[AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?


Dave W5QWX dave at W5QWX.com
Sun Apr 30 15:48:05 EDT 2017


I have been reading the comments for a while now and do get a chuckle sometime.
Doubt I have ever posted anything here so this is surprising, even to me. 

You see, I am an “old buzzard” and do get nostalgic about the “good old days” when you 
could count on great propagation to keep a schedule with a group of guys several
thousand miles away every evening at the same time on 40 meters, and on AM to boot.
Of course most of those guys are now SK, or like me, approaching that status. If not for
good surgeons and a pace maker implant this next Thursday, I would have already joined them.
And of course propagation has not ever been that good since. 
I have to agree with most of the post I have read the last few days. However, I do believe that
this hobby of ours has been on a decline for some time, just as the whole culture has been.
Speaking to the comments on dumbing down etc.. and will continue. It started years ago. 
Not just the removal of the CW requirement but the exams and the way they are administered. 
How many remember taking an exam before the FCC ? Remember all the math without using a 
slide rule or calculator, and drawing the schematics plugging in the parts from previously 
answered questions?

When I ran several businesses, there were times when I held employment interviews with
young people having just graduated high school and was really shocked by what the schools
were turning out. First, I blamed the schools out of hand, and then realized it was not all their
fault or problem but the parents and family units too. These kids could barely read above 5th grade
level. Reading retention was about 3rd grade level, and math was barely above counting on fingers.
Complaints to the school district went no where, and I was told to talk to the parents. Good luck
with that. Seems parents were either to busy trying to make a living or just did not care what was
going on with the kids. School will take care of teaching them what they need to know, as well as
baby sit them! That was the jest of replies from some families that bothered to talk to me.

Being retired now about 20 years, I leave the above worry to others, and plod along rebuilding my “old stuff”
and try to enjoy what’s left of propagation to send RF here and there once in a while/.
The storm yesterday and this morning took down all my wires so will be a while before any RF
escapes from this location. 

73,
Dave de W5QWX


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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: Ham Radio in decline? (Alan Victor)
   2. Re: Ham Radio in decline? (Tracy)
   3. Re: Ham Radio in decline? (mark)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2017 08:00:47 -0700
From: Alan Victor <amvictor at ncsu.edu>
To: Oliver Steiner <steinerviolinist at gmail.com>
Cc: K5MYJ <macklinbob at gmail.com>, Discussion of AM Radio in the
Amateur Service <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
Message-ID:
<CAO-B_Te9=7jqpGA9kLknWGHtQnb1dtDsap5mSEPQyN4MQHvA=A at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

Perhaps all these collective comments should be forwarded to the ARRL.

I suspect like any "hobby" or personal en devour, we all continue to be
involved because we get something in return for the investment of time and
energy.

Perhaps the ARRL could create or stimulate the appeal that Radio had back
in the glory days. Is that possible? Technology pushes us forward so I
suspect the older folks among us, including myself may need to adapt.
However, I agree, some of the new methods of operating are clearly BAD and
just wrong.

Alan W4AMV

On Sun, Apr 30, 2017 at 7:47 AM, Oliver Steiner <steinerviolinist at gmail.com>
wrote:

