Nick N1IC – How to Save Ham Radio – 5 Part Series (Part 1)

Nick N1IC – How to Save Ham Radio – 5 Part Series

When I was sitting back remembering how Ham – Amateur – Radio changed my life the other day it is a pretty remarkable story. I think my story is for another time but thinking about it made me want to sit back and give back to the hobby that I love so much and has done so much for me.

The best way I thought today was to think of ways we could work together and Save Ham Radio together. I of course am in no way saying I have all the ideas or answers and I would love to hear from others but I thought I would start with my opinions.

Ham Radio isn’t dead for sure: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2011/11/17/radio-days-are-back-ham-radio-licenses-at-all-time-high/

But are we doing all we could to promote Ham Radio to a generation that loves technology. They are glued to their tables and smartphones – they love to text and communicate. I bet – with the right motivation and experiences many of them would be interested in Ham Radio.

Over the next few weeks I am going to sit down and provide the roadmap that I have followed to help give exposure to others on radio, the safety and emergency communications aspect and the pure fun of building something new.

My first part of this series is on Sharing Ham Radio News with others:

Part One of Series –

Share the success of Ham Radio – for Personal Pleasure and Community Preparedness

Ham Radio has perceptions of being for old people, for being Morse code only, having to have huge towers in your backyard and various other misconceptions, to continue with this point many people don’t know how Ham Radio has been the only forum of communications during disasters, tsunamis, hurricanes and other events.

I would bet that many of you are on Facebook, Google +, Twitter or other social networks. How many times do you read useless posts? I would suspect it’s a lot. How many times have you read an article about Ham Radio and reposted it to your friends so they could understand a little better? I suspect not that many times.

Let me give you an example:

Ham Radio Can Save Lives

http://www.southgatearc.org/news/november2011/hs0ac_helps_save_almost_1000_lives.htm

Now do you think that your friends and family that you forwarded this too would read and be interested? Would you think that it would change just a small perception of the hobby your interested in?

Ok not good enough? How about this one:

Ham Radio Operators Become Lifeline for Tsunami-Stricken Indian Islands

http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2005-01-05-voa24-66363817/546509.html

Yes, I know what your saying now – well, I live in the US and we have a great communications system with tons of backup and this could never happen here so my friends and family wouldn’t care… or would they?

Hurricane Sandy: http://www.examiner.com/article/ham-radio-s-response-to-hurricane-sandy-is-reviewed-and-praised

Another: http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=695012

And yet another: http://www.loudountimes.com/index.php/news/article/ham_radio_saves_mans_life111/

I think my point is made – or I hope… But now you say my kids love texting and they aren’t going to use a radio? Isn’t this something we want to change? The ability to have a conversation not online – the art of being able to converse with someone new and learn and gain experience? Absolutely!

I mean come on we all know that Morse Code is faster than texting anyway:

http://videosift.com/video/Ham-Radio-Morse-Code-vs-Text-Messaging

So I think you get my point – we need to be sharing more stories about our hobby with others. I feel sometimes we are afraid to talk about it – the fact that someone might not find it interesting or think we are strange. I’m not sure what it is… but we seem to be afraid to share. I see so many posts on Facebook for nonsense I make it a point on a weekly basis to find something interesting about Ham Radio and post it.

What is the point to this? Well, it’s about changing perception, gaining interest and possibility a new Ham or two. It’s about showing people the possibilities and the technology… showing them the benefits of being prepared in an ever changing communications world.

Now you ask – Nick I just don’t have time to go out daily, weekly or monthly to look for this stuff and post it. Well, I agree – I don’t either…. That’s why I have it pushed to me. There are several Facebook Pages, Twitter Feeds and other RSS feeds that publish this information everyday.

For example:

http://www.hamuniverse.com/hamnews.html
http://www.dxzone.com/linktous/rss.shtml
http://twit.tv/hn
http://www.arrl.org/
http://www.southgatearc.org/

My goal is to always look to bring in one new person a year into Ham Radio – sometimes friends, family, Boy Scout or someone that just asks me about the antenna’s on my car. I have been pretty successful in doing this as well as I have been working on my wife for a few years now and I have her at the breaking point. She has said she would consider it since we live in Florida and with Hurricane Season every year… something she has said maybe she would need to look at doing.

It’s a great first step and one you should consider – share our stories they are great and people will be interested. I bet it will surprise you….

Here is my favorite video to share when someone asks me about the hobby…

Share it today! 6 mins of someone’s time could change their whole perception of what we do….

Until Part 2 – I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on our wonderful hobby.

Comments

  1. Francis Miele says:

    my 10 year old grandson earned his tech license last year and just passed his general class. We need more kids in the hobby.

  2. This makes sense. Thanks for discussing this and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

    However, you might want to rethink the article under “County Tyrone radio ham saves US plane after contact lost.” Clicking the link takes you to an article that begins with an update saying some of the details of the story don’t check. While hams know it does happen, that note on the article undermines its credibility.

    • Thanks for the update on the story. I’ll check the link and update it to another story maybe.

      • Sorry to say that I stopped reading the article after this link about the ham that saved a plane. Like the previous poster, the disclaimer at the top of the article from November 2012 undermines the credibility. Not to mention, as a pilot, the scenario listed does not make sense. Air traffic communications have may backups and failsafes, and a ham saving the day is not likely.

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