Showing posts with label Amateur Radio. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amateur Radio. Show all posts

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Getting Started With Ham Radio Control As A Hobby:

Photo: Wikimedia
Ham or amateur radio as a hobby involves some hard work in the form of getting licensed and acquiring knowledge of the technical details. The hobby itself starts in the first step by one getting the ham device. Selection of a good ham radio is best done under the guidance of a person who knows about the radios well. More than that, one must know the local laws and rules with respect to the ham operation.

Getting to know your ham:
It is important to know about hams and, to know about your own ham as soon as you feel the urge to buy/assemble one. If you want to know about the ham, then again, internet, books, and other hobbyists are all good places to start with. If you know no technical details of the electronics but find yourself fascinated by the idea, then it is time to learn a bit of jargon in the field.

So, if you do not know something, you should come out and seek answers either from those who might know or from resources like the library or the internet. One must spend some time and effort to learn about the hobby that one wants to pursue. Just a wish is not a good enough reason to pursue a hobby. One needs more than just a wish to be able to pursue an activity as a hobby. So, recognition of the hobby and the right kind of activity that suits you is important. 

Ham operation can be taxing and sometimes it can be tiring in spite of the modern equipment that does the scanning on its own. It is like the astrophysicist searching for some communications from aliens. If that idea grabs your attention, then this hobby will be to your liking since the activity is virtually the same, except for the helpful fact that we know there is someone who exists for sure, and one gets more than just “radio signals of unknown nature”. You get interaction from real people, from out there in the world, who live in flesh and blood as you do.

Your choice of equipment depends on how involved you are, and what your budget is that you can afford to invest in a ham equipment. There are good stores out there that sell ham radio at a reasonable cost. Again, as usual, it’s wise to chat with those who are ham radio operators, and also to visit and know the prices from various shops that sell ham radios to be able to select the best deal.

The cost of the radio equipment that can connect to longer distances will be higher than the ones that have a lesser range. Moreover, the recent advancements in digital voice transmission and such can be more costly than the simple Morse code wireless telegraphing model.

Getting licensed is the next hurdle. The amateur radio operator license exam does not require Morse code proficiency anymore as it is has been allowed to be dropped as agreed in 2003 in the World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva. The test will include the knowledge of ham etiquette, the communication laws that apply internationally as well as in your region and such. Once licensed, one is free to use the allotted bandwidths and is allowed to change or modify the equipment within the limits imposed by “spurious standards”. 

So…what are you waiting for? Go get a ham and get your license: get going! 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Modern Radio Hobbyists - HAM RAdio

Ham Radio Girl - Photo: Wikimedia

An amateur radio is called a Ham radio, and the operator is called as an amateur radio operator. They pursue the ham radio operation as a hobby, and it is a vastly popular hobby at that.

The origin of the word “ham” for an amateur radio operator is rather interesting. “Ham” was used to mean anybody who was NOT efficient or talented in the field. In the early days, the amateur operators had a notorious reputation for sending in garbled Morse code. So, these amateur operators were called by many names including “ham” as opposed to the professional wireless operators. But, over time, the name stuck up for the amateur radio operators and now it is no longer used in its initial derogatory way.

The hobby of amateur radio operators was also of public service during many times. In 1920 Amateur Police Radio was instituted to help “relay” information on crimes and thefts of vehicles and was very successful. Apart from using ham radio to connect to friends, families, they also connect to complete strangers. The ham operators have time and again been of great service during emergencies and disasters like earthquakes and other natural disasters in transmitting reliable real-time information about the condition and for the speedy movement and dispersal of the relief measures.

This is a great public service since during these emergencies the only thing that works is the radio! The phone lines severed, other communication methods are ruled out and it is common for even the mobile networks to be clogged in traffic during these emergencies leaving hams as a great tool. There have been many documented evidence of the ham radio enthusiasts helping someone in trouble or helping to locate and nab a criminal.

Thus, the first radio hobby started out as amateur radio operation. It was restricted to few miles and must be relayed across. Now, all-powerful and advanced radio equipment is still evolving and improving. So, one does not need to rely on relay anymore but can almost connect to halfway across the world as opposed to the initial days.

The amateur radio has become very organized since the first clubs of 1909. Each has a uniquely identifiable code by which they are known. The first hobbyists relied on communication by making connections to as many radio operators who were as distant as possible, with their meager equipment. Usually, they were constantly upgrading it. This was called Dxing when one would try to connect to as many amateur radio operators as possible. The radio enthusiasts are on the lookout for constant updates and most are proficient in the wireless technology. Even though they now get ready-made ham equipment, most are known to have a good knowledge of the working of the ham equipment as well as minor repairs and such.

In the day of the mobiles, internet, and blue-tooth, ham radio has its own place and reputation. After all, the disasters and emergencies have themselves to be a special place that the radio transmission can come in handy. There is also the family radio service, also known as the Walkie Talkie to operate within around about 2-3 miles. A modification of the same is used when the parents can fix a transmitter to a child’s bag or pocket, and when the child walks out of the range, the parents are sent an alarm! As you can see, radio usage is not just limited to hobbies, but it spans across many different useful purposes.