What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

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Werthers
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Werthers »

I just think its a real shame that such hobbies are dying not just Ham radio but many things in general in the UK. I think a lot of it is to do with the way the times are changing and society is changing with social cleansing and gentrification killing everything not just hobbies like amateur radio and life styles are changing. I don't expect people to see it as I find many people are blind to whats happening around them.

I gooogled to see how many people there are that have Ham licenses although many will hold more than one license and others who come into the hobby don't actually go on air which lowers the number significantly of how many "active" hams there are in the UK, its probably less than 100 which is a more realistic number.

Here's what I found... How many UK radio amateurs are there?

Following a Freedom of Information request Ofcom has now issued what is believed to be the correct figure for the number of individual radio amateurs in the UK

Stewart Baker G3RXQ has made several FoI's to Ofcom to try and find out how many individuals hold one or more amateur licenses but the first couple of responses from Ofcom gave a clearly incorrect figure which was just below 10,000.

On August 3 he made another another attempt and on September 4 Ofcom supplied the correct information.

Ofcom said:
"As of 1 August 2018 I can confirm that the total number of individuals holding one or more current UK Amateur Radio Licenses is 75,660."

"It has come to our attention that the figure in our letter to you dated 17 April 2018 concerning Amateur Radio License statistics as of 1 April 2018 is incorrect. As at that date, the correct figure for the total number of individuals holding one or more current UK Amateur Radio Licenses is 74,646."

This figure enables an estimate to be made for the number of radio amateurs who die each year.

It believed the RSGB has about 19,000 UK members who are licensed amateurs, this is about 25% of total UK amateurs. From an analysis of the Silent Key column in 2015 RadCom it would appear that about 248 licensed UK RSGB members are dying each year. This suggests that maybe in total some 992 UK amateurs die each year.

Just over 1400 people pass the RSGB Foundation exam each year. Foundation was initially designed to provide an introduction to the hobby and it was accepted there could be a high drop-out rate, up to 50%, as people tried out the hobby but found in the first year or so it wasn't for them. Anecdotal evidence since 2002 appears to confirm a 50% drop-out rate is broadly correct. This suggests of the 1400 newcomers each year only about 700 may continue with the hobby, this is less than the apparent annual death rate.

Additionally an unknown number may decide after 5, 10 or 15 years to try a different hobby or they may no longer be active for various reasons. There is no way of telling how many as the licenses are lifetime, the active UK amateur population could be declining at an alarming rate!
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Cornelius »

What does these different licenses cover?

Here in Norway, there's just one amateur radio license one can take, and it covers everything.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

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Werthers wrote: 21 Nov 2019, 14:32

I gooogled to see how many people there are that have Ham licenses although many will hold more than one license and others who come into the hobby don't actually go on air which lowers the number significantly of how many "active" hams there are in the UK, its probably less than 100 which is a more realistic number.
Sounds like you don't listen to HF or your antenna must be rubbish Werthers.

The figure is much higher than 100 as you have stated who are active on amateur radio in the UK ;)
Plenty are talking worldwide on 27.555 usb,
Some are too far up their own @rse to admit it,
Many happen to know otherwise dx-ing test free,
Showing a complete lack of respect for the law.

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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Yamanx »

Although I am an advocate of the freebands, and frankly will use just about any white noise area of the radio spectrum. I always encourage people to take the foundation course, it is the best thing in recent years to get people into radio. Right now more people, unknowingly for the most part, have access to radio, nearly every single person in the world now carries a radio transceiver in their pocket!

Ham radio,or radio, will survive because its a physical thing, the rules about using it will change, but the science will not and in the end there will always be people trying it, using it and experimenting with radio.

Just turn that dial, move around a bit, there is some stuff going on all over the place :)
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by 36ian »

Werthers wrote: 21 Nov 2019, 14:32 I gooogled to see how many people there are that have Ham licenses although many will hold more than one license and others who come into the hobby don't actually go on air which lowers the number significantly of how many "active" hams there are in the UK, its probably less than 100 which is a more realistic number.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Werthers »

108EH002 wrote: 22 Nov 2019, 16:28
Werthers wrote: 21 Nov 2019, 14:32

I gooogled to see how many people there are that have Ham licenses although many will hold more than one license and others who come into the hobby don't actually go on air which lowers the number significantly of how many "active" hams there are in the UK, its probably less than 100 which is a more realistic number.
Sounds like you don't listen to HF or your antenna must be rubbish Werthers.

The figure is much higher than 100 as you have stated who are active on amateur radio in the UK ;)
Yes it crap... well I don't have any antennas for HF I have to rely on the websdr for HF listening "not by choice" and there aren't exactly thousands of British stations on it and yes it is active but that doesn't mean everybody in the UK is on HF. You only have to take a look at the state of the VHF/UHF bands including DMR as well as analog to see that the hobby is dying.

As for me having no antenna for HF I have antenna restrictions with no garden and metal in the roof. :wtf: so I can not use HF
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by 108EH002 »

Werthers wrote: 23 Nov 2019, 00:24

Yes it crap... well I don't have any antennas for HF

As for me having no antenna for HF I have antenna restrictions with no garden and metal in the roof. :wtf: so I can not use HF
Someone already suggested a small loop = and you have windows for a signal getting in and out = buy or build one.

You could always make your own Werthers = I once met a very old amateur,who had seen my antenna on my car parked outside,and he just wanted to talk radio :thumbup:

He lived in an old folks home on the same level as someone I knew,and he asked if I had a spare minute to talk radio.
And he was told no external antennas aswell = so he just made his own loop and sat it at one of his windows instead.

The loop consisted of thin microbore copper pipe (easy to bend),in a circle of about 3ft in diameter.

