I’m not licensed. I’m just a listener. Based on what I hear, I will probably just remain a listener. Hear me out.
When I monitor, this is all I hear. Wk3J2 listening. That’s it. After maybe an hour or so, the call sign will be repeated. Then some other guy will get on, give his call sign and now the watching of paint dry begins.
“How is the weather where you are it? It’s cold here. What radio are you using? That’s a good radio. I used to have some other unrelated radio years ago. Silence. So what are you doing today? Not much. Just relaxing. Walking the dogs. Taking it easy. Well Jim, I have to run. The wife just set up dinner. Good talking to you.”
It’s dying because not many people want to go through all the trouble to get licensed to have no one to talk to. I’m in that situation. I don’t want to get licensed just to have small talk with a stranger. Every conversation goes exactly like the one I described above.
Here’s an idea that can fix ham radio. If the rules were different and it only involved one licensed individual talking in a conversation, then there would be more users. Someone like myself can get licensed and register another person as a Registered User” like a wife or friend or neighbor that doesn’t want to go through the hassle of getting licensed. We could use local repeaters on camping trips or road trips when traveling in separate cars. It would create more interest.
All registered users that aren’t licensed would get their own call signs. Eventually if they want to talk to others, they can get licensed and have the ability to register other users.
That’s the main thing. Ham radio is dead because there is no one useful to talk to. If they loosened up the restrictions on who you can talk to, many more people would become enticed into the hobby.
Because I have no one worth talking to, I’m stuck with simplex MURS or FRS. Most of the time it doesn’t get used at all because of the simplex limitations. Sure I can get licensed on GMRS but there aren’t very many if any repeaters in the area and when you do find one, it’s private. So what does that leave me? The damned cell phone if I want to talk to someone that I want to talk with.