Amateur radio is responsible for putting hundreds of thousands of people all over the world into direct contact with each other every day.
World-wide there are two million licensed radio enthusiasts spread across virtually every country, who are free to operate from the comfort of their own homes.
Age, profession, nationality, political and ethnic barriers are non-existent, thus promoting international friendship and understanding. Amateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female and even the most severely disabled can make friends around the world from their own home.
Contacts may be made using speech or Morse code, between computers and even by television. Radio amateurs have built satellites for their own use.
Because radio amateurs are permitted to use a wide range of frequencies and types of transmission, they must be qualified operators. Training is available from radio clubs or technical colleges, depending on the qualification needed. A Novice License scheme available in many countries provides an easy way to become a radio amateur.
Amateur radio can be enjoyed in many different ways. Some of the ways in which you can enjoy this interest are:
Voice ContactUsing a microphone linked to a transmitter/receiver.
Packet RadioMany amateurs link their home computers to their radios using a special modem and contact stations both either locally or worldwide in real time, or exchange e-mail or look at the bulletin boards.
Morse Code or CW ContactUsing a series of dots and dashes transmission can reach further distances than speech. It is also an international 'language' allowing contacts all over the world.
TelevisionLive television transmissions can be sent and received by slow-scan (worldwide) or fast-scan (locally) using a conventional video recorder.
Satellite TransmissionInternational contacts are possible by bouncing communications off satellites orbiting the earth. Radio amateurs take an active part in designing and building satellites for their own use.
Moon-bounceSimilar to above enabling radio amateurs to bounce signals off the moon from continent to continent, this is a very much more demanding and precise operation.
DXpeditionsAn amateur radio trip. This can be anywhere - from the North Pole to remote unheard of islands, to your foreign holiday, or to remote uncharted jungles.