Big Island ARRL News, 17 October 2017, 0045 UTC, Post #343.


Author:  Jim Linton (VK3PC) of The Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA).

Accessed on 17 October 2017, 0045 UTC.

Please click link to read the full article.


Jim Linton’s (VK3PC) reaction to the recent IARU Region 1 General Conference on the “Reinvention of Amateur Radio” serves as a cautionary tale for all radio amateurs.  If the IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) is concerned about the future of ham radio, then perhaps we should seriously consider how we present amateur radio to the world and how we can insure the growth of the amateur radio service.

Although Amateur Radio has performed exceptionally well in recent natural disasters and has been recognized for its assistance to first responders, amateur radio leaders are worried about the growing age of most radio amateurs and the ability of the service to compete with the plethora of digital offerings that seemingly bombard all of us, especially young people who could add some “freshness” to the service if they weren’t so distracted by our digital universe.

In this article, Jim agrees with two major IARU initiatives that could promote the growth of amateur radio and encourage more people to discover the science and technology behind the service”

Increase the “inflow” to Amatuer Radio, particularly for young people interested in the science and technology frontiers being investigated by experimentally inclined radio amateurs.

Making member societies, the “must join” organization for all radio amateurs.

Jim says he and fellow members of the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) have begun a thorough review of Amateur Radio’s role in society and the service’s future in our evolving digital age:


“A clear message from the workshop was that, attracting young people needs to be led by young people. This meant that the use of Twitter, Facebook and other social media, for example, must be driven by young people. At the Region 1 Conference, IARU Region 3 Director, Peter Young VK3MV, spoke about the School Amateur Radio Club Net, showcasing its website (
as a resource centre. He also mentioned the STEM – science, technology,
engineering, maths – connection to Amateur Radio and how radio amateurs can assist teachers in schools with the technical details and leave the teaching to the professionals.”

“The WIA may consider that things like experimentation, research and
pioneering – things Amateur Radio was widely known for once, but now
overshadowed by techno-information overload – could be revived with a broader modern appeal for the hobby. At the same time, Amateur Radio has to be fun, a way of learning in a classroom setting and through self-learning, and broadened to embrace pursuits such as IT-wireless, radio astronomy, radio control, mesh networks and the like.”

“The Australian Government’s support of innovation, the STEM initiative in
education, the newly-launched national space agency, as well as existing
Maker activities, are all potential pluses for Amateur Radio.”

“With those dynamic potential changes, Amateur Radio could be a larger and meaningful part of the community, instead of retreating to a fading ‘thing’ of the past.”

Jim Linton is right to sound the alarm about the future of the Amateur Radio service.  Are we ready to accept the challenge to recruit, train, and mentor our younger members?  Perhaps we older members of the amateur radio community must exercise some flexible thinking and meet our younger selves more than halfway.  Some of us are on the cutting edge of science, technology, and digital communications. This knowledge must be shared and extended if the Amateur Radio service is to survive, thrive, and grow.

Just a reminder for all Hawaii Island radio amateurs–The 2017 Simulated Emergency Exercise will be staged on Saturday, 21 October 2017, from 0800 to 1300 HST.  Teams of amateur radio operators will be deployed to various locations throughout Hawaii County “to exercise…emergency communications capabilities” and “to provide reliable communications when normal means of communications fail or become overloaded.”  Teams will work closely with the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency and The American Red Cross.  All amateur radio operators are invited to participate in this exercise.  For more information, please contact

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Please send your Hawaii Island Amateur Radio news items to at least two weeks prior to your event so I can notify our local print and broadcast media in a timely manner.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section