What is Ham Radio?

The Ham Radio Hobby

Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) is a popular hobby in which licensed Amateur Radio operators operate Ham Radio Transceiver. A transceiver is an apparatus for Transmitting and Receiving Radio signals. Ham radio lets people talk across the globe using radio waves or internet connections (Virtual Ham Radio). Amateur Radio is voluntary and non-commercial and the hobby normally requires an antenna, a transmitter, a receiver, a speaker and a microphone. The hobby is usually quite expensive, and commercial Transceivers exist in the price range of $200-$10000 USD. This may seem expensive but there are other good alternatives such as Virtual Ham Radio where the operator uses its PC to communicate such as HamSphere that provides its Transceiver at a mere $40 USD (Click here for a free 30 day trial)

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.