Ham radio, what is it?
Ham radio is a lot like using CB or walkie talkies. The main difference between
them is that for ham radio you have to get licensed to talk on the radio, but you get
to talk to anybody around the world. I have personally talked to people in Japan,
Russia, Italy and Australia in my two years of being an ham radio enthusiast.
ham radio is basically talking to other people about whatever you can think of;
you use a microphone and talk to them through the radio which is connected to an
antenna. Another person’s antenna picks up your radio signal and can answer your call
or jump in on a conversation.
Some people like using old fashion ways radio techniques, like CW, which is a very
old way of using Morse code to talk to other people. Also using AM is something that
people also like doing. ham radio can also use lots of high tech equipment. For
instance Amateurs have launched satellites into space just so they can talk to others by
using the radio which is on the satellite, which in turn reflects the radio signals back to
Ham radio also can have different ways to talk to people, there is CW which I
have already talked about, then there is digital modes which use a computer hooked up
to a radio to send different tones that the computer can interpret as characters. It is a
lot like using instant messaging on the internet. There is also APRS (Automatic
Positioning Reporting System) which allows you to look at little dots on a internet map
which represents a person’s location. APRS uses ham radio to report its current
position and that is transferred to a map which is put on the internet.
People also have handheld radios that allow them to talk to people locally. They
have specific frequencies that people monitor so they can report a car accident or an
emergency situation. It is also used for formal conversations, information, and just
As you can see there are many cool things about ham radio that a lot of people
like. Some people get involved just for emergency communication or to talk to people
around the globe, but whatever reason you get involved you definitely will get a warm
welcome and open arms!