Re: OT: I shouldn't be posting this...


From: Dick Carroll (
Date: Sat Jan 01 2000 - 11:13:50 EST

Juan, thank you for your very revealing report from Spain.
It shows that those influences can really cause problems
within ham radio, and with the huge numbers of participants
who can confidently predict better results for the USA?

73, Dick W0EX

Juan Jose Pastor Estornell wrote:
> Hi all,
> This is the experience from Spain. Here in EA-land
> we had the CW reading tests optional for the HF bands during the 80's and, as
> those of you who were active on the bands by then could testify, the spanish
> phone ops were internationally regarded as "lids". The ranks were flooded with
> CBers looking for more room and their jargon has still firm influence in the ham
> phone language. Most of them bought expensive antennas and japanese blackboxes
> but got bored in a few years and are not active anymore, some of them got
> involved in DXing and became DXCC hunters, now switching from mode to mode or
> surfing the net. A few of them became CW operators (here in Spain we have the
> 100EACW diplome for working 100 different EA/EC stations in CW, dating from that
> years when meeting 100 different spanish calls on the air was truly hard to
> accomplish...), not more than about 10% of them are still holding their
> calls/licenses. The resuming of the CW tests calmed things down and the ham
> radio was healty with plenty of newcomers. But now we have a new threat:
> computers and the internet. These critters are drawing the technical interest of
> youngsters to them, it is very hard to find a teenager involved with ham radio
> nowadays. Even with no CW tests at all, it will be way hard to attract young
> people to the ham radio. Let's face it: I still have novice restrictions and the
> novice segments are usually dead, any new EC will be bored quickly. Even in
> commonly used segments (my segment in 40 runs between 7.020 and 7.030) there is
> way less activity than a couple of years ago. Do you remember 15 and 10 meters
> 10 years ago? We are touching the peak of this cycle and they are a ghost of
> what they were... The internet is even taking us out from our radios... My guess
> is that in some (less than 30 I guess) years Yaeicomwood will retire from the
> Ham market
> as there will be not enough demand to go on bussiness. The huge national
> associations (ARRL, DARC, RSGB, URE...) will have not enough membership to carry
> on their activities, even there will be not enough hams to justify the expenses
> of the licensing system for the FCC and other PTT departments worldwide, so the
> only hams remaining will be like the pioneers back in the heroic ages,
> homebrewing their own rigs and inventing their own calls. They will have to set
> up skeds via internet e-mail and the QSL will be by the same way. A nice future,
> don't you think? :-) ;-)
> Hope we now enter the Elmer mode and make a lot of new homebrewers to keep
> the hobby alive!. And have a happy Y2K without the "2000 effect" faults.
> 73, 72 de Juanjo, EC5ACA/QRP. EA-QRP #104, G-QRP #9742, QRP-L #1662.
> Juanjo Pastor
> C/San Roque, 4-1
> 46460 Silla
> Valencia
> Tel. +34 96 120 17 67
> e-mail:

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