Aging Contesters

sawyers at sawyers at
Mon Nov 13 08:32:17 EST 1995

My brief two cents on the subject:

I think we are seeing the result of the computer revolution siphoning off 
the technically curious that had traditionally entered amateur radio. This 
started in the mid 70's and continues today. I also see the Internet and 
the World Wide web as competitors to HF in the neophytes eyes. The lure is 
that the WWW doesn't require a license and is about 10% of the cost of 
putting up a modest sized low power station with a tower.

I know this is what happened to me. I started into amateur radio 20 years 
ago and got side tracked into computers. I did everything from local BBS's 
to being a sysop for AOL. Now I am ready to try amateur radio again.

The other thing that is deterring significant participation is the 
extremely restrictive zoning and deed covenants, or, in the case of 
apartments or trailer parks, management restrictions, that cover most of 
the housing in this country. You can probably slip in something for six 
meters, two meters, or higher but you can't even think about a three 
element tribander. So if we do get them into the hobby, they have very 
limited incentive to upgrade because they can not effectively exercise 
their new privileges.

IMHO the only way to get new contestors is to take the SOB's (Shack On Belt 
- I am one of them) and get them involved with a contest effort. I know 
that is what got me hooked - now if I could just quit working 80 hours a 
week and had time to upgrade.

Sorry for the bandwidth.

de n0yvy steve

My company and I agree on at least one thing: My opinions are my own.

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