What is Ham Radio?
Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, is a hobby that involves using radios to communicate with other people over short or long distances, without the use of the internet or commercial phone networks.
Ham radio operators, or “hams,” use a variety of equipment and frequencies to communicate, including voice, text, digital modes, and even images. Some hams use portable or mobile radios to communicate while on the go, while others set up permanent stations in their homes or other locations.
To become a ham radio operator, you will need to obtain a license from your country’s regulatory authority. This typically involves passing a written exam to demonstrate your understanding of radio theory, regulations, and operating procedures.
Once you have your license, you can start using ham radio to communicate with other hams around the world. You can participate in local or international ham radio clubs and organizations, or simply use your radio to chat with other hams in your area. Many hams also enjoy using their radios to assist with emergency communication efforts, such as during natural disasters or other emergencies.
Ham radio has a long and interesting history in the United States. The first amateur radio stations were established in the late 19th century, and the hobby has continued to grow and evolve over the years.
One of the early pioneers of amateur radio in the United States was Hiram Percy Maxim, who founded the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) in 1914. The ARRL is now the largest organization for amateur radio operators in the United States, and it serves as a clearinghouse for information, resources, and support for hams across the country.
During World War II, amateur radio operators played a vital role in providing communication support for the military, and many hams continue to provide emergency communication services during natural disasters and other emergencies.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, advances in technology have made it easier for amateur radio operators to communicate using digital modes and other techniques, and the hobby has continued to thrive and evolve. Today, there are over 750,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the United States, and the hobby is enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Ham radio can be a fun and rewarding hobby, and there are many resources available to help you get started, such as local ham radio clubs, online communities, and instructional videos.