New technology keys ‘ham’ radio revival

Even in these days of incessant tweets, texts and Facebook posts, a century-old form of social media is drawing new enthusiasts by embracing the latest technology.

Members of amateur, or ham, radio clubs in the area may use everything from a telegraph key and Morse code to satellites to transmit video, digital data and voice communications.

Danbury-area ham-radio clubs include the Candlewood Amateur Radio Association and the Northville Amateur Radio Association.

Danbury’s Steve Simons has been licensed since 1974, and his company, Manitou Systems Inc., supplies high-powered amplifiers.

Simons said people take up the hobby for many reasons, including to participate in contests, where some compete to make the most point-to-point connections in a given time frame, or to communicate for emergency preparedness. Others are interested in Dxing — which means communicating over great distances, and some will operate a station for various special events.

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