What is Ham Radio?
Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) is a popular hobby and service in which licensed Amateur Radio operators (hams) operate communications equipment.
Although Amateur Radio operators get involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass an examination for the license to operate on radio frequencies known as the “Amateur Bands.” These bands are radio frequencies reserved by the Wireless planning commission (WPC) for use by ham radio operators.
Why are Amateur Radio Operators also called “Hams”?
Ham: a poor operator; a ‘plug’ (G. M. Dodge; The Telegraph Instructor)The first wireless operators were landline telegraphers who left their offices to go to sea or to man the coastal stations. They brought with them their language and much of the tradition of their older profession. In those early days, every station occupied the whole spectrum with its broad spark signal. Government stations, ships, coastal stations and the increasingly numerous amateur operators all competed for time and signal supremacy in each other’s receivers. Many of the amateur stations were very powerful. Two amateurs, working each other across town, could effectively jam all the other operations in the area. Frustrated commercial operators would refer to the ham radio interference by calling them “hams.” Amateurs, possibly unfamiliar with the real meaning of the term, picked it up and applied it to themselves. As the years advanced, the original meaning has completely disappeared.
Who is the Typical Ham?
Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life — doctors, students, kids, politicians, truck drivers, movie stars, missionaries and even your average neighbor next door. They are of all ages, sexes, income levels and nationalities. Whether through Morse Code on an old brass telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio or computerized messages transmitted via satellite, all hams use radio to reach out to the world.
Find out what you can do with ham radio!
What’s the Appeal of Ham Radio?
You can communicate from the top of a mountain, your home or behind the wheel of your car. You can take radio wherever you go! In times of disaster, when regular communications channels fail, hams can swing into action assisting emergency communications efforts and working with public service agencies. For instance, the Amateur Radio Service kept New York City agencies in touch with each other after their command center was destroyed during the 9/11 tragedy. Ham Radio also came to the rescue during Hurricane Katrina, where all other communications failed.
You can use telegraphy, voice, digital and images in communication with other hams. You can even talk to Shuttle astronauts or bounce signals off the moon!
Some hams like to build and experiment with electronics. Computer hobbyists enjoy using Amateur Radio’s digital communications opportunities. Others compete in “DX contests,” where the object is to see how many hams in distant locations they can contact. Mostly we use ham radio to form friendships over the air or through participation in one of more than 2000 Amateur Radio clubs throughout the country.There are over 600,000 radio amateurs in the United States and over 2,000,000 worldwide.
South India Amateur Radio Society is a non-profit organisation at Chennai, they can help you in becoming a Ham or an amateur radio operator in India.