Val Hawtree reckons amateur radio operators were the forerunners of Skype and Facebook and it was a good way to communicate with people around the world.
Mrs Hawtree has been talking to people for 20 years through her call sign ZL2FO, and has just won the Thelma Souper Memorial women's amateur radio (WARO) competition for members in New Zealand and Australia. Mrs Souper was an early amateur radio operator in New Zealand.
The competition was for the highest number of contacts over two hours on April 27-28 - Mrs Hawtree spoke to 140 people in that time. She was presented with her award last night by the New Zealand Amateur Radio Society.
Her husband, Graham, was already an amateur radio operator and it was through him she became interested.
She sat exams and got her licence to operate and then bought the hardware. The cost of the equipment depended on what you bought, and from where, or whether you built your own.
Mr Hawtree spoke to the King of Jordan through his call sign ZL2HR, and was in contact with actor and singer the late Burl Ives.
He also spoke to the international space station. Mrs Hawtree said their hobby would be a way to communicate if there was a sun spot explosion that wiped out all communication because the members could still communicate through morse code, which was one of the exams the members sat when they applied for a licence.
And when she's not communicating through the airwaves, Mrs Hawtree is a teacher aide at Carlton School where she has been for three years.
She says she likes the job because of the children.
"They probably teach me more than I can teach them.
"I have a bit of knowledge they have not grown up with, but they have knowledge that I have never thought about."
The Wanganui Amateur Radio Society has 30 members and anyone interested can contact Mrs Hawtree on 06 3447501.