Homebrew CW radio and 20 meter long wire in the garden on 20m most days. On 40m band during the days, it was so busy every frequency was filled with strong signals.

But now it seems very quiet.  I do pick up some CW signals on 20, 40m bands but weaker and not busy at all. I even heard strong signals on 15m bands on some days, but rarely it happens.

On 80m, at night it is quite good. I was listening to some G stations and Europeans rag chewing there with good signals, and there were some contests too. Also heard special event station with GB callsign putting out strong and good audio on 3.785 Mhz.

Yeah, I agree that it is all about fun from the hobby, and it could be as trivial as listening to some bands, DIYing on simple receiver kit to ambitious running a kilo watts on multi element yagis with latest high tech rigs. It is so versatile and diverse, this hobby is.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 11, 2019, 10:46:49 am
Propagation predictions are useless here as well. The ones they publish in Radcom are the worst. Crystal ball would be more useful.

I do same. Call on 20m CW, check RBN for a spot and see where it's getting to and go from there.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on July 11, 2019, 01:39:24 pm
;D sure Phone Company also make Backups from each Call.  :-DD
So a CB, PMR446 is more private. Especial when I use just Numbers instead of Words.
Try to decrypt 4 - 1 - 9 - 9 - 3 -1  :=\
We always suspected it was you after all.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on July 11, 2019, 01:45:02 pm
Propagation predictions are useless here as well. The ones they publish in Radcom are the worst. Crystal ball would be more useful.

I do same. Call on 20m CW, check RBN for a spot and see where it's getting to and go from there.

I do a bit more cunning :) I keep data from PSKReporter, so I check band activity in the last hour or couple of hours and make graphs like "histogram of QSO distances originated from IN83 on 20 m" :)

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on July 11, 2019, 01:53:26 pm
Ham radio can't compete with iPhones and the internet in terms of efficient communications.
Yet, in case of problems, how many telecom operators can operate their networks successfully without help from the manufacturer? You would be surprised. I dare to say that despite ultra modern telecommunication facilities the situation would be much worse now than it was 30 years ago. More complex equipment, dramatically less in house expertise.

Quote
You are either fascinated with RF propagation and radios/antennas - or you aren't. Take in the ones who are and leave the rest to their chosen enjoyment.
During the 30 years I've been working so far there are countless occasions in which the practical knowledge acquired thanks to ham radio has proven really valuable. Setting up a receiving station for Internet streaming? There is an antenna involved and what is obvious to me is pretty much arcane for anyone else not involved in radio. WiFi? IoT? Radio knowledge is nowadays much more relevant than it was 20 years ago.

I remember when I joined the Red Cross of Sea back in 1990 or so. "Skills that can be interesting to us?" -- "Well, I am a ham" -- "Welcome, you are the communications manager at the base". In my first days I already fixed a HT with a silly problem, I built an improvised antenna when a gale destroyed the one on the roof, I gave some talks basic on proper radio practice, taught some of the volunteers how a radar works, well, not bad.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 11, 2019, 02:00:35 pm
Propagation predictions are useless here as well. The ones they publish in Radcom are the worst. Crystal ball would be more useful.

I do same. Call on 20m CW, check RBN for a spot and see where it's getting to and go from there.

I do a bit more cunning :) I keep data from PSKReporter, so I check band activity in the last hour or couple of hours and make graphs like "histogram of QSO distances originated from IN83 on 20 m" :)

Very sneaky - I might have to steal that :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on July 11, 2019, 02:22:07 pm
Propagation predictions are useless here as well. The ones they publish in Radcom are the worst. Crystal ball would be more useful.

I do same. Call on 20m CW, check RBN for a spot and see where it's getting to and go from there.

