What is ham radio?

Amateur Radio or ham radio is the wonderful hobby of experimentation and fun in the area of electronic communication.   Almost every Government around the world has allocated frequencies for Radio Amateurs to use.    Amateurs are very, very skilled in operating in tough communicating conditions.   When everything else fails, Amateur Radio works just fine.   Testimonies are the services of Amateurs during the Hurricane Andrew, Sept-11 disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and the Indian Ocean Tsunami, just to name a few.

Amateurs (HAMs) are so called, not because they are not professionals at it, but because they  do  not  do it to make money or not have any monitory interests in it.  People  come  into   the   hobby  of  amateur radio for different reasons. It can be for social reasons,  for fun, for the thrill of communicating with hams in far off places (even on the nternational  Space Station!).  They  become  hams  for  many  reasons.   Many become  interested  in  the   hobby   purely   because  of   the technical   enjoyment  of  it  and  for  learning  and advancing the radio art.

Ham  radio  operators  use  two-way  radio  stations  from  their  homes,  cars,  boats and outdoors   to   make   hundreds of friends   around  town  and  around  the  world.  They communicate  with  each  other  using  voice,  computers,  and  Morse code.  Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere,  so they can talk with hams on  the  other side of  the  world.  Other   hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets.

Hams  exchange  pictures  of   each  other  using  television.  Some  also  like  to  work on electronic  circuits,  building  their  own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio  have  even  contributed  to advances  in technology that we all enjoy today. There are  even  ham-astronauts  who take radios with them on the International Space Station and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space!

Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds of emergencies and events including, but in no way limited to:

  • Tornadoes and floodsHurricanes
  • Motorist accidents
  • Fires and chemical spills
  • Search and rescues
  • Large public events such as walks, runs, triathlons