2 bits of thin wood in a cross shape to support the loop = gives you a fixing at 4 points,enough for 4 screws and this will hold it nicely inplace.Flatten the pipe a bit and it will allow a wider surface to put a thin scew through.

An old versa tuner out an old stereo in the middle,and a few components will get it working.

Yes it is a compromise,but he liked his radio enough to actually do something about it = as you did say most are lazy = can't be @rsed making their own homebrew radio equipment nowadays.

Thats what the op made and had it connected up to a TS 590,and he could still work the world on the 30m band using his favourite mode of CW with very low power.

Rather than having no antenna for HF,and looking out the window bored sh1tless,he was able to still be active on his radio.

HF sdr is ok (listened a few times) but I still prefer using my own HF set.

As for "not all the hams in the UK are on hf" = no they aren't all on hf but more than 100 are ;)

When the cycle of the sun picks up in a few year,you will start to be able to hear a lot more amateurs (thousands),who are active talking to each other in the UK on 80/40m alone.

A small loop at your best window should hear more on HF,compared to how much you will hear on vhf/uhf simplex,with an internal antenna at the window.
Plenty are talking worldwide on 27.555 usb,
Some are too far up their own @rse to admit it,
Many happen to know otherwise dx-ing test free,
Showing a complete lack of respect for the law.

27.555 Usb
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Werthers »

I am working on building a mag loop and have already done lots of drawings for some to build, the problem is that I want to operate 80/40 meters the most which requires a bigger loop for 80 meters from the research I've done so far. I have not given up on it tho its just that I'm going to get the smaller challenges out of the way first like my VHF/UHF setup and then I'll be coming back to the mag loop build I know I might have to build a couple for the bands I want to use. I've still got to do more research on the mag loop build to make sure I get things correct.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Wiggler »

I got my foundation licence whilst was at uni. I discovered GB3ZI was on the roof, and after listening a few times, decided to get my license.

I originally just bought a cheapo Chinese radio back in 2008 to listen to things like campus security and shopwatch/pubwatch and ended up a ham.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by PeterA »

I got back into the hobby (CB) a couple of years ago... I wanted to legally be able to modify, build and mess around with my own radios and other radio related equipment so took the foundation and then the intermediate license test so I can.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Retrodog »

Wish it was an option when I first got into amateur radio. Instead it was 9 months of night school followed by 6 months of Morse training. That took a lot more motivation than what is needed for a weekend course.
It’s so easy to get directly into the hobby these days, I mentioned this to two of my friends from the CB days of the early 80’s, both of them took their FL only one remains active, and has moved on to intermediate. The other put up a 3 element H.F. tribander on a tower over a year ago and has not used it since.
I do wonder how many took it to justify having kit and an antenna up for playing on chip butty. Shame really as it's been handed over on a plate.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Black Spirit »

I never had a B license or what the equivalent of what a foundation was back in the 90s, I did my 12wpm first [Self taught at home, No tutoring and passed after just a few weeks from not knowing my dits from my dahs] Then i did the C&G and had a class A, I only did it as many who were on CB at the time were doing it so i just jumped on the band wagon, Since passing in 1994 I have never used UHF and rarely use VHF [Although i do have a 2m setup] and probably only used 10m a hand full of times and never used anything below 10m .

It really bugs me when people say that they wont do it because the people on there are boring, Well dont bl00dy talk to them then !! nowhere in the license conditions does it state you have to talk to them, Whenever i do use VHF i only chat to those i know personally and who were/are also CBrs themselves, I always say to people who are considering it that you dont have to use it all the time, And its there if you fancy a change.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

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Black Spirit wrote: 13 Dec 2019, 16:54 It really bugs me when people say that they wont do it because the people on there are boring, Well dont bl00dy talk to them then !! nowhere in the license conditions does it state you have to talk to them, Whenever i do use VHF i only chat to those i know personally and who were/are also CBrs themselves, I always say to people who are considering it that you dont have to use it all the time, And its there if you fancy a change.
Spot on, I spend most of my time listening... My area has quite an active 2m and 70cm with regular repeater and simplex nets and chats.

I do join in now and then if the topic/conversation is of interest.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by 2E0UCW »

My main hobby is plane spotting - the purhase of a scanner and some internet searching for frequencies led me to amateur radio. A few more searches later and I thought I'd give it a try. Took the FL in early 2014 and the IL in late 2014. I'm mainly into 2m/70cm & DMR (I don't own any other kit). Whilst activity comes and goes, there are regular groups on simplex and various repeaters. I also join groups of amateurs that have field days with kit setup on various HF frequencies. Whilst local activity seems to differ across the country, there is a fair amount on HF both local and international. Even DMR has a lot of international activity.
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Re: What motivates people to take there Foundation License.

Post by Transwarp »

Retrodog wrote: 13 Dec 2019, 14:43 I do wonder how many took it to justify having kit and an antenna up for playing on chip butty. Shame really as it's been handed over on a plate.
There's a bit of truth in that but there's also more to it.

I did the foundation because it was an easier and quicker way to gain a licence to operate legally on the ham bands, I saw it as a 'try before commit' option, meaning that if I'd got fully into it I would have progressed through the licence structure. It didn't pan out that way for me and my interest in the hobby became less and less to the point that there was no point in having the gear I had just sat there doing nothing, so I decided to sell off almost all of what I had and pull some money back to spend on other things.

IMO the difference in how it was and how it is now is that the old way you had no choice but to learn & learn to gain before you could use, now you can learn a little and gain and use, but the key word is 'expectation' that you'll then continue to learn 'on the job' so to speak to make progress to become a Jedi master finally. However some do progress, some don't, and some just give it up. Choice then, and a word that some in the hobby find offensive but that's a different story. 'Choice' and 'expectation' though just don't get along in my experience within the hobby :problem:
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