The MSU Radio Club is no stranger to Montana State. The club, which operates under an amateur radio license, broadcasts and communicates from MSU with other national and international amateur radio stations. Club president Jim Del Duca said, “our club’s name is W7YB and we broadcast all over the world.”
The club currently has 20 students and has been stationed in Cobleigh Hall, the engineering building, for more than 20 years. Del Duca said that an “amateur radio requires a license in order to operate effectively.” Amateur radio is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission under the Communications Act of 1934.
According to the National Association for Amateur Radio, if a person wanted to become certified in amateur radio they can obtain one of three licenses. The first is a technician’s license, which is the entry level of choice for most new radio operators. The second is a general license, which grants a few more operating privileges on all amateur radio operating modes. The third is the amateur extra license: this license conveys all amateur radio operating modes and takes a little longer to complete than the other two licenses.
Amateur radio operators in the U.S. have been on a steady increase with more than 704,236 operators licensed.
Larry Springer, the club advisor, is a physics professor in the College of Letters and Science and helps to facilitate the ability to join the radio club by offering training classes at MSU to become certified.
Once a person is certified in amateur radio, they can then begin to operate HAM radio — an informal name for an amateur radio operator. Then, via satellite, they can connect with other HAM radios all over the country and the world. Del Duca said, “Just the other day, I was communicating with somebody from Estonia. And that’s pretty cool.”
The club has monthly meetings and for the most part club participants can have access to the radio equipment at any time.
In looking towards the future, Del Duca said, “If a person wants to get involved, we welcome them and hope that they will enjoy HAM radio as much as we do.”
Looking to become involved with the Radio Club at MSU? Contact Jim Del Duca at firstname.lastname@example.org