Ham Radio

Ham Radio Operators

Amateur Radio Operators are often called hams or ham radio operators and frequently the public is more familiar with this term than with the legal term Radio Amateur. Ham Radio operators have been around almost from the beginning of the early 1900s. The name amateur has nothing to do with skill or knowledge but rather a non-commercial meaning. It is truly a hobby but often one that makes a difference especially in emergency or disaster situations.

Ham Radio operators are licensed by the communications authority in the country the reside in.
To become licensed you will need skills of radio communications and electric laws. Each country has a designated prefix which will be a part of the Amateur Operator's call sign. In example, the prefix for Sweden is SM, thus a call sign would look like "SM7NHC", where the number indicates the region of the operators QTH (Location). The suffix usually consists of one to four characters, but never numbers.

There are many ways of studying to become licensed and one way to start is to join HamSphere to get the idea of the Amateur Radio ethics and communication methods. Joining HamSphere will not require a license and you will be assigned a temporary so called HS-license which is unofficial.

Ham Radio and computers

The computer has become a natural part of the Ham Radio shack. Once the HamSphere software is downloaded and installed, you will have a powerful Ham Radio Transceiver on your desktop without any extra hardware.

Computerized Ham shack

It is more and more common for amateur radio operators to use Ham Radio software in their daily operation. In order for all of the programs to be visible at one time, a large single display is used. The Ham Operator can launch different programs at the same time such as UTC Clock, Log programs, Microphone processors, RTTY decoders, HamSphere etc. Ham operators have long known the advantages of having a computer in the shack for full-time ham radio operation. The disadvantage is that computers can generate interference that causes problems for the HF band (and sometimes the VHF band as well). This can actually impede the operation of your station and your ability to log DX. HamSphere Ham Radio Software is a virtual Ham Radio Transceiver for your PC desktop and by using the software, noise and bad propagation can be eliminated completely.

A computerized Ham Shack using the HamSphere software
(Courtesy of John 2HS3425)

Ham Radio and VOIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (Voice over IP, VoIP) is one of a family of internet technologies, communication protocols for delivery of voice communications over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. It is now widely used by Ham Radio operators. HamSphere uses VoIP to transport the audio between the server and client.

More Ham Radio software utilities

Ham Radio Software like HamSphere is designed for both Hams and non licensed radio enthuasiast. Ham software was once thought to be a means of communication between radio enthusiasts, but is nowadays including data and contest loggers, log books, Morse code tutors, RTTY Decoders and aerial design aids etc. In our forum you will find a lot of links to Ham Radio software utilities.