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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-07-2017, 2:57 PM
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Pick a two meter simplex frequency and a day and time. Let's say Thursday at 7:00 p.m. On that day and time, Call out a net with the subject matter you are interested in. For example, "This is the 2 Meter Public Safety Scanning Net, or this is the 2 Meter Sports Talk Net, are there any check in's? You may get zero response for a bit, but if you keep at it and do a little promotion of your net like drop a thread describing it in RR you should soon be talking with like minded individuals. Good Luck..........
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Old 08-07-2017, 9:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bearcat012 View Post
Pick a two meter simplex frequency and a day and time. Let's say Thursday at 7:00 p.m. On that day and time, Call out a net with the subject matter you are interested in. For example, "This is the 2 Meter Public Safety Scanning Net, or this is the 2 Meter Sports Talk Net, are there any check in's? You may get zero response for a bit, but if you keep at it and do a little promotion of your net like drop a thread describing it in RR you should soon be talking with like minded individuals. Good Luck..........
Now that was a good idea.

BTW - I see the OP's point.
Local nets tend to be like Facebook for seniors, a lot of boring chit chat. ( Ailments, yard maintenance, weather, etc. )
The exception being the technical information occasionally sprinkled in.

No offence intended.

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Old 08-08-2017, 1:47 AM
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To me , my interests started with shortwave listening and military and other satellite monitoring. Then at the urging of a co worker, I got my ham license. Because I was interested in satellites I got involved in AMSAT and put a lot of effort into the challenge of building a satellite station and working HEO satellites AO10, AO13 and others in the SSB mode. I made some pretty good international contacts using those modes. So it was a technical challenge and the excitement of making contact through space bound hardware. The other thing I enjoyed were band openings on 6, 2 and 70 CM using the SSB mode. I am not interested at all in contesting. It is all pretty much the challenge of a working station and getting amazing results. Time went by , the HEO satellites are few and the LEOs dont interest me as much. So I am reevaluating the effort to go into so many bands, antennas and modes. I haven't decided yet, but I might just settle for 6 meters and monitoring the international calling channel.

My other interests are with GMRS and that is also for technical challenges, and for practical communications around town.

I have belonged to a club, in past, but frankly, I keep busy enough within my own life. At least I should, because my to do list of house work is pretty big.



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Old 08-08-2017, 8:56 AM
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Not all amateur radio nets are the same. Some of the VHF nets in my area are strictly check-ins and announcements...no chit-chat. Other nets will go down the check-in list and ask for comments...that's where the guys who want to talk are allowed to talk. I also check into a 75m SSB traffic net a couple times a week--just check-ins, formal traffic handling, and announcements. When I think about it, I check into the Kenwood Hybrid Net on the weekends...just comments and questions about the Kenwood Hybrid radios (TS-520, TS-530, TS-820, TS-830). We have a small network of linked 222 MHz repeaters in my area and there's a weekly "use it or lose it" net on that network that takes check-ins and questions/comments about 222 MHz gear.

There are lots of nets out there and, depending on your location, there may be more variety on HF than on VHF/UHF. I like the idea of just starting a net on a particular topic and seeing what kind of interest you get. I think that if you contacted the repeater trustees in your area and pitched your idea, that you might find one willing to host your net on his repeater rather than trying to use simplex.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:18 AM
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Seeing that you are only a Tech,give 6 and 10 meters a try they have been open lately,I have worked stations in Japan with only 10 watts and an dipole and i agree you should try to upgrade but in the mean time try out 6 and 10 meters.
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Old 08-10-2017, 5:09 PM
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I would encourage you to upgrade to General or Extra. The world of HF opens up so many things! I have been a ham for 38 years (got my license at 17) and have enjoyed many aspects of ham radio and am not even close to having tried everything ham radio has to offer.

I have gotten the most enjoyment out of the HF bands. I was mainly a CW (Morse Code) operator for many years even after I upgraded to General, then Advanced and Extra. I have always enjoyed the "uniqueness" if you will of Morse Code. I used to be able to copy about 25 words per minute, but am pretty rusty now. I found it fun to learn and have enjoyed teaching others. I have also done some of the digital modes on HF such as packet, AMTOR, RTTY and BPSK. I have had a lot of fun with the digital modes and met some very interesting folks outside the US. SSB (voice) is also fine as I got my Worked All States (WAS) award using both CW and SSB.

