Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Nick, for sharing this 2013 video produced by the BBC. Here is the description from YouTube:
“In the face of the internet, mobiles and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio – or HAM radio as it’s also known – to be on the decline.
But in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 – with 80,000 currently issued in the UK.
Using designated frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with people over the world. Many prefer the relaxed approach of ‘rag chewing’ or chatting at length with people, who often become friends – while at the opposite end of the spectrum ‘contesters’ compete to make as many contacts as possible in a given period.
The hobby is also a public service, with Raynet (in the UK) stepping in during emergencies when regular communication networks fail. Amateur radio enthusiasts are currently contributing to relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.”
Presently it looks as if we radio amateurs had been 100 years ahead our time: The “maker” movement catches up with us 🙂
Here in Germany some of those “makers” get interested either in telecommunications or old-fashioned vacuum tubes.
Last June at the HamRadio fair one of the halls was dedicated to the makers. If they were into tubes they could get all materials needed at the next two halls on the ham radio flea market.
We hams have booths on most maker events and find quite some interest. Here in Munich we need to step up our activities to organize preparation courses for the license exams. Many participants learn about ham radio at the maker events.