What is Amateur Radio?

Feb 02, 2019
What is Amateur 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, radiosportcontesting, and emergency communication. Amateur radio enthusiasts have significantly contributed to science, engineering, industry, and social services. Research by amateur operators has founded new industries, built economies, empowered nations, and saved lives in times of emergency.

Who is a typical Amateur Radio operator?

BARA Members at Makers Faire

Amateur Radio operators are a diverse group of people who have an interest in general technology and communications. This usually means that a licensed "ham" will have significant interest in one or more type of communication or technology discipline. Radio amateurs can be anyone in their daily life. 

To the right is some of our membership which includes a great number of various occupations. Many of which are not technical.

So what can you do in Amateur Radio? A limited list of examples:

  • Hold a conversation with a friend on the other side of town
  • Hold a conversation with a friend on the other side of the world
  • Bounce a radio signal off the moon
  • Build your own radio
  • Expand your current technical skills in electronics, radio, computers, and other related fields.

Here's an Amateur Radio operator in action watch in full screen for best result:

That's just a tiny fraction of what is possible in Amateur Radio.

If you are interested in becoming licensed see our licensing page here: