Amateur Radio INFO
Amateur Radio, or ham radio, is both a hobby and a public service.
Individuals volunteer to become Amateur Radio operators and are licensed by their respective countries to operate radios and to communicate with other Amateur Radio operators.
Enthusiasts and dedicated volunteers take up this avocation for many reasons — sport, challenge, social contacts, networking (in the looking-for-a-job sense), a quest for knowledge, and more.
Radio spectrum, which is broken up into services like television, cellphone, and broadcast radio, is controlled by the individual
countries and an International Telecommunications Union and then granted to the different services or companies that use radio.
For the most part, spectrum is very expensive.
Companies like Verizon and AT&T pay billions of dollars for spectrum on which they run cellphone systems.
Amateur Radio gets spectrum for free with the condition that the radio operators follow certain and relatively easy rules.
The foremost of these rules is that each Amateur Radio operator must obtain a license from the government, just as radio and TV stations do. With this license come unique privileges.
Getting training help on-line
The Orange County Radio Amateurs club maintains a list of links to some useful training and information for new hams here:
Becoming an Amateur Radio operator.
HamStudy is a web page which brings together some links helpful for getting licensed.
Central North Carolina hams
My area, Raleigh NC, is surrounded by several counties each with one or more ham radio clubs.
- provide a good place to go for information about the hobby (and radios in general),
- introduce persons interested in the hobby to local hams,
- have meetings with interesting and educational presentations,
- organize public services such as disaster relief, storm spotting, and parades, and
- run ham radio equipment swaps and auctions including flea-market type activities once per year.
- Some clubs operate repeaters, which provide very reliable communications within a specific city or county.
I maintain a list of Raleigh region repeaters.
I also maintain a list of local ham clubs
United States hams
The US national club of record from which you can find material on Amateur Radio is the American Radio Relay League, ARRL.
In Canada, the Radio Amateurs of Canada
In Great Britain, the Radio Society of Great Britain.
There are also local clubs in most cities and at the parish and county level in much of the world.