So this weekend I had the opportunity to earn my HAM Radio Technician Class License. For those of you that do not know what HAM radio is, it is the amateur practice of international communication using two-way radios and antennas. It is not something new (my grandfather used to be a HAM and speaks fondly of his time on the radio) but it certainly has given me a new perspective on communication. One of the things that struck me while I was taking the test was the variety of people testing. To my left was an adorable little boy (about 8 years old) and to my right was an elderly woman. We were all there for different reasons but it was neat to think that a technology could bring such a broad spectrum of people together.
HAM radio is governed by the FCC and is operated in conjunction with the AARL. When you become certified you receive a unique handle, my husband for example is NF8I, that identifies you on the air. You use this handle to contact and talk to people around the world. HAM operators are also responsible for the safety communication of parades, marathons, and other massive community events. In the event of an emergency emergency officials use local HAM networks to maintain communications in the event of a communications outage. I am excited to learn more about it as I delve into the world of amateur radio. I have been contemplating creating a radio club at school that would allow students to try out HAM radio and maybe earn some community service along the way.
To learn more about amateur radio check out this New to Ham Radio link.