Does Anyone Still Use Ham Radio?

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This post was originally published on May 25, 2023
The latest update to this post was made 10 months ago.

Does Anyone Still Use Ham Radio Image
Does Anyone Still Use Ham Radio?

Yes, people still use ham radio!  Also known as amateur radio, in many parts of the world.  While the popularity of ham radio has declined compared to the past, there is still a vibrant community of amateur radio operators worldwide, using designated frequency bands to communicate with each other over the airwaves.

Hams engage in various activities such as making voice contacts, sending Morse code, participating in contests, experimenting with new technologies, attending field days and providing emergency communication support during disasters and weather events when other forms of communication may be unavailable.


One of the significant advantages of ham radio is its ability to operate independently of traditional communication infrastructure. In emergencies or natural disasters, when landlines, cellular networks, or the internet may be disrupted, ham radio can serve as a reliable means of communication.

Furthermore, ham radio enthusiasts often pursue the hobby for personal enjoyment, learning and community engagement. It offers opportunities for making connections with people around the world, exchanging knowledge, and exploring different aspects of radio technology.

Field Day

Ham Radio Field Day is an annual event held by amateur radio operators around the world, typically on the fourth full weekend of June. The purpose of Field Day is to practice emergency communication preparedness, showcase amateur radio capabilities, and foster camaraderie within the amateur radio community.  During Field Day, ham radio operators set up temporary stations in outdoor locations such as parks, fields, or other public spaces. These stations operate on emergency power sources, such as generators or batteries, to simulate the conditions of a real emergency situation where commercial power might be unavailable.

This article, also on Ham Encounters, may be of interest:  What Is CW In Ham Radio?

The event involves making as many contacts as possible with other amateur radio stations within a 24-hour period. Operators use various modes of communication including voice (phone), Morse code (CW), and digital modes. Each contact earns points, and additional points are awarded for operating under emergency power, setting up alternative antenna systems, and other factors that demonstrate preparedness.

Field Day provides an opportunity for operators to test their equipment, practice their operating skills, and enhance their emergency communication abilities. It also serves as a public demonstration of amateur radio’s capabilities and its role in supporting emergency communication when traditional infrastructure fails.  Participation in Field Day is not limited to experienced operators; it also welcomes newcomers to the hobby. It encourages learning, teamwork, and cooperation among operators while fostering a sense of community and preparedness within the amateur radio community.

Fun Facts

  • As of September 2021, the number of licensed ham radio operators in the United States was over 760,000
  • As of September 2021, the exact number of licensed ham radio operators worldwide is challenging to determine with absolute certainty. However, estimates suggest that there are several million licensed amateur radio operators globally. 
  • The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) is an organization that represents amateur radio operators worldwide and coordinates activities among national amateur radio societies. According to the IARU, there are over 3 million licensed amateur radio operators across the globe.

Tags: #hamradio #amateurradio #hobby #hamencounters


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