Amateur radio operators tend to be easy to spot, said Jason Foster, president of the nonprofit Montgomery Amateur Radio Club. With one or several antennas up to 100 feet tall outside their homes, or even on top of their cars, amateur radio operators, also known as "hams," are often thought to be older people who are not ready to embrace modern communications technology. Over the weekend, 25 hams participated in the Field Day at Montgomery College's Germantown campus. The event drew hams of all ages who competed against hams from around the country to try to make as many contacts with other hams as they can in 24 hours from temporary stations set up in trucks. The participants proved hams aren't outdated, though instant messaging, texting, and social networking Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter are the rage. But according to Allen Pitts, spokesman for the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio operators, the hobby is gaining popularity -- and technological advancement. About 100,000 of the 665,000 licensed hams in the U.S., received their license in the last four years and more hams are experimenting with digital technologies, Pitts said. Hams are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to use radio frequencies located above AM frequencies to broadcast for a variety of purposes, including providing back-up communication for emergency response organizations, weather reporting, participating in worldwide and national contests, and simply chatting with other hams.