I do a bit more cunning :) I keep data from PSKReporter, so I check band activity in the last hour or couple of hours and make graphs like "histogram of QSO distances originated from IN83 on 20 m" :)

Very sneaky - I might have to steal that :)
I was condidering giving public access to Kibana but it's a bit complicated. However, if you have an Elasticsearch cluster available I can offer a data dump. I am sure the PSKreporter owner won't object.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on July 11, 2019, 03:55:48 pm
Nothing I'm allowed to play with available :)

I've got telnet access to RBN, prometheus and grafana available however. I'm sure I can do something with that.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 13, 2019, 08:53:03 pm
HF bands were very busy today from 20m - all the way down to 80m. There were a lot of contest stations, but just rag chewing stations too. It reminded of last time I was active on HF.

I pulled out my old MFJ 8100 regenerative SW radio too. Along with my new XHDATA, they are doing nicely SWLing.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: BrianMN on July 30, 2019, 03:42:30 pm
It is so dead I have only been able to work 39 stations on 20 meters in the past 24 hours. Stop listening and call CQ.
Brian
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on July 30, 2019, 05:04:01 pm
Yes most people are just listening.  I am guilty of that.  After 70 years of ham radio I don't just make contacts to fill the log.  I want to work good DX and have good conversations with selected stations.

Last night I listened to several QSOs on HF but felt no urge to call.  But I did work a few DX stations.

One indicator is that you can hear maybe one or two QSOs but they are DX and no other DX stations can be heard.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on July 30, 2019, 07:57:10 pm
Maybe everyone is just listening thinking the band is dead :D
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Wolfgang on July 30, 2019, 11:25:37 pm
Suggestion: Lets play dead. After a while, the trolls will pass on to a new subject, and the people really interested can go on with more interesting topics.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Canis Dirus Leidy on July 31, 2019, 12:01:49 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?
Yes, it's dead and decomposed into mold and white honey. Here is the documentary evidence:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehRn2G3jZxg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehRn2G3jZxg)
P.S. Sorry, but I can't help myself.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xrunner on August 02, 2019, 11:35:05 pm
Yes, it's dead and decomposed into mold and white honey. Here is the documentary evidence:

Uh wow ... that was, uh, different.  :wtf:
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: 0culus on August 02, 2019, 11:40:43 pm
Yes, it's dead and decomposed into mold and white honey. Here is the documentary evidence:

Uh wow ... that was, uh, different.  :wtf:

I guess furries will save the day.  :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on August 02, 2019, 11:43:05 pm
(https://imgur.com/F0hofGz.jpg)

Title: its ok he is russian
Post by: coppercone2 on August 03, 2019, 05:23:04 am
(https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/219/613/2fadbe25-eaaa-42b7-8bf6-a8ec8684655a.gif?1324327672)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: TheNewLab on August 03, 2019, 05:57:05 am
Coppercone2,
How did you change the topic on the same thread? It is best that I do not learn how, but makes me wonder if when searching for stuff, I may have to re-think how I do it....

It's OK he is Russian.  :clap:
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: denverpilot on August 03, 2019, 08:13:06 am
Maybe everyone is just listening thinking the band is dead :D

With all the people using spotting alerts to their mobile phones, this is somewhat true. Especially 6m and up.

Band will be wide open and even the beacon projects will be showing it, but until someone starts calling and gets some lines drawn on DXMaps or similar and the algorithm chucks out email alerts saying there might be sporadic E or whatever...nobody shows up.

You can really see it during a weekday. Band wide open, everyone at work, one retired guy starts making calls, e-mail alerts go out, and the working stiffs either get on mobile rigs to see if it’s “that good” where even a mobile compromised station will work, or they get out of the office and boogie home real quick and cover the map in contact lines.

We see it also in the numbers and maps from various VHF and up contests every gear. The bands will open and close multiple times during a two or three day event. That’s happening all the time, but no one is there to call en masse for contacts.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Radiosonde on August 03, 2019, 05:13:40 pm
Just my opinion, but, it is definitely not dead in 2019.
Even with my small 40m long windom antenna and a 100W TRX I can always work some folks, there is always alot of movement on the band, at least at 80m and 40m.
The only thing which may be dead are repeaters, the local repeater here is used regulary by 4 persons including me and the owner, but nobody cares, it is fun to maintain it.
After I finish my EsHail Transverter project I am going to build a 23cm beacon, mainly for me and maybe for 2 other people, but I dont mind.

