Amateur Radio Operators Talk To The World
According to an estimate made in 2017 by the American Radio Relay League, two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. About 830,000 amateur radio stations are located in IARU Region 2 (the Americas) followed by IARU Region 3 (South and East Asia and the Pacific Ocean) with about 750,000 stations. A significantly smaller number, about 400,000, are located in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, CIS, Africa).
Radio amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes and have access to frequency allocations throughout the RF spectrum. This enables communication across a city, region, country, continent, the world, or even into space. In many countries, amateur radio operators may also send, receive, or relay radio communications between computers or transceivers connected to secure virtual private networks on the Internet.
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, or amateur TV broadcasts, all hams use radio to reach out to the world.
Hams (Amateur Radio operators) make contacts with each other using radio equipment they’ve bought or home built, or a combination of the two, over a wide range of the radio spectrum, without using any external infrastructure — such as the wired or cellular telephone network or the Internet. The methods hams use to keep in touch range from the venerable Morse code — no longer a licensing requirement, — to modern digital modes and television.
The marriage between Amateur Radio and computer technology grows stronger by the day as hams invent ever more creative ways to make computers and the Internet essential station components. The wonder of software defined radio (SDR) techniques has even made it possible to create virtual radio communication gear in your computer. SDRs require a minimum of physical components; sophisticated computer software does the heavy lifting! What are you waiting for?
Jump in to enjoy all the fun.