Is Ham radio a dying breed... will Ham radio end ?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by waloshin, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #1
    Do you believe Ham radio is a dying hobby? Do you think Ham radio will be gone within the next 10+ years.
     
  2. lwood1 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 2, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    #2
    Dying yes, gone no.

    I haven't looked at the statistics, but there are plenty of people still buying equipment...
     
  3. Iscariot macrumors 68030

    Iscariot

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    Aug 16, 2007
    Location:
    Toronteazy
    #3
    Everybody knows ham is a poorly broadcasting meat. Anyone serious about radio is going to be using at least turkey by now.
     
  4. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    It has a small but extremely passionate group of enthusiasts, so I think it will stick around. Also they are encouraging more young people to get their licence.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #5
    You've taken care of the Kosher, but not the Vegan.

    Tofu radio is the new thing.
     
  6. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #6
    Seriously, where do you come up with this ****.

    Ham Radio will always be around as it will always be the last form of emergency communication.
     
  7. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    Ham is already dead. Otherwise it's just part of a living pig.
     
  8. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

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    May 18, 2004
    #8
    i think he's just advertising his blog :p
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #9
    Could very well be. Spam you say? ;)

    I was musing about the name, ham radio operator.

    I wonder if the professional radio operators back in the day gave them that name because they were so ham-fisted on the Morse code key.

    And no, before you ask, I was not there. :p

    :D
     
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #10
    We have a team setup to use this system since a lot of radio communications are going digital, the ham radio is nice when other systems are down etc. I don't see them going bye bye, but used less, yes.
     
  11. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #11
    So trolling/spam.
     
  12. Grey Beard macrumors 65816

    Grey Beard

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Location:
    The Antipodes.
    #12
    Wally, I really despair for you. So it's to be a ham radio on your trail bike to seek aid when your GPS craps out and your sun glasses are caked in mud and your sneakers are stuck fast in the boggy trail. For your bed time reading, I give you;

    KGB:D
     
  13. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

    waloshin

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #13
    Perfect!
     
  14. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

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    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
  15. NewAnger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #15
    I had a modified RCI 2970 with a 500 watt linear amp in my car for years. Loved hitting the lowers for skip seeing how far I could talk. Had all kinds of friends on the CB for years back in the 90s. 2000s came and people started disappearing. Last time I turned it on about six months ago, there was nothing but truckers out there.

    Unplugged the radio and took it out of the car. Sad everyone moved on.
     
  16. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #16
    CB was the Internet chat room of it's day and became hugely popular in the 70s. It fell apart when the arms race in linear power boosters, which were illegal, jammed the channels and made communication impossible.
     
  17. NewAnger macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Location:
    Denver Colorado
    #17
    LOL That's for sure. I had a friend back around 1994 who had a CB radio and a linear amp as well. We would sit on top of ice cream hill (Safeway parking lot with a 31 Flavors next door in north Denver over looking the city) for hours and walk all over everyone.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #18
    18-wheelers everywhere are laughing at you now. :D
     
  19. doherrick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    #19
    For sure.

    When sun spots / cyber warfare / terrorist take out satelites / cell phones / internet, jump on the lower bands and bounce around the world. All you need are batteries and/or a generator. I believe the ultra-low bands are how the Navy communicates with submerged nuclear subs.

    Definitely not the popular activity it once was in the USA, but certainly not dying, especially in "3rd world" areas. I don't have any statistics, but anecdotally I can say that I am surprised at how many people I run into from my generation (i'm 64) that are geting back into Ham radio. I was active until about 20 years ago and am looking for a rig now.

    Also, I am astounded at what classic Ham gear (Hallicrafters, Collins, Hammerlund) goes for on Ebay.

    So I will look for a mobile rig with a kilowatt amp and put it in a 57 Chevy Nomad next to my iPhone / iPad / 11" MBA. And, of course, XM radio set on Fifties on 5

    DanO
     
  20. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #20
    I used to be a ham, and I've lived in parts of the world (at different times, some of them 40+ years ago) where HF (high frequency) radio was the only communications mode. And it worked very well.

    HF radio is well-understood, very robust and requires no infrastructure beyond power. So as others have mentioned, in emergencies it's usually what keeps functioning the longest.

    I could post clips of a very expensive sat phone system (dish, solar panels, the works) that the EU donated to one region of a war-torn Pacific island I know well (Bougainville), sitting dead and useless. It worked for a little while, then stopped. There was no one trained to repair it and no spare parts were available.

    Right next to it was a simple HF transceiver and I have video of one of my "sisters" using it to order medical supplies from 100 miles away. Depending on conditions, she could "get out" several hundred miles.

    The transceiver was cheap, spares were available, and a relatively untrained person could swap out circuit boards and troubleshoot the antenna.

    Who's against cellphones and tablets and wifi and all the rest? Not me. But I think that too many people either forget about, or never really understood the serious infrastructure required to make those devices work. If the infrastructure goes down, your devices are useless.

    For us in the first world, I'm talking emergencies, like natural disasters. But for the rest of the world, I'm talking about reliable, daily communications.

    With radio, all you need is a power source.

    As for the classic gear, I sure wish I had my Collins 75A4 back again (to sell).
     
  21. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #21
    Do the older sets work better than newer equipment?
     
  22. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #22
    I doubt it. It's just that they're classics.

    I have what's by now a not-very-new Japan Radio Corp (JRC) NRD-525 that I'm sure would spank my old Collins in any side-by-side test (although I had the NRD-525 outfitted with Collins filters).

    But the 75A4 and its ilk speak of another era - black crackle finish, glowing tubes (lots of them . . . the 75A4 had 22 tubes), heat, knobs to turn, discrete components you could work on yourself, and they actually had interesting smells, too. So I'm not surprised that they fetch good prices.

    Here's a 75A4:
    http://www.w1ujr.net/collins_75a4.htm

    Here's a NRD-525
    http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/nrd525.html

    Which one is more cool (as it were?). I leave it to you. But in the modern world, the NRD is a lot more useful

    Here's what I'd like to have:
    http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/0340.html

    Well, enough thread-jacking for today.
     
  23. barkomatic macrumors 68040

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    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Manhattan
    #23
    Wow, not a cheap hobby! The Collins definitely is the nicer looking. :)
     
  24. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #24
    Horses and carriages are no longer used for primary transportation, but it's still a sport.

    Even flint-knapping is still a hobby, despite being obsolete for centuries as a tool-making craft.
     
  25. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #25
    It is impossible to hijack a waloshin thread.
     

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