Regards
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on August 03, 2019, 05:34:05 pm
I stopped using VHF, and repeaters in particular, several years ago and haven't looked back.   The mentality of the users put me off and I only operate below 30 MHz these days.  It's fun for me and working DX plus playing with equipment and antennas is a treat.

I guess cell phones have made repeaters redundant and it's fine with me.  I still have a rig around here somewhere but am willing to sell it if someone makes me a reasonable offer.  For a while the repeaters around here sounded too much like CB radio, with phony country accents and pranks and arguments.  Perhaps the dirty mouth repeater in my area is still going; I wouldn't know.  I don't miss it.

Not to say that HF is so clean but for the most part it has decent operation.  Plenty of little complaints but in general it's good.  My strongest complaint is the lack of technical expertise, combined with the lack of desire to learn.  But that's part of human nature I guess.

I never imagined so many users of IC-7300!  That rig has got to be the most popular ever made.  Briefly I wondered what it would be like to own one but after listening to some struggles with setup I decided to stick with the old analog TS-940S.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on August 03, 2019, 07:47:26 pm
Quote
my small 40m
Fail  :palm:...
Quote
much like CB radio
Get your CB Radio out of the Box switch to SSB and use ROS, js8call, PSK64 to communicate over the ocean.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on August 05, 2019, 12:37:35 pm
I have a feed of pskreporter data on an Elasticsearch cluster. Last Saturday it saw 10,000 unique calls transmitting in a 3 hour interval. Granted, maybe you scan the HF bands and you don't hear much voice activity. But digital mode frequencies are really busy.

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on August 05, 2019, 12:40:44 pm
Did you use a CB Radio to?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on August 05, 2019, 12:48:15 pm
Did you use a CB Radio to?
No I didn't, I'm operating on 20 and 40 mainly due to antenna constraints.

Anyway it's not  that I received 10,000 unique calls, but the global digital traffic seen by pskreporter in that time interval involved 10,000 unique callsigns transmitting. Interestingly, there's a lot of people who are not sending data to PSKReporter.

And  most were licensed HF operators. The maximum number of different stations on 11 m was 20. So, yeah, amateur radio is dying.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on August 15, 2019, 08:43:45 am
I have been listening to HF bands, and the condition seems to be there, because on  weekends, HF gets full with strong signals meaning more people are coming to AIR, and transmitting.

Then come on Monday, the bands get quiet.  Maybe people are just listening and waiting for DX signals to appear, rather than calling CQ and work any stations coming back?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on August 15, 2019, 09:11:44 am
I think everyone is at work on Monday. There’s good CW to be had on week day mornings in 20m here in the UK. This is quite a bad distraction as I mostly work from home so the radio is sitting on the desk with my computer  :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on August 15, 2019, 10:46:06 am
There were pile ups for DX on 7Mhz CW this morning.  Whole Europe was calling for it, but I couldn't hear the DX station's signal.

Yes, Radios on the working desk would be distraction for work :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on August 15, 2019, 12:23:43 pm
As I only run QRP and have a shit antenna I tend to have to avoid the pile ups :(
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Kalvin on August 15, 2019, 01:05:09 pm
The LED lights in my bathroom kills my HF reception (almost) completely when using my mag-loop in the livingroom. Probably there are other LED lights and chinatronics in our building/neighborhood which are increasing the noise floor somewhat, but the LED lights mentioned are complete HF reception killers.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on August 15, 2019, 01:38:22 pm
In here it is the old desktop PC, and downstairs TV kills HF reception.

Sometimes cheap switching PSU does bother HF as well.
I am sure fridge in the kitchen and scanner might do something too.

I once took out my HF radio into garden shed, far way from the house, and almighty, the HF reception was another world - no QRMs, no statics, just pure SSB reception.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on August 16, 2019, 06:21:26 pm
But, yes, the LED security light outside when switches on, it wipes HF.

