Amateur radio , also known as ham radio , is the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport , contesting , and emergency communication. The term "amateur" is used to specify "a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;"  either direct monetary or other similar reward and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting , public safety such as police and fire , or professional two-way radio services such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc. The amateur radio service amateur service and amateur-satellite service is established by the International Telecommunication Union ITU through the Radio Regulations. National governments regulate technical and operational characteristics of transmissions and issue individual station licenses with a unique identifying call sign , which must be used in all transmissions. Amateur operators must hold an amateur radio license which is obtained by passing a government test demonstrating adequate technical radio knowledge and legal knowledge of the host government's radio regulations. Radio amateurs are limited to the use of small frequency bands, the amateur radio bands , allocated throughout the radio spectrum , but within these bands are allowed to transmit on any frequency using a variety of voice, text, image, and data communications modes.
What is Amateur Radio?
The Uncertain Future of Ham Radio
An amateur radio operator is an individual who typically uses equipment at an amateur radio station to engage in two-way personal communications with other similar individuals, on radio frequencies assigned to the amateur radio service by the Federal Communications Commission FCC in the United States and the International Telecommunication Union worldwide. Amateur radio operators build and operate several types of amateur radio stations, including fixed ground stations, mobile stations, space stations and temporary field stations. A slang term often used for an amateur station's location is the "shack," named after the small enclosures added to the upper works of naval ships to hold early radio equipment and batteries. American amateur radio operators are granted an amateur radio license by the FCC upon passing an examination on radio theory and operation. As a component of their license, amateur radio operators are assigned a call sign such as KC9ANG that they use to identify themselves during communications. There are about 3 million amateur radio operators worldwide, including more than , licensed operators in the United States alone.
Amateur Radio Service
Forgot Password? When cell phones, regular phones, the internet and other systems are down or overloaded, Amateur Radio still gets the message through. But it's also a service —a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed. Ham Radio operators are movie stars, missionaries, doctors, students, politicians, truck drivers and regular people. They are all ages, sexes and income levels linked by their interest in wireless communications technologies.
Will the amateur airwaves fall silent? Since the dawn of radio, amateur operators—hams—have transmitted on tenaciously guarded slices of spectrum. Electronic engineering has benefited tremendously from their activity, from the level of the individual engineer to the entire field. But the rise of the Internet in the s, with its ability to easily connect billions of people, captured the attention of many potential hams.