Author Topic: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?  (Read 7451 times)

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Offline Radiosonde

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #100 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.

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Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #101 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.
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #102 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.
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline borjam

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #103 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.

 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #104 on: August 05, 2019, 12:40:44 pm »
Did you use a CB Radio to?
Made in Japan, destroyed in Sulz im Wienerwald.
 

Offline borjam

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #105 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.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 12:50:13 pm by borjam »
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #106 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?
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #107 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
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #108 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 :)
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #109 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 :(
 

Offline Kalvin

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #110 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.
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #111 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.
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #112 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.

 

Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #113 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.
 
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Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #114 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?"
 
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Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #115 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.
 

Offline vk4ffab

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #116 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.
 
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Offline borjam

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #117 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).

 
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Offline xmetal

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #118 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.
 

Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #119 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.
 
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Offline bob91343

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #120 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.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #121 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!
 
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Offline vinlove

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #122 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?
 

Offline borjam

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #123 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.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 03:16:58 pm by borjam »
 

Online bd139

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Re: Ham Radio is it DEAD in 2019?
« Reply #124 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
« Last Edit: September 20, 2019, 03:26:54 pm by bd139 »
 


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