Here is the 7Mhz CW pile up in the early morning today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaW4I7w3v8g (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaW4I7w3v8g)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on August 17, 2019, 04:28:39 pm
I worked some decent DX on 20, 30, and 40 last night.  So I guess if ham radio is dead, I must be having a seance or something.  I worked the guy on St. Pierre and Miquelon and New Zealand and Brazil and some other good ones.

However I think the OP means that, if you want to communicate long distances, the cellular network is an easy way.  But we hams like the fact that there is no infrastructure requrement, that it's from his house to my house and all we need is propagation and electricity.  And the anticipation of unknown opportunity to work some random place in the wide world.  Turning on the radio and hearing Kuwait or Mongolia or Indonesia or Cape Verde is a thrill for me, especially when they respond to my call.

The Brazilian I worked was for the second time, the first back in around 2000.  And the New Zealand guy, our first contact was in 1977.

But it's a hobby and the bottom line is fun.  If I work a new guy or an old timer, if it's good propagation or lousy, if it's a pileup or an easy contact, it's all fun.  You can't match that feeling with a cell phone.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vk6zgo on August 18, 2019, 01:41:51 am
 Every year, a bunch of yachts line up in Sydney NSW & race to Hobart in Tasmania.

"Why do they do it, using out of date technology like sails, when they can fly to Hobart in a few hours in comfort?"

"Why do people run in City to Surf Marathons, when all they need to do is to catch a bus  if they want to get to the beach?"

Ridiculous questions?
Yes, but just as valid as saying "Why use Ham Radio when you can just use a cellphone?"
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 04, 2019, 05:44:05 am
I have been operating on HF for last few days, and indeed it was a lot more difficult to contact anyone using the traditional SSb or CW mode.
This is due to maybe,

1. More ham ops. now use other modes? such as data.

2. The HF band condition is definitely poorer than a few year ago.

3. There are strong stations with big antennas and running powerful amplifiers, but only want to talk to DX stati0ons.


But ham radio hobby is still going strong, will never die.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vk4ffab on September 04, 2019, 07:07:57 am
Every year, a bunch of yachts line up in Sydney NSW & race to Hobart in Tasmania.

"Why do they do it, using out of date technology like sails, when they can fly to Hobart in a few hours in comfort?"

"Why do people run in City to Surf Marathons, when all they need to do is to catch a bus  if they want to get to the beach?"

Ridiculous questions?
Yes, but just as valid as saying "Why use Ham Radio when you can just use a cellphone?"

The misconception is that the 2 are the same thing, IE a means of mass communication. They are not. I i want to talk to a friend, I do it on the phone. If i want to chill out and have some fun, I play radio and even then more often than not I am not talking to anyone. I might use morse code, or a digital txt messag mode, or i might spend 2 hours working on a radio i am building, or go portable in a park or down the beach. Ham radio is radio for the sake of doing radio, its not a replacement for the internet or telephone networks.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on September 04, 2019, 07:49:52 am
The misconception is that the 2 are the same thing, IE a means of mass communication. They are not. I i want to talk to a friend, I do it on the phone.
Exactly. In the past, before the Internet, ham radio offered a very good way of talking to people all over the world. I mean, doing it randomly like, "will I meet today someone from Australia or Chile?".

Nowadays that role is fulfilled , if your *only* interest was communicating, by the Internet. Just look at this forum. But you still have the experimenting part, the challenges of chasing propagation changes and reaching far places, the pleasure of doing it by your own means without relying on any public network, etc.

There is a lot of activity on HF (most digital). Also there are people doing very challenging activities on microwaves (just read a magazine like Dubus).

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xmetal on September 04, 2019, 08:07:45 am
I still keep my licence going but it has been a number of years since I was last on the air but I've recently felt a yearning for firing up the HF gear and probably cause a mass evacuation of spiders! :)

As others have said, the internet has made it much easier to communicate across the world. I still think amateur radio has a place though.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 04, 2019, 01:24:29 pm
Sure, there is far more than just simple communication in Ham Radio.

