Where is everyone?

I recently got a radio to see what’s going on a million years after I stopped being a radio guy years ago (CB) … I didn’t think CB would be the thing now so I tried getting a ham radio. So here I am listening to the frequencies that are available, both UHF/VHF and GMRS and what do I hear? Nothing. There appear to be mainly police on the 470Mhz band and not much else at all (NYC/Bronx) area…

Occasionally I hear some crazy guy talking about bananas (I think that’s his handle) on channel 17 or something but he appears just to be harassing some people… So where is everyone? I see no point in getting a license for ham or GMRS if there is no one out there…

Am I missing something? Is radio gone forever?

Ha, nobody here either… Perfect.

I see there is one GMRS repeater in Bronx …

I have a ham and GMRS license and I have found GMRS to be less chatty. I got into ham 20+ years ago and didn’t really fit the mold because I got into it to use radio as a communications tool in the desert. Seems like a large number of hams are in it to experiment and then a lot of them just like to make contacts for the sake of making a contact whether it be local or around the world. That is cool if that is your thing. There are a portion of the people that train and provide emergency coms during natural disasters.

I moved to GMRS because a most of the people I would use radios with are not interested in getting the ham license. Most of the traffic I hear is what I would consider purposed communication. People traveling in multiple vehicles, people working on a ranch or farm, and folks off-roading. There are some repeaters in more populated areas that have nets much like the 2m repeater folks but none I can get from my location, not that I would join in anyway.

All this is not to say you won’t find someone to chat with on GMRS, I will answer someone asking for a radio or repeater check. Good luck with whatever you want to do with radios. Just don’t get discouraged because you don’t hear much. If you leave your radio on long enough you will hear other people on GMRS, but again, don’t get discouraged if they don’t want to hold a long conversation. Of course, YMMV.


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Sean, I do not know where you are living, there are few GMRS repeaters in south Florida area, and they are so chatty. Sometimes, I turn the radio off and stop monitoring.

There are several people active on 2 metres. And I try to monitor whatever 2 way action is near me. I jist got my Boefang and will take it to the library tomorrow to program it. But… I am not licensed so you won’t hear me. I suppose I could do GMRS but my output is way beyond legal limits here in Canada.

I do believe that the days of using radios to just sit and chat may be gone for the most part. Mobile phones and computers have made them obsolete. Except, when the infrastructure goes down.
I’ve found a group of folks that like to help out when that happens. So, we do chat somewhat. It’s more structured into chat nets on 2M/70CM but it is some social networking. Interestingly enough, while I’ve been traveling this summer, I’m finding more options via listening to the local nets where I’m staying. Slow scan TV nets, Ecoms nets and general rag chews on 2M/70CM.
As far as GMRS chatter, South Florida ,TX and LA has linked repeaters that gather quite the crowds at times.
Do some Internet searches for clubs and repeaters in your area and see what you can find. Post a notification on the library bulletin board to see if anyone has similar interests in local radio “stuff”.

Decades ago, young men and teenage boys were attracted to electronics, building a crystal radio, then a tube radio, then a radio transmitter. When Bell Labs invented the transistor in 1947, that discovery sparked tremendous interest in it’s possibilities. It was truly an exciting time for the electronic hobbyist.
Fast forward to today. An entire circuit board of electronics is now encased in a chip. The NPN & PNP junction have come a long way, baby!
The excitement of this hobby has dried up much like Radio Shack☹️
Young guys now are into computer gaming, or simply just playing with their smartphones.
The Broadcast Engineering career field is in dire need of young engineers.
As ham radio hobbyists die off, they’re not being replaced by new blood.

From my perspective, this is a very sad situation. I’ve enjoyed it and the standard of living that it provided.

People have just moved interest centres - quite normal really. When transistors were new, it was exciting - new things to learn and try, but remember the tube folk back then who no interest in the new technology - they were fed up the old glowing fillaments were starting their decline. Now, radio and electronics is so advanced I cannot keep up. A friend is into microsoldering, microscopes, liquid flux and microcomponents. Round here, the ham hobby is still growing - just doing different things to what I did.

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Join Broadnet GMRS Repeater system on GMRS-
On VHF(2 meters) we have some communication time to time on 146.850(Queens) 145.310 is NJ Spanish repeater and the Simplex frequencies like 146.520 and near.