UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

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Werthers
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UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Werthers » 29 Oct 2019, 19:05

So I know anybody reading the words "Is Ham radio dying" :yawn: I guess there's not many people left on this forum to answer that. Many things are dying or have died a bit like this whole country where people can't be bothered and let things die.

Today's society is very different. Its actually considered very unusual for people to have hobbies that doesn't involve playing about with phones, tablets and everything revolving around sh*te music. I heard somebody say today that hobbies are for old men... well there you go. It probably explains why there aren't any young people about when you go to a Ham radio club or rally.

I do feel frustrated about it all in this dumbed down society.

Some of the statements I've heard "I've moved to DMR" How many people actually use DMR? because from my observations hardly any DMR in this country is as dead as analog is but don't let this put any of you off reading this because we need more people on the bands all bands and modes that is. Its always the same few handful of people who call out in my area whether that be analog or DMR often not getting a response. When I monitor HF or AM/SSB CB I rarely hear British stations its mainly overseas stations on those bands.

I heard Selim discussing the lack of use on the bands and I've got to say I agree with him. Its actually quite worrying. We are now at risk of losing a number of repeaters in the south east. One statement he made that stood out was the fact that the reason why people aren't on the radio is because they are busy with their lives such as work etc... back in the 70s 80s 90s people still had "busy lives" and still had to go to work but they still had time to come on to the radio and use the bands, I think its more to do with laziness with this can't be asked attitude lack of drive etc etc more than anything

Once again I'd like to stress that DMR is not a replacement for other bands in the world of Amateur Radio. It may be a replacement for the commercial world of radio communication but not for the Ham radio hobby.

Another thing is young people can't afford HF rigs but they can afford a games console or the latest iPhone and fashion items. What happened to building your own QRP rig for HF?

How many people out there have homemade antennas?

It doesn't cost much for a few bits to build something plus you learn as you go along. Everything is expected to work out of the box no experimentation or homebrew stuff that side of the hobby is long gone with a few diehards that remain.

Once I get my antennas setup properly I'll be calling out CQ on many bands and modes. Firstly I'll be concentrating on 4 meters simplex FM then 70cms analog simplex and arranging nets on those bands in the hopes I can increase activity.

Some of you might like to read this: https://www.essexham.co.uk/news/opinion ... risis.html

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by ch25 » 29 Oct 2019, 19:23

I hear many UK stations on HF.
HF rig is cheap. See Xiegu G90. https://xiegu.eu/product/xiegu-g90-hf-2 ... ansceiver/ It's a steal for SDR trx. Can be unlocked to CB too.
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Samalex » 29 Oct 2019, 20:39

site issues timeout
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Samalex » 29 Oct 2019, 20:41

everyone has their own ideas about radio. I dont care what others think they are entitled to their own opinion.

I do what i like and dont worry what others think.

I have home made antennas and i have worked the world i have no interest in repeaters or dmr echolink or what ever they call it now.

I try all different types of modes and use what i like at the time. I feel its best to do your own and dont overthink what others do or say.

I set my own goals and every so often i may change them but for now i am playing with wx sats as i got bored with HF 6M
last year i was working sats on 2m and 70cm then this year played 6m and a little HF now as said wx sats

Is the hobby dying ? I dont believe so as the bands are jumping. Trend has changed and more are using digital modes for now like ft8 ft4 but last weekend was bussy on ssb and in November it will be busy on CW. Its a world of moaners now lol as soon as a contest or activity increases or decreases we have fold moaning. So do as i do and ignore and enjoy what you can as you dont know how long you will have :)

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Mitch » 30 Oct 2019, 20:19

Ham radio has got so much more competition for peoples time these days, hundreds of TV channels, smart phone apps like whatsapp, playstations and xboxes, PC's and laptops, it seems like there isn't so much of a need for it anymore. When I got into radio there were no mobile phones or home computers and only 4 TV channels, radio was our social network of the day and played an important part of our everyday lives for a good few years. Since mobile phones became affordable for the masses CB died the death around here, there wasn't so much need for it, especially home bases.

I think ham radio was always seen as a bit snooty by the general public, a rich mans hobby (which it was if you bought factory made radio gear), it was a niche thing to most people and not understood by many so just not taken up because of it. I haven't found this to be the case myself, but I'm a bit of a nerd anyway, lol.

I personal have got a bit bored with radio tbh, I spend most of my free time on the computer and internet, watching videos and reading interesting stuff, I don't even listen much now either, never mind talk, there's just a lot more interesting entertainment these days, the radio hobby has taken a back seat and until the interwebz break it'll probably stay that way. I don't even watch TV anymore, too much bother trying to find something that's not cr*p or repeats, I get my TV from the net for free so don't even subscribe to any paid networks.

