[AMRadio] Ham Radio in decline?

Robert Nickels ranickel at comcast.net
Tue May 2 10:52:06 EDT 2017

On 5/1/2017 3:52 AM, Fabio Bonucci, IK0IXI wrote:
> According to my experience, I think that ham radio is still in good 
> shape.
> Homebrewing, QRP, CW rag chewing, VHF to GHz activities, vintage rigs 
> restoration and so on.....thousands of hams are daily involved in a 
> lot of activities, all devoted to sustain our wonderful amateur world. 
> What else? 

Finally a comment I can agree with!  I hate this thread as much or more 
than the equally-depressing one that comes around about "what are we 
doing collecting this radio junk when we're just going to die".

Ham Radio is, like everything else in life, changing and that's not all 
bad.  At the heart of it, the radio hobby has always been about 
understanding and applying technology to communicate wirelessly and 
there is more interest in doing that today than ever before.   The 
"makers" may be using WiFi or Bluetooth and buying their parts from 
Adafruit or Sparkfun instead of Allied or Lafayette, but whether it's 
controlling robots, pulling weak signals out of the noise with DSP, or 
building software defined radios without tuned circuits, these 
activities still kindle a desire to understand how the magic of radio 
works and ham radio is still the best way to learn.    I think the ARRL 
understands this.

The pioneers of our hobby were always pushing the state-of-the-art.    
Even if you just flip thru the pages of ham magazines from the "golden 
era" where AM was king, names like Orr, Jennings, Hayward, Demaw, 
Stoner, Schum, and others were always leading the hobby in new 
directions.  There's nothing wrong with the old methods, but there is 
also an opportunity to blend old and new in ways that motivate potential 
new hams to learn and do more rather than expecting the hobby to remain 
constant or revert to a bygone era.

73, Bob W9RAN

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