This was sent to me by my mate Ed in Canada…If you made a quad for CB in the 70’s or 80’s chances were you had that red quad CB hand book by your side. This is one of the guys that wrote it..I think there were 2 of them…been too long ago…
“I understand that the running number of radio Amateurs remains nearly constant. That is to say, the population is not increasing. To combat this, a no-code VHF license has been proposed that presumably will remove a large stumbling block for the would-be ham. The result will be more radio Amateurs in the long run, making the Amateur Radio service more viable and healthy. Right?
Perhaps. However, we may be barking up the wrong tree. I suggest you take an hour or so and listen to the spectrum between 26 and 29 MHz. CB radio, as it was known, has disappeared and a new form of “hobby” radio has grown up in its place. The full 3-MHz range is chock full of SSB stations going about their business in a “ham-like” attitude. Seemingly absent are the loud-mouthed ignoramuses who made CB radio a shambles a few years ago. In their place are thousands of operators, behaving themselves, and having fun! There’s plenty of OX in this range, too. I counted 14 countries in about 30 minutes listening time. Not much talk about equipment, but a lot of chatter about friendships and local color. It sounded very interesting. Too bad these thousands of operators are not hams!
But why should they be hams? What’s the advantage? They can converse and enjoy themselves with no danger from the FCC. They exchange OSL cards and other pleasantries – and they have 3 MHz of space to do itl More frequencies than any HF ham band. The future radio hams are already on the air, and I don’t see any chance of them becoming licensed Amateurs because there’s little in it for thern! They don’t need Amateur Radio as we know it. A 11odified ham transceiver and a store-bought beam puts the operator on the air, ready to work OX and make new friends. To add insult to injury, I recently received a QSL from an English Amateur. On the card were his call letters and also his “identifier” for CB radio. He had the best of all possible worlds.
As long as the FCC and other licensing bodies allow unlicensed communications to take place in the 27-MHz region, we can’t expect Amateur Radio to have much growth. The competition is too strong. And Amateur Radio shouldn’t be blamed for either this problem or the lack of growth of the Amateur population! I’m not sure what the solution is, but I do r<now that a lot of happy people are enjoying the fruits of Amateur Radio the easy way.
Can you blame them?
I propose that the ARRL initiate special broadcasts from W1AW in the 27-MHz range. This will, however. require special authorization from the FCC. These daily voice transmissions would include information about Amateur Radio, giving an address to send for more information on how to get a ham license. As time goes on, lessons in Morse code, rules and regulations of the Amateur service, and help with the Amateur exam could be given.
A regular on-the-air course in Amateur Radio should be initiated and it could be broadcast right where it’s most needed-in the middle of the “hobby” frequency range. I think that 1.5-kW PEP into a multi-element Yagi aimed at the heart of the country would gain a lot of attention among those who are potential radio Amateurs. Just as the Voice of America aims its broadcasts to selected areas of the world, the ARRL could aim its special 27-MHz transmissions at would-be Amateurs. Let’s convince them that there is value in getting an Amateur Radio license!
Bill Orr, W6SAI”
Can’t say I would relish the thought of a 1.5kw “I love Ham radio” signal sprayed across the country. How would they feel if we sprayed 20m with recordings from ch 35 lsb……?? That would get their attention..probably find the hams could dish it out pretty good too if they had to! Don’t really want to piss those hamsters off too much or they may turn their illegal ham sets and antennas to ch 35 and close down our beloved ch 35 with awful SSTV QRM.