You may have come across ham radio in any number of ways. Did you browse a ham radio website, see a social media post about ham radio, or watch a YouTube video? Maybe you have a teacher, friend, or relative who enjoys ham radio. You could have seen hams on your newsfeed providing communication after natural disasters like hurricanes or during wildfires. Maybe you saw them helping out with a parade or race or you encountered a Field Day setup, ham radio’s nation-wide “open house.” Maybe you saw someone operating in a park or on a mountain-top trail. Wherever you find it, ham radio has room for an amazing number of activities and lots of hams just like you!

The traditional image of ham radio is of a room full of vacuum tube radios, flicking needles, Morse code keys, and enormous microphones, but today’s hams have many more options to try. Ham radio has been changing rapidly! Although the traditional shortwave bands are certainly crowded with ham signals hopping around the planet, hams use the Internet, lasers, and microwave transmitters and traveling to unusual places high and low to make contact, even to and from the International Space Station and bouncing signals off the moon!

Simply stated, ham radio provides the broadest and most powerful wireless communications capability available to any private citizen anywhere in the world. Because the world’s citizens are craving ever-closer contact and hands-on experiences with technology of all sorts, ham radio is attracting ...

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