[AMRadio] WABOOF - Good News on HAM RADIO


Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Sat Jan 10 14:02:00 EST 2009


On Fri, Jan 9, 2009 at 10:06 PM, Brett Gazdzinski
<Brett.Gazdzinski at verizon.net> wrote:
> I remember what sparked my interest, an old radio shack dx100 I think it
> was, a little, crappy receiver that LOOKED nice, it was really a transistor
> radio with some short wave bands and a BFO.
> But I heard some interesting AM qso's on it, got my general so I could join
> in.

I had one of those receivers for a while, it did look better than it
worked, by far. The later 300 was even worse, though it had LEDs and
gobs-o-knobs.

> Way back, CB was nice, no foul mouth or CB lingo, just people talking, and I
> was into that before the ham stuff.

There was a time when we used Citizen's Band for SAR work when I was
in the Explorer Scouts. Local Taxi cabs used it as well. Then came the
'boom'.

> Realistically, I don't think ham radio has much future, not when you can
> call someone on a cell phone, text them, surf the web, do VoIP, etc, its
> kind of silly to have a basement full of equipment so you can talk with the
> other 20 old guys about their basement full of equipment. I don't see much
> to attract young people to the hobby.
> Most hams would not think of building any radio stuff as far as I can tell.
> Kids might be interested in the flex radio stuff, with its computers and
> displays and so on....

That's funny - I enjoy the stuff exactly because it *is* radio, a room
full of gadgetry to fiddle with. The telephone has existed longer than
radio, and serves the purpose fine if all you want to do is talk.

Rather than not seeing anything to attract young (or any) people to
amateur radio, I don't seen any noticeable numbers of amateurs out
there trying to attract anyone. Most seem to being doing it all for
themselves, whether contesting, collecting, building, or talking.
Amateur radio was never for everyone, rather a relatively small
segment of society showed any interest. Show a kid a plastic box with
LEDs and expect them to get excited over something that looks worse
than their iPhone, you probably won't get their attention. Show them a
big, black wrinkle box with dial lights and tubes glowing, relays
clacking, and some decent audio coming out of a speaker, you stand a
chance at piquing their interest IMO. WWII surplus gear especially,
since some have seen these in movies or other shows. Not because it's
some new technology, but precisely because it isn't. It's hands-on
history.

Of course, it's always easier to assume no interest and not bother,
but that hasn't been my experience. It does require some effort, and
most folks are 'too busy' to be bothered. This isn't limited to
amateur radio, either.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ/4


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