Amateur radio can trace its origins back to the late nineteenth century, but the hobby as we know it today was established in the 1920s by amateur communication engineers and ‘experimenters’ of the time.
Also referred to as “ham radio”, Amateur radio is a unique and fascinating pastime that in addition to being an enjoyable hobby provides a valuable public service and captivates the interest of millions of people around the world.
Amateur radio operators use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with radio amateurs throughout the world. These days, they even have their own communications satellites, can talk to international space stations and are often at the cutting edge of technology.
Amateur radio is in itself a hobby of self training, with the goal of enthusing and educating people young and old about radio, space, physics and electronics. Complementing the science taught at school and that interests so many amateur radio has for some led to new career paths which they may previously never have dreamed of.
Radio enthusiasts are drawn from either sex, all nationalities, ages, and income levels, and as well as enjoying the fascination of being able to talk to fellow “hams” throughout the world, they often are able to support their local and international communities with emergency and disaster communications.
Many operators are highly skilled in electronics and communications, and use this medium to discuss and increase their technical knowledge in these fields.
The term amateur does not reflect upon the skills of those practising, but rather denotes the fact that the amateur communications are not permitted to be used for commercial purposes.
The hobby encompasses all methods of radio communication, ranging from Morse code, to voice communication on hand held radio, to computerised messages transmitted via satellite.
Most seasoned amateurs will tell you that; “it’s once you have foundation the licence that you start to learn”.
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