One of the best learning experiences I have had was being an owner/trustee of a 440 repeater. Myself and two other individuals thought it would be nice to have a 440 repeater since there was not a lot of 440 activity where I lived at the time. Putting together a repeater system was a lot of fun and frustrations at times but was very rewarding knowing that we put it together and on the air and hearing my call sign on it when it was finally operational. I learned a lot about antennas and feed lines doing that activity.

As others have suggested, doing storm spotting is something that is of benefit to the entire community and was enjoyable to me until you see a tornado headed towards you!

Just pick something you haven't tried yet and go for it!

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Old 08-10-2017, 11:23 PM
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
This thread is not intended to anger any Hams so please read this as my opinion and hopefully i will get some good feedback. I am looking for encouragement not discouragement or disappointment.

As i sit at my computer typing this and stare at my Motorola Sabre VHF and my Motorola xpr6550 dmr turned off i think about turning it on. I received my Ham ticket 9 months ago. I was hot and heavy for the first month on everyday and now not so much.
I don't think this is at all unusual. As others have said, there are a lot of aspects to amateur radio. I tend to go through phases. I was hot and heavy on 2 meters and 70 centimeters when I first got my license. After a while, I settled down on a 2 meter repeater, had a few discussions, then sort of wandered off.

Ended up in the service, played with some HF, had fun with that, but again, my interests wandered.

Went back to civilian life and was too busy to play radio.
Would listen now and then, but like you, found a lot of inane chatter on 2 meters. 70cm was mostly private repeaters for very exclusive groups.

After a few years, I was able to get some family members interested in radio, but they had no interest in taking the test. I got my GMRS license and put them on a bunch of UHF radios. Worked well for what we needed, mostly road trips, ATV riding, etc.
They got comfortable with radios and one day I dropped the suggestion about amateur radio again, more access, better chances of making random contacts, more repeaters, etc. Took a while, but they bit, now nearly everyone in my family has their amateur license, including a few of us that are general.

But, most of the usage is between family. Rarely much talking to strangers. And that's OK. No one says you gotta talk to people you don't know.

Again, my own interest wax and wane depending on my mood. While I do keep a VHF in the house, each car, the ATV and a few portables, most use is just between family.

My dad, in his retirement, got into the local CERT team and does some stuff with them, however it's not all just amateur radio.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
The club that sponsored the class and test are very into being Hams, years or experience which is great because they answered all of my questions.
Some ham clubs have an issue with that. They are into growing the ranks of amateurs, like it's some sort of competition to save the hobby, however there often isn't much follow up, other than an invite to the monthly meeting.
I joined a local ham club once, bored me to tears. Went to a few meetings, then left. Wasn't my cup of tea and wasn't a group that I had much interest in hanging around with. Again, there's all types in the hobby, don't think it's just the radio nerd club. Nothing wrong with radio nerds, but there's more to amateur.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
Most guys in my club repeater area are retiree's and i am in my early 30"s. I bet i'm not the only one that fits this category. The discussion's on the local repeaters are generally about personal events each guy is having and or radio equipment they are using. I tried leaving my radio on to monitor to pick up lingo and callsigns but the conversations became pure white noise.I eventually stopped monitoring.
Yeah, that's an issue around here, too.
Not to blame the retired guys, but when you look at who has the time to sit and talk on the radio and who has the disposable income to spend on the hobby, that's what you get, and it's a shame. Thanks to the cost of living, 40hr/wk + jobs, family, kids, everything else, my wife would divorce me if I blew our money on radios and spent all my time talking to strangers. But, that's just me.
Many groups have tried to find a way to make amateur radio more attractive to the younger crowd, but it doesn't seem to work around these parts.
And before anyone gets on my case, I work at a university that has a ham club. Not much activity, there.
Let's face it, for the 20 something crowd, talking around the world isn't the novelty it was for most of us 30 years ago. Sure, there are a few interesting aspects, but the days of amateur radio operators being at the forefront of technology are mostly long past. I do know a few hams that have set up high speed IP radio networks that are fun to play with, but there's nothing that requires that be done on amateur radio frequencies. There's enough license by rule spectrum to support most of that.

The truth is (in my opinion) that most amateur radio operators are stuck in the 20th century. Desperate attempts to modernize or make the hobby more attractive to the younger generation haven't gone far. ARRL has been trying to address this for as long as I've been a ham.

