I remember back when I was 11 years old, I was trying really hard to get a ham radio license so I could talk to people all over the world. I still remember staying up late nights, trying to learn English and Ham Radio at the same time. Well, Make has a great tutorial on how to get started on Ham Radio without a license.
In the days before Internet and Dial-ups, I think Ham Radio was like the “thing” you can do to talk to people all over the world. I am not sure how popular Ham Radio is nowdays but I am sure it’s still very a lively community.
Boy, I want to pursue this Ham Radio path again soon…
There’s plenty of fun to be had with ham radio even if you don’t have a license. You can get a hand held radio to listen in on what’s going on while you are out and about or get a base station/desktop radio. You can listen to activities on local repeaters. Repeaters allow ham radio operators to talk locally, they send a signal to a repeater and it transmits the signal to other radios in the area. You can listen in to their conversations or to Nets, regular ham meet us on repeaters that discuss a certain topic. A larger desktop radio with a longer antenna will also be able to receive amateur HF communications sent directly from ham radios around the world, you can listen to conversations from places like Germany, Kazakhstan, or Japan.