The population of the U.S. just passed the 300 million mark. If we guesstimate that there are 650,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the U.S. that means that there is roughly one ham for every 462 people. Now, if we further guesstimate that the population of Ann Arbor (where I live) is 110,000, that means that there should be approximately 240 hams in the city of Ann Arbor.
Where are they, though? They certainly don’t belong to ARROW, our local ham radio club. ARROW currently has a membership of about 120, and many members are from outside the city of Ann Arbor. The answer, of course, is that they are either not active hams or aren’t the type to join clubs.
Even so, you may want to get to know these folks. To make this easier, you can use N4MC’s Ham Locator. This nifty little web application will not only let you search the FCC database by zip code, but will also map the hams it finds there.
First, go to www.vanityhq.com. Then, click on the image below the legend “N4MC’s Ham Locator” on the left-hand side of the page. Type in your zip code and you’ll soon find out where all those hams are hiding.
It also totals the number of hams in each licensed class. In zip code 48103, for example, there are:
- 6 Novices
- 53 Techs
- 4 Tech Pluses
- 28 Generals
- 18 Advanceds
- 52 Extras
- 1 Club
Three of these guys are withing a quarter mile of me—one is just around the corner. I’ve not heard any of them on the air, though.
Next time I’m out walking, I’m going to go by their house and see if I can spot any antennas. And if I see someone out in the yard, I’ll go up and introduce myself. I like the idea of knowing where the other hams in the neighborhood are.