'Ham Radio' Interest Grows Exponentially
2009 was a banner year for new getting amateur radio licensees in the U.S. Amateur Radio, often called "ham radio," has been growing over recent years, with 2009 a record.
According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national association for amateur radio, the FCC issued a total of 30,144 new licenses in 2009, an increase of almost 7.5 percent from 2008.
In 2005, 16,368 new hams joined amateur radio's ranks; just five years later, that number had increased by almost 14,000 - a whopping 84 percent!
When looking at the statistics over the last 10 years the total number of US amateurs has grown each year.
Currently there are 682,500 licensed amateur radio operators in the U.S., an almost three percent rise over 2008. In 2008, there were 663,500 licensed amateurs; there were 655,800 in 2007.
There are approximately 2.5 million amateur radio enthusiasts worldwide. A much higher percentage of licensees are going beyond the entry-level license and earning more comprehensive general and extra class FCC amateur radio licenses. Despite the predictions by some that amateur radio would be dying with the development of cell phones and the Internet, hams instead have taken and incorporated these digital and computer technologies into their wireless hobby.
Locally, the Moore County Amateur Radio Society (MOCARS) coordinates amateur radio activities including VEC testing for technician, general and extra class licenses at the Moore County Library Carthage at 10 a.m. Saturdays, Jan. 23, March 27, May 29, July 24, Sept. 25 and Nov. 13.
The examination fee is $12 (cash only) and a copy of a government issued, photo ID, Social Security card plus copy of FCC license, if any, are required. Licensing courses are also offered periodically.
Contact Charles Wackerman at (910) 947-2707 for testing and course details.
"Everyone with an interest in amateur radio is welcome to attend the monthly MOCARS meetings," says James Johnson, public information officer for the group.
The meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. on the lower level of the Moore County Emergency Operations Center, Carthage. MOCARS hosts a 2 meter net each Sunday and Wednesday evening at 8 p.m. at 147.240Mhz + offset + 91.5 tone
For further MOCARS information, contact Johnson at (910) 400-3019.
More like this story