Is Ham Radio “cool” again?

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


When I was a young fella, I thought ham radio was the coolest thing. There was a ham with a big tower and Yagi near my school. I walked past his house every day and I often wanted to ask him about his antennas and how he used them but he wasn’t approachable and I never did talk to him.

I often wish that I had the benefit of an Elmer when I was young. I wasted time with CB radio during the 1970’s before upgrading to amateur radio in the early 1980’s.

“Ham” radio has sometimes appeared in television and the movies. Ham radio was cool when Jodie Foster’s character used it in the 1997 drama “Contact”.  Forest Whitaker plays a farmer with a ham license in the 1996 movie “Phenomenon”.

 Ham radio operators were able to talk back into time in the 2000 movie “frequency”.  Still these fictitious movies gave amateur radio visibility and make it look fun.

Many of us remember brief appearances of ham radio in The Simpsons television show. The Twilight Zone also featured amateur radio several times.

Ham radio also makes brief appearances in several movies including Terminator 3, The Bank Job, Get Smart and Super 8.  Ham radio plays a key role in Tim Allen’s character as Mike Baxter-KA0XTT in The Last Man Standing television series.  Harrison Ford’s latest movie “Paranoia” which will be released soon as showcases amateur radio as Ford’s character is a ham.

I think we are headed into a new era where ham radio is cool again. Let’s all seize this opportunity and expose young people to amateur radio and get the next generation into this great hobby.


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