• Effective immediately we will be deleting, without notice, any negative threads or posts that deal with the use of encryption and streaming of scanner audio.

    We've noticed a huge increase in rants and negative posts that revolve around agencies going to encryption due to the broadcasting of scanner audio on the internet. It's now worn out and continues to be the same recycled rants. These rants hijack the threads and derail the conversation. They no longer have a place anywhere on this forum other than in the designated threads in the Rants forum in the Tavern.

    If you violate these guidelines your post will be deleted without notice and an infraction will be issued. We are not against discussion of this issue. You just need to do it in the right place. For example:
    https://forums.radioreference.com/rants/224104-official-thread-live-audio-feeds-scanners-wait-encryption.html

Is Ham Radio Doomed?

zz0468

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Messages
5,957
Location
175 DME, HEC 358° Radial
When the Baby Boomers pass on you will see the decline.
No kid will sit in front of a radio when they have an iPhone or a Xbox they can play with;without Communication.
Sad but fact
I'm not ready to accept that as fact. There's a large subculture out there... they call themselves "makers" that are ideal candidates for ham licenses. Don't try to get them to a CERT meeting, or on HF SSB. They're doing digital stuff. An ability to incorporate RF at levels beyond what Part 15 allows is a tremendous asset to these people, they just don't know it yet. There are some efforts to get them involved, but it's been far and few between.

They are the future of ham radio.
 

georgesharpe

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Messages
124
Location
Regina, SK, CANADA
Yeah, it was fun alright. Sure curious how malls and libraries have such strong signal blocking capabilities. I wonder if when you are in Saskatoon you might check and see if getting outside reception at the University Hospital Cafeteria is still an issue. I noticed the last time I was there, my scanner would not even pick up 2 bars on the city system, and my cell phone got only 2 bars as well.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,081
George, nice to meet you today, I had the same treatment when I mentioned CB at a 'ham' meeting. LOL.

73s DE VE5JL.
God forbid you have a 102 inch CB whip on your bumper when you arrive at the Ham meeting.

There are old timers that think 11 meters was robbed from them.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,081
I'm one of the few old-timers that thinks everything above 10GHz was robbed from us. =)
There was actually once a slice of the millimeter band that was available for GMRS under part 95 at one time. It's gone now as well.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
458
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
I bet that not one ham in twenty knows anything about their world above 440 MHz.
Plenty of blank stares, I am sure will be there if the average amateur is asked, for instance;

"What frequency bands are the 9cm ? 1.2cm ? 2mm?" *

With the apathy of the vast majority to these bands is it any wonder they are easy pickings by other interests ?
Like taking candy from a baby

Lauri :sneaky:

_________________________________________




* 3.4-3.475, 24.0-24.25 and 134-142 GHz
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,081
Interesting. I wasn't aware of that. Any idea what the intended purpose was?
It would have to be an old old old old timer to answer that question. I doubt it was ever put to practical use. I think the spectrum was subsequently reallocated for vehicular collision avoidance radar which has been a subject of research for many decades.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,081
I bet that not one ham in twenty knows anything about their world above 440 MHz.
Plenty of blank stares, I am sure will be there if the average amateur is asked, for instance;

"What frequency bands are the 9cm ? 1.2cm ? 2mm?" *

With the apathy of the vast majority to these bands is it any wonder they are easy pickings by other interests ?
Like taking candy from a baby

Lauri :sneaky:

_________________________________________




* 3.4-3.475, 24.0-24.25 and 134-142 GHz
Does this count?
I fired up 10.525 GHz this past few days.

I have a problem with a racoon doing nasty things in my swimming pool and while I await a humane trap from Amazon, my industrial grade stereo doppler intrusion alarm is providing 24/7 surveillance over the pool and cat door. It caught him once already and I was within a few inches of whacking him with a broom but he escaped. I intend to relocate him to a new grid square.
 
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Messages
12
...repeaters are doomed.
...traffic nets are doomed.
...SSB DXing and contesting and ragchewing is doomed.
...ARES/RACES/SATERN/Skywarn are doomed.

The prepper aspect of amateur radio will flourish.
LOL - All true!

These things are happening thanks to the Internet.

For the Boomer generation who grew up pre-internet, the ability to talk to someone on the other side of the planet was magical and exciting. GenX and below grew up with that ability on AOL chatrooms, forums, Apple Facetime, etc. It's not special.

It's like with pornography. As a kid in the 70's I found a Hustler magazine hidden in the woods. This was an exciting, dangerous event that caused quite a stir among my peer group.

Kids today have unlimited, free, high-definition, HARD CORE pornography 24/7, porn that would have make Hugh Hefner faint in 1978. Consequently, kids today laugh at porn as goofy and lame.