I like the fact that it is direct communication between my station and the other station without going through all  the myriad of gateways and servers and service providers like communications on the internet.

I would like also to experiment which antennas and rigs are working better in ham radio.  There is also scope for DIY and repair and restoration of vintage ham gears.  This is one gigantic field of learning, experimenting and communicating.

It is only dead to those who look at Ham Radio as contacting somebody, but it is live and well to those with far wider vision on it.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on September 04, 2019, 05:22:21 pm
Yes, the communicating aspect of ham radio is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  So much to do and to learn.  I reassert the fundamental aspects of electricity daily.  I measure my transmit frequency and power, see the spectrum and the audio wave, test antenna impedance, get reports on audio quality, and the list goes on.

I play with test equipment, build projects, repair stuff, make my station more attractive and useful, and in general enjoy my hobby a lot.

Yep, ham radio is dead but I have regular seances.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vk6zgo on September 05, 2019, 03:45:51 am
Yes, the communicating aspect of ham radio is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  So much to do and to learn.  I reassert the fundamental aspects of electricity daily.  I measure my transmit frequency and power, see the spectrum and the audio wave, test antenna impedance, get reports on audio quality, and the list goes on.

I play with test equipment, build projects, repair stuff, make my station more attractive and useful, and in general enjoy my hobby a lot.

Yep, ham radio is dead but I have regular seances.

Ladies & Gentlemen------We have a winner!
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 02:37:12 pm
Yup, the HF bands had been a lot busier a few years ago.

Now, it is difficult to hear some one calling CQ.
Could it be due to the poor HF bands condition? Or would it be due to decreased ham radio operators?
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: borjam on September 20, 2019, 03:14:10 pm
Yup, the HF bands had been a lot busier a few years ago.

Now, it is difficult to hear some one calling CQ.
Could it be due to the poor HF bands condition? Or would it be due to decreased ham radio operators?

Increased popularity of digital modes. See above for a figure: ten thousand unique calls transmitting on the HF bands in a three hour interval.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on September 20, 2019, 03:24:10 pm
I think a lot of the popularity of digital modes is because a lot of us are unsociable gits. I know I am. I don’t want to talk to anyone via voice :-DD

Edit: also to note I’m working on a digital mode only transceiver. USB lead, antenna lead, external power supply, done. I intend to retire on selling it :-DD
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 06:09:00 pm

Increased popularity of digital modes. See above for a figure: ten thousand unique calls transmitting on the HF bands in a three hour interval.

I don't understand it. If someone is interested in digital mode, why not just use Skype, WhatsApp or twitter or even Facebook?  There is good old emails too.

Ham radio is for traditional  SSB / CW wireless communication operation, that's where the fun is, in my view :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 06:14:27 pm
I think a lot of the popularity of digital modes is because a lot of us are unsociable gits. I know I am. I don’t want to talk to anyone via voice :-DD

Edit: also to note I’m working on a digital mode only transceiver. USB lead, antenna lead, external power supply, done. I intend to retire on selling it :-DD

I find good CW contacts very enjoyable.  On SSB it seems quite difficult to meet someone whom I could talk to on HF bands now.  Even on 2015, I was having over 1 hour rag chew QSO with some very friendly and chatty Italian and Spanish operators on 20M band regularly.

But now, most of them (European operators with big antennas and expensive amps running a few kilowatts)  just want to talk to USA or Asia for quick 59 73 thank you.  I don't see what could the attraction trying to to DX only, because if anyone had 1KW amp, and 3 element beam, they can work anywhere in the world anytime.  But more so, anyone can talk to most remote places with a tiny smart phone and use chatting Apps for FREE.

It is exciting to be able to contact someone with challenging set up such as QRP and wire antennas made of washing rope, or using aluminum frame of a wardrobe in the bedroom tuned with a loop tuner, and contacting anyone out there using similar set up. :D That's where the Ham Radio fun lies, in my book :)

But on 80M, there are many nets going, and we could still find good operators to talk to :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on September 20, 2019, 07:17:54 pm
SSB I don't fancy because I don't stand a chance with my little 15W squeak and as you mention it's tick box contacts only.

