[AMRadio] Boatanchor Transmitter FS in Salem, OR

Jim Wilhite w5jo at brightok.net
Mon Jul 23 09:35:12 EDT 2007

Over the past several years I have noticed that most 
converts to Amateur Radio are older rather than younger. 
However, at hamfests I see a smattering of young people.

At the Oklahoma City Hamfest this weekend I saw about 5 
teenagers and 4 or 5 young married couples.  I asked two of 
the couples how long they had a license, and two of them 
didn't.  They were planning to get one and they were just 
window shopping.  The larger growth of licenses is coming 
from people near or after retirement.  It is a great hobby 
for those who have retired and don't want to spend 40% of 
their income on gasoline.  What other hobby allows a person 
to talk to a friend on a regular basis, or exchange views 
with others located elsewhere for free with no ongoing 
monthly fee?

Granted they may never convert to AM, but one never knows. 
They probably won't pay premium price for a piece of gear 
because they won't have the nostalgia factor attached to a 
75A4, but they will pick up AM if they like either it or the 
people involved.  At the VE session 9 people tested and half 
of them were under 40 including two young females, the 
balance was over 60.  I would say they will stay with ham 
radio if they find a niche to pursue.

Keep in mind that only about 20% of the current licensees 
operate regularly.  If all did, you wouldn't find a clear 
spot on any band.  It is a great hobby and the only endeavor 
that I like the people with whom I don't agree and would 
help if necessary.  Recently I have sent spare parts to a 
couple of guys who are under 50 that are restoring old 
radios.  Maybe Amateur Radio will survive despite the 
efforts we old folks expend to bring about its demise.


>I am 49.
> One friend I have is younger, but he has done nothing
> with ham radio for 20 years, although he still has
> quite a bit of stuff.
> Another close friend is older than I am, by
> a bit, he has done nothing at all for 15 years.
> Most of the guys I see at fests and in pictures on the web
> are quite old, not many 20 year olds in the picture.
> I think most ham guys are older, and most AM guys even 
> older
> then the general ham population.
> Brett
>> Tom Elmore wrote:
>> > Brett brings up a good point about age. I'm 43 and 
>> > always
>> thought I was at
>> > the tail end of the age group that was interested in 
>> > boat anchors.
>> >
>> AT least I know now, I'm not so alone in my age group ;-) 
>> Besides, I
>> think Brett/N2DTS in around our age group.  Slightly but 
>> not
>> only a few
>> notches either way of 50 years old.  Brian/WA5AM is 
>> around the same
>> age...  most of the other AM'ers I know are retired and 
>> beyond.

More information about the AMRadio mailing list

This page last updated 22 Jan 2018.