Although many people think that the first ham radio message was put on air in 1901, there is no sufficient evidence to support this. It is also said that the message was transmitted from New Foundland to England. History says that this signaled the birth of the amateur radio operator.
Later, enthusiasts have dominated the ham radio, mostly Americans in 1914 who thought that it was a fun and fulfilling hobby. Soon, its growing popularity lead to the creation of laws governing transmission of radio frequencies. The Federal Communications Commission got involved and required a license from each person operating a ham radio. Just like driving, a person can buy and modify ham radios after getting his license. Most of these devices are comprised of transmission gadgets, receivers, and antennas.
- Operating Procedures – for any novice or professional who wants to go back to the basics, this is a great guide to understand basic protocols when using a ham radio.
- Types of Licenses – read through this website if you need to know more about the license types. Not all ham radio operators have the same rights and privileges.
- Study Guides for Ham Radio Operations – this site provides course materials if you are getting started with operating a ham radio. However, not all of these are free. You need to buy some of the course materials but it is definitely worth it.
- Out of the World Experience – this site will help you set up the right equipment if you want to communicate to other people who are orbiting the earth.
- Getting Started Guide – if you are totally new to the radio world, visit this site to get a comprehensive guide on how to get yourself started. It will help you understand what you are getting into and what devices are important for you to buy.
- Understanding the Maidenhead Grid – the grid is a measurement of your position on earth. Go to this site to learn more about its origins and uses.
- Ham Radio Suppliers – if you need a comprehensive list of suppliers, visit this link and give them a call to see if they have what you need.
- Ham Radio for Emergency Preparedness – this is a great government site that lets you know national alert systems and mobile communications preparedness.
- Basics of Ham Radio – this site provides pretty much everything you need to know about ham radios.
Many people think that ham radio operators are loners. What they do not realize is that these people are part of a society. The truth is that many people are engaged in this activity because of the opportunity to meet many like-minded enthusiasts. They go on air and meet others despite great distances. They maintain anonymity and speak in codes. In fact, the people who take ham radio as a hobby all come from different walks of life—from housewives to young kids to kids. There is no boundary that can keep a person from pursuing this hobby.
People do not just meet on the air. They also meet in an organized club. This meeting is called an eyeball. They join local or national organizations that hold annual get-together activities. What keeps the bond strong between the members is the secret code that they use to speak to one another. It makes them intimate and trusting with each other. In fact, it is this code that keeps many people away from them because they do not understand ham speak or ham lingo.
- AARL – this is one of the largest radio organizations in the US. It has its own store and conducts community service and training, along with licensing.
- OMIK – founded in 1952, OMIK was originally put together to address discrimination against black travelers back then. Today, it is focused on providing public service and international goodwill.
- The Radio Club of America – probably one of the oldest radio organizations, it was founded in 1909 as the Junior Wireless Club Limited. Today, it hosts technology symposiums and also provides scholarship programs.
- Amateur Radio Lighthouse Society – this is an international group focused on promoting public awareness and how radios support in keeping the environment safe for sea travelers.
- European Radio Amateurs' Organization (EURAO) – the members of this group meet once a year not just for pleasure but also to listen to the ideas of the members. It aims to be the focal meeting point of all ham radio operators globally.
- International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) – this is an organization that gets together annually. Amateurs and experts alike are invited, along with international agencies. They meet to discuss regulations and allocations of radio frequencies.
No amount of new technology can make the ham radio obsolete. It is practical and dependable. According to the FCC, more than half a million people apply for a license annually. Despite the fact that phones and other gadgets look cooler and can do more, nothing beats operating ham radios because of the tight knit society that it fosters and the excitement of meeting them.
- Getting Licensed as a Ham Radio Operator – before everything, you need to understand the processes you need to go through to get your license as a radio enthusiast. Once all set, you can start buying your equipment.
- Proper Decorum When Using Ham Radios – just because you are anonymous does not mean you can do whatever you want. Ham radios are not for pranksters and certainly, there is a degree of decorum expected in the community.
- Glossary of Terms – here is an extensive library of terms used in the ham radio community. Study these codes and use them when you communicate. It is fun!
- Ham Radio Museum – if you want a little online history about ham radios, this site is a great place to start. You will see some of the oldest radio equipment and bit of a background, too.
- Government Standards – for information about legal use of ham radios, visit this page on the FCC website.
- Emergency Protocols – the ham radio is a powerful communication tool. Read this PDF and get yourself familiarized with how to use it during emergency situations.