Morse Code is getting Old--er
As a new CW operator I find questions concerning CW-Morse Code operators and learning Morse Code interesting. In particular the AGE of CW-Morse Code operators interested me. When I completed my 100th CW QSO as a new operator I decided to gather some statistics on age of Morse Code operator with whom I had QSOs.
I took my log and wrote a program to query QRZ database. I used the python-hamtools library as the basis of parsing my ADIF log and performing the QRZ database lookups. In order to query QRZ you need a subscription. QRZ doesn't have the birth year for all operators but it had it for 58 of the original 100 CW mode contacts.
Here is the birth year summary for CW operators in my log:
Average Age: 68
Min Age: 35
Max Age: 99 (yes, 99 he's a ham in TX)
I recognize that these statistics aren't too meaningful without knowing the average age of all licensed hams in the QRZ database. If I knew that then I could make more meaningful comparisons.
Where will new Morse Code Operators come from?So based on the statistical age from my CW QSO logs; Morse Code doesn't seem to be considered relevant by most folks under half a century old.
A Google Search of "Morse Code Alive" returns 286,000 hits. Conversely, a Google Search of "Morse Code Dead" returns 733,000 hits.
So statistically, Morse Code is considered mostly dead... Yes I like this movie...
My kids consider me nuts for taking the time to learn and use Morse Code. I haven't been able to convince them of its relevance or even the relevance of ham radio. They point out to me that they can communicate with all their friends just fine via Google Chat or Texting. Even my lovely wife, who is a licensed Ham, doesn't see the point in learning Morse Code.
So... my question is; can we bring relevance back to Morse Code to a younger generation? Yes it's fun, yes it's a challenge, yes it uses the least amount of radio spectrum for communication, yes it allows the furthest communication on the least amount of power...
Will Morse Code die with the generation(s) that use it today?
And on that somber question, I'll await some comments (hopefully constructive).
So lower your power and raise your expectations
UPDATE March 2017:
I found this graph from my Youtube viewer demographics interesting...