Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, gets a nice nod from ArsTechnica, in an article entitled When everything else fails, amateur radio will still be there—and thriving. They rightly point out that amateur radio is “one of the oldest traditions in electronic invention and self-education, one that helped shape the modern world.” Operating a ham radio is a great learning experience—one that even allows kids to talk with astronauts in the space station.
Oakland Radio Communications Association (ORCA), one of our local ham groups, just completed a Field Day. We were up at the Sequoia Arena in Joaquin Miller Park on Friday hanging several antennas WAY up in the trees. Connected were several base stations using different frequencies to reach out and exchange voice handshakes (QSOs) with hundreds of other people all over the world during the 24 hour period starting at 11am on Saturday and ending at 11am on Sunday. Several of the intrepid ham operators camped overnight, and there was plenty of support for us newbies. It was great fun, and something we’ll be taking part in next year too.