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Introduction to HAM radio

What Is Ham Radio?#

Amateur radio, also known as HAM radio, describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radio-sport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term "amateur" is used to specify an authorised person interested in radio-electric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;" (either direct monetary or other similar reward) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).

Radio Pioneers Were Amateurs#

Long before Commercial or Governments were in interested in radio, Ham Radio enthusiasts were developing the science, practice and practical knowledge of radio. Indeed, the invention and development of radio was carried out by amateurs!

A wire antenna for a home amateur radio station, from a 1912 textbook.

Harry Winfield Secor, Sidney Gernsback, Austin Celestin Lescarboura / Public domain

We can now have normal conversations#

The highly restrictive code of discussion, which precluded discussion on topics of Politics, Religion and others, has now been relaxed to include any ideas or subject of mutual interest to the parties in communication.

This is a good thing. However, it is still required that conversation content is not offensive. This results in an unclear situation, since what may be offensive to one person or culture may not be offensive to another and visa versa