How to Fix Ham Radio’s Youth Problem

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  1. We’ve got to embrace the new technologies faster and faster digital Technologies for our on air systems mesh Arduino and other technologies which are the newest.

    And a little advertising would help also. Finding the trendy new people and using them to advertise our hobby. a young face for ham radio, made a bit available to radio and TV stations as a public service advertisement. What a concept. All TV and radio stations have to put these on to fill their FCC requirements. But apparently we have nothing available. I’ve never seen anything?

    • Michael,

      I worked in broadcast television and radio for about two decades. Public Service Announcements always…ALWAYS…get scheduled where there is unsold inventory. If you watch television at 2 AM, you will see PSAs or Direct Response advertising.

      A PSA…unless the station is a participating partner…or it’s a paid schedule…never sees day time clearance. Sad comment on the industry, I know, but that is how it has worked for decades.

      73, Brian

  2. Kids respond to computers. When we at the Gwinnett Amateur Radio Society introduce Amateur Radio using computers we see a significant response. QRZ.com, ARRL.org, Ham Radio Delux, FreeDVcodec2, FLDIGI, etc…these sites and programs attract young minds born in the pc generation. Kids like devices. There is an old saying…Fish in the pond where there are fish!

  3. My good friiend, Brooke Allen N2BA, an avid, lifelong contester, has a different take on this. I think you make some valid points, but why not exaggerate the fun aspect of ham radio? Here is a snippet from a newsgroup:

    http://lists.contesting.com/archives//html/CQ-Contest/2011-02/msg00159.html

    I have his actual article someplace in my archives. It makes fascinating and compelling reading.

    73 DE N2GJ

  4. Ron Jahr says:

    I just read in the newspaper that School District 200 (Wheaton, Warrenville, and other nearby communities) is conducting a STEM Expo on Saturday, January 28, 2016. http://www.new200.org/event/stem-expo/ While there are many exhibitors ranging from larger organizations (Fermilab) to small (Two Beekeepers), there is no representation for Amateur Radio. Venues of this type would be ideal for introducing young people to our very STEM-related avocation. As a junior high school student (way back in the day) I participated in statewide Science Fair competition with an exhibit of my home-brewed 80-meter transmitter. It seems to me that similar events could be exploited to promote Amateur Radio. Brian, thank you for posting your original commentary.

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