Electronic Devices: How Ham Radio Works

Today, people from all around the world take part in operating their own radio stations.

Today, people from all around the world take part in operating their very own radio stations. These radio stations are called ham stations, which operate on higher frequencies than AM radio frequencies. The person who operates the ham station is known as a ham.

Ham radio is a hobby, which is enjoyed by millions of people for nearly a century. Known as amateur radio, the holder of an amateur radio license has taken a test to become eligible in order to operate on the airwaves. Ham radio examinations are usually given and taken at Hamfest, an event, which brings together all hams in search of better or more equipment, sale and trade, or just the pleasure of being in the company of other hams.

A ham radio is a transmitter and a receiver, which is purchased as a single unit. Transceivers can sometimes have complicated controls and a menu system, which can confuse a novice, so be sure to have someone who understands the ham radio menu. A licensed professional should be around to show you how to construct and place the antenna according to FCC rules and guidelines.



Ham operators are versatile in ways they communicate. Some ham radio operators use Morse code, while others use voice. Morse code is more reliable because the beeps get through when voice may not at times.

Morse code is a forerunner to the Internet and was commonly used during the times before telephone. It is well over a century old and is one of humanity's greatest telecommunicational achievements. It is a system of letters, numbers, and punctuation that represents coded signals created by Samuel F.B Morse (1791-1872), and Alfred Vail (1807-59).

In addition to Morse code, voice over or IP (internet telephony) is starting to become major factor in the world of amateur radio. A program called Echolink offer hams with computers a chance to make contact with other hams over the Internet using voice- over IP (VoIP) technology. This will enhance the world of communications further as time progresses.

When dealing with ham radio antennas, the sizes may vary. Hand held transceivers usually contain a small antenna. Some ham operators place them on top of their cars, or trucks. It is more reliable than a regular radio station when riding because the stations do not fade in or out. Ham radio antennas can also be placed on top of homes.

Some hams from their antennas use VHF (Very High Frequencies) to bounce signals off the moon. This is known as the earth-moon-earth response. The return signal is heard by many other hams who also do it. In order to do this, the antenna must be as massive as a normal AM/FM operating radio station with an antenna at least the size of 120 feet. You must also have extra parcels of land in order to base the antenna.

In addition to operating a ham radio, the ITU (Internal Telecommunications Union) governs the allocation of the frequencies worldwide with other countries participating. The bands usually run from (300 KHz-3MHz). Ham radios are also only allowed to put out 5 watts of power because of FCC regulations regarding local television and radio waves.

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