I only operate CW myself but the point is more that a lot of people don't want to fish out £1000+ for a transceiver and all the crap you have to have to operate digital modes on. The minimal subset of hardware has perhaps £40 of parts in it. There's a hole in the market for a black box you can connect to a bit of wire and throw it up in a tree and plug your laptop into it and operate at a couple of watts out.

Hans Summers is doing something similar but it's a whole radio. All we need to care about for digital modes is a relatively narrow band SDR using simple downconversion into I-Q signals and ADC hooked up to a USB bus. Outbound is similarly simple (I-Q modulation) and can be driven from the host machine trivially. Only complex bit which no one ever seems to solve other than expensive outfits like Elecraft, is an automatic tuner for end-feds and multi-band LPF
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: ebastler on September 20, 2019, 07:22:35 pm
Yes, the communicating aspect of ham radio is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  So much to do and to learn.  I reassert the fundamental aspects of electricity daily.  I measure my transmit frequency and power, see the spectrum and the audio wave, test antenna impedance, get reports on audio quality, and the list goes on.

Absolutely. It's not about using that ham equipment, but about building and tweaking it!  ;)
"Don't turn it on, take it apart!" (Or put it together, if you like...)

Quote
Yep, ham radio is dead but I have regular seances.

 :-DD   :-+
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: xrunner on September 20, 2019, 07:37:04 pm
Ham radio is for traditional  SSB / CW wireless communication operation, that's where the fun is, in my view :)

Really? It's just for "traditional" SSB and CW.  :-//

What about RTTY, Olivia, PSK, FT8, JT65, AM ...


I don't understand it. If someone is interested in digital mode, why not just use Skype, WhatsApp or twitter or even Facebook?  There is good old emails too.

Uh, because, maybe, perhaps, you might want to see how your signal propagates on HF just for the Hell of it? I mostly use FT8 now and you can make lots of contacts using it, whereas you wouldn't stand a chance with SSB over a long path. FT8 is not a mode that for conversation anyway, so the comparison to FB et. al. isn't appropriate.  :--

Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on September 20, 2019, 08:09:22 pm
There's JS8Call as well now then you can chat. Slowly :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 08:37:31 pm
Ham radio is for traditional  SSB / CW wireless communication operation, that's where the fun is, in my view :)

Really? It's just for "traditional" SSB and CW.  :-//

What about RTTY, Olivia, PSK, FT8, JT65, AM ...


I don't understand it. If someone is interested in digital mode, why not just use Skype, WhatsApp or twitter or even Facebook?  There is good old emails too.

Uh, because, maybe, perhaps, you might want to see how your signal propagates on HF just for the Hell of it? I mostly use FT8 now and you can make lots of contacts using it, whereas you wouldn't stand a chance with SSB over a long path. FT8 is not a mode that for conversation anyway, so the comparison to FB et. al. isn't appropriate.  :--

Yeah, I don't know those modes at all.  Long time ago I tried packet radio, and it was OK at the time.  It was like running a home page blog or mailbox or something like that.

No, I am not interested in the digital modes.  Running PC and smartphones and Ipads, I mean I get bored with these, and cannot see myself hooking up ham radios into digital mode again.

It feels refreshing to go back microphone and Morse key, and get contacts on these very traditional modes.  If without SSB and CW, yes, I am definitely going off ham radio.  But there are plenty ham operators running these modes, I am sure. It is just now the HF bands are weirdly poor, and lot of the ham operators just want to talk to somewhere too far away rather than anyone. 
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on September 20, 2019, 08:40:25 pm
Give it a couple of years and the solar cycle will be sorted.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 08:46:50 pm
SSB I don't fancy because I don't stand a chance with my little 15W squeak and as you mention it's tick box contacts only.

I only operate CW myself but the point is more that a lot of people don't want to fish out £1000+ for a transceiver and all the crap you have to have to operate digital modes on. The minimal subset of hardware has perhaps £40 of parts in it. There's a hole in the market for a black box you can connect to a bit of wire and throw it up in a tree and plug your laptop into it and operate at a couple of watts out.

