Amateur radio is an activity which allows radio enthusiasts to communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Local, national and international communication can be made once one has been awarded the necessary radio licence by the respective radio authority. Radio amateurs can make contact with fellow amateurs in many countries around the world. They have a wide range of communication methods to choose from once they have their callsign. Mine is G3VFX which I obtained in 1966.
An interesting aspect of the hobby is the collection of QSL cards. These are similar to postcards which verify the radio, television or data communication, giving details of such things as frequency, date, time, equipment used and reception report. My QSL card, which would normally include my address, is shown opposite.
For further information on the RSGB, visit their their web site by clicking on the morse key.
Amateur radio is an internationally recognised radio service that has its own operating practices and procedures that make it different from other radio services. It does not have any political boundaries and although English is the preferred language for most radio amateurs on the international HF bands, it can easily overcome the language barrier with the help of the international Q-Code. Long lasting friendships can be made with people who were once complete strangers to each other. It has also been used in many disaster relief situations where communications through normal means has been impossible, giving the relief organizations vital help and technical assistance.