Welcome Forums Ham Radio Chat How to encourage others to look into amateur radio?

  • This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 3 weeks ago by MZeroXMZ.
Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #1355
      MZeroXMZ
      Participant

      Any tips on how to do this? I’ve tried to get my Dad interested, and he’s warming to it slowly but still “doesn’t get it”. Others my age or a bit younger (let’s say 35-45) at work or relatives are interested at first when I’ve mentioned it but then I struggle to get across why I like it and why they should have a go, as Foundation is so easy to get.

      I get questions/remarks like:

      “breaker breaker, 10-4 and all that eh, CB is a bit 80’s isn’t it?”
      “But a mobile phone is a radio and I don’t need a license to talk around the world”
      “noone I know has a radio so who would I talk to, what use is it?”
      “isn’t it a bit old fashioned?”
      “oh I’ve got some radios, I didn’t need a license”

      and the classic “isn’t it just for old men?” (now I’m slowly entering that demographic myself, but I’m probably still one of the youngest at the radio society I’ve joined as far as I can see at nearly 48).

      I found myself thinking of the jokey truth that is “amateur radio is a hobby where people talk to other people about their hobby” which didn’t help.

      I showed my Dad some HF – RX only as the antenna was less than well situated and I couldn’t get out to anyone QRP (20m frequency was fairly active last week on holiday where I took my X6100) and it was all just rapid QSLs maybe a contest which didn’t enthuse, and when I switched on my 2m HT it was dead apart from a barely audible conversation about the weather and health problems, but then a SOTA QC call came out so at least i could talk about that!).

      how do you get people interested that don’t know about it?

      • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by MZeroXMZ.
      • This topic was modified 3 weeks, 3 days ago by MZeroXMZ.
    • #1374
      Dan Simpson
      Participant

      I’m not sure you can influence people to lije this hobby.
      More a case of actively promoting you enjoy it, and, when someone shows interest, letting them see and explaining what it is you do.
      Although I only use hf, ssb, there’s so many different modes now, and unfortunately, my enthusiasm /knowledge woukd only limit what I could pass on.
      Schools coukd do more, but it’s not part of their curriculum, so it doesn’t happen big scale.
      Stations set up at various County shows, well it may kindle a few, but the main attraction of the show will limit numbers interested in “radio”.
      Lockdown and online foundation I would think helped increase numbers for that period, it certainly brought me into the licensed part of the hobby.
      And there’s the other thing, there are soooo many things that people can do to occupy their free time.
      Sorry if it comes across a bit negative, but to help us understand how the hobby can move forward, maybe a bit more analysis on what holds it back..
      ATB
      Dan
      M7JJO

    • #1376
      MZeroXMZ
      Participant

      So the hobby “self-selects” then so its more, as you say, making it better known in general rather than trying to “convert” people to it. It is a pity its not included in the school physics curriculum (I can barely remember covering radio waves), that would have been fun and probably got me interested in it years earlier.

      • #1378
        Dan Simpson
        Participant

        You could almost say it “self infects” those that get the bug lol.
        I remember finding it hard to understand some basic electronics, other than ohms law, back at school,it was such a minor part of the Physics teaching at O level.

        CB back in the late 70s was fun, all we knew was yer had to swr the antenna, there was different modes, AM, then ssb, later FM, and back then “power” was king. If you were lucky you got to know someone that had scanners, wow, listening in to all those frequencies, and if further interested, Short Wave listening.
        Mine progressed remarkably, as sort of the same era, I qualified in Electronic Test, and the lecturer was a Ham. However, I didnt have the time or the miney back then to do anything about it, and, once left college, there were no other hams I knew.
        As I said earlier, lockdown was the time I used to investigate Amateur Radio further. Imagine my delight, not only was there free training (cheers Pete), but I didnt have to learn morse, and the exam was online.
        I must admit, Ive now stalled a bit, I have Foundation, and, now back at work full time, have little or no time to devote to Intermediate courses yet (retire in 2 years, so thats my next window of opportunity)

        So, getting back to the OP;
        I believe its necessary for new people to have some initial interest, it can be “stirred” a little by meeting others that are hams and being at ham events, but after that, its down to the individual to want to learn more, you cant force feed it like a school curriculum.
        There will be a finite amount of people that will have that interest, even after being introduced to the hobby.
        It therefore becomes like the old direct sales routine, more people that see or hear your ad, the more possible leads you get, the more people that hear of ham radio, then a greater chance of those finite groups of people have of coming into contact with the hobby.
        I mentioned County Shows…maybe the best ones are those military displays, demonstrations at those, showing radio communications, even morse code, show people how to spell their name in code, give them a paper printout to go away with,
        if a qso is obtained on air, get a qsl physical card printed out to remind them.
        Gimmicks? yep.
        Schools, sponsored kits for kids to assemble, with basic theory how each bit works, get a ham to set up using something they have made, show them how easy it can be.
        Anyway, this is just me rambling.
        Here we are discussing how to get new blood into ham radio, and its hard enough to get existing hams to use a forum like this lol.
        ATB
        Dan
        M7JJO

        • #1379
          MZeroXMZ
          Participant

          Here we are discussing how to get new blood into ham radio, and its hard enough to get existing hams to use a forum like this lol.

          Yes its true, the social media platforms fragmented traditional forums (fora!?) but it’s still worth trying to use one (catch-22 without a critical mass a forum dies, without an active forum it won’t get to critical mass to self-sustain), especially as posts on a forum tend to stick around for years and can a useful record whereas facebook etc often the posts are hard to search for and disappear (The Wayback Machine/Internet archive doesn’t work for them).

          I think I didn’t know I liked amateur radio because I didn’t know anything about it (even though I liked physics, electronics computers etc). Thinking back 35 years or so I did join the school “satellite club” decoding weather images using a handheld yagi and a tape recorder which I suppose was a type of amateur radio (albeit Rx only), and then from that day until 3 months or so ago it never crossed my path again until it was on the news the BBC started shortwave transmitting into Ukraine and we had a random conversation at work about it. An unfortunate accident left me unable to walk for several weeks so I looked into it more and found the inline exams, no practical and did all three a couple of weeks after each other – now here I am trying to friends and colleagues and relatives involved when I don’t really know that much about it myself yet.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.