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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 6:32 PM
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If you listen on a scanner to the 2 meter, 220, and 440 ham repeaters, they are silent 90% of the time.
With the exception of a few CBer types, no activity.
I took all the ham repeaters out of the scanner because all i hear is those goofy sounding computer voice ID controllers telling the time every minute so i guess hams don't have watches
I havn't heard any intelligent conversations on there for many years.
When the FCC stopped testing, the quality of hams went down hill fast.

Last edited by MOTEX; 12-09-2017 at 6:43 PM..
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 6:32 PM
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Whenever I read an online statement that's along the lines of "the only thing I hear on the radio is old guys talking about their health problems", I just shake my head...for two reasons:

1. I rarely hear this. I listen to 2m and 70cm analog repeaters just about every day and I simply don't hear those kinds of conversations around here. Is "here" anything special? I don't think so. And, when I listen to HF, I'm usually checking into a traffic net on 75m, chasing DX on the higher bands, or working a RTTY contest. If I tune around and hear what sounds like a bunch of guys who are just jaw-jacking, I listen for a minute to see if the conversation might be interesting. If not, I move on. There's a big VFO knob on most radios and I try to make sure that mine stays well exercised.

2. If a handful of guys who've known each other for years want to talk about their health problems, did you ever consider that maybe the conversation wasn't intended for you? Once you've stepped into their discussion "room", is it proper etiquette for you to question the nature of their conversation? Granted, these guys could probably have that conversation via the telephone, but they are ham radio operators so why not light up the airwaves a little bit.

The influx of cheap DMR radios was mentioned earlier in the thread and I do think this is a problem. It seems that lots of folks are buying these radios with no understanding of how they work, no idea of how to program them so they are reliant on someone else's "code plug", and no concept of the network they are tying up. Based on what i've heard from others, it kinda makes me glad I've stayed off of DMR.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 6:55 PM
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Oh, I love this topic !
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Dying Ham radio.... its always been 'Dying.'
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If anyone finds that the hobby is boring, and therefore on its way out-- then perhaps they should look in a mirror and see who the Boor really is.... and get off those D..... get off those Bloody repeaters, and do something else, for crying out loud.
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Try homebrewing a QRP direct conversion DSB transceiver- easy peasy....make it work?-- you will never look at the hobby the same... maybe an antenna experiment ?-- moon bounce ? 160, 2200 metre's ? SOTA ??,,,,, Good Gracious, the choices are infinite, people.
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I have two ham band RADARS (X and C band) back home in Colorado..... for no other reason than they are fun--- and my nieces love to watch the weather fronts approaching, and track the airliners that cruise high above the ranch.
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That ham 'ticket' is a ticket to whatever your little radio heart desires. If you think the hobby is dying, remember that mirror; maybe something else is dying instead............. and after all the possible doors have been open'd and tried, its still not to your liking, "Sayonara Honey,"--- maybe stamp collecting, or day time TV, is more your style.... just watch it- don't let the door hit you on your way out............ (said with all charity )
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...........................CF

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-09-2017 at 7:16 PM..
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 12-09-2017, 7:50 PM
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I tend to use my Baofend UV5R monitoring my City's FD and sector PD tonight am monitoring Dallas Ham Repeater [146.880] IF bad weather is around I monitor the SKYWARN repeaters [and on occasion storm chasers in the area] As I have no automobile my mobiles are not in use at this time and in an apartment complex where outside antennas are not allowed HT is MY link. I occasionally chit chat with loacals but mostly listen. Here in Dallas Hams are used a lot but with many times they are dead [folks working and such]. I was at my church a month or so ago and one of the older ladies was talking about listening to classical music I pulled it out of my EDC bag and turned it on to the radio setting [classical station already set up] and she was enjoying some nice music. Many folks were impressed that a HAM HT could do what that one could do.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 1:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reedeb View Post
I tend to use my Baofend UV5R monitoring my City's FD and sector PD tonight am monitoring Dallas Ham Repeater [146.880] IF bad weather is around I monitor the SKYWARN repeaters [and on occasion storm chasers in the area] As I have no automobile my mobiles are not in use at this time and in an apartment complex where outside antennas are not allowed HT is MY link. I occasionally chit chat with loacals but mostly listen. Here in Dallas Hams are used a lot but with many times they are dead [folks working and such]. I was at my church a month or so ago and one of the older ladies was talking about listening to classical music I pulled it out of my EDC bag and turned it on to the radio setting [classical station already set up] and she was enjoying some nice music. Many folks were impressed that a HAM HT could do what that one could do.
Ham radio could be dying, but there are times a ham radio would be a good option over a phone with voice walkie service like the zello app. While the zello app really helped greatly during the Houston disaster from Hurricane Irma, if power lines and or cell service would have been down, the voip type app would have been useless. It's always a great option to have a non phone line dependant option in the event of an emergency or for rural comms.


