[CQ-Contest] Observations of a young ham

W0MU Mike Fatchett w0mu at w0mu.com
Mon Dec 19 10:40:31 EST 2016


Visual attraction for mults and unworked stations.

Limited investment that can be expanded.

Learning curve is an issue in online gaming.  They like to get good.  
The issue is if they cannot manage to get really good at a game they 
leave it to go back to one the are very good at or try another.

You need to have the feeling that you have a chance to win.  The 
learning curve is faster in gaming as you can do it 24x7 365.  We have 
simulators while similar not real competition.

I agree with you and others that have expressed that  they need to 
eventually take over and change things themselves.  I agree, but we need 
to get these young people exposed to it first and hooked enough to do it.

I appreciate the feedback.


On 12/19/2016 1:50 AM, Mark wrote:
> Very interesting and good feedback.
> Things I read:
> Instant gratification
> Visual attraction for 'mults'
> No investment, no build-up, no learning curve
> Start at winning level
> But it will take some time before they can download the 'CQWW' App at 
> iTunes & GooglePlay
> And yes, that would be much cheaper than building a station yourself.
> What is next on their wanted list?
> An App for climbing Mount Everest?
> I am still believing that Hamradio contesting is about:
> Slowly acquiring various skills
> Faliure is an opportunity, not a burden
> No CW reader, learn by discipline
> Learning by doing
> Sharing so many fun hours with friends all the time
> "Radio" is about tuning the dial and hearing that guy on the other 
> side with ones own ears, using stuff you built yourself. And a damned 
> lot more.
> It is like a enjoying going on a small sailboat; there is and never 
> will be an *App*  for "living the experience".
> However,
> one cannot neglect the changes of the future, and with that come 
> other, new perspectives.
> Nothing wrong with that. In fact the assisted classes can facilitate 
> all of these.
> And he is very right about the DOS-like-window-boxes of our contesting 
> software. It can be done very different.
> Maybe here is an opportunity for them? There's so many game designers 
> nowadays.
> Merry X-mas !
> 73 Mark, PA5MW
> On 18-12-2016 18:42, W0MU Mike Fatchett wrote:
>> I had the opportunity to talk to my son in more detail and ask him 
>> why contesting does not interest him. Here is what we discussed.
>> 1.  Cost to get in the game and have a chance to win is prohibitive.  
>> You need a great station, land, etc to really win or compete.  The 
>> playing field is so unbalanced that it becomes a show stopper.  For 
>> him he has no costs when at home.  I consider my station modest with 
>> a 70 ft tower and land to put up Inv L's and full sized 80m verticals 
>> and some receiving antennas.  I could do more but we have horses and 
>> they need to roam and are hell on things in the pasture.
>> 2. You have to invest a lot of time to get good.  If he can not have 
>> a really good station then why invest the time to get good if you are 
>> not going to be able to really compete.
>> 2. The tools we use to contest, logging software, packet look like 
>> old dos programs.  He called them ugly and boring.  He is used to 
>> amazing graphics in games.  I found this observation interesting. I 
>> feel that the tools we have are pretty good and give me what I want 
>> to see readily available.  I was not expecting this answer.
>> 3. He is far more interested in using packet where he can immediately 
>> chase things.  Packet essentially gives him a list of things to do or 
>> goals.  It is more visual so more interesting.  He thought that more 
>> automated systems would be interesting.  Young people and even us 
>> older folk expect things to happen much faster.  They are the 
>> generation of instant satisfaction and some of that even rubs off on 
>> us older folk.
>> 4.  Talking to someone over the airwaves is still pretty cool. You 
>> can instantly talk around the world if the right condx exist, but we 
>> can talk all over the world with our phones so it is not as amazing 
>> as it once was.
>> 5. CW is interesting but he was surprised that we don't have better 
>> code readers.  While he would like to learn the code time is once 
>> again the factor.  They have so many other outlets for entertainment 
>> that it is hard to find time for all of them.
>> 6.  Results take far too long to come out
>> 7.  He proposed that all participants use a scoreboard type system.  
>> Many of us have said this was something we need to do but have 
>> instead met with amazing resistance and a ton of excuses why people 
>> refuse to use it.  A system where everyone can check it out and see 
>> what is going in in the contest.  We are back to visuals.
>> 6. Playing radio in the car driving is fun because there is not much 
>> else to do but drive.
>> 7. He has his general license but he does not have the technical 
>> skills or electronic knowledge to build a shack or decent station.  I 
>> am not a great teacher especially to my own kids so I take some of 
>> the blame for this but it is hard to teach people things when they 
>> don't want to devote much time to it.  I feel a reluctance to even 
>> try to do something without having the proper knowledge.  A far cry 
>> from when I was young and tried all sorts of silly antennas and 
>> projects that mostly failed miserably but boy did I learn from those 
>> mistakes.
>> That pretty much summed up our hour long conversation and I am no 
>> closer to figuring out how to sell ham radio and contesting to them.  
>> I hope some will find this information helpful and interesting.
>> W0MU
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