Amateur Radio

Licensed radio operation has come a long way since the time of Morse code and vacuum tube gear. Modern amateur (or ham) radio uses highly portable, digital-enabled, and software-driven gear that can go anywhere and do nearly anything.

A lot of us get started in amateur radio for “serious” things like emergency use, but there are also a ton of just-for-fun activities to do. One of my favorite is VHF/UHF contesting, where you set up at a good location and try to make as many contacts as you can in a limited time. Check out the contesting pages to learn more.

If you’re a glutton for punishment you can also try one of my other loves: Summits on the Air (SOTA). As an “activator” I hike to the top of a mountain and sets up a portable station. The “chasers” operate ham radio from home, contacting activators like me. Whether you chase or activate it is a ton of fun.