What is Amateur “Ham” Radio:
Amateur Radio is a great way to learn about communications technology and make friends all over the world. Getting involved in this fascinating hobby is very easy and won’t cost an arm and a leg.
Radio Amateurs, or “hams” use two-way radio communication to make contact with other radio amateurs all over the world. They are even able to use satellites and on occasion speak with astronauts. The wonderful thing is that a radio amateur can do this from home, or while mobile in cars, boats or on foot.
What Do They Have:
Radio Hams have a full range of communication modes at their disposal. These include plain voice, Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and even graphical modes like television. As a licensed amateur radio operator you will be able to join in experiments using all these modes.
Amateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male and female, even the most severely disabled can make friends around the world from their own home. This hobby knows no boundaries.
Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and in contests. Through Hamnet, they may be called upon to handle messages for police and other public service organisations during all kinds of emergencies.
How to Get Your License:
Because radio amateurs are permitted to use a wide range of frequencies and types of transmission, they must be qualified operators. In South Africa like most countries around the world, Amateur Radio is regulated by the Government Department of Communication and licensing is dealt with by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA).
South African regulations require you to write a small exam, which is set to test your understanding of the basic principles of radio and the regulations governing amateur radio operators.
This exam is simple enough for anyone with high school education and an interest in the hobby to pass. In most cities and towns around the country and there are also clubs that provide classes for the RAE and facilitate the writing of the test.
For more detailed information about exams contact Vincent Harris @ 012-998-8165 Cell 083-754-0115 or Fritz Southerland @ 012-811-3875 cell 083-304-0028.
Activities Hams Take Part Of:
- Fox Hunting. (not that type of one!).
- Regular Contests.
- Satellites like these.
- D-Star (Digital Radio).
- IRLP (VoIP).
- Echo Link (VoIP).
- Broadband Hamnet – find more info here.
- Club Meetings and Get-togethers.
Amateur Radio Swapshops and Fleamarkets:
Swop Shop – Hans ZS6KR is the guy that handles the swops 012-333-2612.
Radio amateurs regularly get together to swap and buy equipment, obtain components for projects and socialize to chat/brag about their latest achievements in radio communication or contests.
Venues for such activity are club meetings, amateur fleamarkets and making use of the club website swap pages. Most dealers also advertise here or on the South African Radio League (SARL) swap page at especially if they have second-hand equipment to dispose of.
As there are various clubs in the Highveld area there is always a choice of fleamarket to go to on a regular basis. Last but not least, on-the-air offers-and-wants session that takes place every Sunday morning after the Pretoria Club news bulletin on 145,725 MHz and 7,066 MHz.
Note: This article has been modified from the original wiki article located at http://172.24.1.1/mediawiki/index.php/Amateur_Radio and that all credits go to the original author RM (aka “RadioMan”).