Amateur radio

In the late '80s of the last century I was brought in contact with the amateur radio by my good friend Michael, DH3YAF. Michael had some amateur radios in his room and sometimes he was working over radio in my presence. Since then I was fascinated of amateur radio. However, I worked with friends over CB radio and it should take more than two decades until i finally passed my amateur radio exam.

On 2012-04-11 i finally passed my amateur radio exam for national class A. Less than week later I received my license and my requested call sign: DC2HR.

I proudly announced my examination. Among the congratulations a question arised: "But you know that we live in times with internet and mobile phones?"

Why do we still operate in amateur radio at present?

The answer is quite simple. For the same reasons as before one hundred years. From the interest to the technique. The fascination of developing a transmitting and receiving system with simple (or complex) circuits with which we can reach other amateur radio operators all over the world.

Thus, for example, with only 5 watts transmitting power we can reach stations that are several thousand miles away by using morse code.

Radio is often associated with the transmission of speech, sometimes we remember morse code. But, amateur radio offers much more modes, I would like to mention just a few examples:

- radio teletype (RTTY)
- picture and video transmission (FAX, SSTV (slow scan television), ATV (amateur radio television))
- digital transmission systems (APRS (automatic packet reporting system), psk31 (phase key shifting), Pactor, packet radio)

Connections not only can be made over conventional transmitting and receiving antennas, they are also possible via relay stations, amateur radio satellites or over earth-moon-earth connections.

There are many more modes and connection capabilities as shown above. The radios can be connected to the PC. This gives an idea of the variation of options. You also could develop new operation modes.

The German Amateur Radio Act defines the amateur radio service as an (international) radio service, "which is perceived by radio amateurs with each other, experimental and technical-scientific studies, for their own continuing education, international understanding and support of relief operations in emergency and disaster situations, the Amateur Radio Service includes the use of space stations one. " (Please take a look into your national regulations.)

In contrast to CB radio or PMR (private mobile radio) a radio amateur may build his required equipment on his own. For that, large knowledge is required and must be proved by exam before getting a amateur radio license.

Amateur radio (or ham radio) is a technical hobby that offers more than just the mere communication. It is a broad field of activity: do-it-yourself, contests in the different modes, QSL card collection (confirmation of a worked radio station), collecting diplomas for certain activities, etc.

Finally I would like to show three older videos I like (the first one is only available in german):



The third video is unfortunately of less quality but shows King Hussein of Jordan (died 1999) as radio amateur (JY1). There are many high-ranked Persons operating ham radio (e.g. HM King Juan Carlos I. of Spain (EA0JC)). If these stations are on the air, they are naturally a very popular destination for ham radio operators. Everyone wants to come in contact with the station and receive a qsl card. Who can claim to have spoken to a king?

I hope I could give you a short overview to the very interesting hobby "amateur radio".

© 2012-2016 Heiko K. Ranft, DC2HR
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