While ham radio may be used less than it used to, it's still very beneficial.

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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 4:05 AM
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Cool Ham radio is a dying hobby

If you listen to HF you here some guys (sounds like ch 19 CB) using language that would make a sailor blush, and who wants their other half much less kids hear such crap. This is the very reason as well as somebody cursing you out because your only using a lower power setting than they are, even though they never figured that out until you mentioned it or you aren't using a particular brand of transceiver.

Then you have the operator that thinks if you aren't transmitting at least 50 watts into the repeater you aren't full quieting even tho you are only a mile from the machine.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMONITOR View Post
Rules and restrictions are well...too restrictive, making practical and fun use almost impossible.
what do you mean by this? Are you referring to attenna restrictions? Otherwise, the fcc is pretty permissible
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n9mxq View Post
Apparently it's time to beat the dead horse again...

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It finally got us off the Turbo Encabulator thread...
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 2:14 PM
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Originally Posted by iMONITOR View Post
...."Rules and restrictions are well...too restrictive, making practical and fun use almost impossible."
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Not permissible stuff ?? iMonty, please give an example ? I am confused here............
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True, they discourage the playing of analogue music (but nothing stops digital music, as far as I know)... Power restrictions?... yeah, I think that is a bugger- hams should legally be allowed at least 10Kw (legally, since some already do.) Maybe wideband analogue TV on 2 metre's... now that would be a really "practical fun."
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Seriously, what can't you do ?? Look at all the emissions a ham can run ...etc......Even the power restrictions are hardly restrictive- want to guess what I legally radiate on my pulsed C-Band radar ?
Do you have any idea what freedoms that ham ticket gives you to experiment ? ---- my guess is you've never held a Part 5 license and jump'd thru those hoops..... Industry is green with envy.
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.But this topic did suck the air out of the Tubo Incapsulator thread ... may it now rest peacefully....
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....................................CF

Last edited by Coyote-Frostbyte; 12-10-2017 at 2:22 PM..
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 6:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMONITOR View Post
Rules and restrictions are well...too restrictive, making practical and fun use almost impossible.
Could you elaborate on this, please? I've been a ham over 40 years now, and have tried a bit of everything it has to offer. I've yet to come across anything I've wanted to do where the rules and regulations got in the way.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2017, 9:06 PM
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I recently added a DStar DVAP to my shack and have found connecting to reflectors can often provide interesting conversations to listen to as well as people to talk to during those times when the local repeater is dead and the bands on HF are difficult.

I make sure to mention my radio stuff during the daily 2m net so that other folks will know I'm doing something, and might ask questions or join me.

I attend a weekly QRP in the park session and talk to others that for the most point don't go to club meetings, or talk on the local repeaters.

This hobby is what you make of it. I think that sometimes means spending a little more money, or using some of your time to seek out a new aspect or way of operating.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2017, 11:01 AM
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Default Amateur Radio is Still Alive

Being new to AR, I listen a lot more than I talk, but have noticed that the digital modes have pulled a lot of folks away from the radio side of AR. Yes, they use radio, but many are linked through the Internet.

To me, AR is just that; Radio. If I want to skype I'll use the Internet. Don't get me wrong, there are digital modes that do appeal to me such as P25.

