Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ham Radio

Back in the days before Skype and Twitter and Facebook and all of this so-called social media, there were geeks who connected to geeks on all around the world and talked about geeky stuff using a completely different technology.  Its called Amateur Radio (or Ham Radio).  You may not know much about it, but apparently there are more of you than ever who do.  The latest report FCC and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) says that there are over 700,000 Hams in the US.  That is an all time high.

You may think that ham radio isn't so important these days.  After all, you can talk to people on the other side of the world through your computer, so what's the thrill of doing that with some old fashion radio?  Well, I can tell you that radio technology is becoming more and more important to us with our cellphones, WiFi, BlueTooth, cordless phones etc.  Many of these technologies are direct descendants of technology created by ham radio hobbyists, and I can tell you that they are still pushing the envelope and making new inventions that will change our lives in the future.  It takes a little bit of work to learn, but it can open doors to a wide array of interesting pursuits, from helping with emergency communication, to talking to extra terrestrials (well astronauts anyway) or even building your own satellite.  There are plenty of classes to help you get started in ham radio, and it doesn't have to cost very much to get started either.  Used radios can be very inexpensive and a wire tossed in a tree can be enough antenna to get around world.

If I sound biased, it may be because all of us here at Digital Diner have our ham licenses - Bix & Monika - Technician class,  Widdakay & Roger - General class.

Congrats hams!  It is your time!  Stand up and let your geek show!

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