The Amateur Radio Club at the University of Pennsylvania
Amateur Radio at Penn Since 1909

The Amateur Radio Club at the University of Pennsylvania, founded as the Wireless Club of the University of Pennsylvania in 1909, promotes radio education, fraternalism and individual operating efficiency, while advancing the general interest and welfare of amateur radio among the alumni, faculty, staff and students. The Club currently uses the call signs W3ABT, W3KZ, and N3KZ to advance the public interest under the requirements set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

If you are interested in joining the Club, please fill out this interest form. We are open to students from all Penn schools. We also recommend following us on Instagram!

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.

For more information about amateur radio, check out the ARRL’s page on “What is Ham Radio?” as well as the ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Program, which has monthly meetings and a Discord server.

If you are interested in becoming licensed as an Amateur Radio operator, please contact us for information about study resources and exam sessions.