Ham radio is often referred to as amateur radio and is a hobby that is enjoyed by millions of individuals across the globe. A ham radio operator uses a two-way radio to broadcast with other amateurs for the purpose of entertainment, public service or other venture.
The use of ham radio may actually help to save lives as operators often support the local community with emergency and disaster communications. On a recreational basis, ham radio can help to increase an individual’s self awareness of electronics, the operations of radio and communication. In addition, ham radio is often used to showcase entertainment for listeners and may even help to launch a new career for an amateur.
Ham radio was once confined to an actual radio, but the progression of the world wide web has changed the way that people both listen and communicate via radio. In fact, there are a number of radio stations that actively communicate with listeners online. This activity paved the way for ham radio to reach a broad audience via the internet. While some simply use ham radio as a way to talk with friends, meet new people who share common interest and discuss topics that are relevant to a specific idea, others regularly use ham radio to send and receive emergency notifications relating to severe weather, emergency situations, disaster relief and other forms of scenarios that call for fast action that are of interest to the public.
Like traditional radios, ham radio equipment is often portable enough to accompany the operator while on vacation. In order to use ham radio, individuals must be licensed and cannot successfully travel with the equipment otherwise. The only way that an individual can become licensed to operate ham radio is to successfully pass an exam, which is created to confirm the individual’s knowledge and understanding of key radio concepts. Unlike CB radio, individuals broadcasting on ham radio must possess a valid license to do so.
The best way to learn about ham radio operator licensing is to stop by a local club and speak with the owner. He/she will be able to direct most hopeful operators in the right direction. Once licensed, individuals will gain additional information on regulations and rules surrounding ham radio use and broadcasting. In addition, ham radio broadcasting equipment will be made available to licensed amateurs and can be found at a variety of internet specialty stores.