What we have seen is a lot of people take the test, get their ticket, but not be very active. While there is a fair amount of younger techies, and they do like their technology, there really isn't a whole lot to keep them interested. I've got a few co-workers that have their licenses, including one of my new analysts that's in his mid-20's. They get their license, their $30 BeoFeng radio, but quickly lose interest when they hear the traffic on the repeaters. Just not enough there to keep them interested and involved. A lot of that is because the majority of active guys around here are all retired and not always interested in the same subjects of the younger crowd.


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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
...I just wish there was more group specific conversations , example Sports like ESPN where you can chime in and or listen to a group discuss current sporting events like MLB or NFL ect via a 2way radio. My career is a Firefighter and i wish there was a "Happening now" group which discuss current major events going on in the USA example major fires, major police activity or something that effects a large group of people. I would differently monitor that all the time.
The trick is finding a big enough audience for that. That'll take some work on your part, probably won't be easy. What you might need to do is find a local repeater that has good coverage or is linked. Talk to whoever runs it and see if they'll let you hold a net on one of the nights. As others have said, it might take time to get critical mass to keep it going, but it might happen.


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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I understand everyone is using different equipment but it would be nice to have a group discussion about Motorola or Md380 or whatever which is discussed on this group. I would love to see ham or Digital Ham ( DMR , fusion ect ) have a severe weather group so weather spotters could discuss what they are seeing as they are spotting. That would be an interesting group to monitor for Adrenalin junkies.
I agree, but again, it comes down to the local ham crowd, unless you can get on a linked system that has the coverage to draw that sort of crowd.

When looking at the younger generation, a lot of that is covered better on the internet, and amateur radio has a hard time competing with that with the younger folks. Why talk on a radio to a limited group when you can get on the internet and reach more people? But I get your idea.

On a side note, your mention of DMR, Fusion, etc. brings up another good point. One of the issues I see locally is that clubs have created factions of digital mode users. Since there are a number of competing amateur digital modes, plus the added LMR modes that some are using, it's creating these silos. At least locally. Since one digital mode won't talk to another, and the analog repeaters get replaced by the digital ones, it creates more roadblocks to growing the hobby. If you want to talk with a specific club, you are required to buy into their chosen digital mode, but then that locks you out of talking to another club repeater that chose one of the other modes.

I'm not sure if this is caused by amateurs themselves or the vendors trying to make a buck. The end result is most of the younger amateurs with less disposable income cannot afford a different radio depending on which digital mode they want to speak on. The end results (again, locally) is factions that lock out the casual amateurs.
I really hope that some day the amateur radio community will wake up and see the benefit of adopting a common digital mode. Either that, or just go back to analog FM. Again, my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
If you are still reading my post im sure you understand my point. I am just a young ham trying to figure out what the next exciting new way to keep Hams talking could be. I really like talking on a radio but i try to have a purpose driven conversation as much as possible. I do respect the origin of Ham and many of the experienced Hams who still do Morse Code, Packet radio, participate in contests and field days. I just want to create something new that may attract younger Hams and keep them involved. I read articles in ARRL magazine and QRZ.com about the Whats new on the horizon or what can be done to attract a younger crowd. Remember this younger crowd is social media based facebook, instagram, twitter all information passing apps. As for me ,If i didn't love actually playing with and programming radio codeplugs i most likely would have already loss excitement in becoming a Ham. I will say it again this is not a dig on my local club. They are more then helpful. Its more then that , its what is next to keep me and possibly many other young Hams on the radio. Be safe you' all
I hear you, and as a late 40's guy, I can see exactly what you are talking about. A number of other amateurs will probably disagree with me, or tell you that it's up to you to fix it, but I think that's not the approach that's needed.
Amateur radio used to be about technology, but not so much anymore. I won't launch into the "appliance operator" thing, because I think that not a good direction to take this, but the truth is that Amateur Radio NEEDS to change, and change quickly.
How? Not sure, but maybe as time progresses and some of the old timers leave us, things might improve. I unfortunately see some amateurs that want to force new amateurs into learning the "old ways". It happened with the no-code licenses came out, there were those that would shun the "no-code techs" because they felt that they hadn't paid their dues. That was around the time I became a ham, and those guys really pissed me off to no end, but there's little reasoning with them.
The ARRL could do a lot to fix this, but it would take a fresh approach, and I don't think they have it in them, at least not with the current group. I gave up my ARRL membership a few years back, just wasn't worth the cost, got tired of reading the same articles, got tired of hearing about the way they were going to attract a whole new crowd to the hobby.