The prepper aspect of amateur radio will flourish.
This is where I'm seeing the most growth.

Young guys today don't trust the government like previous generations did.
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
7,888
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
I was at a local Ham meeting a number years ago. I was just taking in requirements to get my ham "ticket", but as soon as they saw the scanner on my belt, I became aware of suddenly being as welcome as a rat in a high end restaurant! ...
The exact opposite happend to me. They thought the scanner was cool. This was about 1980 in Texas before I got licensed.
 

n4fo

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
17
Location
Orlando, FL
Being an "old timer" myself now (56) I read with amusement through this thread. I celebrated getting my first license 40 years ago this spring at the young age of 16.

I guess I was fortunate that I had a kind and helpful Elmer to guide me along the new ham operator path; again that was 40 years a go when I think the world was a kinder, gentler place in general.

I have to agree with some of the others that when you go to a hamfest these days you see a lot of the "freaks come out at night" there. I don't seem to attract them or cause offense to them like some have said. On the flip side I had some great conversations with several new hams that I met and attended some very informative forums and got a selfie with Gordon West!

The first ham radio club I belonged to I was definitely the youngest member, but a lot of the guys that were my age now and older really made me feel welcome. There were a couple of crusty old farts that pretty cantankerous, but I just avoided them.

I have had the privilege the last 40 years to have learned a lot about the radio world, not just ham radio, but it has been wonderful. I think ham radio will survive, but will need to change with the times like others have mentioned.

To the person who just got their license, I say you are very welcome to a most wonderful hobby that has brought me many wonderful experiences that I wouldn't trade for anything. From owning a 440 repeater to teaching new license classes and giving exams and passing the 20 WPM code test, it's been great.

Lauri-Coyote:

I always enjoy reading your posts; an Air Force base in the mid west might it be WPAFB??? I bet you were getting the old fart stare down until they found out daddy was "the colonel"......

Your post about working simplex while driving out west inspired me to do the same while driving from the south to the north last fall. Had several QSOs which I thoroughly enjoyed on 2m simplex and 440 simplex. Right before I had my first QSO my daughter asked why we needed the dual bander and after I finished the QSO with a smile on my face my wife looked at her and said that's why.....

radiowave79
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
458
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
".................Your post about working simplex while driving out west inspired me to do the same while driving from the south.......... "
n4fo ( radiowave79 )


That's great !... it was so-why we shared it.
There was nothing special in what we did, the only thing that made it different was writng it out and posting it here.

Maybe ham radio isn't so doomed after all, No ?....lol :)


Lauri :sneaky:

 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
458
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
I looked over my comment about some the 'weird bands'- the 9, the 1.2cm etc. and smiled.

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...."

(This was a little) before my time; but wasn't there a "220- Use it or Looze Zit" movement ? How well did that turn out ?.... save anything ?

Rhetorical question

_______________________________________________________________

I ask the question because I wonder how many of the "Use Zits" actually "Used it ?" My guess is it was all hype. Especially in the context of how great 220--- or rather 222 - is today..... lot'a activity there now, No ?
And all because of the flood of permanent operators that moved in there, driven by this campaign.

Does this fit with the imminent demise of the hobby we are talking about here ?

"220, Use it or Loose it" was elevated as a feckless programme by people who never set foot on the band.
It reminds me of other great propositions by the suit wearing 'visionary's' - in this case, visionary's of the 1930 Roosevelt administration. They came up with a plan to colonise Howland, Jarvis and Baker islands (KB6...now KH1's) in the equatorial (hot) Pacific.

Some 130 Pilgrims set up life on 220-- I meant 'sandpiles,' --And they establish their presence as a US territory. Then came Pearl Habour - the Japanese shelled 220 and the remaining "settlers" were evacuated. No one has tied that colonisation stunt since. **

My Point ?.... how can any handful of hams save Anything, the likes of 1.2cm's et al. -- even if you can find any hams that have a clue what 1.2cm is ? Its good many of those SHF bands are shared with benevolent primary users like the military-- users that see ham radio in a neutral, if not often, in a positive light.
As for HF; Ham-on Guys- that's not going anywhere. The operator corps my putrefy, but those HF bands will endure long after the last curmudgeon has passed over the ridge.

Lauri :sneaky:

___________________________________________________________________

**
For those with a flair for the history - and of these Pacific islands- you might find this video interesting

Under A Jarvis Moon

If you watch it, think of Amelia Earhart and her hoped for radio beacon

(I have been out on them, and I even briefly operated as a "/KH1"..... Club Med these sandpiles aren't, even from on board a DoD research ship.... with air conditioning and cold showers)
.
.
 
Last edited:

bharvey2

Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,111
Does this count?
I fired up 10.525 GHz this past few days.

