IARU President: Traditional Aspects of Ham Radio May Not Be Attractive to Newcomers

For many years myself along with others have been wondering aloud about amateur Radio and where we are heading getting younger people not only licensed into the hobby but making them involved and participating at the same time.  Take a read on what the IARU president has to say about this subject.  The comments are open if you wish to voice your thoughts. Continue reading

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Sue Cauhape: How Ham Radio operators are your friends

I found the following story on Southgate ARC and found it interesting about the changing world we live in.  From my own point of view, being a ham, I’m wondering even how I would handle it.  To start with my call display would be showing some number I’ve never heard of.  My first thought is Am I getting a call that my windows computer is corrupt, then when I hear the story about my loved one how much money do I have to send and the list goes on and on.  30 years ago my reply would be thank you for the update and send along a thinking of you reply.  But today, of course, the jaundice eyes are thinking scam, evasion of my privacy and all of that.  Oh how times are changing and probably not for the better. Being a volunteer myself I know from personal expoerence that 97% of the people are thankful for our donated time and the other 3% as what happened yesterday just come to abuse a volunteer.  I’ve opened up the comments section, let us know what are your first thoughts when the phone rings and it’s not a familiar number and are you going to believe the ham on the other end with news from a loved one or friend?

Lahontan Valley News reports on the Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association

A recent radio conversation between two HAMs raised a disturbing issue that surprised both of them.

The conversation involved the NTS (National Traffic Service) that uses amateur radio operators throughout the United States to relay information during large-scale emergencies, such as earthquakes.

When phone connections are down, residents in stricken areas want to contact relatives outside the area. HAM radio operators offer this volunteer service to anyone able to come to their locations

One of the HAMs in the above conversation stated that sometimes in calling people with such information, he is met with suspicion and even hostility. Is he a telemarketer? Is he a drug dealer? Or worse yet, is he a terrorist?

Surprisingly, most people haven’t even heard of amateur radio. If they have, they consider it an obsolete technology. HAMs still perform many services for their communities by providing communications for large sports events, parades, and point-of-delivery vaccination operations.

In Carson Valley, SIERA (Sierra Intermountain Emergency Radio Association) has stepped in during last winter’s floods. Many members also work through CERT, DCART and other emergency organizations to provide assistance, either at the 911 Call Center or in setting up the Red Cross shelter for residents of a Gardnerville mobile home park.

Read the full story 

Have We Dummy Up The Radio Exams To Much or…

While browsing various sites today looking for an interesting article to post on the site I came across a UK story where the Surrey Electronics and Amateur Radio Society had signed up 100 new members for this year.  Quite an achievement I thought, considering I had coffee with a ham from another club this morning and when I asked him how things were going in his club he said “we don’t do courses so we don’t have enough members.”  Between that comment and the article it got me thinking about an article I posted back in June about if we had dummy up the exams to much. Continue reading

Have We Made The Radio Exams To Easy!

Having coffee last week with a fellow Coastal Ham Radio member, we were discussing how quiet the repeaters are and well just a lack of ham activity in general.  I mentioned my usual pet peeve about where are all these people who pass the exam and then we never here from them again.  His reply was maybe we have gone to far in making the radio exams easy. Continue reading