[CQ-Contest] July QST arrives "Antenna Issue"

Tom Frenaye frenaye at pcnet.com
Mon Jun 25 14:32:53 EDT 2001

Someone mentioned that the discussion about ARRL wasn't all that related to
cq-contest.  I generally agree but wanted to respond to one of the recent messages.
(see notes below)
                        -- Tom

At 01:42 PM 6/25/2001 -0600, Philip F. Krichbaum/N0KE wrote:

>For the majority of new hams the ARRL has no appeal to them so why join.
>I've travelled a bit in Central America and Europe and when I mention
>CC&Rs as being a major factor in preventing many American hams from
>putting up any type of reasonable antennas, they have no idea what I'm
>talking about as it is pretty much an American thing and fortunately
>hasn't spread much to other parts of the world. 

I think restrictions are very common in western Europe.

>If the ARRL wanted to do
>something to help hams, they would work on this.

It is one of our highest priorities, some of our activity has been reported in QST
during the last year.

>I've heard people
>predict that the ARRL will be lucky to survive another 10 years. 

I'll take that bet (I'm certain it will survive and prosper for a long time)

>When I
>got started in 1954, it was the rare ham who was not a member of the

I'm not sure you're accurate about that.   I think it can generally be said that
most active USA hams are ARRL members.  I did some research a couple of
years ago and found that of 500+ callsigns copied on 160-2 meters (non-contest,
non-pileup), close to 80% were members.   In the 1950's the license term was only
one year so anyone who lost interest didn't stay in the FCC database for ten years.
When I was licensed in the 1960's I think ARRL membership was in the range of 
30-35% of USA hams, today it is around 25%.   Not bad considering the big changes
over the past 40 years. 

>Now about 25% belong. The shack on the belt crowd is getting no
>benefit from QST or the ARRL. 

That's a pretty ugly term to use for people who will likely end up on HF long term.
The people licensed as Technicians (VHF+) are a hard group to reach with QST and
ARRL membership.   We've worked on lots of angles over the past 10+ years and still
don't have a great amount of success.   CQ Magazine tried a publication focused on that
group as well, and in the end it wasn't financially viable.   The Tech crowd tends to focus
on local communications and community events, something hard to deliver from a national
magazine.   The best thing offered at the national level is continued protection of spectrum,
and work to enhance PRB-1 and other things to allow antennas in residential areas.  A lot
of the ARRL's budget goes to those things!

>Ham radio is flurshing and growing in
>other parts of the world but not in the USA. 

Not exactly accurate.   Ham radio in the USA is growing very slowly - about 1% a year most
recently.   Worldwide totals are gather by the IARU.  The most recent data posted on their
website is from 1999 --> http://www.iaru.org/statsum99.html   I just received a copy of the
2000 report, it shows the number of hams (operators, not stations) worldwide is up just
9,772 (0.3%) to 2,986,772.

>Ham numbers are up but take
>out the FM only crowd and what do you really have? Their idea of DX is
>how far away can you key up a repeator on a rubber duck and a really
>diverse operator operates 450 as well as 144 MHz FM.

That makes them different, not less of a ham.   There are far more licensed hams
that are not even on the air.   

Remember that contesters are a small minority of all hams.   
In the USA the total is only about 15,000 - 2.2% of the total...

                        -- Tom

e-mail: k1ki at arrl.org   ARRL New England Division Director  http://www.arrl.org/
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box J, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444

CQ-Contest on WWW:        http://lists.contesting.com/_cq-contest/
Administrative requests:  cq-contest-REQUEST at contesting.com

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list