Hans Summers is doing something similar but it's a whole radio. All we need to care about for digital modes is a relatively narrow band SDR using simple downconversion into I-Q signals and ADC hooked up to a USB bus. Outbound is similarly simple (I-Q modulation) and can be driven from the host machine trivially. Only complex bit which no one ever seems to solve other than expensive outfits like Elecraft, is an automatic tuner for end-feds and multi-band LPF

Yeah I dont see myself spending 1000£ +  for a ham radio.  That would be a blackbox with lot of buttons bells and whistles.  I feel they are toys rather than radio.  And you cannot repair modern radios with pcbs and SDT parts easy, if not impossible.  Something doesn't work with these modern radios, they have to be thrown out, because to repair anything, it starts from about 300£ just to see what is wrong with it, and then you add labour and parts, then that money can buy a brand new radio and more. So, why go that path?

I like simple radios, just for CW and SSB, and if it breaks or dies, then something that I could work, replace the parts and bring back to life -these radios I like.  My HF rig was a second hand about 40 year old, and got it for about £200.  I thought that was too expensive for a hobby thing.

I got another a couple of hf radios for 50-60£ because they don't work. I got them for repair project. 

I suppose everyone has different minds and prospects on the hobby.   I like buying cheap broken radios or gear, and open it up, fiddle about with it, replace the parts and trying to repair them. Sometimes it works, sometimes doesn't  But that is where my fun lies.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bd139 on September 20, 2019, 09:13:56 pm
Yeah I dont see myself spending 1000£ +  for a ham radio.  That would be a blackbox with lot of buttons bells and whistles.  I feel they are toys rather than radio.  And you cannot repair modern radios with pcbs and SDT parts easy, if not impossible.  Something doesn't work with these modern radios, they have to be thrown out, because to repair anything, it starts from about 300£ just to see what is wrong with it, and then you add labour and parts, then that money can buy a brand new radio and more. So, why go that path?

I like simple radios, just for CW and SSB, and if it breaks or dies, then something that I could work, replace the parts and bring back to life -these radios I like.  My HF rig was a second hand about 40 year old, and got it for about £200.  I thought that was too expensive for a hobby thing.

I got another a couple of hf radios for 50-60£ because they don't work. I got them for repair project. 

I suppose everyone has different minds and prospects on the hobby.   I like buying cheap broken radios or gear, and open it up, fiddle about with it, replace the parts and trying to repair them. Sometimes it works, sometimes doesn't  But that is where my fun lies.

Agree on all points. The killer for me is that you need to put some blood, sweat, tears and soul into something to truly enjoy it I find. Be that repairing or building something. My "main rig" is an outlier to yout points because I am coming from the same line of thought.

(https://imgur.com/eUxcIyP.jpg)

This is how it came.

(https://imgur.com/cMOMTt2.jpg)

Pretty busy inside but 100% documented, through hole and repairable!

(https://imgur.com/A0XNiOM.jpg)

But here I am this evening making crystal filters for a transceiver I am building from scratch  :-//. I wonder if I am just insane  :)
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 20, 2019, 09:52:28 pm


Agree on all points. The killer for me is that you need to put some blood, sweat, tears and soul into something to truly enjoy it I find. Be that repairing or building something. My "main rig" is an outlier to yout points because I am coming from the same line of thought.

But here I am this evening making crystal filters for a transceiver I am building from scratch  :-//. I wonder if I am just insane  :)

I can't agree more on the point that you need to put some blood sweat tears and soul into something to truly enjoy it.
That Eleccraft is a beautiful rig, and it is well thought after in design that is fully repairable and maintainable for a few generations.
And if you apply the axiom, then no, it is not insane building the filter for it. Rather it is time, effort and energy well spent for building whatever accessories to go with it to make more enjoyable to use it, I would say.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: bob91343 on September 21, 2019, 01:50:56 am
This conversation doesn't just apply to ham radio.  We each get different pleasures from different things.

