What is Ham Radio?
Amateur Radio (ham radio) is a popular hobby and service that brings people, electronics and communication together. People use ham radio to talk across town, around the world, or even into space, all without the Internet or cell phones. It’s fun, social, educational, and can be a lifeline during times of need.
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.
Why should I get licensed?
Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate safely and legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra. The ARRL Getting Licensed page describes the license classes and provides useful links for those interested in becoming licensed.
How to get started
Would you like to know more?
Visit the ARRL What is Ham Radio page, or come to one of our club meetings to learn more about this multifacted hobby.