Long before the invention of the World Wide Web, when instant communication was a dream and a letter was actually considered a pretty speedy way to communicate (outside of the phone), there were a group of pioneers who had already discovered the glories of a word-wide communication and the joy of communicating with people all over the world instantly. Amateur Radio!
Back in April of 1925, the International Amateur Radio Union came into existence in the incredibly cosmopolitan city of Paris. These intrepid adventurers had discovered that the short wave spectrum that amateur radio used to transmit and receive was able to unite people the world over, something that had formerly been speculated as being impossible.
- Interest in Amateur Radio has only grown since the early days, with over 3,000,000 licensed operators spreading their voices across the globe today. It’s through this medium that people from different nations and cultures were able to spread ideas with great speed, long before the ability to shoot off an email or video chat was ever possible.
- It was 2010 in Chile. It would’ve been just another warm August day, only if there wasn’t one thing going on. San José copper-gold mine buried 33 men 700 meters (2,300 feet) underground. The complexity of the situation required unconventional approaches for the rescue operation. That’s where HAM Radio kicked in.
- Radio Club de Chile and Radio Club Copiapo provided the equipment and established all of the radio communication inside the mine itself and decisively helped the rescue operation. The story has a happy ending, as all 33 miners were rescued.
- The beginnings go way back to the 20th century. The popularity noise was starting to get so loud that it started to disrupt the communications. It showed the need for the regulation of the area. The famous Radio Act of 1912 was born. It required amateur radio operators to be licensed and it has been so ever since.
- In 1873, James Clerk Maxwell presented his theory of the electromagnetic field.
- In 1901 Guglielmo Marconi communicated across the Atlantic with a radio device using high power and giant antennas.
- In 1914 the American Radio Relay League was founded by Hiram Percy Maxim, who found that messages could be sent more reliably over long distances if relay stations were organized.
- Transatlantic transmitting and receiving tests began in 1921 and by July 1960 the first two-way contact via the Moon took place on 1296 MHz.
- Well, every licensed Amateur Radio operator is given a unique call sign. It consists of three parts, indicating the operator’s country of origin and often even a specific region within the country. It looks something like “UA1LO”. The suffix of the call sign identifies the license holder. A license is needed due to potential interference between radio equipment and other radio transmissions, so operators must understand it and be familiar with how it works.
- Can you guess whose call sign is “UA1LO”? It belonged to Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space!
- Elmer…imagine you get a mentor who guides you through your first steps. That happens when one wants to become Ham Radio operator. Many experienced operators volunteer to offer support and guidance for newbies. Elmer is the term for a Radio Amateur mentor.
- imagine you get a mentor who guides you through your first steps. That happens when one wants to become Ham Radio operator. Many experienced operators volunteer to offer support and guidance for newbies. Elmer is the term for a Radio Amateur mentor.
- Although hams use many different modes of communication such as voice, digital and even television, the original mode was Morse code. In order to save time, many abbreviations were created by Morse users and 73 is used to sign off with a friendly good-bye. Of course, if you are talking with that special someone a different number is used, 88, which means “love and kisses”.
- Amateur’s have been around since the beginning of radio itself. Many individuals built, communicated and experimented with radio. They communicated using Morse code, that strange configuration of dits and dahs still holds the fascination of many operators today. Amateur’s , or “hams” as we are known, have been at the forefront of radio technology.
- One popular activity among hams includes the exchanging of postcards, called “QSL” cards. The purpose is to confirm that two way communication was made between the two stations. These cards contain information about the operator, such as name, call sign, location, etc.