I think radio has been out competed and no one's interested anymore, save the few die hards.
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by thedeerhunter270 » 31 Oct 2019, 08:28

Mitch wrote:
30 Oct 2019, 20:19
I personal have got a bit bored with radio tbh, I spend most of my free time on the computer and internet, watching videos and reading interesting stuff, I don't even listen much now either, never mind talk, there's just a lot more interesting entertainment these days, the radio hobby has taken a back seat and until the interwebz break it'll probably stay that way. I don't even watch TV anymore, too much bother trying to find something that's not cr*p or repeats, I get my TV from the net for free so don't even subscribe to any paid networks.
This paragraph pretty much sums up my views.
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Werthers » 31 Oct 2019, 14:12

Ham radio is so much more than just talking and listening. Surly there would be more fun in experimentation, building electronic things and being creative than tapping away on a touch screen endlessly? I get bored very quickly with games consoles and even internet. Most times when I'm on the internet I'm watching youtube videos about ham radio related things, building antennas and making power supplies and QRP stuff etc or if its not that it be things like treasure hunting/metal detecting and watching videos about history which is another hobby of mine. That's my entertainment but its not complete without spending sometime chatting on the radio on the bands I like to work.

The entertainment today is pretty boring, social media, brexit, murder, knife crimes, bass beats rap music, singing, cooking badly written dramas on TV and political correctness. I'd rather spend my time on more joyful things.

There maybe over a 100 TV channels but they are all crap. Years ago you only had 4 channels and TV was very entertaining. There are still a few good things on although all repeats. I like watching on the buses on ITV3 in the mornings.

I told a couple people that I could talk to the ISS if I wanted to when they do a pass over but I'm never believed so I don't mention it now, I expect if Ham radio was put out there a bit more there would be a lot more interest from people who don't even know such a hobby exists.

Also I'd like to add that Ham radio is a lot more popular in other countries than it is here with plenty of young people getting into it.

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Mitch » 31 Oct 2019, 16:12

I get out and about quite a bit, driving job, and sometimes I'll take a handheld to see if there's any repeaters in range if I have the time, which isn't very often, and colleagues always ask the same questions: "Can you get the police on it?" err no, "What's the range?" half a mile to five miles ish, and "Is it like CB" well yes actually, just a bit more formal. If I do get in range of something and I do call out it's not often I get a reply.

Most repeaters are going digital now and I haven't got any digital kit so that's me out. I don't plan to buy any soon either, too expensive, too many different standards and none compatable so different radios needed. I don't have any interest in digi stuff either, seems way too complicated just to have a chat as well. As for building things, I did all that 30-40 years ago, making bleeps and converting old radios to UK and UK radios to mid block, I even made a Maplin voice vandel (still got it) with mods but that was over 20 years ago. I feel a bit 'been there done that got the teeshirt' now, I've been playing with radios for decades and the novelty wears off after a while.

Young ones? They're like zombies these days, they do everything one handed 'cuz they can't put their phones down and can't walk anywhere without ogling a screen, not watching (or seeing) where they're going, oblivious to their surroundings and everyone else. Heck, they can't even talk to each other when they're standing next to each other, they have to send a text ffs, they don't know how to have a conversation with someone. Getting them interested in anything else is a hard task, you'll get "what's the app called" and if it won't work on the phone there's little interest.

Yep... we're all doomed....
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by paulears » 31 Oct 2019, 20:00

The problem is simple - communications is no longer a challenge, and the comms itself is boring. The content is what drives people today. The sociologists love social media - you see every single strand of society using common media to enable communications. ham radio had all these levels in it's popular period. When the actual test was technical, the people able to pass were those with either a good education, or those with brains and attitude enough to do the necessary learning - which back then in the internet free period, meant serious work, and time.

The result was a broad spectrum of socio-economic groups all with a common interest. Some people had specialisms - I went through CW, then got really keen on amateur TV - chucking video to and from Holland and Belgium. Everyone knew each other, a bit like a facebook group, you either knew people, or one of your friends would know them.

Then cellular radio came along, then the internet and now you can use your watch to speak and see somebody on the other side of the world and not have to care how it works - it just does. Ham radio is now boring. I've had network radio and UHF and VHF ham radio in my van and hundreds of miles driving on my own for a couple of years, and the ham radio rarely gets turned on, and the network radio is on because it has the time on it. I may as well hand my licence back. The people on ham radio you can hear rarely sound like people I want to talk to. Some are going ion about subjects of no interest. Some are people I don't want to mix with - as in I'd not invite them round for tea! There are more people of interest on Network radio, but the open door entry system means operating practices are dreadful. No patience on the network radio channels and sick (the old fashioned meaning) stuff on many others. I just can't get a nice chat with nice people any more. There's interesting digital stuff in the microwave bands. Really serious clever people doing pretty cutting edge stuff - one of my friends is heavily into this side of ham radio, and he has around 6 or 7 regular people in digital modes up in the GHz bands with big dishes. Network radio does their comms, not 2m or 70cm. They don't want to be active on those bands with serious stuff because of the idiots. They're talking about rigid coax, waveguides, circulators and other 'plumbing' type stuff I have no real understanding of or interest in.

Ham radio has failed because it's nom longer 'special'. you're phone can do more than a twenty five quid Baofeng can. In the 80s, ham radio was special and a VERY expensive hobby. Now it's cheap as chips and a replacement for CB radio because it can go further. A real shame, but that's how it is.

