It’s Happening! Millennials in Amateur Radio!

I can’t help but hope my wildly debated article is starting to make its motions through the amateur radio community. Conceitedness aside, it’s really awesome to see a club make a very public stride into lowering the age of their radio club.

Is your radio club a bit gray on top? Consider forming a youth interests committee, and marketing your club to younger people (and don’t forget their parents!) by hosting easy and free activities throughout the year, creating scholarship funds, giving presentations for schools and libraries, publishing your field day site and GOTA (and other on-the-air activity) information in highly public areas and social media outlets.


An Example of the Broadness of Amateur Radio

Hackernews ( is a very simple link aggregator and forum (similar to reddit) that focuses on technology, cyber-security, tech companies, software development, venture capitalism and startups, and the like.

It’s always a happy day when amateur radio shows up on hackernews, because its community is smart – engineers, programmers, thinkers, doers, and hams. In other words, there are no cranky OMs there to ruin your day or overenthusiastic technophiles talking your head off.

ARISS came up today, and the thread blew up into a general, lightweight synopsis on a ton of different things that ham radio can offer. Since ham radio is “a thousand hobbies in one,”[1][2][3] I think it’s a great answer to the question “what can you do with ham radio?”

Check it out here:

A Discord for Young Hams

A friend in /r/amateurradio posted a discord inviting young hams in New York Long Island. A few commenters (including myself) asked why not all young hams? So here you go!

Credit to /u/NewHamWhoDis KD2OAH

What is Discord?

Discord is a free voice and text chatting app well suited for gamers. Anyone can set up any server and have your squad voice chatting within minutes. Before, TeamSpeak and Mumble (and Ventrilo….and more) were the standard, but required paying for servers or setting up your own. Discord takes the work out of that.

It’s also become hugely popular with the rest of the internet – YouTube channels, subreddits, and many special interest groups (like ham radio) have started using it as a replacement to IRC and VoIP chat programs which are hard to use for both the users, moderators, and admins, and lack adequate mobile device support.

Rant on Chat Apps

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what chat program to use. Slack, Facebook Messenger, IRC, Skype, GroupMe, WhatsApp, Telegram, Discord, Zello, Slack…the list is ever growing, but currently here’s my favorites (because this is a blog after all!)

For groups of collegiate and like-aged (20-somethings) friends casually chatting: GroupMe

  Check out the Collegiate Amateur radio Initative GroupMe here!

For one-to-one chatting: Facebook Messenger, SMS, iMessage.

For IRC-like text and voice chatting about a certain topic: Discord

For linux help or nostalgia: IRC

Although there are a lot of very helpful and active communities on IRC, it’s mobile app support is awful since a cloud instance has to be always-on to receive messages when your device isn’t connected, then to push them to your phone when it’s back on, which costs more money than what’s worth to the casual, intermittent user…i.e. me.

For Working on a Project with a remote team: Slack

Mattermost is a good up-and-coming Open Source alternative to Slack.

For all things international: Whatsapp for 1-1 chats, Telegram for groups

YOTA uses Telegram for mass-group texting. I think they’re up to 500 members now.

For pretending your phone is a walkie talkie for a minute than forgetting about it: Zello

For video chatting: Skype.

I pretty much always organize skype chats via Facebook Messenger. Kinda funny.

For video chatting with cool features and/or using a browser only: Google Hangouts

For everything else: Ham radio. Lol.