What do Ham and Radio Have in Common?

Ham radio. No, it’s not an Easter meal. Believe it or not, it’s another name for the amateur radio hobby. If you’re not familiar with amateur radio, you aren’t alone, but it’s an activity that is popular across the world. Relevant Radio® receives communications from amateur radio operators on a regular basis.

According to The National Association for Amateur Radio (ARRL), “Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.”

Relevant Radio frequently receives emails and letters from amateur radio operators. They often record the audio they have captured and request verification. Rose Schauer, Donor Listener Relations Manager at Relevant Radio, has responded to hundreds of letters over the past years.

“I respond to about six ham radio requests each month. It’s fun to see where people are tuning in to our Relevant Radio signals. We get the most messages from Finland and Germany,” explained Schauer.

ham radio operator“Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.” These bands are radio frequencies allocated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use by ham radio operators,” says the ARRL website.

In a recent letter, amateur radio operator Jim wrote to Relevant Radio from Espoo, Finland. “I work with leading media companies in Northern Europe, including online media, print, TV, and radio. I find it extremely interesting to tune into foreign radio stations,” he wrote. “Actually radio is both professionally and personally my most favourite media, the one I spend most of my time with. Radio simply reaches you everywhere, is very useful and is so much fun to listen to.”

Max, a 66-year-old pharmacist wrote from Hoenderloo in the Netherlands, also requesting verification of his reception of Relevant Radio. “I was able to hear your WWMI 1380 AM signal here at my location. Not via internet but via the airwaves on 1380 AM on my radio receiver. … Since 1969 is it my hobby to listen to faraway radio stations on shortwave, medium wave and FM.”

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.