For those expecting 2021 to be a lockdown-free year, coronavirus might still have quite a few riddles up its sleeve. Then again, the damages to life and finances are expected to be significantly less if the new virus finds you locked indoors.
But lockdowns, if and when announced, can be glaringly frustrating as it strips individuals of their free will to move around. This is where Amateur Radio can show up as a go-to resource for staying connected with your friends, peers, and other members of an otherwise close-knit community.
1. Lockdowns and the Resurgence of Amateur Radio
As inferred by the RSGB, the first set of lockdowns imposed in 2020 saw several individuals taking up Amateur Radio as a revisited hobby. While some were seen clearing the dust off the older radio equipment, quite a few hobbyists were seen placing orders from digital suppliers such as the Walcott Radio Online Shop.
For example, the massive breakdown of communication systems in the United Kingdom started during the first day of the viral outbreak. The panic took over as people rushed to escape the confines of their homes and offices.
While the government tried to control the situation, it was the amateur radio operators who, instead, found themselves doing most of the communicating with other stations in and around London. They were more reliable in relaying messages due to their individualistic and non-corporate nature.
With this resurgence in Amateur Radio, hobbyists are now acquiring equipment that was once considered redundant. Modern digital signal processing radios have made it easier for these hobbyists to connect with other operators at a distance without the need for cables and multiple antennae.
The Walcott Radio Online Shop reportedly observed a surge in orders for accessories such as RTL-SDR receivers, which can be attached on top of a Raspberry Pi computer board and be used to receive radio transmissions.
Regardless of the avenues, the inclination towards Amateur Radio started setting precedents for a well-connected community.
2. How does Amateur Radio connect Individuals?
The concept thrives on the wireless communication standards that allow individuals to communicate with others in the same spectrum. Most importantly, hobbyists can tap into the designated frequencies to get acquainted with others, as a part of a massive social network.
However, the lockdowns didn’t just help people whet their Amateur radio skills, but RSGB saw a 300 per cent surge in the number of licensing inquiries. Besides, there was a massive demand for procuring call signs— a series of numbers and letters that radio operators use to converse with select individuals.
It wouldn’t be wrong to state that Amateur radio is ideal when social distancing is peak. While some might still prefer phone and video calls, lack of network bandwidth comes forth as a significant issue in specific remote locations. This is where Amateur Radio comes along as a virtual lifesaver.
To sum it up, Amateur Radio puts science in play by allowing it to coexist alongside the digital world.