On a metal door near the back entrance to the campus post office in Todd Union, the words ?Amateur Radio Club? can still be seen stenciled in white paint. It?s not the old office of WRUR radio ? it is the old site of the UR Amateur Radio Club.

Amateur radio, commonly called ?ham? radio, is a hobby that encompasses both the simplicity of morse code and complicated digital communications that function similarly to the Internet, only over the air.

Amateur operators can communicate via satellites, morse code, simple voice communications, digital packet radio systems and can even bounce radio signals off the moon.

Unlike CB radio operators, hams are tested and licensed by the FCC and receive a station callsign, a combination of letter and numbers used for identification ? such as KC0CAI ? that is much like the callsigns issued to commercial radio stations.

The UR Amateur Radio Club, which last submitted a constitution to the Campus Activities Office in 1992, was an Amateur Radio Relay League-affiliated ham radio club ? the ARRL sticker is still visible in one of the windows near the office.

Amateur clubs provide equipment for the members to use and may operate a club station as well. Clubs can help members with building and maintaining their own equipment, and often provide classes and testing for amateur licenses.

There are several other amateur radio clubs in Rochester, such as the Rochester Amateur Radio Association.

There is no longer a ham radio club at UR, and the room in the back of Todd Union that formerly housed stacks of old radio equipment now stores props and technical theater supplies for the Todd Theatre Program.



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