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