The concept of Ham Radio originated over a hundred years ago, and as of today, it is not in an ideal position. You may have already heard people talk about how ham radio is dying, and even though there is a lot of truth to that, there are still things that can be done to save this community.
People who ruled amateur radio have gotten old, and now the young blood needs to step up to keep the tradition going. The good news is that in the past couple of years many amateur licenses have been issued and it is being revived slowly. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for Ham radios has also increased. Many specialized online shops are currently offering CB radios for sale under leading brands in the industry.
One of the main reasons ham radio is lacking behind is that its community is constantly neglecting new radio technologies. These technologies can help save Ham radio and can completely revive it. To tackle this problem, the first thing we need to do is accept the hacker community. Now, keep in mind, a hacker doesn’t only refer to people who hack technologies to gain illegal benefits. A hacker is a person who has learned about the technology by dismantling it. Below I have mentioned a few things we can do to attract the hacker community towards ham radio. Let’s take a look:
Halt Emergency Communications Promotions
In the past few years, Ham radio has become more of an emergency communication radio. While ham radio certainly has a place in emergency communications, we don’t need to promote it as one. Ham radio has so much more potential, and it can be utilized for something more than emergency communications. The Hacker community is not really interested in getting weather updates through ham radio, so we need to change our attitude towards it. We need to remember that we launch our own satellites and have access to technologies with better applications. Radiofrequency, satellites, and VoIP communications are what attract hackers, and we already have all of that. To revive the radio, we will have to stop emergency communications promotions temporarily. Once we are in a better position, we can continue the emergency communications promotions again, but only as a secondary service.
Spark Technical Discussions
Most people running ham radios in the USA are focused on emergency communications, which needs to change. Ham radio has a lot of potential, and it can thrive again if we shift the focus towards technical discussions. If we want to attract the hacker community, we need to spark conversations that they are interested in. Emergency communications aren’t learning or exploration, which is why ham radio is dying. That is why we need to build an environment where the talk is focused on RF technologies. If you cannot do that yourself, you can turn towards digital voice modes and can create new small communities with the same interests.
Prioritize Software Radios
It is time for us to start promoting software-defined radios because that is where the interest lies. The hacker community is doing a lot of new work in radio frequency, which means they will be open to testing out software-defined radios. They are already dealing with technologies like IoT, Wi-Fi, and LoRa on a daily basis and would be keen to learn about software-defined radios. This is one of the reasons we need to embrace new technologies. Embracing software-defined radios will open a lot of new doors for us hams. If we refuse to keep up with the technologies, it wouldn’t be long before we go extinct.
Harry Wilson is the Head of Digital Marketing Department at Globex Outreach. He helps clients grow their online businesses and occasionally writes blogs to share his experience with other professionals.