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No SOS needed for amateur radio

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Jim McDonald has been a licensed amateur radio operator for 12 years. He has a radio in his truck and is active in his community's emergency service. (Photo by Liz McDonald)


Jim McDonald enjoys amateur radio because many of his friends have the same hobby. (Photo by Liz McDonald)

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Grant Morine, 18, won the 2007 Ham of the Year Award. He received his amateur radio license when he was 11. (Photo courtesy of Bill Morine)


The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) is a program of the ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio. (Photo courtesy of ARRL)

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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite the wonders of instant messaging, Skype and video chat, ham radio usage is thriving. And it's not just old-timers chatting with each other. Plenty of young people are taking up the hobby.