With the requirement to learn Morse code dropped from the FCC exams, I think more people are getting their licenses and joining AR.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:22 AM
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This horse has been pretty well flogged, but I gotta add my two cents anyway.

I've been a ham for only 25 years. When I was first studying for my license, I remember reading all the gloom and doom that no-code technicians would be the ruination of amateur radio.

Didn't happen.

Amateur radio is what each operator puts into the hobby. There are plenty of opportunities with both existing and emerging technologies to keep the hobby going.

I think digital is a fascinating new direction but I'm personally holding off until I see some stability in the marketplace. Personally, I think DMR will be the way I'll head but I'm in no hurry. I still enjoy analog FM on UHF and VHF and old fashioned SSB on HF. And there's always another antenna project waiting in the wings.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2017, 12:39 PM
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Regarding DMR as mentioned a couple of times in this thread: After reading, you'd think it was a crowded, jumbled mass of undisciplined communications. Which is what that Saturday morning WorldWide net may have sounded like to someone who has never heard it before. But in the last six months or so that I've been on DMR I would sum it up as "100's of talkgroups available and only about two of them in use at any moment". There is lots of room for expansion in the form of more users... but at the moment it seems everyone is clustered on one or two talkgroups. Reminds me of when 2M FM began gaining popularity in the late 60's: Everyone was on the 146.940 repeater, or .52 simplex.
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Old 12-11-2017, 12:47 PM
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'ladn', You are correct; it's what each amateur operator puts into the hobby.
I am the same about the DMR mode. Will hold off till I feel comfortable with investing in it.
Also, I remember sometime back in the late '60s when it was discussed about the demise of amateur radio because of the 11 meters being given up for the CB band. Oh well, here we are, almost 40 years later and still up and running....lol
It seems with every new advent, some one will spout the "end is near".
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2017, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ur20v View Post
And after stumbling across the "world-wide DMR net" a few minutes ago, I now know why. Yeesh.
Does this look like ham radio is dying?

http://www.arrl.org/files/media/News...ats%202014.jpg
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Old 12-11-2017, 3:13 PM
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I think analog comms are seeing a bit of a resurgence, while all things VOIP are experiencing a bit of a backlash - too much that can go wrong to spoil the experience, probably. As a kid I was involved in playground games during recess that were better organized, had more participants, and were more fun as well as far more interesting than that 'net' I heard earlier. IMHO, of course.
I am very active on Allstar which uses VOIP. It's very reliable and growing. I have my own node. I'm also very active on HF. No visible indications that it's "dying." Not by a long shot.
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Old 12-11-2017, 3:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ur20v View Post
I'm not claiming the hobby is dying or dead or in hospice, but perhaps to the casual outsider listener it may seem like it. When you hear a grouchy old guy pop up on 2 or 3 repeaters give an unintelligible call sign and start barking about clearing the frequency for an important net, and then hearing the clownshow that follows, you can't help and laugh but then quickly feel bad for laughing. If I sponsored a repeater and someone tried tying it up for an hour every Saturday for that mess, I'd put an end to it so quick my own head would spin.
You have the right (if you're licensed) to put up your own repeater, or node, and set your own rules.
No need to whine about other peoples' gigs. Ham radio is what you make it.

Last edited by bill4long; 12-11-2017 at 3:27 PM..
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 12-11-2017, 7:08 PM
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No ham here, just a monitor over the past 20 years or more.

I can't say whether the hobby is dying, but I do know that the HF bands are nowhere near as loaded as they were in 1990, or even 2000 for that matter. Some of the difference may be propagation, obviously.

But even the local 2 meter frequencies don't have the traffic they did back then.

Just an observation.... and if my observations are correct, it doesn't mean the hobby is dying, it just means it has changed.
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Old 12-12-2017, 6:48 AM
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It's become obvious that reading comprehension eludes some people (*cough cough*, bill4long). I don't think amateur radio is a dying hobby, but if an outsider came across the net I was referring to, they might come away with that impression or have their preconceived notions reinforced. That's all I was conveying.
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