What is Amateur Radio?


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Amateur radio is a popular technical hobby and volunteer public service

Amateur radio is all about the skill and fascination of communicating using radio.

Radio amateurs use a wide variety of radio communications equipment to communicate with each other and provide emergency communications for their communities.

Young woman operating ham radio

A range of technologies

Radio amateurs have their own communications satellites, can talk to astronauts aboard the International Space Station, and are often involved with cutting-edge experimental wireless technology. It is an incredibly diverse and very popular interest with over six million people involved worldwide.

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Student radio operators  

Amateur Radio is for everyone

Amateur radio enthusiasts come from all walks of life. You will find among us all ages, income levels and nationalities.

Whether you want to chat to someone at home or abroad over the radio, transmit Morse code, or transmit data via satellite, or be on standby to provide emergency support to your community there is a place for you in the worldwide amateur radio community.


Why amateur?

The term amateur is very important, as it denotes the fact that amateur radio operators do not operate for profit or commercial gain, as opposed to commercial radio broadcast operations.


How do you get started?

Anyone can listen in to amateur radio transmissions. In fact if you're new to amateur radio listening-in for a while is a good way to get a feel for what is going on.

To transmit you will need to pass a simple exam which entitles you to an amateur radio licence.

To find out how to become a licensed amateur radio operator see our Amateur Radio Licensing section.


Microwave transmitter


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Page last updated 13 July 2010 at 08:10