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Tigersaw » 31 Oct 2019, 21:35

Thing about Ham radio is that I don't want to talk to people about ham radio, and most conversations (outside of 5-9 move along, next please) are a dreary run down of what antenna and radio someone is using, how much noise they are getting.
CB was much more entertaining in its day, running round getting eyeballs, sitting at home gassing the night away about just about anything, apart from the few who have been arguing Antron vs whatever for the last 30 years.
As far as bringing in the youngsters, I can't really think of a way or reason to sell it to them. Communication is a given nowadays.

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Werthers » 02 Nov 2019, 09:58

I guess I will just have to accept that Ham radio is on its last legs although there are a few newbies coming into the hobby but not enough and most give up to easily very quickly after they have got there Foundation license. Times are changing plus people are less sociable then what they used to be, if it dosen't come in the form of an app then not many will be interested.

DMR isn't exactly buzzing either a lot of people say its to hard and complicated to keep up with it. DMR is just a fast dying fad.

I'd give it another 20 years until Amateur radio completely disappears. I can see ofcom will no longer be issuing new ham licenses in years to come making it license free like CB but no one will bother with it by then.

In the mean time I have just got to try keep it going for as long as possible and enjoy whats left of the hobby and make the most of it.

I know if Ham radio was advertised on TV with plenty of media coverage about it, the hobby would suddenly increase with activity, people seem to follow whats popular.

Ever since they started airing programs about treasure hunting such as metal detecting, charity shop hunting for antiques, every man and his dog is out looking for treasure and many people rushing to the River Thames to see what they can find and metal detecting public land like parks and stuff. This is a sort of hobby where you don't want to many people getting into it as there is less to be found, where as Ham radio its a hobby that relies on as many people as we can get on the air waves.

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by 108EH002 » 04 Nov 2019, 21:13

The reason most YOUNG folk dont want to get involved in radio in the 21st century is because =

"It is BORING listening to OLD farts talking rubbish, compared to being online with people my own age I can relate to and actually have a laugh with" according to my youngest.

I offered him a 480 sat,50 amp psu and a wire dipole just to get him started in radio = "its boring and not for me = but you can sell it and get me the latest phone if you want"
Last edited by 108EH002 on 05 Nov 2019, 09:05, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Werthers » 05 Nov 2019, 08:51

108EH002 wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 21:13
The reason most YOUNG folk dont want to get involved in radio in the 21st century is because "it is BORING listening to OLD farts talking rubbish,compared to being online with people my own age I can relate to and actually have a laugh with" according to my youngest .
So why are you on a radio forum then?

I think the real reason is because the Ham radio hobby involves using your brain, anything beyond facebook, other common social media and tapping away on smartphones all day long or playing games consoles is to much for YOUNG peoples minds and intelligence of a lot of YOUNG people today hence why many have no prospects or ambition in life. I gotta hand it to you for writing proper sentences because most YOUNG people can't even do that today. A lot of people can't even do simple D.I.Y like putting up a shelf... but hey I guess all that is for sad old farts as well in the "21st century".

Ham radio is what you make it and like many things in the UK are dying just like the country not just ham radio.

People are very lazy today.

Here are some Ham Radio videos you might want to watch that features smart young people who's minds go beyond online activities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiRf7ilyM0s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK8dCzv79xY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1ku5AvsLvU

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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by 108EH002 » 05 Nov 2019, 09:07

Maybe you need better spectacles Werthers,or you just need to clean the cup a soup off them,just wipe them on your cardigan ;) = ACCORDING TO MY YOUNGEST = I am not that young,as I started on CB radio in the 70's.

Some get a high out of a contact on a homebrew wire dipole like you Werthers.

But some of the younger generation just prefer getting high on drugs like cannabis,that they can get delivered locally off an app on their mobile phone,and sit and chill watching boxsets/latest films/sports and youtube,on their chipped firestick dongle,and order takeaway food on their phone = or talk to old farts.

Amateur radio only appeals to radio enthusiasts = the internet appeals to billions.

Sex,drugs,music,having a laugh and following celebs/famous folk online,that will appeal to most of the young between the ages of 16 and 30 (some 30+) = not joining an amateur radio club.
Last edited by 108EH002 on 05 Nov 2019, 15:54, edited 1 time in total.
You can talk worldwide on CB radio,
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Re: UK Amateur Radio whats happening?

Post by Werthers » 05 Nov 2019, 15:54

I don't wear a cardigan and I wasn't about in the 70s I know I would have loved to of lived that decade but I started getting interested in radio and electronics in 1998 when I was still at school and then got my license in 2008. I'm younger than you by the sounds of it :D although I'm no spring chicken now as I look about 50. Its not really a buzz for me making contacts unless its making a contact with the ISS now that is a buzz. I'm probably the only one in the UK who bothers to attempt contact with the ISS when they pass over. I get a lot of enjoyment from making radio contacts and experimenting, building things and antennas etc. I used to use facebook years ago like 2010 sorta time but I find it boring now and other social media and smartphones as well. None of my hobbies revolve around smart devices, the Raspberry Pi is probably the closest I get to a smart device.

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