Charlie Li on 16 May 2019 15:17:41 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] PLUG Fusion room or DMR Talkgroup

Keith C. Perry wrote:
> “Our amateur population is at an all-time high, but most new hams are getting a Technician ticket, getting on VHF and UHF, and hanging out with like-minded friends,” Hull said. The limitations on what Technician licensees can do often leads to boredom, Hull said, “and they drop out of the hobby. They never get the exposure to HF ham radio, and as any veteran radio amateur can tell you, that’s a lifelong exploration.”
> I can't count how often I heard things like that and yet when I talk about going at least up to general class what I've heard is people either don't have the space for the antenna(s) and/or the gear or the prices of the gear is too expensive.  The motivation and satisfaction of being able to be create your own communication infrastructure and being able to talk up to world-wide distances is not there in the same way it was years ago.  So the willingness to get the gear and "sciene it" is gone.  However, the desire to talk in what I would call beyond-the-repeater is.  That's one of the reasons why we started linking repeaters because the truth of the matter is that we're not always doing field day lugging around a mobile shack or wanting to be tied to base station.  Sometimes you just want to chop it up with other hams an easy to work mode and band.  What digital modes have done, particularly on the high bands techs have access too, is allow for a new phase experimentation in linked systems.  In this case technology advances have brought this down to the station licensee- you can get a single board computer and actually contemplate what we are talking about right now without having to be a repeater operator.  I'd be the first to say that in my book this not playing radio in the traditional sense (since most of the infrastructure that carries traffic runs over commerical lines) but so what?  A 25 year old ham is not a 50 year old ham is not a 75 year old ham.  If the merger of technologies inspires newer hams to play in the hobby, I think they will upgrade.  If they like digital modes on UHF/VHF over the internet then I think there will be a natural motivation to get into the digital modes and other things on HF.
As a 25-year old new ham still without his Baofeng, all of this right
here. Even though I've got some investment in the hobby long before I
got my Tech, that doesn't mean the same approach that has been practised
before me will work with the rest my generation. Remember, I among
others, are dealing with people who have never ever heard of amateur
radio, nor could they care less otherwise. Even the meaning of 73, which
in the past spread beyond hams, is lesser known anymore. That's as basic
as it gets.
> To that point...
> “Our ambition should be to embrace these individuals in their activities and accept that some of the more traditional aspects of the hobby will hold little interest to them, and indeed may no longer be relevant,” he continued. “That is not to say that some are not enthused with what we all hold as the core of our hobby, such as contesting or operating generally. I fear, though, that we need to look at what will attract the new generations to Amateur Radio and make sure we promote Amateur Radio as meeting their needs, rather than promoting the historical view of what Amateur Radio has to offer.”
> So, here we are.  I think what PLUG has to ofter the ham community in terms a GOTA (get on the air) effort could be playing in the digital mode area.  I've been listening to hams on digital talk about some of the frustrations of setting of hotspots (and it general how to use this SBCs) that we would take for granted in PLUG.  While you could (and I think should) support local ham radio clubs that have nothing to do with the cross pollentation of knowledge or having a place where someone can gain confidence learning how to play radio with people they know who [probably **grin**] aren't going to take of their heads it they don't do things just right.
> Of course, my thesis could be wrong when applied to PLUG'ers, which is why I posted to see what others thought.  I appreciate the discussion.
In my previous emails, I wasn't just angling things toward non-ham
PLUGers, but just the technical masses in general. In this ham context
however, such a distinction is not relevant, as I've found that even
that even the most computing technical (even those who do
hardware/embedded stuff) of folks still have no clue of amateur radio.
> Would a general GOTA event or a show and tell (operate) be useful?  If so, from there we could gauge what the interest is in a PLUG room or talkgroup.
> This would need to be paired with some introductory material, perhaps
both a pre-meeting publicising blurb (with my contacts) and the first
half of the meeting itself. I would think that phone should be covered
before digital, as that is the most basic stuff, even though talkgroups
and such are digital. I am going to fill those contacts in now for a
future PLUG meeting they should cover :-)

Finally, I wanted to retort some of Jim's thoughts of "fixing the
hobby". No one is advocating that at all; it's all about introducing the
hobby to the masses where they otherwise would never have known. That
includes meeting them where they are at, not by shouting at them to come
to us. Open source and amateur radio have more in common than not, and
we should definitely accentuate that relationship as much as possible.
(I still thank you for that study packet, that was more helpful than I
could have mustered.)

Charlie "C as in Charlie" Li

(This email address is for mailing list use only; replace local-part
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