What is amateur radio? Ham radio is an amateur radio service that operates in the frequency range of 2. You can think of it as an over-the-air walkie-talkie. There are over 784,000 licensed hams in the United States. Each ham has a call sign and can communicate for hundreds of kilometers without a cell phone or the Internet. It’s like having free long distance service that connects you to people all over the world!
A license is required to own and operate an amateur radio operator. The cost of a license is $ 15, and they’re good for ten years. Once you have your license, thousands of groups and repeaters across the United States join, making communication easy.
This guide will give you an overview of what ham radio is, how to get started and build your knowledge base at your own pace.
Overview of Amateur Radio
The FCC defines the amateur radio (or amateur radio) service as:
“… The use of radio frequencies for personal recreation, self-training, intercommunication and emergency communication. Amateur radio operators provide essential communications services in the event of local, national and international emergencies and disasters. Amateur radio operators also participate in public service events such as the annual field day and national emergency simulation exercises.
The word amateur comes from the Latin amator, which means “lover”. Not just a lover of a specific radio mode!
Amateur radio is an old hobby with traditions dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. It was a fad for a while during this time, but was mostly limited to landing craft and similar environments. After WWI and WWII, many countries opened up amateur radio licenses to their citizens. The United States granted the first amateur radio license to Marconi Wireless Radioperator George A. Hemming on November 2, 1905.
Amateur radio is a hobby that keeps people connected through a common interest in radio communications. There are dozens of different modes of communication for you to enjoy and learn from. Each mode has its own dynamic and its own challenges. But by the end of the day, you will have a better understanding of how radio waves work, and you will have better skills to start solving problems in your day-to-day life. It’s not only fun, but it’s a great way to learn electronics and radio communications.
How it works?
Amateur radio uses the first three blocks of the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) – low, medium and high frequency waves. It can also use the very low frequency block (VLF – 3 kHz to 30 kHz) but for another purpose. All communication is done using two-way radio frequencies and allows people to talk to each other over great distances.
High Frequency (HF) is used for communications between countries via the airwaves and is also known as shortwave. You may have heard of the BBC World Service on 6.9 MHz in Europe or 8.9 MHz in Africa. HF is also used for telephone calls around the world. Just like a mobile phone network.
This is called the marine band or “hull-down” band ranging from 1605 to 2800 kHz. This group is shared with CB radio, but as wireless microphones gain popularity, CB has become less popular.
How to get started with Ham Radio
Here are some basic guidelines to get you started in amateur radio without breaking your budget.
Some of these tips cannot be used with all radios, so consult the owner’s manual before using them.
- Connect your radio to an external antenna.
- The signals received by the antenna are often stronger than those received from the built-in “rubber duck” antenna. You can also move further away from electrical interference by moving the antenna away from home wiring and other devices.
- Inexpensive broadband antennas can be made using hangers. You can also buy inexpensive antennas from expert amateur radio stores, for example, https://www.walcottradio.com
Ham Radio is a fascinating hobby that anyone can learn. Anyone can become a licensed amateur radio operator (amateur for short) and hit the airwaves to talk to people around the world. Ham Radio will give you an insight into the world of global communication.