[CQ-Contest] Aging ranks. (was WPX Rumination)

Robert Naumann n5nj at att.net
Wed Jun 2 14:22:17 EDT 1999

+AD4- reason you quote.  When I was younger, I would have loved to go to Dayton.
+AD4- Never could AFFORD it. The main operative here is that YOU NEED MONEY TO
+AD4- TO DAYTON. If one is from ordinary roots, one has to be an old codger, or
+AD4- fortunate in business, or have no kids TO HAVE MONEY. You can figure this
+AD4- out by noting the only weekend in the year that the Dayton airport is
+AD4- in small aircraft, and you have to get a landing time in advance.

As one of the +ACI-kids+ACI- who has been going to Dayton for 20+- years, I can tell
you that you +ACo-don't+ACo- need a lot of money to go to Dayton - especially if you
live within one or two days' car drive.  Granted, you need to plan ahead and
perhaps take a couple of vacation days.

I recall rooming with about 8 other guys (+ACo-whew+ACo-) so we could split the cost
of a hotel room to make it affordable.  We also jammed 5 or 6 guys in a
station wagon to split the cost of driving.  One year we stuffed two
Russians in the far back of the station wagon between the luggage.  It's not
the nicest way to travel, but it's cheap +ACE-  Some of the hotels are pretty
reasonable if you are willing to stay outside of the downtown area.  Even
downtown, if you split it enough ways, it gets reasonable.

The myth that it costs a lot to go to Dayton is just that.

In my opinion, the problem we are seeing is that it takes too much work to
become a ham and there's just too much competing for the attention of
potential young hams.

They're not amazed at being able to communicate through the air as many of
us were because they're numbed to it by things like cell phones that are

The cost has nothing to do with it.  Have you seen the price of kids' name
brand sneakers ?  Shoes ? What about video games ?  Computers ?  High-tech
bicycles ?  Kids have all that stuff and cost doesn't seem to be much of a
problem there.

The suggestion about inviting kids to do multi-ops is good, but I've done
that with my own harmonic and he gets bored with it quickly.  I'm afraid
that kids see things differently than we do/did.  I'm not sure what the
answer is but I hope this discussion may produce some ideas.

I have stumbled onto one thing that is much more difficult than it used to
be since Heathkit is gone and that is building equipment.  I recently
purchased a kit from a company called +ACI-Radio Adventures+ACI- that is a digital
display that will work with older rigs like my R-4C.  While I was building
it, my son and one of his friends were very interested in what I was doing
and wanted to try some assembly and soldering themselves.  Perhaps the
Elecraft K2 kit radio is coming out just at the right time.

Bob N5NJ

Robert E. Naumann
N5NJ / V26O
Plano, TX  USA
ex KR2J, V26RN, W6V, WA2OVE

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