On the weekly 222mhz net for the Indianapolis Amateur there was a question asked tonight. It was to do with the overwhelming Technician numbers verses General and Extra Class licenses. Viewing the graph below you can see that the Technician pool of operators is much higher than the other two. Frankly it’s more the General and Extra combined. Obviously these numbers are old but just going off the graph there are 294,106 General and Extra class operators total. Technician licenses are in the 345,369 range.
Why did you do you think these numbers are so and why did I upgrade?
Why do I think these number so? I feel that there are probably about 3 reasons.
1st we are still within the time range that people who took the technician license hoping to upgrade to a higher license only to be held up by the former Morse code requirements. That killed the hobby for them.
2nd there are a lot of people that once in the hobby can fully see the cost and time and effort it takes to really be part of and enjoy the hobby. There is work involved. For example, you can not just throw up and antenna and hook it to your radio. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. The antennas need to have room, some are long, it needs to be resonant on the frequency not to break your radio and you have to find time to do all this. Plus buy these things. Radio and copper wire isn’t cheap. Not to mention if you buy commercially built products.
3rd there are lots of public service groups and civilian groups that use ham spectrum as there comms. In Wilmington, NC the hospital alone probably has 200+ people licensed as Techs that will never ever upgrade, probably never pick a radio and use it outside of an emergency. That’s becoming a nation wide thing. Plus there are cert teams, Civilian Corps and many more.
Now I’m not saying for a second that these people do deserve or need to have ham licensure. I’m am merely explaining my opinions better here than I could over my HT weakly getting into the repeater for the net. Frankly these inflated numbers only give more credibility to the hobby and it’s perks. One day I hope and believe the Home Owners Associations will be almost if not entirely striped of there powers to regulate antennas and towers.