What is amateur radio?

Amateur Radio is a hobby shared by hundreds of thousands. It combines an interest in electronics with a love for socializing and public service. Amateur Radio enthusiasts, often called “Hams” utilize radio technology to communicate with each other, to further their knowledge of electronic systems and to help their community.

Hams are extremely involved in public service and volunteer work, especially in emergencies. It is true that in an emergency that the Internet and cellular telephone infrastructure are extremely vulnerable and prone to failure. Amateur Radio, because of it’s ability to transmit without a preexisting infrastructure is extremely robust and reliable, and is therefore a great resource for emergency communication. In addition to communicating socially over Amateur Radio bands, hams practice for emergency situations and are always prepared to lend a hand when disaster strikes.

One common misconception about Amateur Radio is that you must be an engineer or an electronics expert to fully enjoy it. This is simply not true. Although inherently an electronic activity, Amateur Radio does not require any knowledge of electronics. In fact, any well written radio owner’s manual will get you up and running quickly.

For more information on becoming an Amateur Radio operator please visit the Licensing page.

Useful Links

  • FCC.gov - The Federal Communications Commission is the U.S. Government body responsible for licensing and radio communications regulations
  • ARRL.net - Amateur Radio Relay League, an organization dedicated to amateurs
  • EDN Article - Well written article on modern amateur radio