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Old April 10th 07, 02:16 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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"Dee Flint" wrote:

Yet the net number is far more meaningful. It is what tells us if we have
growth or not. Many (but not all) proponents said that this would bring
growth and, at least so far, it has not. Admittedly the time frame is as
yet too short. However, it's also too short to see if this change in new
Technicians is sustained or is a momentary blip in the curve.



As I see it, the time frame is too short to draw any conclusions of
any sort. Imagine that we were discussing a change to the tax laws that
was intended to increase reinvestment. How many YEARS would you have to
wait before you could say that you had conclusive proof that the policy
had succeeded or failed?
I still believe that the vast majority of persons who have an
interest in electronics, computers, radio and related fields; the
demographic segment from which one would reasonably expect to attract
new hams, knows nothing whatever about any of this. While they probably
read technical publications of some sort, most of them probably read no
publications that are explicitly about amateur radio. I have seen
virtually nothing on this topic in any other media.


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"xxx" wrote in message
...
"Dee Flint" wrote:

Yet the net number is far more meaningful. It is what tells us if we
have
growth or not. Many (but not all) proponents said that this would bring
growth and, at least so far, it has not. Admittedly the time frame is as
yet too short. However, it's also too short to see if this change in new
Technicians is sustained or is a momentary blip in the curve.



As I see it, the time frame is too short to draw any conclusions of
any sort. Imagine that we were discussing a change to the tax laws that
was intended to increase reinvestment. How many YEARS would you have to
wait before you could say that you had conclusive proof that the policy
had succeeded or failed?
I still believe that the vast majority of persons who have an
interest in electronics, computers, radio and related fields; the
demographic segment from which one would reasonably expect to attract
new hams, knows nothing whatever about any of this. While they probably
read technical publications of some sort, most of them probably read no
publications that are explicitly about amateur radio. I have seen
virtually nothing on this topic in any other media.


Which is precisely my point. Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.

Dee, N8UZE


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Old April 10th 07, 08:22 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:


Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.

73, de Hans, K0HB


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Old April 10th 07, 07:00 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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wrote:
On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:

Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.



I believe that Hans' percentage numbers are indeed relevant.

In a dynamic area such as ARS license numbers, there is a need to look
beyond raw numbers and to determine exactly why the numbers that you are
comparing look as they do.

Looking at the numbers in one way, we may wonder at an apparent
drop-off. A lot of technicians went way. We need to speculate on why. It
would be a basic assumption that they decided that Ham radio was not for
them.

Why? Some have speculated that the majority of that drop-off was a
change in communication habits, ie. Hams who got their licenses for
purposes of "calling home" to check in, or get a grocery list, or the
like. Some call that flavor of Ham a "honeydo" Ham. These people are
served by Cell phones now.

Others have speculated that the dropoff was due to poor treatment of
new Hams.

I don't doubt that there may be examples of the second group, I would
surmise that there could be a little bit of both reasons, but am
inclined to think it might be a 90/10 in favor of the former.

I have personally seen a surge of new Hams in our area. We've been
having a 2 percent growth in our area since *before* the testing change,
and assuming that tonights testing is successful, 2 new generals and a
Technician will be added to the ranks this evening. Those new guys don't
know a thing about what the Honeydo hams were doing ten years ago, and
don't particularly care either. They have become interested in Ham
radio, and we've encouraged them every step of the way. We've been
selling the sizzle.

One minor disagreement with Hans, though. I don't care if we get some
kind of huge growth, in fact, that would be lots of problems to deal
with. We need a steady influx of new people to keep the hobby
interesting, and to replace the fact that everyone is terminated to
ground eventually. 1 percent growth would be desirable in that context,
I think.

- 73 de Mike KB3EIA -


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Old April 10th 07, 10:51 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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wrote in message
oups.com...
On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:


Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.


Well I certainly run into a lot of people who don't know about it. They ask
me what my antennas are for and I tell them ham radio. The next question
out of their mouths is "Ham radio, what's that?"

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.


I don't know if that was the intent or not but some people tried to convince
the rest of us that it was absolutely necessary for amateur radio to grow.

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.

73, de Hans, K0HB


Personally I think there will be ups and downs.

Dee, N8UZE




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Old April 10th 07, 10:57 PM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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"Michael Coslo" wrote in message
...
wrote:
On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:

Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.



I believe that Hans' percentage numbers are indeed relevant.


However, they need to be looked at in context. Just looking solely at the
new licenses and upgrades does not give a complete picture.

