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What is a ham radio?


You may get several answers, because like Geocaching it is many things to different people. Maybe I can give you a short answer and if you have more questions, just ask away. I am a Ham and hold an Extra Class license. Ham radio or Amateur Radio Service is governed by rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. We cover many radio frequencies from small UHF handhelds to large fixed stations with beam antennas capable of covering the entire globe. We use voice, computers, and morse code to communicate with other Ham radio operators. While we have lots of fun doing this, the basis for the government allocating radio frequencies to us is to provide emergency radio communications in time of disasters when other systems are down. Hams were a big part of the recent hurricane recovery efforts when phones, cell towers and many radio systems were disabled. Here in Oklahoma we do weather spotting and provide communications and coordination of efforts when tornados strike. Hams also provide some coverage for distress signals from boats and remote islands. I did not cover everything but that gives at least an overview. There are many good websites that give you more info. You might try www.arrl.org, the web site for the American Radio Relay League. Hope that wasn't too long.

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