Again, my opinion:
Amateur radio and the big groups that champion it need to make some big changes….
1. Pick a standardized digital mode. Sure, people can experiment with whatever they want, that's the spirit behind amateur radio, but when I'm driving half way across country and want to hop on a local repeater to ask questions, or talk to the locals, I shouldn't have to have 5 different digital modes on a couple of different bands to do it. At 47 I don't have that much disposable income, nor the space in my truck for all those radios.

2. Flush out the old timers. I don't mean actually kick them out, but there needs to be an attitude change. Yes, it's nice that someone can talk around the world with a long piece of wire and a spark, but expecting newcomers to bend down and kiss your arse as some sort of homage to you is just downright silly. It's an egotistical attitude that needs to stop. (again, my opinion).

3. Loosen up some of the current restrictions. Not the FCC rules, but some of the silly band plans. The divided band plans are a useful idea where certain classes of licenses have access to certain sub-bands, but maybe the sub-bands need to be shrunk and create more open space for all classes of licenses to work together. And, no, I don't think license class means as much as some want you to think. Yes, it's nice you studied and achieved that license, but in reality it's about regurgitating information on a multiple choice test, it's not a freakin' PhD for Pete's sake. The caste stratums of the hobby, again, aren't helping. Sure, keep some small slices of sub-band where hams can go to feel special about themselves, some people need that. But open things up.

4. Change attitudes. Amateur radio needs to be recreated into a hobby that keeps some of the old and adds a crap load of new. With the information age, palm sized devices that can access the internet, make phone calls anywhere, send text messages, order pizza, etc; getting excited about an FM transceiver just isn't something that's going to happen with the majority of the younger generation. Modern IT has left amateur radio in the dust. The attempts of groups like ARRL to remain relevant is wasted effort.

Wanna make something of amateur radio, time to drag it out of the 1960's. Think wireless internet, Lord knows that we have enough spectrum for that. Think interlinked nodes using microwave bands that amateurs already have. Think a small UHF, VHF or such device that can access internet like services anywhere. Add in an HF high speed data system. Make it something that would be attractive to the younger information soaked population.

I'm sure I'll catch some flames for some of this, and some of it's probably warranted, but it's opinion, and it's what I see. I work at a university that has several engineering/IT/telecommunications programs. I have a 12 year old son. I'm around IT guys day in and day out. What I can tell you is that the current attitude in amateur radio isn't helping the hobby. There needs to be a big paradigm shift if it wants to remain relevant. As it stands right now, we've got a bunch of prime spectrum that's being wasted by old thinking. Won't take long for the FCC/ITU to figure out better uses for it.


Flame on….
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2017, 12:18 AM
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I gotta laugh. Each year, a local club would get a spot on the news regarding the field day activities, invariably, the reporter would be shown an old guy working CW, some really antique tube equipment, noisy generators etc. They would totally avoid the satellite station, the solar panels or any of the digital modes. The newspaper also had the same outdated focus. Old white guys, working Morse code on antique radios.

Not that I am down on Morse, at the Orlando Hamcation, a couple guys brought an excellent exhibit of an 1800's railroad Morse telegraph station and they also dressed the part. There is a place for that. But hams don't do a good PR job media wise, in attracting the younger more diverse crowd. We know that there is a lot more going on as far as experimentation and innovation. By the way I recommend a subscription to QEX magazine as the technical articles are much more advanced than what QST presents.

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Old 08-11-2017, 6:19 AM
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How about RACES and ARES in your area, there may be a group formed that you can become a member of.
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Old 08-11-2017, 7:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
1. Pick a standardized digital [voice] mode.

3. The divided band plans are a useful idea where certain classes of licenses have access to certain sub-bands, but maybe the sub-bands need to be shrunk and create more open space for all classes of licenses to work together.
1. I doubt this will ever happen. Since the "big 3" Japanese radio manufacturers are the big advertisers in the two remaining U.S.-based amateur radio magazines, I doubt that anyone will do something which might alienate an advertiser.

3. Would reducing license classes address this? How about an entry-level license that gets you on VHF-UHF at reduced power and an "everything else" license that allows you to do everything else.
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Old 08-11-2017, 7:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
This thread is not intended to anger any Hams so please read this as my opinion and hopefully i will get some good feedback. I am looking for encouragement not discouragement or disappointment.

