Personally the "allowable focus" on this site suits me fine. I'm into SDR and RF stuff and have been using my ham license as the context to explore that. But I'm a little torn:
- seems like many potential new community members get slammed early on for asking off-topic stuff about scanners/WiFi/broadcast/etc. :-/
- seems like I'm getting away with asking lots of RF stuff that's not really "ham radio" if you take away the fluff I add to make it seem so ;-)
Are too many actual real-world "ham seeks elmer" questions verbotten on SE, hurting this site's growth opportunity? On one hand I like that the SE guidelines tend to penalize the wives-tale stuff you see on ham forums, but OTOH asking honest questions "what antenna should I use" becomes a minefield of careful wording/re-wording to avoid opinion/shopping.
Why not explicitly broaden this site to ± "radio stuff"? I don't think that prevents us from still migrating some questions that may cross the line to far into specific "super user" (how do I reset my WiFi router) or "DSP" (what is I/Q data) or "physics" (how do toroids really work) and/or "electronics" (how do amplifiers work) or whatnot. And it certainly doesn't mean all the hams already here have to leave. It just adds to the Venn diagram of people who can help each other here.
Otherwise, why is "SDR" on topic here but "CB" I'm guessing is not? Can I ask for help identifying a shortwave signal I heard? But then what if I heard some weird bleeps on a police scanner instead? Where would I go to ask about how what really affects my cellphone's signal reception? Or how a satellite television receiver works?
There's been at least a few discussions related to this:
- Are non Amateur Radio discussions allowed?
- Do SDR questions belong here too?
- Since when are questions related to physics off topic on HR SE?
I think my question here is even more "meta" than those:
Why are we trying to focus on "only amateur radio" in the first place (and then in practice allowing certain other things to slide by)?
Would StackExchange allow a site like ours to "pivot?
If so, why not just say: this is where all kinds of people [hams, lowfers, SWLs, unlicensed ISM communications, general RF engineering stuff, kids taking apart baby monitors…] can learn about all kinds of radio things? Why even attempt to limit this site to just "FCC Part 97 and its international equivalents"?