In a dynamic area such as ARS license numbers, there is a need to look
beyond raw numbers and to determine exactly why the numbers that you are
comparing look as they do.


Which was precisely the point I attempted to make.

[snip]


One minor disagreement with Hans, though. I don't care if we get some kind
of huge growth, in fact, that would be lots of problems to deal with. We
need a steady influx of new people to keep the hobby interesting, and to
replace the fact that everyone is terminated to ground eventually. 1
percent growth would be desirable in that context, I think.

- 73 de Mike KB3EIA -


I would like to see it stay at about the same percentage of the general
population as it is now. As the population grows or shrinks, I would expect
our numbers to do the same. However, as you said, we do need the new
recruits as none of us are immortal.

Dee, N8UZE


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Old April 11th 07, 12:22 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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On Apr 10, 2:00�pm, Michael Coslo wrote:
wrote:
On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:


Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.


In my experience, non-hams' knowledge of the
existence of amateur radio is all over the map, from
"never heard of it" to "what do you want to know?"

Most people may have heard of it, but that doesn't mean
they really understand it. For example, I have met people
who thought amateur radio disappeared years ago. Others
think that it requires an elaborate station and the knowledge
of an EE just to get started. Etc.

With significantly less than 1% of US residents holding
amateur radio licenses, it's not unreasonable that lots
of people today would not have heard of amateur radio.

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.


"Growth" has consistently been one of the main reasons
given for changing the license requirements, by those
who wanted them changed.

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. *There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.


I think growth is a good thing, as long as it does not come
at the price of quality.

I believe that Hans' percentage numbers are indeed relevant.

In a dynamic area such as ARS license numbers, there is a need to look
beyond raw numbers and to determine exactly why the numbers that you are
comparing look as they do.


Agreed.

* * * * Looking at the numbers in one way, we may wonder at an apparent
drop-off. A lot of technicians went way. We need to speculate on why. It
would be a basic assumption that they decided that Ham radio was not for
them.


That assumption is incomplete, however.

Some may have decided ham radio was not for them.
Others may have had to put aside ham radio for a time,
because of other responsibilities.

A considerable number may have either died or become
incapacitated enough that amateur radio is no longer an
option for them.

Why? Some have speculated that the majority of that drop-off was a
change in communication habits, ie. Hams who got their licenses for
purposes of "calling home" to check in, or get a grocery list, or the
like. Some call that flavor of Ham a "honeydo" Ham. These people are
served by Cell phones now.


I know many hams who got licenses in the late 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
for just that reason. Some of them
became interested in other facets of amateur radio, some
did not. Some replaced amateur radio with a cell phone,
some did not.

I don't know if those who replaced amateur radio with a
cell phone make up a majority of those who left, or not.

But I do know this: We're not getting very many new
"honeydew" hams anymore. Not anywhere near what
we were getting before 1995 or so.

Others have speculated that the dropoff was due to
poor treatment of new Hams.


*I don't doubt that there may be examples of the second group, *I would
surmise that there could be a little bit of both reasons, but am
inclined to think it might be a 90/10 in favor of *the former.


If not even more so.

* * * * I have personally seen a surge of new Hams in our area. We've been
having a 2 percent growth in our area since *before* the testing change,
and assuming that tonights testing is successful, 2 new generals and a
Technician will be added to the ranks this evening. Those new guys don't
know a thing about what the Honeydo hams were doing ten years ago, and
don't particularly care either. They have become interested in Ham
radio, and we've encouraged them every step of the way. We've been
selling the sizzle.


Exactly! But by the same token, to get those 3 hams, you probably had
to sell the sizzle to quite a large number of
people.


*One minor disagreement with Hans, though. I don't care if we get some
kind of huge growth, in fact, that would be lots of problems to deal
with. We need a steady influx of new people to keep the hobby
interesting, and to replace the fact that everyone is terminated to
ground eventually. 1 percent growth would be desirable in that context,
I think.


I think that if Amateur Radio is presented in a clear and positive
manner, the growth will take care of itself.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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Old April 11th 07, 02:10 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

In .com writes:

On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:



Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.


I believe that there is a significant difference between "never heard"
of ham radio versus just aren't aware of aspects of ham radio that may
be appealing to them personally. The latter is far more prevalent, and
worrisome, in my opinion. What is the lay perception of ham radio?
Probably the most positive is that of of hard-core techies with antennas
all over their houses and cars (as hard-core techies are the force
behind popular, sometimes useful, things like the space program,
cellular telephones, digital music, HDTV, the Internet, etc.). Being
admired as techie heroes doesn't necessarily mean that a lot of people
want to become such techie heroes themselves, however. The most
negative image would be that of reclusive individuals engaging in an
obscure, possibly obsolete, pastime with no apparent redeeming social
value beyond preserving history and reminiscing about the past.

