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Ham radio club aims to add to growing ranks

SHARON, Pa. (AP) — Amateur radio — also known as Ham radio — is more popular now than it's ever been, said Tim Duffy, president of the Mercer County Amateur Radio Club.

That might be surprising considering, if you don't know a Ham operator, you probably aren't even aware of the hobby.

With more than 700,000 Hams in the United States, the hobby has grown since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as people felt the need to be more prepared for emergencies and disasters, Duffy said.

"When all else fails, we're there," he said. "When the phone companies overload, we're there. When the power goes out, we're there."

The club has its own station at the Mercer County 911 center.

Aside from emergency preparedness, Ham radio is a great way to meet people, learn about people and events in other parts of the world, and network for employment opportunities, Duffy said.

"It's a tremendous fraternity," he said.

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