Amateur Radio

Amateur radio (also called ham radio) is the use of designated radio frequency spectrum for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication. The term "amateur" is used to specify persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without direct pecuniary interest, 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.).

The amateur radio service (amateur service and amateur satellite service) is established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) through the International Telecommunication Regulations. National governments regulate technical and operational characteristics of transmissions and issue individual stations licenses with an identifying call sign. Prospective amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key concepts in electronics and the host government's radio regulations. Radio amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes and have access to frequency allocations throughout the RF spectrum to enable communication across a city, region, country, continent, the world, or even into space.

Amateur radio is officially represented and coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), which is organized in three regions and has at its members the national amateur radio societies which exist in most countries. According to an estimate made in 2011 by the American Radio Relay League, two million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio. About 830,000 amateur radio stations are located in IARU Region 2 (the Americas) followed by IARU Region 3 (South and East Asia and the Pacific Ocean) with about 750,000 stations. A significantly smaller number, about 400,000, are located in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Middle East, CIS, Africa).

Read more about Amateur RadioHistory, Activities and Practices, Licensing, Modes of Communication

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Famous quotes containing the words radio and/or amateur:

    The radio ... goes on early in the morning and is listened to at all hours of the day, until nine, ten and often eleven o’clock in the evening. This is certainly a sign that the grown-ups have infinite patience, but it also means that the power of absorption of their brains is pretty limited, with exceptions, of course—I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. One or two news bulletins would be ample per day! But the old geese, well—I’ve said my piece!
    Anne Frank (1929–1945)

    The true gardener then brushes over the ground with slow and gentle hand, to liberate a space for breath round some favourite; but he is not thinking about destruction except incidentally. It is only the amateur like myself who becomes obsessed and rejoices with a sadistic pleasure in weeds that are big and bad enough to pull, and at last, almost forgetting the flowers altogether, turns into a Reformer.
    Freya Stark (1893–1993)