What is HAM Radio ?
Ham radio operators are a group of people
nurturing a special interest in wireless communication
technology. People from all the spheres of life are found among the ham
radio operators. They operate their wireless transceivers
(a combined unit of radio transmitter and
during their pastime for the sheer joy,
thrill and excitement involved in doing worldwide radio communication. Unlike the
broadcast radio stations (to whom we usually tune our radio receivers to listen to), ham
radio is a two-way communication system. Ham radio operators can put their voice
on-the-air to be listened into and at the same time replied back by their fellow radio
operators around the world.
Despite the existence of other communication facilities, ham radio operators run their own
wireless communication network with entirely personal effort out of the love for this
medium of communication-a reason to make people believe that these
hams are people
bitten by the bug of eccentricity!
There are some hams who
build their own wireless transceivers (a combined unit of transmitter and receiver) and
transmit their voice signals throughout the world to be replied back by their fellow hams.
These are the experiment oriented hams who try to achieve some sort of a perfection in
developing electronic circuits for radio frequency work, or at a lower level, they may
like to assemble a piece of wireless equipment designed by their fellow experts, modify it
in their own way to improve its performance till they are satisfied with its performance.
Hams located in the other parts of the world reply
back exchanging information about the quality and strength of their radio
signals. They exchange personal as well as technical information which are not
related to business or commerce, politics and religion. Though a ham can not use
his radio station for any pecuniary gain, a creative mind can still find
numerous utility of ham radio. It is a pursuit which attracts people from all
the spheres of life. There are hundred and thousands of people who are laymen so
far as their knowledge of electronics is concerned, yet, they are expert ham
It is an exciting way to discover
new friends and disseminate knowledge on-the-air.
One interesting fact
about ham radio communication is that hams dont have to pay any money to the
authority for their on-the-air conversation! In-fact, the world fraternity of ham
radio operators evolved in the early part of the twentieth century following the footsteps
of great radio scientist Guglielmo Marconi (who
was a school drop out!). In India, the great Indian scientist Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose
encouraged the promotion of ham radio.
availability of low cost easily replicable circuits
transmitters and receivers, the number of ham radio operators increased
to millions. The growth of electronics communication technology is also considered
to be going hand in hand with the progress of ham radio. The advancement in the field of
electronics and the flourishing growth of electronics industry in countries like
Japan has been very often attributed to the presence of large group of dedicated ham radio
operators (to the tune of 13,50,127).
Though ham radio is a highly specialized technical hobby, it requires
special qualification (except that the person going to be a ham has attained 12 years of
age). However, it demands immense interest in radio communication and sufficient
enthusiasm to find reason to operate a radio station of your own, because
radio, also known as "Amateur Radio" does not provide you pecuniary gain.
What you gain from being a ham
is more than what money can give and for that you got to be imaginative! Many
of the foremost radio and electronics engineers and technicians operate as amateurs during
times when they are not occupied professionally. Seeing the growth of ham radio population
around the world, many professional companies started manufacturing ham radio equipment to
meet the needs of the vast group of ham radio operators who prefer readymade
professionally built equipment instead of homemade ones. So, what had once been a hobby
for somebody, turned out to be a profitable profession. Hams never accept money for their
Young students can learn the principles of electronics through practical experimentation
by assembling wireless transmitter and receiver kits in the ham radio clubs established in
their schools. Without a valid ham licence, it is illegal to operate wireless equipment.
In India, The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also taken some
initiative to include 'ham radio' in their course curriculum under the scheme of Work
Experience. The Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme has also
included 'Ham Radio' as one of its projects and as per the direction of the Ministry of
Programme Implementation, a Member of Parliament (MP) can spend money to establish ham
radio stations in the schools located in his area. If these schemes are fruitfully
utilised, many youngsters would be able to take interest in ham radio which they may also
make into career. There are many activities people perform out of their scientific
curiosity or to satisfy their inquisitive mind. Many people are attracted towards ham
radio for this reason also.