What is Amateur Radio

by Ron Hashiro, AH6RH

Have you ever thought about what is amateur radio and why is it so valuable? Ever tried to explain in 30 seconds to casual observers (like at Field Day) what is so unique?

Amateur radio is a self-learned hobby. And, it’s a self-learning hobby. Welcome to Amateur Radio University.

It’s a playground for the scientifically minded. Electronics, physics, chemistry, meteorology, propagation, quantum mechanics, orbital mechanics, fields and waves, computer hardware and software, lunar geography, solar forecasting just to name a few.

It’s a playground for applied mathematics from ranging from arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, calculus and up.

There’s practical construction skills like soldering, wire work, metalshop work, wood, concrete, silk-screen artwork and landscaping.

You become very familiar with commercial communications, like HF/VHF/UHF radio, telephony, satellite transmissions, microwave, TV, LAN/WAN technologies, radio scanners.

There’s a multi-national dimension to amateur radio. Foreign language, geography, world history and current events. Postal systems and world-wide stamps.

It’s project design, project planning, project management, troubleshooting and maintenance skills.

It makes us more valuable as a self-learned student.

And sometimes we even get on the air. Whether it’s DC to daylight, morse code to TV, ragchewing to developing a equipment for spread spectrum multi-channel forward error correcting simultaneous voice/data transmissions. You can apply that knowledge and skill right in your community and neighbourhood by volunteering as an emergency communications specialist and communicator with civil defense, the American Red Cross, hospitals and many other organizations. Whether it’s a parade, marathon or a full-blown hurricane, the combination of skills and equipment is invaluable.

Each day brings the chance of meeting new friends, whether it’s next door, commuting to and from work, or talking with them thousands of miles away.

It’s a lifetime sand-box of fun, learning, practicing, experimenting…and through mutual sharing and education, a chance to build a future generation of knowledge and skill. Knowledge, skills and understanding that is needed by an evolving technology-based society and a definite career-boosting talent.

So amateur radio is more than just a hobby. It’s a lifetime of learning, earning and sharing the fun along the way. Welcome to Amateur Radio University.

Permission given to reproduce the above
article provided credit is given
to the author and the EARC
(Emergency Amateur Radio Club) Wireless Dispatch.

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