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RE: What's left for HAM radio?

> The point I think is that kids don't have to be a ham to have 
> fun with a
> radio. I've seen FRS radios for 19.99...How many 12 yr olds 
> do you know who
> have the cash to buy any reasonable ham radio other than an 
> HT. I was 13
> when I became a ham and if it wasn't for someone loaning me 
> an HT I'd have
> quickly lost interest.

I agree and applaud Bob's efforts too.  There are a lot of things we can do
to get new people involved.  Making use of licence free radio services is
one (here, the best choice is UHF CB, which is relatively inexpensive and
licence free).  At least 2 of us monitor a UHF CB channel during our weekly
club net, so SWLs can say hello, and we've been known to hang around for
hours on UHF, long after the ham net has wound up.

I also try and get people to listen in where possible on scanners, shortwave
receivers or straming audio links on the Internet (if you're near an IRLP
node, tell the local SWLs to hook up to the reflector 2 streaming audio feed
with their browser then jump on and and work a mobile on the other side of
the world - it blows their mind - I''ve done just that! :) ).

For satellites, I used to have a number of regular scanner listeners on
SO-35 when it was active, told them to listen out for me then ICQ me back
with their results.  The RS birds can be received on a general coverage Rx.
It's amazing how many people with mobile phones on their belt stae in
disbelief - "You can get into a satellite with THAT!!??!!??" when I show
them the HT and tell them about satellites (and here, the traffic density is
so low, the hardest part can be finding someone at the other end for any
demo, and a HT walks into UO-14).

With PC-Sat, you could use AGWPE and a monitor program (AGWMON) to grab the
data off air... (obviously the keen could setup an APRS monitoring station
:) ).

Whatever we do, the key is to _include_ non hams in whatever way possible,
so they feel a part of our community.  Over here, there is sometimes a bit
of "us" and "them" between hams and non hams, instead of "all of us
together".  Including the non hams is good bait for that hook - If we want
to share it and have fun while sharing, it must be good! :)
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