What Is Amateur Radio?


1. Amateur Radio is a technical hobby that allows participants to initially listen to other amateur radio operators talking to each other ‘over the air’ by radio on the many allocated frequency bands and once licensed to also transmit on those bands. It is open and free to anyone to join in and participants may, subject to their license grade, construct their own radio equipment to use on the air.

Communications can take place direct or via repeater, satellite, the International Space Station, meteor scatter, aurora and moon bounce. There are also Internet access points linked to VHF transceivers.

There are many national and international competitions available for entry by both listeners and licensed transmitters.

There are many local radio clubs and the national society in the UK is the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) whose website is here.

Available bands giving many types of communications include:

2. In the UK there are three grades of transmitting license - Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced with terms and conditions defined in the license document. Each grade requires attendance on a training course (provided by most radio clubs) which includes learning the appropriate technical and operating details, completing a series of practical exercises and taking and passing an examination. The entire process is managed by the RSGB on behalf of Ofcom.

Modes of operation include:

3. There is a wide range of new and second hand radio equipment available to suit most budgets.

This is an exciting and challenging hobby that can also lead to a career in electronics.