When someone mentions the words “ham radio”, do you picture it as the hobby of older retired guys, surrounded a Frankenstein’s lab worth of gear and antennas and vacuum tubes? Or maybe you picture a trucker rolling down the road, saying “Breaker! Breaker!”. I’ll admit, that’s how I always saw it; with a cell phone and instant messaging I didn’t see a need for another form of communication, and if I wanted a “walkie talkie” I could just go get a pair at Wal-Mart.
But a Ham radio is considerably more than that. It gives you a way to talk to other people across the street or on the other side of the world without relying on any wires, cables or grid power. It’s a lifeline for when you’re hiking and for when your cell phone has no bars. Many times in disasters and emergencies, it’s Ham radio operators that are relaying vital information and coordinating rescue efforts.
I have been a ham for over 40 years. I have to admit that cell phones, computers, social media, and skype have taken a toll on the U.S. ham population. That is changing as “survivorists”, outdoorsmen, hobbyists and people looking for something unique have taken up the hobby. Yes, retired folks have renewed their interest in it also.
Heres’s a link to get more information.