I have a problem with a racoon doing nasty things in my swimming pool and while I await a humane trap from Amazon, my industrial grade stereo doppler intrusion alarm is providing 24/7 surveillance over the pool and cat door. It caught him once already and I was within a few inches of whacking him with a broom but he escaped. I intend to relocate him to a new grid square.

in the late 80's, the company I worked for installed some high speed warehouse doors. (think of a Star Trek style automatic door.) They were fairly exotic for the time. A 12ft x 12ft door could open in about seconds (literally) and used various methods for occupant or vehicle detection and door operation. As I recall, the motion sensors that we used were somewhere in the neighborhood of 10Ghz.
 

Lauri-Coyote

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
458
Location
Colorado, New Mexico- and now in Washington DC
"......Does this count?
I fired up 10.525 GHz this past few days....."

RFI-EMI-GUY



Ah, that brought back a memory !


As a graduate student I had access to some pretty neat laboratory toys- one was this Gunn diode transmitter module, similar to what's called a "Gunnplexer." This little module with its attached horn antenna put out quite a beefy signal on 10GHz. As a teaching assistant I used it to demonstrate microwave thingys all the time in the undergrad labs.

Enter into this picture another grad student.... we'll call the Fellow Conspirator.

Who suggested it is lost to history, but one subsequent evening found the two of us on a hill beside an overpass on Interstate _______ in the Bay Area (California) - the 'Plexer' and a bottle of wine.

The 'Plexer' with its associated peripherals- batteries, modulator etc.- were all arranged neatly on and about a short tripod.... The 'Plexer' pointing south down the Interstate toward the on coming traffic
.
I trust by now everyone has figured out what we were up to :p.

"With 17dbm's into that horn we should be heard clear down in Tiajuana !"
"Hey Girlfriend, this is science !"

Within moments of the Plexer 'going live' the tail lights began to light up and the crazy California Interstate speeds dropped like hot potatoes.
A jaw dropping "WOW" was all we could muster.

This went on for quite a few minutes, when down below in the approaching lanes came the Highway Patrol. He slowed down, traveled beyond the overpass, crossed the median- lights flashing and came up on our side of the highway.

"OH Geez it !" said my friend who quickly ditched the wine bottle into a culvert.

The Trooper pulled over beside the Interstate, his lights flashing, got out of his car and began the short climb up towards us.

"Brass it out, Honey" I whispered to my friend.

___________________________________________________

"Hello ladies" said the trooper... "Can I ask you what you are doing ?"

"Hi officier !" said Cheerful Co-conspirator ...."We're with UC Berkeley doing a radio range calibration with a measuring site over there" vaguely pointing down the Interstate.

Then in a moment of inspiration I handed him my copy of our Department's Part 5 license- which cover'd every imaginable radio frequency.
"This is our Federal License, Officier" -------- (hint to the wise, never leave home without it !)

The Trooper looked at it with as much comprehension as if I'd handed him something written in Cuneiform, but it did say boldly across the top "Federal Communications Commission," and it had a niffty seal and some signatures.

"Ok" he said, and handed it back to me..."for the last two miles my speed gun was registering everyone going 200 mph..... Guess that was you, wasn't it." (another Wow secretly from me; a two mile DX !-- that was as good as Tiajuana :))

"It probably was us Officier" said my friend picking up her clipboard "But I think we are all done here."

"Uh huh" he said with a wry smile and walking back to his car .... "You two be safe"

__________________________________________________________________

.... Yes, you guess'd it- its called "Trolling for Tail Lights"... and I haven't done it since



Lauri :sneaky:






(While not purely ham radio, it was certainly within the Amateur Radio spirit.... nothing 'Doom'd" there- )
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

Well Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,451
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Nice.

I had to sit through several public meetings when we were installing one of the first distributed cellular antenna systems way back a long time ago. Of course we had our share of loonies that showed up convinced it was all a government plot to control their minds. They were not wearing their tinfoil hats that day, but they might have had on tinfoil undergarments.
My coworker and I are sitting the back while our manager is doing the presentation. We're at the public Q&A section of the meeting. Sitting directly in front of us was Miss Moonbeam who was there to keep us all in line with her cheap plastic signal meter that would tell her when the mind control/voodoo/cancer rays were being aimed at her.
While she was talking, I reached over to my co-worker belt and keyed up his 800MHz radio (not mine, of course, his). Her cheap meter starts beeping really loud and she starts screaming and yelling. I did it a few more times and then just let it go.
I guess the smile on my face was too big. After the meeting my manager came up to us and asked us what we did. I explained that I was simply checking the proper functioning of her meter.
That got a good laugh, we got our DAS system and Miss Moonbeam was never seen again, I suspect she was abducted by aliens.
 
Top