What is Amateur Radio?
When cell phones, regular phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, Amateur Radio still gets the message through. Radio amateurs, often called “hams,” enjoy radio technology as a hobby. But it's also a service –a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed.
Who are Hams?
Ham Radio operators are movie stars, missionaries, doctors, students, politicians, truck drivers and regular people. They are all ages, sexes and income levels linked by their interest in wireless communications technologies. There are more licensed American Amateur Radio operators now than ever before in history.
Why do you need a license?
While license application requirements vary by country, the Amateur Radio Service is also controlled by international law and agreements because radio waves do not stop for international borders. In its regulations (Part 97), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recognizes the ability of the hobby not only to advance radio communication and technical skills, but also to enhance international goodwill.
What's the appeal of Ham Radio?
Hams are at the cutting edge of many technologies. They provide thousands of hours of volunteer community and emergency services when normal communications go down or are overloaded. All of them enjoy being creators, not just consumers, of wireless technology.
Chris Tate, KJ4UBL, recently won a contest for being best able to describe Amateur Radio to a non-ham in under 30 seconds. Listen to his description....
Doug Lamb, K4EK describes ham radio as....
Ham Radio is the ability to communicate -- across the street, around the world, or even with people and satellites in space! Even when the power's out, and the land lines and cell phones don't work, with a battery, a radio, and a wire, ham radio is there.
Ham Radio lets us enjoy life-long friends, and a hands-on technical education. It provides the resources and encouragement to experiment with new things and to design and build on the latest communications technologies.
You can't say that the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon! You can go anywhere you want, without boundaries, and amateur radio can help you get there!