As i sit at my computer typing this and stare at my Motorola Sabre VHF and my Motorola xpr6550 dmr turned off i think about turning it on. I received my Ham ticket 9 months ago. I was hot and heavy for the first month on everyday and now not so much. The club that sponsored the class and test are very into being Hams, years or experience which is great because they answered all of my questions. This thread is not a knock on them at all. I have a few thoughts that I would like to get out there. First difficult thing for me is participating in conversation. Most guys in my club repeater area are retiree's and i am in my early 30"s. I bet i'm not the only one that fits this category. The discussion's on the local repeaters are generally about personal events each guy is having and or radio equipment they are using. I tried leaving my radio on to monitor to pick up lingo and callsigns but the conversations became pure white noise.I eventually stopped monitoring. I know the purpose of Ham is to be an open forum at all times and closed private discussions are not allowed. I just wish there was more group specific conversations , example Sports like ESPN where you can chime in and or listen to a group discuss current sporting events like MLB or NFL ect via a 2way radio. My career is a Firefighter and i wish there was a "Happening now" group which discuss current major events going on in the USA example major fires, major police activity or something that effects a large group of people. I would differently monitor that all the time. I understand everyone is using different equipment but it would be nice to have a group discussion about Motorola or Md380 or whatever which is discussed on this group. I would love to see ham or Digital Ham ( DMR , fusion ect ) have a severe weather group so weather spotters could discuss what they are seeing as they are spotting. That would be an interesting group to monitor for Adrenalin junkies. If you are still reading my post im sure you understand my point. I am just a young ham trying to figure out what the next exciting new way to keep Hams talking could be. I really like talking on a radio but i try to have a purpose driven conversation as much as possible. I do respect the origin of Ham and many of the experienced Hams who still do Morse Code, Packet radio, participate in contests and field days. I just want to create something new that may attract younger Hams and keep them involved. I read articles in ARRL magazine and QRZ.com about the Whats new on the horizon or what can be done to attract a younger crowd. Remember this younger crowd is social media based facebook, instagram, twitter all information passing apps. As for me ,If i didn't love actually playing with and programming radio codeplugs i most likely would have already loss excitement in becoming a Ham. I will say it again this is not a dig on my local club. They are more then helpful. Its more then that , its what is next to keep me and possibly many other young Hams on the radio. Be safe you' all
Thank you for the things you wrote. Yes, I was very tempted to obtain my license for only one reason, Skywarn. Outside of this activity, it is not my cup of tea. I've heard some incredibly boring and hobby-specific conversations on my scanner when monitoring Ham frequencies. I hate talking on the phone unless someone is telling me something very important or I'm talking to understand something. Talking on the radio is no different. I have better things to do.

So, to each his own. My hat does go off to this group of hard-working individuals who make a huge difference when disaster strikes. They are the backbone of operations. I am sure they do many wonderful things, but the modal topic of their conversations, equipment or operating issues, does not float my boat.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:22 AM
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1. I doubt this will ever happen. Since the "big 3" Japanese radio manufacturers are the big advertisers in the two remaining U.S.-based amateur radio magazines, I doubt that anyone will do something which might alienate an advertiser.
I agree. Unfortunately this happens a lot, and it never benefits the end user. Another reason to add to my dislike of the ARRL/QST. No matter what they claim, ARRL doesn't have the best interest of the hobby in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W9BU View Post
3. Would reducing license classes address this? How about an entry-level license that gets you on VHF-UHF at reduced power and an "everything else" license that allows you to do everything else.
Good question, I'd have to think on that one for a bit. I know some countries have done something similar, but I'm not sure how well it worked.
I do think with the elimination of CW requirements, it's time to open up more of the HF bands to newcomers. My feeling/opinion is that while upgrading licenses is pretty easy, having drastic differences between tech and general isn't helping the hobby, other than maybe creating a elitist attitude that doesn't really benefit anyone. The days of having to build your own equipment to get on the air because there were little or no commercially available options are way behind us. Suitable equipment is available easy and cheap. Maybe more focus needs to be on FCC rules and procedure, rather than in depth technical knowledge. Tech knowledge still has it's place, but my own opinion is that there's still this ideal that an to be a "real" amateur you have to be able to build your own radio from scratch. When my grandfather was a ham, that was certainly the case, but it just doesn't apply anymore. Technology has moved on.

