ham radio

Before Chatroulette, there was ham radio

Aug 2, 2012

As you read this, a dead language is flying through the air all around you -- at least, it’s dead for most official uses. It’s the Morse code, a binary digital system that dates back to the 1850s. Among its primary users today are amateur radio operators, better known as hams. I am one of these and am proud to say I’m fluent in Morse. I was texting way, way before it was cool.

Ham radio is a pastime dating back more than a century. Hobbyists built transmitting and receiving equipment long before radio stations, such as KALW, went on the air.