September 30, 2013
By Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA)
-- The question is: .... "Explain amateur radio?"
Seems to be a pretty simple question, but think about it: do you have the right answer or answers?
Dare say most of us would not be able to succinctly give an answer - that is, without saying what we did, and even a few who would slip into jargon and ham-lingo to give some sort of a reply.
As every good salesperson learns, it is essential to know about the product or service on offer to have a hope of clinching a deal with a customer. So it should be with amateur radio, if we are to be successful in recruiting new people into our ranks. Unless we have the right messages and can communicate them, true success is not realised.
The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA), in the lead-up to its PR4AmateurRadio Expo in April, will help clubs or groups maximise their involvement in this publicity drive.
And as an "explain amateur radio" Ed VK2JI says it's time to "Wake up and smell the roses!" it's a kind of Ham Radio 101 primer.
How often do we hear each other saying this or that was good "back in the day"?
Well I've been around the traps a few times, and agree the 70s and 80s were great for Amateur Radio and its importance in the world. But STOP and take a look around. You may not have realised it but it's GREAT to be in Amateur Radio again.
With regular contacts to the space station.
With Amateur Radio providing an essential service in many, many disaster situations around the world.
With great contests and DXpeditions, in many cases to places not possible before.
With new construction kits letting even a newcomer build a complete stable transceiver in a few nights' work.
With portable operation being at its highest for a long time with Summit and Park activation award schemes.
With the use of QRP both portable and with new data modes that were never around "back in the day" allowing communications below the noise level.
With Digital and Analogue repeaters allowing a handy talkie to talk around the world.
With tracking and data comms via APRS.
With balloon launches to the outer layers of the earth's atmosphere.
We are seeking more young people to join our fantastic hobby - we now have so many more things to offer them than we had "back in the day."
So PLEASE, the next time someone says to you, "So what's this ham radio thing about?" don't say, "Well, it used to be good but now it's just a bunch of us old folk chatting to each other" - while that's important, there are so, so many other facets to the hobby today that simply didn't exist years ago.
WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES!
The Amateur Radio hobby is BACK IN BLOOM and leading technology as always.