It'd be an interesting exercise to see how a single license level would work. I know that would upset the guys that worked hard for their Extra licenses, but a hypothetical situation would be to have a single tier license, or at least a single tier band plan. Having everyone allowed the same level of access to the spectrum might spur interest and participation, maybe even equipment sales, too.
Again, I'm a general, so I've got more access to HF than I'll ever use, so this isn't a bitterness thing. I have no need or interest in gaining more access to HF. Maybe if/when I retire, my attitude will change, but I don't feel any urge to go after my extra just to gain a few more KHz on HF.

Maybe an entry level license with very basic skills multiple choice test that gave access to VHF and UHF would be something to consider. With wide access to low cost Chinese radios, making it easier for those to use them legally could have multiple benefits. Might spur some interest, might not. All hypothetical, of course.

Either way, there needs to be some fresh thinking about this. The ARRL's attempt to attract new users may have created a higher number of licenses, but I don't really see (at least locally) that it's increased the number of users on the bands.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-11-2017, 5:29 PM
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Ham radio used to be thought of as a technical hobby. Now it seems to be regarded as an advanced type of FRS/GMRS/MURS. People have even taken to capitalizing the word ham to make it fit in with the acronyms used by the other services. They have no idea of it's origin.

The no-code move was a good idea. (Although I didn't like it at first). It has saved ham radio to some extent. The Canadian entry license exam is quite a bit harder than the US Tech exam. Our club runs classes and we manage to get 20 odd people licensed each year here. A code requirement would no doubt have reduced that number considerably.

I think you can only dumb licensing down so far though. There is a world body governing radio (The ITU). They have a set of standards that member countries must follow in the licensing of amateurs.

Out of interest, the ITU's international definition of ham radio in section 1.56 of document RR-1 is:

"Amateur Service: A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest".

A bit of ham history from the ITU here: --> Amateur Service page (There is a link to the RR-1 document there).

Sadly today the technical aspect is waning. Many just memorize a few questions for the exam. Technical investigations are often limited to finding a better rubber duckie for a UV-5R.

Ah... I'm in a curmudgeonly mood this afternoon. I should be better tomorrow
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Old 08-12-2017, 4:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
This thread is not intended to anger any Hams so please read this as my opinion and hopefully i will get some good feedback. I am looking for encouragement not discouragement or disappointment.
I'm going to make a point by point reply to your post, hopefully I can convey some ideas on how to engage more in the hobby, and not get bored.

I've been a ham for over 40 years, and have had a wonderful time with it. I am just as enthusiastic about it as I was the day my first license arrived in the mail.

I'll start with this... You'll get out of ham radio what you put in, tenfold. But if all you want to do is buy a $30 Baofeng radio for 2 meters, you're guaranteed to not get much out of the hobby. Be prepared to make some investment of time and money. How much depends entirely upon you, and what you hope to get out of it.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
...First difficult thing for me is participating in conversation. Most guys in my club repeater area are retiree's and i am in my early 30"s. I bet i'm not the only one that fits this category.
You've touched on one of the biggest single things working against amateur radio right now. The answer is to get more younger people involved, but as with anything, it's easy to say, not so easy to do. But there's something real to focus on.

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The discussion's on the local repeaters are generally about personal events each guy is having and or radio equipment they are using. I tried leaving my radio on to monitor to pick up lingo and callsigns but the conversations became pure white noise.I eventually stopped monitoring.
2 meter repeaters tend to be the lowest common denominator in ham radio. And it's far from representative as to what the hobby can offer. Try other modes. Try other bands. Your geographic area may have some built in limits, however, that causes there to be an inordinate number of people that you would rather not associate with, for whatever reason. Being 30 and being surrounded by retirees is a valid reason to feel frustrated.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I know the purpose of Ham is to be an open forum at all times and closed private discussions are not allowed.
I'm not sure where that is coming from, but it's simply not true. There is no regulatory requirement that discussions be "open" to all. Even going back to the early years, there are Morse code pro-signs used to signify that the conversation is being turned over to a specific station, and no one else is to reply. If you wish to have a conversation with a single station, and don't want someone else to participate, it's legal. If you want to build and operate a repeater and close it to all except your closest friends, it is legal, and even specifically allowed within Part 97 rules. There is nothing within Part 97 that dictates it be "an open forum".

