Amateur Radio is a hobby enjoyed by millions (yes, millions) of people in hundreds (yes, hundreds) of countries around the world. Amateur Radio Operators (or Hams as they are sometimes called) are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In order to obtain a license one must pass a written test for the particular class of license they desire. Hams are awarded privileges based upon the class of license they hold. Rules and regulations governing Amateur Radio Operations are contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 97, Amateur Radio Service. Currently there are three classes of Amateur Radio Licenses being issued: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra Class. In the past two additional classes of license were issued: Novice and Advanced Class.
In the United States there is a national association for Amateur Radio. This association is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). This association has been around since 1914. It is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. Although ARRL membership is not mandatory, the benefits are numerous. The ARRL mission is an important one and the organization is very involved with all matters affecting Amateur Radio.
Many people think of Hams only as individuals who use two-way radios to chat with other Hams. Although many Hams do, in fact, use two-way radios to communicate, they do so much more than just communicate. And though talking with other Hams from just about anywhere in the world, Hams can use other forms of communications besides voice. Hams are truly on the leading edge of technology in many ways. Rather than try to present all the things Hams do for their communities and country, you are encouraged to take a look at some of the links below to see just some of the many areas Hams are involved. Also please take a look below at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hams and Amateur Radio. You will most likely learn things you did not know and may appreciate more what Hams can do to make the world a better place.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ham Radio:
Just what is Amateur Radio? The ARRL is a good resource for learning so much about Amateur Radio Operations.
What is the American Radio Relay League? One could spend hours on the ARRL site learning about so many aspects of Amateur Radio.
What is a Ham Radio Operator? An Amateur Radio Operator is much more than an operator of communications equipment.
How many Hams are there in the world? This may surprise even the experienced Hams!
What are some of the current topics involving Hams? The ARRL web site has so much valuable information about the many aspects of Amateur Radio.