What Else?Radios-Schmaedios, who needs them these days?
With all the modern communications systems like smart phones (iPhone, Android, and others), the Internet, digital television, et cetera you might think "Who needs radio, I'll just text...?" I can assure you there's a good reason for having your Amateur Radio license. In fact, through 2011 and 2012, the number of new Amateur Radio operator licensees has rapidly grown 1 - out pacing previous years. Why this is happening could be because how tumultuous the world is now. This makes people nervous and they want to be able to communicate when everything else won't - that's where radio comes in. So, Amateur Radio is alive and well and that's a good thing.
Amateur Radio operator's interest in radio is often more than just a hobby though. We also stand ready to support our local cities during times of need. In May 2012 HPT Net was activitated to support emergency communications when a tornado touched down in Hampton near the marina. Or in Suffolk in the summer of 2009 when a tornado destroyed many homes there. Local Amateur Radio operators were the first on the scene to set up emergency communications and report to local Public Safety officials. After hurricane Isabel devastated Hampton Roads it was Amateur Radio operators that communicated needs for generators and ice to Richmond. Why? Local communications, to include Public Safety communications where not available. While helping out in time of need is part of what we do there's more to it than that.
Amateur Radio operators establish their "HAM shacks" and often communicate all around the globe using simple gear. It's really something when you here a CQ from a distant land and make a contact. HAMs are always eager to talk to others and to share experiences and discoveries in radio. Many HAMs find it especially interesting to see how far they can reliably communicate using the lowest power levels. Others find excitement making their own antennas, radios, and other gear. Come to one of our meetings to find out more.So, where do I go from here?
It's easy to get started in Amateur Radio. All anyone really needs is interest. Some may tell you that Amateur Radio is expensive though. Well... it can be, but doesn't have to be if you're on a tight budget. Check out e-bay . You can find a used Motorola 2 meter rig there for $129.00. With an antenna and a car to put it in you're set. But remember... you can't transmit until you have your Technician's License!
Buying a used rig is one way to get started, but why not buy new! There are some very nice, affordable radios on the market now too. Search online vendors for Wuoxun and Puxing brands. Those are pronounced Woo-shon and Poo-shing). Wuoxon makes very nice dual-band models. When you are looking into any radio though, make sure it is FCC Part 90 compliant.
If that sounds a bit too much come to one of our meetings or send an e-mail. Contact information is on our Contact Us page on this site. We're "standing by" to help you get started in Amateur Radio.