What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio is a fascinating hobby that enables you to communicate with people around the work using a variety of different modes: CW (Morse code), phone (voice), data (linking computers together over thousands of miles), imagery (slow scan television) and video (amateur television, also known as fast scan television).

You don’t need to be an electronics engineer to become an Amateur Radio operator as there are plenty of people that i know who enjoy the hobby who don’t have this technical background. You also don’t to be elderly, even though the perception of the hobby is that it’s the preserve of the retired. Our club has four youngsters amongst its membership and we regularly attend schools to satisfy the interests of students in communications.

Amateur Radio really is a hobby that crosses all known social, religious, age and class divides – there’s no other hobby that enables the ordinary person in the street to communicate directly, on a personal level, with the rich and famous, and even royalty, for example. Yes, Prince Albert of Monaco (3A0AG), the Sultan of Oman (A41AA) and the King Hassan II of Morocco (CN8MH), King Juan Carlos of Spain (EA0JC) are all licensed Amateur Radio operators and can be found on the air from time-to-time.

I, myself, have held an advanced (full) Amateur Radio licence (G7LFC) since 1991 and concentrate on data modes (mainly PSK-31) on the HF bands (3 – 30 MHz) and phone (both FM and SSB) on the VHF bands. I have even been known to take part in the odd contest for both my local club (Southport & District Amateur Radio Club) and personally.

All of my family hold Amateur Radio licenses. There’s my wife Alison (M6COV) who hails from Coventry originally, my son David (M3LFC) who took over my old HF callsign, and daughter Rebecca (M6BUB) who is better known as Bubbles to her family.

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