What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur radio is a technical as well as social and public service hobby that spans the entire world. Amateur radio (also known as HAM  Radio) attracts people from all walks of life (from Kings, famous musicians, to the family next door) who are interested in all facets of radio communications. Involvement in amateur radio allows people to practice their public speaking skills as well as the advancement of one’s knowledge of radio theory, electronics, and emergency management.

Ham Radio started with Marconi — he did not want to accept popular science’s thinking that radio waves were limited to line-of-sight and limited in range. Debate raged over the common theories. Marconi decided to test all of this out, and created his first radio transmitter, and put the receiver out in the far end of his garden. He  placed obstacles in the path, and then had his assistant transmit. He heard it, and we now have cell phones, television, and all of the other telecommunications using radio, because of his amateur radio experiment. Ham Radio continues to test ideas and forge new ground in practical communications.

The hobby can be as simple as talking on local-area repeaters with those in the same town, to building a satellite or experimenting with new forms of telecommunications. The HAM hobbyist can talk to those on the other side of the earth with nothing more than a simple High Frequency transceiver and an equally simple wire  antenna.

Amateur radio is used in search-and-rescue, contests, disaster aid (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, accidents, fires), and much more. Amateur radio operators talk with other HAM radio hobbyists using all sorts of communication modes.

From Morse Code and voice to Slow Scan Television and computer networking through the radio waves, these hobbyists reach out with goodwill from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. Dedicated hobbyists have pioneered in new technology, contributing to advances in technology that has impacted the world  of communications in all areas of our lives. Even ham-astronauts take radios with them on International Space Station ISS, and make calls to earth-bound Amateurs.

Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. One way to start is to locate a radio club in your area. Some radio clubs offer ham radio licensing classes, or they can find a club volunteer to answer your questions. You may even be invited to attend a local radio club meeting. You will also want to check out the following websites.