Ham Radio: Still Relevant in a Digital World

Friday, November 25, 2011

As we become more dependent on advanced technology, we begin to sometimes value the reliability of low tech. When digital mp3 files vanish into the cloud, you think about those old reliable vinyl LPs in the box. When the internet or a wireless network goes down, the modern wired-up citizen of planet Earth is suddenly on some asteroid of media isolation — hence the value of go old low tech analog, amateur radio. In the internet generation ham radio has also grown and the different ways of being connected do not compete they enhance each other. In fact, ham radio is more popular than at any time in U.S. history, according to a recent report from the American Radio Relay League.

John Pritchett, otherwise known as ham radio operator of W6JWK, is a ham enthusiast and talks about why its a trend that will not die.

Guests:

John Pritchett

Comments [6]

Mike from Salt Lake City

I have been a Ham since I was in my teens. I got interested before, when a Ham came to my Cub Scout meeting and had a radio eventually getting my license with the help of an ARRL club that held classes.
It led to a high paying job, back then and a career in Computers and college degree.
I was in school "all the time".
Ham Radio is not for all I noticed. But I have always had curiousity and a thirst to learn more from others, around the world. Today, I am a Senior, still hamming and traveling to those countries(have saved money to do so).
I learn something every day. My latest is having my radio "remoted". I can travel to china, hook up to the internet, and via the internet, remotely using my radio and antenna at home, talk to my friends in the USA. They do not know I am in China, think I am at home.
As technology moves forward, usually hams are on the leading edge, much earlier than anyone else.
G;lad to see more and more are recognizing the value of being a Ham.

Dec. 05 2011 07:28 AM
W6EM from Leeds, AL

Its popularity among newcomers is its robustness, when all other communications conduits fail.

When disasters of all sort strike, means of communication usually fail from either damage or from overload.

Ham radio has and will continue to save lives.

Hams in the US are permitted by federal regulations to transmit on any frequency, not just ham bands, when no other means of emergency communications are possible. That, folks, says it all........

Dec. 01 2011 11:37 PM
John VK4BZ from Brisbane, Queensland

Hi folks. From an Aussie point of view - and I've been into radio since I was a teenager - the attraction is the diversity of the hobby. You can do anything from good old morse (my favourite), to chin-wagging on a microphone, to digital, to TV, to satellite, HF...VHF...UHF...SHF, construction, R&D - you name it, if it's communications at the cutting edge, then Hams are into it. After 30 years myself, I still love it - it's just a pity my wife doesn't like messy antenna systems!

Nov. 29 2011 03:39 AM
Michael F from Methuen, MA

The New England Forest Rally could not run without ham radio. The rally is run in western Maine where cell coverage is spotty at best. Real time communication of starts, finishes and emergencies is imperative.

Nov. 27 2011 12:18 PM
w1agp from Newington, CT

Ham radio is NOT just analog, its also digital, has its own satellites, uses computers heavily, has its own MESH networks, hybrids with the Internet for Echolink and D-Star and many other things of the 21st century. We need to talk about this....it's not your Grandfather's radio anymore!

Nov. 26 2011 06:06 PM
W2JC from N.NJ

Where is the "Listen" link for this segment?

Nov. 26 2011 12:37 AM

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