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Thank you to Gene (KO6DW) for the following.
From The Bulldog Amateur Radio Club Site: http://www.uga.edu/~barc/home.html.
WHAT IS AMATEUR (Ham) RADIO
...and why should *I* prefer it to "professional" radio ?
Amateur Radio is a hobby, an avocation and a source on continuing interest for more than 600,000 US radio amateurs and many more "Hams" in nearly every nation on Earth. Amateurs in the US are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission after passing an easy test that demonstrates basic familiarity with principles of radio, proper operating procedures and the rules and regulations governing amateur use of the airwaves. Here's a list of some of the more popular activities that amateurs get involved in:
AMATEUR (Ham) RADIO IS A HOBBY
Which provides a valuable service to the Community and the Country
By Frank N6MRX
|From Webster's New World Dictionary|
Amateur: A person who does
something for the pleasure of it rather than for money; nonprofessional.
From the ARRL Web Site
Welcome! Here's your invitation to a
friendly, high-tech hobby that's got something fun for everyone! You can become an Amateur
Radio operator--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. People from all walks of
life pass their entry-level exams and earn their Amateur (ham) Radio licenses. They all
share the diverse world of activities you can explore with ham radio. You never know who
you'll run into when communicating with Amateur Radio: Young people, retirees, teachers
and students, engineers and scientists, doctors, mechanics and technicians, homemakers...
boaters Listen to an astronaut talk to students using ham radio and astronauts and
even entertainers! Getting started in ham radio has never been easier! We invite you to
explore the following information and learn about Amateur Radio, and a little about us,
the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), a non-profit membership organization. We've been
helping hams get started since 1914! We know you'll enjoy this fascinating world of
Amateur Radio, and we hope to have the chance of meeting you on the air--when you become
an Amateur Radio operator!
A FUN Hobby... What Can Amateur Radio Operators Do? Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers, and Morse code. Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets. Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on space shuttle missions and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space! With a SERIOUS Side... Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds of emergencies including: Hurricanes Earthquakes Tornadoes and floods Motorist accidents Fires and chemical spills Search and rescues Sounds interesting.... Where Do I Start? The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on which country you live in. In the US, there are six license levels, or "license classes." These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Two Beginner Licenses To Choose From The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which no longer requires a Morse Code examination, and gives you all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. They can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment. To earn a Technician license, you'll need to pass the Novice and Technician written exams. These are multiple-choice tests, written with beginners in mind. You'll study topics such as radio operating practices, FCC rules and basic electrical theory. The Novice Class license lets you talk by radio using voice, Morse code or computers. To earn a Novice license, you'll need to pass the Novice written exam and a 5 words-per-minute Morse code test. Novice Class operating privileges include FM voice (on the 222-MHz band), digital packet, and single-sideband voice on the 10-meter band. Novice operators may also use many other popular shortwave frequencies (below 30 MHz) to communicate worldwide using Morse code. How Do I Get Started? Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. First, locate a radio club in your area. Some radio clubs offer ham radio licensing classes, or they can find a club volunteer to answer your questions. You may even be invited to attend a local radio club meeting. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) publishes popular ham radio license study guides to help you learn the things you'll need to pass your exam and have fun with Amateur Radio. The Amateur Radio license examinations are administered by ham radio volunteers. When you're ready to take your exam, you'll need to locate an exam session near you. The American Radio Relay League Who are we? The 170,000+ members of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) are among the most active and enthusiastic amateurs in the country. Headquartered in Newington, CT, ARRL speaks for its members in Washington and internationally as well as providing direct member benefits.
To Learn more about Amateur Radio and about the ARRL, explore ARRLWeb,
the ARRL Web Site.
The American Radio Relay League --
Helping Hams Get Started Since 1914.
FCC Part 97 Amateur Radio Service
ARRL Web Site page http://www.arrl.org/field/regulations/news/part97/
Subpart A --
General Provisions §97.1
Basis and purpose.
The rules and regulations in this Part are designed to provide an amateur
radio service having a fundamental purpose as expressed in the following principles:
a. Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a
voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing
b. Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the
advancement of the radio art.
c. Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide
for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
d. Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators,
technicians, and electronics experts.
e. Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.