Amateur radio aka ham radio is a fantastic hobby for millions of people around the world. It is getting less attention because young people are born with a smart phone attached to their hands and turn to Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat to waste some time instead of spending hours in a shed or on top of a mountain trying to make friends who live as far away from you as possible (if you’re lucky to make a contact, and extremely lucky if he or she is from North Korea). Well, time has moved on with the advancement of technology but unfortunately amateur radio hasn’t moved as fast. Though it’s not all doom and gloom in the ham world because people are loyal to the hobby and many gather on weekends to celebrate like this photo of me and John.
You will need to undertake training either from a local radio club or some self-study (YouTube or a textbook) hours to gain some understanding. It’s fairly easy to pass the multiple choice test for a Foundation Licence in the UK but taking the hobby further means you can study and pass the Intermediate and Advanced tests which entitles you more privileges such as higher transmitting power and meeting lots of like minded people along the journey or on the air.
I’m a Foundation Licence holder with an M6 call-sign prefix so I’m limited to operate lower powered radio units but because most handheld ham radios are below 10 watt, I haven’t found it to be a problem as a ‘beginner’ ham. I admire people with a Full Licence and spend the time and money to pursue the hobby but because I don’t have much time nor money, I’ll have to be a rookie radio operator for the time being. However, if you want to enjoy the hobby of ham radio, getting a Foundation Licence is the first step and I would strongly recommend it.
There are tons of information on the internet on amateur radio like the history, equipment for sale and many global forums for discussion. This page will also bring you some more information and videos on handheld transceivers for the amateur band. Join me if you play the guitar badly because we’re all amateurs.