Article Categories Communications Radio

Ham Radio, Not Just A Thing Of The Past

By: Lily Myers

Ham radio, I had no idea people still did that! Didn't that fade into the sunset like the CB fad? Recently I decided to pursue my technician's license to help out in case of emergencies and boy am I receiving an education. Ham radio operators from around the world are filling the radio waves with conversations for fun and to help out in emergencies when communications have been otherwise compromised.

The community in which I live, here is southern California, is very conscious about the ever-present threat of the "big one" hitting us at any time. Constantly reminded that we are over due for the big earth quake that could easily wreck havoc on all our usual forms of communication, IE: cell phones and land lines, we are encouraged to become licensed ham radio operators.

As I have begun studying for the technician class ham radio operator license, I was surprised to discover that volunteer ham's went to Haiti for several weeks to help after their big earthquake. They also went in after Katrina hit the gulf states to help. On the fun side of things they talk with each other across town or on the other side of the world, even out of this world, they sometimes talk with astronauts up in the International Space Station. And even though Morse Code is no longer required to become licensed, there are frequencies reserved for those who like those dots and dashes.

There are many books available to help you understand the subject matter and study for the test, they even try to make it fun. Early this morning, when I couldn't sleep, I did a search on Facebook for ham radio and I couldn't even look at all of them there were so many! I'm excited to be learning something new, something that will allow me to be of service to my community in case of a disaster and something that I know will give me hours of fascination, listening to what is happening far far away and eventually talking too.

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