Reed about Ham

HAM Radio: Bouncing off the Ionosphere


Reed Prior's HAM Radio | by Carra Flood

Carra Flood, Staff Writer

If you watched Stranger Things on Netflix, then you have seen the infamous Ham radio the kids use almost every day. Most students at Hudson High don’t know that we have a Ham Radio in our school, and it’s easily accessible to most of them.

“Some people like fishing and catching the biggest fish, for those of us in this hobby we always have something really powerful in the event of something terrible,” Reed Prior, a science teacher at Hudson High, explained.

Ham Radio is a device that doesn’t use the internet to communicate. It uses satellites and bounces off layers of the ionosphere to get a transmission. Having a Ham Radio is extremely helpful during natural disasters and in war zones.

“All I need is the power of a 100-watt bulb and I can talk to people all the way in Australia,” Prior said, “[Owners of Ham Radios] are always there. So that’s a way people can communicate in a disaster.”

Many people own Ham Radios across the world. Three million people are currently licensed to operate one and around 800 people in the US have a license to own and operate a Ham Radio. To get your license only requires a few hours of studying and basic knowledge of how a Ham Radio works. Once you have your license, you have it for life.

Although one can run into the problem of how costly Ham Radios are, Hudson High School actually has a Ham Radio on the premises, and it’s free to use courtesy of Prior.

Prior explained, “Anything you say on this thing carries over the entire planet … [the International Telecommunications Union] want to make sure not every Tom, Dick and Harry is on the line. They don’t want to hear obscenities, they don’t want to hear political rhetoric, and they don’t want to hear people accusing each other.”

“Ham Radio, with the arrival of computers, and coding and video games, a lot of the geeky type kids in my generation moved to the computer instead of Ham Radio… students have flocked back because of the coding rather than the talking,” Prior said, “I loan it to the school … and anyone who has a license is free to use it.”