Over the years, I have observed the following common reactions by the
lay public to ham radio publicity and recruitment:

- Oh, isn't that like CB?

- So, can I set up my own broadcast station and play whatever music I
want?

- My grandfather/uncle/father/brother/cousin was into that many years
ago, is it still around?

- I'm really not deeply technical, is that for me?

- I do consider myself a techie, but would ham radio give me any useful
training or experience beyond what I could already get from
traditional academic or vocational programs?

The editorials linked by Ed Mitchell, KF7VY, in his "last column" below
are at least 8 years old or more, but I think they are still relevant to
the current discussion (though there has been some regulatory relief
since he wrote them, especially with regard to digital modes and
spread-spectrum):

http://www.hamradio-online.com/1999/oct/lastcolumn.html

I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.


That does seem to be the main strawman that's been built up by some (not
all) who would fight for the status-quo to the bitter end, and appear to
want to transfer the blame for lack of growth to others. Would a
stagnant service that wasn't shrinking, but wasn't growing, be any
better or worse than trying to appropriately embrace change?

I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.


73, de Hans, K0HB


Let's hope those sunspot cycles are better than the last few. I can't
recall any really good HF propagation since at least the late 1980's,
and certainly nowhere near the all-time peak in recorded history that
occurred in the 1950's (or so I'm told by my elders).

- --
73, Paul W. Schleck, K3FU

http://www.novia.net/~pschleck/
Finger for PGP Public Key


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Old April 11th 07, 02:10 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated
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Michael Coslo wrote on Tue, 10 Apr 2007 14:00:46 EDT:

Subject: Before and After Cessation of Code Testing

wrote:
On Apr 9, 8:22 pm, "Dee Flint" wrote:


Changes in requirements don't have any effect
when the potential recruits have no idea that the hobby even exists.


I don't believe that there is any significant percentage of the
general population of the USA who has never heard of ham radio.


I don't believe the "changes in requirements" were intended to grow
ham radio.


I don't even care if ham radio grows or doesn't grow. There are
millions of hams on planet Earth, more than enough to fill my logs on
any mode I choose through at least the next four sunspot cycles.


I believe that Hans' percentage numbers are indeed relevant.

In a dynamic area such as ARS license numbers, there is a need to look
beyond raw numbers and to determine exactly why the numbers that you are
comparing look as they do.


In general I agree with you Mike. I've had some trouble getting
to the website where Hans got his numbers; www.ncvec.org doesn't
have any page with that information.

Other than that, amateur radio licensee numbers MUST remain "up"
in order to indicate to the government there is a "presence" of
citizens in a sizeable number that deserves attention. There
are many different radio services regulated by the FCC and
amateur radio is a minority among those.

The "why" of license changes can be determined by different raw
database searching than what most "statistics" websites show.
The information exists as to changes in class. Obviously there
has been a large number of recent "upgrades" of Technician to
General. None of us can find any reasons for licensees letting
their licenses lapse, at least from the raw database.

The FCC database may be publicly-downloadable but it is LARGE
at, what, 80 to 90 Megabytes? One needs high-speed Internet
service for reasonable downloading. File size of the database
is not a problem in modern PCs, nor is it difficult to write a
specific sorting routine to extract various categories' data.
Many publicly-accessible websites already do some sorting.

Why? Some have speculated that the majority of that drop-off was a
change in communication habits, ie. Hams who got their licenses for
purposes of "calling home" to check in, or get a grocery list, or the
like. Some call that flavor of Ham a "honeydo" Ham. These people are
served by Cell phones now.


Based on my experience in southern California, I took the
"honey-do" license reason as pure speculation on others' part.
What I have seen here in the last decade is: (1). A rapid
growth of cellular in its present compact HT form; (2). a
growth of "technician" type VHF and UHF activity which had
already begun well back before the year 2000 Restructuring.

Caveat: I live in a large urban population area, not unlike
the NYC-LI, Chicago, San Francisco ('Bay Area'), Seattle, etc.
areas. VHF-UHF at LOS paths works well in such areas. But,
there is another part of VHF-UHF radio activity that doesn't
quite have the parallel of HF DX hunting, in-person get-
togethers, spontaneous or planned.

