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Celebrating 100 years, Ogden radio club continues to grow

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With smartphones, apps and the internet, you might think ham radio is a dying hobby.{ } (Photo: KUTV)

With smartphones, apps and the internet, you might think ham radio is a dying hobby.

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Not so. It’s very much alive and even growing in popularity.

In fact, the Ogden Amateur Radio Club is celebrating its 100th year on the air.

We’re just so excited for our 100th birthday,” Gil Leonard, the coordinator for the club’s centennial events, said.

The club was founded in 1921, by Doctor William Garner.

We’re so excited that our club has his last call sign, W7SU,” Leonard explained. “It’s a testimony to what he started 100 years ago.

The club now has 170 members, with several new operators signing on in just the last year.

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Colleen Pike, 77, started the hobby a couple of years ago. “Nobody in the family. No radio background. I’m 77, so 75, I started this,” she said.

Ham radio has evolved with technology. Operators now use digital devices, repeaters, and even satellites.

They also enjoy chatting with people around the world the “old-fashioned” way.

“With some of the antennas I’ve built, I’ve been able to talk to Russia,” Gene Morgan, a ham since 1977, said.

I’ve been able to talk into Japan and Australia all the time.

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Amateur radio operators play a vital role in large events and even disasters. Gil Leonard remembered how hams stepped up during the Magna quake, and the recent wind storm in Farmington: “They set up their stations and filled in those communications gaps so emergency responders could focus where they were most needed.”

The Ogden Amateur Radio club has several demonstrations and activities planned for their centennial celebration. Check out their website for more information, and how you can become a ham radio operator.