The Amateur Radio Club at the University of Pennsylvania, a student group at the University of Pennsylvania, promotes radio education, fraternalism, and individual operating efficiency while advancing the general interest and welfare of amateur radio among alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The Club was founded as the Wireless Club of the University of Pennsylvania in 1909. We currently use the call signs W3ABT and W3KZ to advance the public interest under the requirements set forward by the Federal Communications Commission.
What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio, also known as ham radio, is a hobby that is best known for its role in providing emergency communications during disasters. While allowing the “ham” to serve the community during emergencies, Amateur Radio also serves as a vehicle to make new friends locally, nationally, and globally.
Amateur Radio is established by international agreement and practiced by millions of enthusiasts worldwide. In the U.S. alone, there are hundreds of thousands of citizens licensed as amateurs by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after completing tests in theory and regulations. This club is just one of many collegiate clubs that exist at universities throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
Some Amateur Radio operators are attracted by the ability to communicate across the country, around the globe, through satellites, or even with astronauts on space missions. Some like the convenience of a technology that gives them portable communication where no other communication is readily available. Others may like to build and experiment with electronics. Still others find joy in “contesting,” or competing against others to make as many contacts as possible in a given period of time.
The term “amateur” indicates that amateur radio communications are not allowed to be made for profit or for commercial purposes and is not a reflection of the skills of the participants, which are often quite advanced.