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20180429 - State of the Hobby - results

posted Apr 27, 2018, 6:50 PM by News Team
Last month we brought you news from some dude in Michigan, that's how he describes himself, actually it's Dustin N8RMA who was conducting the second annual global amateur radio survey.

The results for 2018 are in. There was a 324% increase in responses between 2017 and 2018, but only 6% of respondents this year responded to last year's survey.

Nearly 60% of respondents was over 55, 22% was under 45. On average the respondents had been licensed for over 22 and a half years.

The most popular activity in our hobby is DXing, followed by antenna construction. We prefer 40m, though 20m is a close second. Last year the most popular band was 2m, followed by 40m.

PSK31 is our preferred digital mode, but new-comer FT8, not even a year old - seeing first light on the 29th of June 2017 is already the second most popular digital mode. Last year the most popular was also PSK31 followed by RTTY.

Ironically, we go from most advanced to least advanced when it comes to logging. We prefer Pen & Paper by far and prefer to use the postal system to exchange QSO cards.

If you're involved in a club you believe that the hobby is in good shape, but if you're not, then you have your doubts. Over 60% of our community is a member of at least one local radio club and 85% of respondents had attended a hamfest or swapmeet. Surprisingly 25% of respondents had attended Dayton Hamvention, and that's with 13% of responses coming from outside the United States.

Speaking of responses, the participation rate in Australia in this survey nearly doubled this year.

As a community we can't get over the difference in age. If you're younger than 54, you think that "old operators" are a problem, but if you're over 55, then you think that "young operators" are an issue.

We think that lack of interest due to cell phones, voice over IP, satellite phones, as well as poor operating etiquette and high cost of equipment are issues that are of concern to our hobby.

As a community we're only moderately satisfied with our representative bodies and issues such as member services, responsiveness and transparency are the greatest concerns.

Surprisingly a third of respondents had not spoken with a new amateur on air last year, even though 80% of respondents had encouraged someone to get a license.

DMR is leading the charge for new repeaters and Yaesu is on top for the most popular brand before iCOM and Kenwood. Australians prefer iCOM.

Most amateurs use Windows and have never tried an open source operating system with their radio.

There is much more in the full results to see, including how the participation of your family changes your participation rate, answers to questions about Echolink, IRLP and other Internet modes and some thanks to various people who assisted Dustin with the promotion of this state of the hobby survey.

We've added a link to the survey results for this year and last year to the vk6.net website, so check it out.
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