Ham radio in the digital age


Even in the digital age, at least one 'retro' form of communication still remains popular.  

Amateur Radio.  Otherwise known as Ham Radio.

"There are more ham radio operators now than ever before," said Tom Pachner, manager of Ham Radio Outlet on Milwaukee's northwest side.  "We're quite happy."

One reason for the popularity is the civic duty, according to Pachner. 

Ham radios continue to be used for disasters.  

"Hams (short for ham operators) will deploy and provide emergency communications," Pachner explained.  "If cellphones go out, if the internet goes out, if electricity goes out, we're ready."

Plus, he says it's the most unique way to meet someone.

"Anyone can grab their phone or computer and talk to someone around the world.  Take a chunk of wire, throw it in a tree, bounce it off the atmosphere and talk directly to a person.  That's more magical than typing something into your web browser." 

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