Amateur radio, otherwise known as Ham radio, is a hobby that in many cases leads to a lifetime of fun and learning. There are so many different activities in Ham radio that nobody can ever say they know it all.
Hams are FCC certified Amateurs that are licensed with privilages to transmit on a range of frequncies from DC to light. It is a great way to learn while having fun.
While Electronics is the heart of the Amateur Radio hobby it is the variety of methods that we learn to use electronics to achive communications that keeps it interesting.
The hobby started off many years ago with a group of people who built thier own "wireless sets" to communicate with others around the country. Hams were allowed to use all frequencies above 1500Khz as Goverments considered the HF freqencies useless.
In 1914 the American Radio Relay League was founded in the US. This club has grown into the largest collection of Amateurs in the world.
It was the world war 1 that led to rapid developments in communications on ever higher frequencies. In 1925 the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) was formed to fight for frequencies to be reserved for Amateur Radio use. The development of these Higher Frequencies led to formation of the International Radio telegraph conference in 1927-28 in Washington DC.
Since the HF frequencies allowed for world wide communications it was necessary for the world to come together and agree on a set of frequency allocations reserved for Amatuer Radio.
While this may seem to be a lot of work, it is what we do! We love to tinker with things. We love building things and always trying to improve on them. While nowadays more radios are store bought we still try to improve them. Just look around the web at the radio "Mod" sites and you will see thousands of articles about radio improvements.
When it comes to antennas there is even more information. Radio accessories are another topic that draws Hams to forums and blogs. There is also the cutting edge subject of communication modes. Hams lead every other group in this area.There is no group on earth that comes close to the research Hams do in the field of communication modes. Just take a look at some of the modes currently used and being developed by Hams:USB, LSB, DSB, AM, FM, PM, CW, PSK, FSK, MSK, ATV, ASCII, RTTY, SSTV,APRS, EME, TOR, AMTOR, PACKET, PACTOR, GTOR, CLOVER, FELD-HELL, ILINK, JT65, FAX, WEFAX, LASERS, SPEAD SPECTRUM, D-STAR, QAM, WIFI, MESH, ALE, SATELLITE and many many more.
Ham radio is so much more than a hobby. It is a learning experience that allows a person to make friends all over the world and is shared openly between all nations and all of the people of Earth.