> When K5MYJ said: "You could make contacts every evening and it was not
> just HI, GOODBYE. It was a real QSO."  I found myself so strongly
> agreeing with that.  I was astonished when, in recent years a DX
> station would give my call sign and the fake "5/9" signal report to me
> and  everybody else. To find out his call I would have to wait to
> listen to 5 or 6 "QSOs" after mine!  To find out his location and name
> I would have to use the internet QRZ web site!  To my mind, that does
> not constitute a radio contact!  Sometimes we AMers go too much to the
> opposite extreme: One makes a contact; then one station after another
> joins in, until one finds oneself in a five way roundtable with each
> of the stations making an old buzzard transmission. This results in a
> 50 minute wait in between your transmissions.  During the 50 minutes
> you might like to have a bathroom break, answer a phone call or get a
> snack, but instead you are drumming your fingers on the operating desk
> as you run out of patience.  Perhaps, as in so many things, moderation
> is preferable to extremes of overly short non-QSOs, or overly long 5
> way roundtables.
>
>
> On 4/30/17, K5MYJ <macklinbob at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The people at W1AW just don't understand what is happening.
> >
> > The younger people now have their iTHING and the Internet. They don't
> need
> > either Ham Radio or CB. Around here CB is just as dead as the Ham Bands.
> >
> > People come to the club and get a Tech ticket. Then they get a 2M HT or
> > maybe a transceiver made in Asia somewhere. They never upgrade. The cost
> of
> >
> > a modern RICEBOX is too high for most.
> >
> > Then when young people buy a new house in a new sub-division they cannot
> put
> >
> > up an antenna because of the HOAs. The ARRL has not been able to fix that
> > problem.
> >
> > I got my Novice ticket in 1957 during the hottest solar cycle since ham
> > radio was invented. 40M was wall to wall signals between 7150 and 7200
> every
> >
> > evening. You could make contacts every evening and it was not just HI,
> > GOODBYE. It was a real QSO.
> >
> > Today with the exception of contest days the bands are pretty dead. I do
> see
> >
> > a lot of people calling CQ and getting no answers.
> >
> > Today people call CQ and expect answers on frequency, The don't tune
> around
> >
> > looking for an answer.
> >
> > What happened to building your own gear? Look at 50's, 60's or 70's ARRL
> > Handbook. Then look at a recent ARRL Handbook. In the old days we did a
> lot
> >
> > of building. Kits or scratch building. We could buy parts  at the local
> > Radio/TV parts store. When I moved here 17 years ago there were two
> Radio/TV
> >
> > parts stores they are gone now.
> >
> > I think that 20 years from now Ham Radio will be history and there's not
> a
> > thing Newington can do about it!
> >
> > Bob Macklin
> > K5MYJ
> > Seattle, Wa.
> > "Real Radios Glow In The Dark"
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "FRANK HUGHES hughes" <frsahu0003 at embarqmail.com>
> > To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> > Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:48 AM
> > Subject: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
> >
> >
> >> As a new guy (2009), I have noticed that other people my age are more
> >> common @ hamfests, don't see lots of younger people.
> >>
> >>
> >> Good point about the technical skills, if you can't build it w/ surface
> >> mount components these days, what other components are there to work
> >> with?
> >>
> >>
> >> I have only built one homebrew amp, and it took a very long time and
> lots
> >>
> >> of scrounging to get all the iron and related items.
> >>
> >>
> >> Next one will be LDMOS and DC volts, easy to source and work with.
> >> I like the technical aspects more than actually operating, happier w/ a
> >> soldering iron in my hand than a mic....weird????
> >>
> >>
> >> Also, I can no longer lift some of the boatanchors around here, and am
> >> selling them off.
> >> Not much luck selling, so far, as young people don't want boatanchors,
> and
> >>
> >> the other other old guys already have more than they need too.
> >> It does not help that the population of people who value boatanchors is
> >> rapidly shrinking.
> >> 10-15 years from now there will be one 99 year old guy remaining, with
> >> 2834876 boatanchors piled up all around him, calling CQ into the
> >> wilderness....
> >>
> >> As a new guy, I never had the experience of good band conditions, as I
> >> hear people discuss the way it was decades ago.
> >> Wonder if the solar cycle is working against the phone part of the
> hobby,
> >>
> >> thus less interest.
> >>
> >>
> >> I know at least for me, phone is easy, but at my advanced age, there is
> no
> >>
> >> hope of ever learning CW, (with a key), and using software to generate
> CW
> >>
> >> does not sound like my kind of fun.
> >>
> >>
> >> 73
> >> Frank
> >> KJ4OLL
> >> ______________________________________________________________
> >> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
> >> AMRadio mailing list
> >> Archives: http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/amradio/
> >> List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
> >> List Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/amradio
> >> Post: AMRadio at mailman.qth.net
> >> To unsubscribe, send an email to amradio-request at mailman.qth.net with
> >> the word unsubscribe in the message body.
> >>
> >> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> >> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> >> Message delivered to macklinbob at gmail.com
> >
> > ______________________________________________________________
> > Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
> > AMRadio mailing list
> > Archives: http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/amradio/
> > List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
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> > the word unsubscribe in the message body.
> >
> > This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
> > Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
> > Message delivered to steinerviolinist at gmail.com
> >
>
>
> --
> http://oliversteiner.com
> ______________________________________________________________
> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
> AMRadio mailing list
> Archives: http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/amradio/
> List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
> List Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/amradio
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> To unsubscribe, send an email to amradio-request at mailman.qth.net with
> the word unsubscribe in the message body.
>
> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
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> Message delivered to amvictor at ncsu.edu
>


------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2017 11:04:05 -0400
From: Tracy <n1rktnh at gmail.com>
To: AMRadio at mailman.qth.net
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
Message-ID: <bb7a8bc2-526f-0893-7f53-eac23c0e217a at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed

Sad but true, I am in the towing business here at this end and deal with 
these 18 to 30 year old kids every night. Most of them graduated high 
school and still can not read or write. There is no common sense left 
with these kids, 2 plus 2 equals 4 some times. The younger generation 
out here today, can not fix or repair a simple item never mind build a 
house or radio from scratch, it is easier to go buy it for cheap money 
and then throw it away after breaking it because they could not read the 
instructions. The Un-educated are the primary breeders today, and they 
only want the kids to increase there FREE RIDE benefits. The educated 
semi intelligent are more worried about their careers than raising a 
family and wait till they are in the forties to have a child which has 
been proven to lower the IQ of the children, to old to start breeding. 
So this is the world we now live in, which is GREAT a dumb population is 
much easier to control.

My two cents,

Tracy  N1RKT


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2017 10:06:25 -0500
From: mark <lexnonscripta at usa.com>
To: amradio at mailman.qth.net
Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
Message-ID: <acf4496a-bb01-d463-12b6-3d0625395110 at usa.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed

The weird thing about it, is watching eBay sales of Boat Anchors. The 
stuff is going somewhere. Daily I watch DX100s Vailants, Apaches and 
even the smaller globe transmitters auctioned off at high bucks. Heck, I 
paid 1200 for my T 368 and I did it GLADLY. I used to own a pair back 
around 1997-2001 when I ran the Midwest Classic Radio net. It was a 
hoot. Sold the pair for what I paid for this one.

All these transmitters and receivers are going somewhere. Could it be 
that they are being sold just for the nostalgia and not getting use?