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I just wish there was more group specific conversations , example Sports like ESPN where you can chime in and or listen to a group discuss current sporting events like MLB or NFL ect via a 2way radio.
There probably are, although most of that may be in the form of HF nets. Finding a specific local group such as that would be difficult unless you live in a major metropolitan area. That's not to say you can't try forming one.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
My career is a Firefighter and i wish there was a "Happening now" group which discuss current major events going on in the USA example major fires, major police activity or something that effects a large group of people.
A local repeater put up for local scanner enthusiasts might be a good idea.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I would differently monitor that all the time. I understand everyone is using different equipment but it would be nice to have a group discussion about Motorola or Md380 or whatever which is discussed on this group.
There are DMR and P25 systems popping up all over the place. A digital repeater is a good place to have those sorts of discussions. It may be a bit pointless to to have a DMR discussion group on an analog repeater, unless it's an embryonic idea who's intent is to build a DMR repeater.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I would love to see ham or Digital Ham ( DMR , fusion ect ) have a severe weather group so weather spotters could discuss what they are seeing as they are spotting.
There are lots of weather spotter nets in areas where that service is actually needed.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
That would be an interesting group to monitor for Adrenalin junkies. If you are still reading my post im sure you understand my point.
I do understand your point. There is an old saying that says "Everything under the sun has been done". This is true of ham radio as well as anything else. But you have to go looking for it. A weather spotter net isn't going to deliver itself to your doorstep on a silver platter. YOU have to go find them.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I am just a young ham trying to figure out what the next exciting new way to keep Hams talking could be. I really like talking on a radio but i try to have a purpose driven conversation as much as possible.
Purpose driven, how? The only required purpose is the desire to radiate a signal, and have someone else hear it. You can build upon it from there. Make your own purpose, and it doesn't have to be profound or particularly meaningful.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I do respect the origin of Ham and many of the experienced Hams who still do Morse Code, Packet radio, participate in contests and field days. I just want to create something new that may attract younger Hams and keep them involved.
I get it, I really do. I'm involved with several groups of hams where creativity and innovation is the goal. Some of this requires advancing technical skills, but that gets back to one of the basic tenets of amateur radio that allows it to exist, in the eyes of the various government licensing entities around the world.

One of the things happening is efforts to associate amateur radio more with the so-called "maker movement". It's people who build things. The makers tend to be younger, creative, artistic, and technology oriented. Ham radio is a perfect marriage with the makers.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
I read articles in ARRL magazine and QRZ.com about the Whats new on the horizon or what can be done to attract a younger crowd. Remember this younger crowd is social media based facebook, instagram, twitter all information passing apps.
So, figure out how to use amateur radio in conjunction with these activities, not instead-of.

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Originally Posted by fireboat61 View Post
As for me ,If i didn't love actually playing with and programming radio codeplugs i most likely would have already loss excitement in becoming a Ham. I will say it again this is not a dig on my local club. They are more then helpful. Its more then that , its what is next to keep me and possibly many other young Hams on the radio. Be safe you' all
I'm going to lay down some associations between various activities and ham radio, just random suggestions. Not as specific suggestions, but just to illustrate how you can incorporate ham radio into other activities...

Sports - Start an HF sports net.
Off roading - Install a ham radio on your quad and take it with you.
Hiking - Pack a radio. Look up SOTA... Summits on the Air.
Emergency comms - RACES, CERT, ARES, etc.
Flying - go aeronautical mobile and see how far you can talk on simplex
Woodworking - build wood operating consoles and accessories

Try a new mode. Digital modes are making some interesting things possible. Moonbounce on 6 meters with 100 watts and a 3 element beam? Try meteor scatter. Get into VHF/UHF weak signal operation. Try HF rag chewing, or maybe HF traffic nets. Work on your technical skills by building simple station accessories, and work your way up to more complex projects. Restore vintage radios and other gear. Collect "boat anchors". Collect old microphones. Become a "time-nut" (Google it). Collect test gear and learn how to operate it. Try mobile HF. Try mobile HF CW operating!. Oh, first learn Morse code. Go urban exploring with friends and use ham radios to keep in touch. Build a repeater. Install an HF radio on a mountain bike and take it to the mountains. Find a partner and play Chess over the radio. SETI... search for aliens! Build a mesh network out of modified wireless routers.

Ok, there's a partial list just off the top of my head. I could go on all day. Remember something... the topics you can discuss on the air are almost limitless. There's really one big no-no, and that is using the ham radio spectrum to directly make money. You could build the wireless mesh network, for example, and use it to play video games. You can't use it to provide internet access to paying customers. Not under Part 97, anyway.

There is really no excuse to get bored in ham radio. There are certainly challanges, and one of them is engaging more young people, but that's for young people to solve, not old farts like me. But I will happily help younger hams get started.