As I said, I enjoy communicating with DX on the HF bands.  That's my big thing with radio.  I got rid of my VHF gear and have no interest.  I like CW and SSB.  I fool a bit with AM.  I did packet, RTTY, PSK, and some others; they were fun for a while but I lost interest.

With my electronics lab, I have similar feelings.  I recently acquired a digital scope and hooked it to a signal generator.  I also connected my other digital scope and my analog scope.  I measured the voltage and all four instruments agreed within a couple of percent.  I found that to be a lot of fun.

I also play old records and play along on various instruments to gain proficiency.  It's paid off; I am welcome at jam sessions and the like.

Sure I am a nerd.  At least I'm not a drug addict or a rapist or embezzler.  I have my quiet fun.

Asking if ham radio is dead is like asking if anything else might be obsolescent.  There is a surge of interest in vinyl records, for instance.  There are people who collect stamps, antiques, glassware, works of art.  There are history buffs and those who love to solve math problems.  There are astronomers who work hard and spend substantial money to do what is routinely being done at observatories.  Some build furniture they don't need.  I know people who have serious space dedicated to model railroads.  Some like taking pictures of things that have been photo subjects for a long time.

Doing something yourself without a lot of infrastructure is very satisfying.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: fourfathom on September 21, 2019, 03:05:23 am
I don't understand it. If someone is interested in digital mode, why not just use Skype, WhatsApp or twitter or even Facebook?  There is good old emails too.

Ham radio is for traditional  SSB / CW wireless communication operation, that's where the fun is, in my view :)

I have fun with the digital modes because it lets me design and build stuff. 

I've got a few JS8 rcv-only gateways (in different locations, operating on 10.130 MHz) that use a RPi, a $20 RTL-SDR-BLOG, a custom anti-aliasing filter/preamp that I built (JLCPCB is great), and software that I cobbled together from bits and pieces.  I've got a RPi WSPR transmitter that drives my antenna from an output pin (through a custom bandpass filter).  Analyzing the spectral content of these synthesized signals is a lot of fun.   I've built an Arduino / synthesizer transmitter that sends WSPR and JS8 messages (canned ones at the moment).  I've been playing with a Class-E power amplifier (if you consider 5W to be "power").  I get to use my spectrum analyzer, my sig gens, my scopes, freq counters, and lots of spare parts.  Almost all of this is in the HF bands, although I'm currently building a RPi/SDR AIS receiver (VHF) to replace the big old linux box and commercial AIS receiver I'm now using.  That one isn't ham radio, but I'm using things from my ham projects.

I also have a few ham rigs; Icom 7300, 7200, and recently a Yaesu FT-891.  I use these on digital modes, and on SSB.  But honestly, I seldom spend time on the air in any of these modes.  My favorite ham radio activity is to design and build something and then make it work on the air.  Once it's working I pretty quickly move on to something new.  I'm in it for the challenge.  I think the new digital modes are extremely exciting, and while I grew up using CW, and later SSB, these days I just can't get enthusiastic about those modes.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on September 21, 2019, 10:27:45 am
I suppose everyone has different tastes and source of fun even for the same hobby.
Each to their own, as my wife's favorite saying goes.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: vinlove on October 04, 2019, 12:53:43 pm
This thread is still open.  I thought it might have been closed and locked.

But just to add, what kills Amateur Radio is also some of the Radio Operator themselves.
I mean the people who calls CQ DX only. Or outside Europe, looking for NA or ASIA,  I feel that they kill amateur radio.
To them maybe DX is only worth while to contact with, but there are thousands of small ant and radio stations without big amps,  and QRP stations who want to contact any stations be it DX or next door neighbors.

To these ordinary ham operators, these folks who calls CQ DX only, outside Europe or only for NA or ASIA only, are just QRM.  They put other stations off from the hobby.
Title: Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
Post by: Lord of nothing on October 04, 2019, 09:18:04 pm
Quote
There's JS8Call as well now then you can chat.
Sadly on CB are not so much People out there who use them now.