Mark
KD9CXH
formerly
KA9FBX


> I miss the Old Buzzard AM roundtables.
>
> The NW AM group has faded into history! There's no AM here anymore. 
> Not much SSB either.
>
> And the current solar cycle is not helping much!
>
> Bob Macklin
> K5MYJ
> Seattle, Wa.
> "Real Radios Glow In The Dark"
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Oliver Steiner" 
> <steinerviolinist at gmail.com>
> To: "K5MYJ" <macklinbob at gmail.com>
> Cc: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
> Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 7:47 AM
> Subject: Re: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
>
>
>> When K5MYJ said: "You could make contacts every evening and it was not
>> just HI, GOODBYE. It was a real QSO."  I found myself so strongly
>> agreeing with that.  I was astonished when, in recent years a DX
>> station would give my call sign and the fake "5/9" signal report to me
>> and  everybody else. To find out his call I would have to wait to
>> listen to 5 or 6 "QSOs" after mine!  To find out his location and name
>> I would have to use the internet QRZ web site!  To my mind, that does
>> not constitute a radio contact!  Sometimes we AMers go too much to the
>> opposite extreme: One makes a contact; then one station after another
>> joins in, until one finds oneself in a five way roundtable with each
>> of the stations making an old buzzard transmission. This results in a
>> 50 minute wait in between your transmissions.  During the 50 minutes
>> you might like to have a bathroom break, answer a phone call or get a
>> snack, but instead you are drumming your fingers on the operating desk
>> as you run out of patience.  Perhaps, as in so many things, moderation
>> is preferable to extremes of overly short non-QSOs, or overly long 5
>> way roundtables.
>>
>>
>> On 4/30/17, K5MYJ <macklinbob at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> The people at W1AW just don't understand what is happening.
>>>
>>> The younger people now have their iTHING and the Internet. They 
>>> don't need
>>> either Ham Radio or CB. Around here CB is just as dead as the Ham 
>>> Bands.
>>>
>>> People come to the club and get a Tech ticket. Then they get a 2M HT or
>>> maybe a transceiver made in Asia somewhere. They never upgrade. The 
>>> cost of
>>>
>>> a modern RICEBOX is too high for most.
>>>
>>> Then when young people buy a new house in a new sub-division they 
>>> cannot put
>>>
>>> up an antenna because of the HOAs. The ARRL has not been able to fix 
>>> that
>>> problem.
>>>
>>> I got my Novice ticket in 1957 during the hottest solar cycle since ham
>>> radio was invented. 40M was wall to wall signals between 7150 and 
>>> 7200 every
>>>
>>> evening. You could make contacts every evening and it was not just HI,
>>> GOODBYE. It was a real QSO.
>>>
>>> Today with the exception of contest days the bands are pretty dead. 
>>> I do see
>>>
>>> a lot of people calling CQ and getting no answers.
>>>
>>> Today people call CQ and expect answers on frequency, The don't tune 
>>> around
>>>
>>> looking for an answer.
>>>
>>> What happened to building your own gear? Look at 50's, 60's or 70's 
>>> ARRL
>>> Handbook. Then look at a recent ARRL Handbook. In the old days we 
>>> did a lot
>>>
>>> of building. Kits or scratch building. We could buy parts  at the local
>>> Radio/TV parts store. When I moved here 17 years ago there were two 
>>> Radio/TV
>>>
>>> parts stores they are gone now.
>>>
>>> I think that 20 years from now Ham Radio will be history and there's 
>>> not a
>>> thing Newington can do about it!
>>>
>>> Bob Macklin
>>> K5MYJ
>>> Seattle, Wa.
>>> "Real Radios Glow In The Dark"
>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>> From: "FRANK HUGHES hughes" <frsahu0003 at embarqmail.com>
>>> To: <amradio at mailman.qth.net>
>>> Sent: Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:48 AM
>>> Subject: [AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?
>>>
>>>
>>>> As a new guy (2009), I have noticed that other people my age are more
>>>> common @ hamfests, don't see lots of younger people.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Good point about the technical skills, if you can't build it w/ 
>>>> surface
>>>> mount components these days, what other components are there to work
>>>> with?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I have only built one homebrew amp, and it took a very long time 
>>>> and lots
>>>>
>>>> of scrounging to get all the iron and related items.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Next one will be LDMOS and DC volts, easy to source and work with.
>>>> I like the technical aspects more than actually operating, happier 
>>>> w/ a
>>>> soldering iron in my hand than a mic....weird????
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Also, I can no longer lift some of the boatanchors around here, and am
>>>> selling them off.
>>>> Not much luck selling, so far, as young people don't want 
>>>> boatanchors, and
>>>>
>>>> the other other old guys already have more than they need too.
>>>> It does not help that the population of people who value 
>>>> boatanchors is
>>>> rapidly shrinking.
>>>> 10-15 years from now there will be one 99 year old guy remaining, with
>>>> 2834876 boatanchors piled up all around him, calling CQ into the
>>>> wilderness....
>>>>
>>>> As a new guy, I never had the experience of good band conditions, as I
>>>> hear people discuss the way it was decades ago.
>>>> Wonder if the solar cycle is working against the phone part of the 
>>>> hobby,
>>>>
>>>> thus less interest.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> I know at least for me, phone is easy, but at my advanced age, 
>>>> there is no
>>>>
>>>> hope of ever learning CW, (with a key), and using software to 
>>>> generate CW
>>>>
>>>> does not sound like my kind of fun.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> 73
>>>> Frank
>>>> KJ4OLL
>>>> ______________________________________________________________
>>>> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
>>>> AMRadio mailing list
>>>> Archives: http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/amradio/
>>>> List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
>>>> List Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/amradio
>>>> Post: AMRadio at mailman.qth.net
>>>> To unsubscribe, send an email to amradio-request at mailman.qth.net with
>>>> the word unsubscribe in the message body.
>>>>
>>>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>>>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>>>> Message delivered to macklinbob at gmail.com
>>>
>>> ______________________________________________________________
>>> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
>>> AMRadio mailing list
>>> Archives: http://mailman.qth.net/pipermail/amradio/
>>> List Rules (must read!): http://w5ami.net/amradiofaq.html
>>> List Home: http://mailman.qth.net/mailman/listinfo/amradio
>>> Post: AMRadio at mailman.qth.net
>>> To unsubscribe, send an email to amradio-request at mailman.qth.net with
>>> the word unsubscribe in the message body.
>>>
>>> This list hosted by: http://www.qsl.net
>>> Please help support this email list: http://www.qsl.net/donate.html
>>> Message delivered to steinerviolinist at gmail.com
>>>
>>
>>
>> -- 
>> http://oliversteiner.com 
>
> ______________________________________________________________
> Our Main Website: http://www.amfone.net
> AMRadio mailing list
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>
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>



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