30 January, 2015

- Hardly any young people are becoming hams anymore

This is what Ed Muns, W0YK, said in an interview the other day, and goes on with "because they see this as kind of old school stuff."

A year ago the ARRL web site said: "Amateur Radio showing steady growth in the US". AH0A's website with statistics over the US ham population backs this up with the curve shown here. Even in my local club we are now seeing young people signing up for licence classes. 

How different perspectives! How has an old radio amateur like W0YK come to believe in the myth of declining numbers of hams?

27 January, 2015

0.2 Watts to South Africa

This is a new one for me: Norway-South Africa on 30 m WSPR in the middle of the night. Again I am amazed at what this mode can accomplish, and also what my little Ultimate 3 kit is able to do. 

The antenna used on my side was my trusty old 80 m long horizontal loop fed with a 4:1 balun and no tuning beyond that (SWR 7:1). Output power was from a single stage BS170 driven at 5 Volts, or about 200 mW in a 50 ohms load. In this particular antenna, the output is most likely much lower. 

ZS6KN is the only non-European station who has heard me this night on 30 m, with a marginal SNR of -27 dB.