Civil Geeks: Ham Radio Remains Relevant in the Digital Age

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As much as I love the latest and greatest technology, I appreciate the classics. After spending time with a bunch of local ham radio operators at an early Hawaii Geek Meet, my friend Burt and I were inspired to get our ham radio licenses. (I’m KH6WEB, nice to meet you.) Amateur radio is a critical and complementary part of emergency preparedness and disaster response, as you can’t rely on Facebook or Snapchat for communications if the power or cellular data network goes down.

In my latest Civil Beat column, I take advantage of the opportunity to pay tribute to the volunteer corps of hams who step into the breach when things get serious. I got to interview five amateur radio operators, each of whom shared stories that could have filled the entire piece: Ron Hashiro (AH6RH, who was the first ‘Jedi Master’ for Burt and I), Keith Higaki (old-school blogger and just about the nicest guy you’ll ever meet), Wayne Greenleaf, president of EARC Hawaii, and Stephen and Carolyn Levy, married nearly 40 years and a ham radio team like no other.

You can read the entire column here: Civil Geeks: Ham Radio Still Going Strong in the Social Media Age

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1 Response

  1. Great, uplifting story, Ryan. I often wonder what will happen once a natural disaster, such as a huge X-class flare or a massive CME event strikes us head on. The 1859 Carrington Event comes to mind, where a huge flare nearly destroyed the telegraph systems of the time. So much of our modern world depends on sensitive digital equipment which can be “fried” in an instant. Imagine no cell phones, internet, life saving medical equipment, or even modern cars. That’s why I keep an old tube rig at my shack (Kenwood TS-520s). I’m afraid my solid state HT and Elecraft K3 would suffer badly in a Carrington-like event. Great article.

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