Is this where amateur Radio is going?

For many years now besides myself lots of other amateurs have been asking where is the hobby going and how do we attract younger people into the fold. For me, and I’m and old timer in the hobby, the thrill of the hobby has always been “how and where am I getting out to.” For others it’s been getting to know people in different places on voice or cw, and still others have their various reasons why the hobby attracts them.

There seems to be this quite struggle going on within the hobby whether digital modes are Ham Radio. For me it is part of the hobby but I know lots who would differ with me. I do believe if this hobby is going to survive we have to look at all current and future modes as part of the hobby. Times are changing and we have to change with the times and guide the current and future modes along the way. That’s how this hobby will survive.

You might have noticed I have used the word hobby quite a bit in this post. To me a hobby, whether it be Amateur Radio, Model Railroading, Stamp Collecting etc. is a group of people who have a common interest in their chosen area. Now to contradict everything I’ve just said about moving forward I saw an ad for a new Radio where anybody legally can use it. The amateur bands would be locked off for us licensed folks only, but I can’t help to think if this is where the hobby is going is it also putting nails in the coffin at the same time. I don’t know, what’s your thoughts? Am I missing something here? The comment section is open and I would like to hear your opinion.


5 thoughts on “Is this where amateur Radio is going?

  1. Very interesting technology. To me, the appeal of ham radio is the ability to communicate independently of a pre-existing network regardless of the mode. Whether it’s voice, CW, or digital, being able to communicate with others “directly” almost defines what ham radio is to me.

    Of course, there’s a grey area on that Direct Network continuum and I’m really not a “purist”. I enjoy using repeaters, satellites, Echolink, and the IRLP, but they all add layers of dependencies on a network to function. I guess I would rate a single repeater as being less “networky” than the IRLP for example.

    Personally, I’m not intrinsically for or against any of these technologies, but a “radio” that only uses the cell network or the internet to function is so far to the other side of that continuum that it wouldn’t appeal to me. It’s interesting technology and some people might like it, but to me, it’s too far from what ham radio is about: network independence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, totally agree with you. The issue is a lot of older hams don’t believe in change. I had one ham explain to me how digital modes are not part of Ham Radio because you don’t get to know your contact on some digital modes, ie JT65 or FT8. I tried to explain that although digital modes wasn’t his niche and that’s fine he should also appreciate the ham who is into the digital modes without criticizing him for having different interests in the hobby to him. Until we can get all hams to accept that some hams will have different interests to you we’re in trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would love to see ham radio thrive by operators adopting the open source global project I’m calling “Permatrail”–an interconnection of all the worlds trails and greenways into a permacultural, human rights corridor providing free camping, access to water, communications, safety, etc. 73 de

    Liked by 1 person

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