The BBS or Bulletin Board System had a tremendous growth
from the early 1980s to the "ripening" of the Internet in
the later 1990s. Quite a number of those BBSs featured
in-person "gatherings" of a social nature where all could
get to know one another better, not through the scarcity of
few clues presented through a computer screen. That's not
unlike the VHF-UHF large urban amateur situation where the
participants can travel a short distance to some gathering.
There's not the "DX Isolation" of hundreds or thousands of
miles to another continent as is often the case on HF.

There's more activity of radio amateurs above 30 MHz than
what the "HF" amateurs think, especially in larger urban
areas. Those who operate above 30 MHz should never be
thought of or even considered as "second-class" amateurs
of the "shack on a belt" category.

I have personally seen a surge of new Hams in our area. We've been
having a 2 percent growth in our area since *before* the testing change,
and assuming that tonights testing is successful, 2 new generals and a
Technician will be added to the ranks this evening. Those new guys don't
know a thing about what the Honeydo hams were doing ten years ago, and
don't particularly care either. They have become interested in Ham
radio, and we've encouraged them every step of the way. We've been
selling the sizzle.


There's a problem with using anecdotal evidence: It is too
limited to apply to the national scene. Changes in licensing
patterns FOR the national area can only be derived from national
licensing information. I can say my 91352 ZIP area has 78 hams
with over 2/3 of those at Tech or Tech-Plus category but it
means little for a national amateur radio condition. Yes, at
my test session on 25 Feb 07 over half were there to get or to
upgrade from Technician licenses. Doesn't mean much to looking
at the overall national scene.

One minor disagreement with Hans, though. I don't care if we get some
kind of huge growth, in fact, that would be lots of problems to deal
with. We need a steady influx of new people to keep the hobby
interesting, and to replace the fact that everyone is terminated to
ground eventually. 1 percent growth would be desirable in that context,
I think.


The national population keeps on growing. Amateur radio licensee
numbers have not over the last four years. To keep a "presence"
of the hobby requires that licensee numbers at least keep pace with
the population increases. The FCC is aware of numbers and serves
the national interest, not just amateurs. The FCC must try to
accomodate all the radio services as best it can. In general, I
see them as doing that.

If the amateur radio licensee numbers are up or at least
maintained,
there will be a MARKET of suppliers of amateur radio goods. That's
important, not just for ready-made super-deluxe do-everything rigs
but also for supplies, of components, of accessories. If the
market sees a decline in percentage of the population, then some
will drop out or the prices of goods will increase.

The amateur radio market has already dropped some. Advertising
sales are down slightly. That was enough to force HR and 73 to
quit their independent publications, for CQ to reduce its VHF
specialty periodical. QST hangs in there on the basis of enormous
support from the ARRL but it is folly to depend on it as the sole
source of all US amateur radio information. Radio Shack is mainly
a purveyor of consumer electronics goods. There are fewer and
fewer "radio parts" stores across the country; most of the old
"radio parts" aren't even made now, their makers into other,
more profitable electronics goods areas. Without a "presence"
in the marketplace, a decline in license numbers could continue
a slow market drought.

BTW, as to Dee Flint's other comment in this thread, the "pros"
in electronics HAVE been informed of the code test elimination
since December, 2006. EDN and Electronic Design, both industry
trades of wide distribution, and SPECTRUM, the membership
magazine of the IEEE had news of that prior to 23 Feb 07. There
were brief mentions of it in various Pentron industry trade
news, even the occasional newspaper "filler" story around the
country. It wasn't known just to already-licensed radio amateurs
but to a larger segment of the electronics-oriented public.

73, Len AF6AY

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"AF6AY" wrote in message
oups.com...

[snip]

BTW, as to Dee Flint's other comment in this thread, the "pros"
in electronics HAVE been informed of the code test elimination
since December, 2006. EDN and Electronic Design, both industry
trades of wide distribution, and SPECTRUM, the membership
magazine of the IEEE had news of that prior to 23 Feb 07. There
were brief mentions of it in various Pentron industry trade
news, even the occasional newspaper "filler" story around the
country. It wasn't known just to already-licensed radio amateurs
but to a larger segment of the electronics-oriented public.

73, Len AF6AY


What percentage of the general populace read EDN, Electronic Design, and
Spectrum? We can't rely on just one group of people (pros in electronics)
to provide stability or even growth. Just because a person is an
electronics pro doesn't necessarily mean that amateur radio will tickle
their fancy.

What percentage of the newspapers carried those fillers? Not many. Of
those, what percentage of people actually read the fillers tucked in here
and there in the newspaper?

We need to get the word out among the general populace not just specialty
groups.

Dee, N8UZE




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