Brian Wood likes to talk ham. When asked to detail his hobby of amateur radio, more commonly referred to as ham radio, he grinned and delved into a flurry of explanations about electronics, broadcasting and history, all mixed with sentimental stories about the first radio receiver he built as a 14-year-old Arizona boy. "This is what's in my blood," Wood said while seated at a table in Valley Ham Shack, 4321 W. Eisenhower Blvd. The Valley Ham Shack is Wood's new store, which opened a few weeks ago and sells amateur radio equipment, but also will double as a manufacturing warehouse for his other company, DZ Kits. The best-licensed ham radio hobbyists broadcast their voices around the world, hold conversations digitally, by voice and through Morse Code, and are fallback emergency communicators for their municipalities. Broadcasting the signal for others to hear and respond to is much like an Internet chatroom that can host conversations from around the world. But ham operators do it all independent of providers and free of cost -- after purchasing the equipment. Ham users usually are just as interested in building their radios, as they are at broadcasting a signal, which is where Wood's passion lies. "I got into it because I was interested in electronics," Wood said, recalling the building of his first receiver. "I liked the idea of building my own radio and broadcasting my voice all around the world." Thousands of people feel the same way, he said. Even though the hobby began in the early 1900s and some of its function may have been eclipsed by the Internet, Wood said it's still growing in popularity, albeit quietly.