Amateur Radio is the original social networking technology!
A hundred years ago – long before computers, iPads, cell phones, the Internet, wifi, or other communications technologies existed – Amateur Radio operators (hams) were talking with each other across town and around the world.
Hams today use a variety of the latest technologies to communicate wirelessly by Morse code, voice, and computer – completely independent of any commercial infrastructure such as telephone lines or cell towers.
Once you have the radio it is all free. There are no subscriptions or connection charges; and unlike cell phones, ipads, and wifi, you can do it from anywhere. You can get started for around $100, and for less than the cost of a good computer, you can have a complete Amateur Radio station that allows you to communicate with other hams around town or thousands of miles away – literally around the world when radio wave propagation is right.
Amateur Radio is the most powerful and versatile personal communications available to anyone who makes the effort to get a license. You must pass a test, but the entry level (Technician) is not hard. Once you get involved, it is also not that hard to upgrade to the General license.
There are many aspects to Amateur Radio. Aside from being just plain fun, it provides you with the ability to communicate in an emergency or from a remote location when telephones, cell phones, the Internet are not available. It is an excellent way to learn about math, science, and technology and can help you on the way to an exciting and well-paying engineering and technical career. You will be able to have very interesting conversations with people from all over the world, in a way that is very different from the telephone or Internet instant messaging, chat rooms, and social networking sites.
We encourage anyone interested in technology and/or in talking with people in different places to explore Amateur radio. At any given time, depending on radio propagation and other factors, we may make contacts with stations across the country and around the world. The “magic” of ham radio is that we can do this without relying on telephone lines, cell towers, the Internet, or anything else.
You do need a license to transmit on Amateur Radio frequencies by yourself, however you do not need a license to get on the air under the supervision of a licensed operator.
It does help if you have a general idea of what ham radio is, how it works, and most importantly the basics of how to talk on the radio. Like any other hobby – and especially any other form of electronic communication, there are certain procedures and words used. The exam classes that this club teaches as well as other activities will help you learn about ham radio so that you can have fun at any one of a multitude of events.