I hope that helps some.
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Old 08-12-2017, 5:45 PM
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Lurking..... Been licensed for over 10 years. I own a cell phone, I make 2-3 calls per month, I'm not a social person, never texted, or tweeted, never seen an app. for that matter, Facebook? A few times I have jumped on the local net, check in, check out. I have another hobby, Metal detecting, I spend my extra money (Little) on that hobby. Why did I get involved in Amateur radio? I'm not a "Prepper", yet I believe in being prepared. I have owned Radio scanners for decades, been on scanning forums, spent to much to keep up with the modern radio formats. I just own a duel band analog/digital HT. I have thought to maybe get a mobile and a 12 volt battery, a charger. I can't see me getting more involved than that.
Does this make me a bad Ham? I respect the hobby, follow the rules, plan on lurking for the rest of my life. I do hope Amateur radio survives..
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Old 08-12-2017, 7:49 PM
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Does this make me a bad Ham?
Certainly not.

But consider that amateur radio must live under several layers of regulation, FCC and local ordnance (antenna structures), and there are constant pressures on the frequency spectrum.

I'm of the opinion that the more actual operating that's done, loading up our spectrum, the easier it is to justify our existence. The more hams push on city councils and county planning departments to allow reasonable antenna installations, the easier it will be for the next guy.

So, just getting on and generating a signal is helping, overall. The transmitter that's sitting in a box in the garage is not contributing to anything.

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Originally Posted by brucewarming View Post
I respect the hobby, follow the rules, plan on lurking for the rest of my life. I do hope Amateur radio survives..
It needs all the actual help and activity it can get. Just food for thought...
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Old 08-15-2017, 3:32 AM
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Been a Ham since 1995 Been an avid CBer and Scanner guy since I was 16 [NOW 57] I monitor SKYWARN here in Dallas TX . When things are quiet my dual band HT is set of Dallas Fire and Dallas PD 2 [my sector] It can be 95% boring and 5% exciting when bad weather is around us. I carry my Duelband eveywhere with me. [ and I me EVERYWHERE] never know when you might need good comms. I am not much into ragchewing to me it has become boring. My advise is monitor these Old guys and learn from them first THEN get on some time throw your Call out and you MIGHT make some decent friends on the air. I did when I was a newbie. Still had in my mobile a CB untill I left Maine in 2001. Had a few friends on CB as well. HAM is just ONE of many communications systems BUT it can be interesting for whatever you decide it to be.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:24 AM
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My experience matches what most everyone here has posted so far.

I was born with a radio in my hand. I started with a Zenith Trans-Oceanic 1000D transistor radio listening to my favorite AM station (770 KHz - WABC) in the 70's. Late one night I was bored with WABC and started tuning around the dial and discovered DXing. Then I got into scanners in high school, which led to my career as an emergency services dispatcher. I was first licensed in 2006, when I was 42, and upgraded to General a year later. I was very active in a local club with repeaters on 2m, 70cm, and 220. I was a net control operator on our club's 2m repeater for the ARRL NTS message system. I also passed many messages via the NTS system. In addition to running the NTS net I also got involved in Skywarn, becoming a net control operator as well as Skywarn reporter. Our club also had several topic-specific nets, though I usually didn't participate in them. General ragchewing was usually enjoyable since our club, and non-members on the repeater, were of all age ranges. There were times where I tired of the 'what doctor(s) I'm seeing this week' conversations or 'what brand of amateur equipment is better' but for the most part it was always enjoyable to be on VHF.

When I upgraded to General I dove into HF big time. I worked phone and PSK and filled my logbook fairly quickly. I was never bored on HF. Unfortunately once I got on HF I kind of pushed VHF to the side. I didn't ignore it completely but it didn't get the same attention it had before I became a General.

As for contesting I did several contests on both VHF and HF but contesting really doesn't appeal to me. I don't feel a need to hang certificates on my wall saying I did this or did that. My logbook tells my story of amateur radio and that is good enough for me.

I'm currently off the air due to a change of residence (and vehicle) and I still have to figure out how to set up my home and mobile stations. But I'll be back on the air, that is for sure.

Ham radio is what you make of it....there are so many avenues to explore.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-15-2017, 5:02 PM
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There's more than one list like this on the Internet, so I'll just toss out one link. Something to think about:

https://www.nfarl.org/HamInfo/100Things.html
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