Thank you for the great comments about this wonderful hobby..I am very proud to be a Amateur Radio Operator...we have a saying"When ALL ELSE FAILS, Amateur radio is there"...there are about 3 MILLION operators would wide...and Japan has the highest amount of operators than ANY other country..and The US is 3rd in line...
We are a service and do help in many situations...I have been licensed since 2006..there are Three levels of Amateur Radio License...TECHNICIAN,GENERAL(that is what I am)and EXTRA...here in the United States..the higher of license the more operating privileges you get...and EXTRA is the top one...The are no age limits...The youngest TECH is 4 yrs old and the youngest EXTRA is 8 yrs old...(both girls)
The oldest Ham I know is 103...there are many young operators..I helped out a boy scout..by talking to him on the radio...and he got his Badge...his mom is a HAM and she asked me to help..no problem...Our daughter has spoken on the radio as a "Third Party"..being a Station Operator/Controller..I have to supervise any Third Party...and give my Call sign and Location every 10 Minutes(FCC rule)...
The great thing about Ham Radio is that you can invest financially as much as you want or how your budget is...I have seen stations that are fancy and even basic no frills Ham Shacks...
I love my Ham Shack..I operate on HF(shortwave)and VHF/UHF Ham frequencies...the legal limit of power is 1,500 watts..and even some stations run less than 5 watts and work the world...I operate on 100 Watts to get out better...but here in town I use 5 Watts to speak to hams that are closer...I make sure there are NO RF problems...if there are any issues..I turn my equipment off and fix the problem...I do get some hams to help me in many ways to fix issues I cannot do..like the antenna or such..and they do help...we cannot accept payment(compensation)and so on..
There are many types of nets on the airwaves...from Ragchewing sessions to formal Traffic Net to handle and train those to "pass messages"along for many reasons to even bible studies...I love that..we as ham operators take RF issues seriously and not to interfere...and make things safe and take steps to do that..from properly grounding equipment to even using filters to solve interference RF problems...very rarely some use 1,500 watts..we basically run the right amount of power as needed to get the job done..NO OVERKILL..
We do get often get confused with CB Radio..and there is a difference...and we have had our share of bad Publicity and PR..ANYONE can be a Amateur Radio Operator...our licenses last for 10 years then we renew it..what helps us the most is having an"ELMER"who has much knowledge and experience...I hope to be a great ELMER someday..I have 4 Ham antennas on my car...my wife calls my car a traveling porcupine...one for each function that I need to use...I have even had many to ask"why so many or are you a Police Officer to are you a CB operator...and it gives me a chance to talk about this hobby..
It is great to see younger Hams...A great site to explain better is...
What is the difference between Ham Radio and Citizen's Band?
A: The Citizen Band was established by the FCC to provide short range communications for the safety and general use of citizens. A license was required, but no test was needed. Power was limited to 5 watts input to keep the range short. CB worked quite well in the rural areas, but quickly got out-of-hand in urban communities. The twenty-three original channels grew to forty channels and licensing was suspended when the CB craze swept the nation. Illegal operation and excessive power use was common. Channels were jammed and interference almost constant in heavily populated areas. The FCC was limited in its ability to police the Citizen band and mainly enforced only the most flagrant violators.
On the other hand, Amateurs have, through international treaties, a wide range of frequencies that they can utilize. Higher power, up to 1,500 watts output is allowed with some restrictions. Long-range communications is easily accomplished on the High Frequency (HF) bands, and by switching bands as propagation changes they can continue to work long distances (DX) over the majority of a 24 hour period. On the VHF and UHF bands repeaters are allowed so communications over a wide metropolitan area can be established and maintained. While the bands are crowded in certain areas, it is much easier to communicate without the interference common on the CB band. The ham bands are also better policed. A core of Official Observers, appointed through the ARRL, help hams be self-policing. Serious violations are investigated by the FCC. About the worst thing a ham can do is not to answer a notice of violation from the FCC. To operate an amateur radio station without supervision requires an FCC license that you can only obtain after taking a written test. Some levels of license used to require a morse code test too. Morse code is no longer a requirement.
My family thinks it is great and supports the hobby in many ways..my HAM shack is at far side of the house so I will not bother them...I asked my wife if she wants to be a HAM..she kindly said no...she is into other things...like fishing..and I tell you she knows her sports well...she was a former jock in school...Baseball,Football and Basket Ball...and I support her as well...she missed the last Super bowl...she was not happy with that..anyway I said too much and taken too much time...I can help anyone one who would like to get in to Amateur Radio...please write...I can help and so on...
email@example.com (subject:Ham Radio)I will respond a.s.a.p.
Thank you all again..take care...THX DE KE7GGV 73(best wishes in ham speak)...