BE Informed No. 2.13
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John B. Johnston W3BE
Q. Our amateur service community organizers seem to
be fixated upon what will attract the majority of young people into amateur radio, and what our mutual expectations should
be. They seem determined to attract new generations to amateur radio
and make sure we promote amateur radio as meeting their needs, rather than promoting the historical view of what amateur radio
has to offer. So what will be the next generation?
A. Next in line is Stereotype W.
Q. What is a ham stereotype?
A. Stereotyping of ham generations began with a most revealing report wherein it says our amateur service community “is no longer saddled with the stereotype of a ham radio operator
being a grumpy, older guy in his basement with a big tower and antenna in his backyard talking to other parts of the world.
Now it is a lot of people
— mainly in the 25-40 demographic — who are very intrigued by learning electronics as a skill set and they're
turning to ham radio to learn basic fundamental electronics. They earn a Technician license and get a $100 handheld radio
that allows them to communicate with people in their general, local area. It's a way for them to serve their community
in times of need - not just during disasters, but during public events like races, parades, things like that.”
So, with the grumpy old Stereotype
Z no longer saddling ham radio, and with Stereotype Y not far behind, it is Stereotype X mounting up and going hunting for
Q. What will they be
W will be comprised, obviously, of young people in the under 25 demographics.
Q. What are the present stereotypes?
A. Extrapolating from the report, our U. S. amateur service community is comprised of three major stereotypes:
Stereotype X: Modern Ham with
less than 25-year tenure. They are amazed to find that ham radio is just a matter of memorizing answers from a book and scanning
ads for imported radios. Irked at learning new HTs are now $24. Long range objective: Get a working battery for the HT tomorrow
or maybe next month; possibly even a mag-mount next year.
Stereotype Y: Pre-retirement with 25- to 40-year tenure – mainly in the
41-65 demographic. Looking forward to hamming all day, lunching with other retired hams, Caribbean cruising, finally getting
that cranky club repeater working right, and going south for the cold months. Objective: Positioning to get a good call sign
now held by a certain aging Stereotype Z.
Stereotype Z: Over-the-hill geezers mainly in the 66+ demographic. Have caches of old radios and war surplus
in their man-caves. Only emerge between DXpeditions and for lunching with other Stereotype Zs. Have blown their 401Ks on linear
amplifiers and those big towers & antennas. Still irate over incentive licensing and no-code. Hoarding all of the good
call signs: “That Stereotype Y SOB will have to pry this 1-by-2 from my cold, cold hands.”
W3BE-O-GRAM: Inside every
Stereotype Z geezer there is a Stereotype X youngster wondering, “What the heck happened?”
Q. I want to join the Hunt for Stereotype W.
What should I do?
should interact with lots of young people in their activities. Tell them that amateur radio is here to help them meet their
Q. I tried interacting with
a young lady from the one family in this neighborhood who still speaks to me. I told her that ham radio is here to help her
meet her needs. Our neighbors shun us because they
are irate over my rusting tower.
You are now a Stereotype W Hunter. So what happened?
Q. She was busy texting. She wanted a minimum of $15 per hour to listen to me talk. We settled on five
bucks for 15 minutes of listening to me. But she kept on texting while I talked. Was that appropriate?
A. That must be the going rate. You have
learned about how valuable time is to the Stereotype W generation and how they intercommunicate via smartphones.
Q. I asked about her needs. She wants to have her
friends over for a tower-climbing rock band concert.
A. Bully! What else did you learn?
Q. She fixed my smartphone and showed me how to download some really neat apps. That’s all
I could learn before the cops arrived. One of my neighbors called them. I am now under a restraining order.
A. That is unfortunate, but your experience
should be a warning to other Stereotype W Hunters. So, how do you assess the needs of Stereotype W?
Q. Based upon that encounter, the pressing need of Stereotype W is for more
ham apps like Doctor DX. Apps that replace the large collection of apparatus in the basement and monster towers that outrage
neighbors. They need ham apps for each band/mode. There should be ham apps to emulate the traditional experience of HF phone
contesting: unstable band conditions, heavy QRM, line noise, atmospheric static, king-of the-hill egos, and all of the other
neat stuff that makes exchanging call signs & 5-9 reports so enjoyable for hours on end.
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October 18, 2017
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