If you are looking for an interesting hobby, there are still small communities keeping radio activity alive. Here are some suggestions for radio activities:
- RTL-SDR is a software defined radio activity that is growing a following in recent years. Find out more about this activity here, here, and here.
- You can listen to scanner activity online/in app with Broadcastify or Scanner Radio (or other available apps) or you can purchase a scanner. Unfortunately some radio traffic is now encrypted so you won't be able to hear it on a scanner (I'm assuming hackers are working on this as I type, however.)
- HAM/Amateur radio is still alive! There are HAM clubs all over the US, there are HAM Fests, HAM Nets, and it is pretty simple to test for and receive a HAM radio license. Check out a bunch of HAM activities here.
- HAM/Amateur radio operators who want to use their radio skills to help others can join up with ARES/RACES which uses HAM radio operators for communications during a disaster or other public emergency.
- Anyone who lives in an area where weather emergencies are common should own a weather radio to alert them when disaster is heading their way.
- And if you have a boat, a Marine VHF radio is pretty important to have.
- Short Wave radios are fascinating to listen to. Read all about SW radio here.
- You can also listen in on air traffic via app here.
So while digital radio has taken over analog radio with a vengeance and many services have gone online, there is still room for both (and in a SHTF situation such as the Puerto Rico hurricane, the default will be back to HAM radio). It is a good idea to be knowledgeable in all of the facets of radio as this knowledge can be both informative (a nice hobby) to critical (in a disaster for communication).
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