Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a hobby for anyone who is fascinated by the magic of radio. It is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions around the world. All kinds of people are amateur radio operators, also known as “hams.” Hams are young, old, men, women, boys, and girls. Kids as young as seven years old have gotten amateur radio licenses and many hams are active into their 80s and beyond.
You never know who you’ll run into on the amateur radio bands: young and old, teachers and students, engineers and scientists, doctors and nurses, barbers and mechanics, kings and entertainers. People from all walks of life are amateur radio operators.
Some people enjoy it for the technical challenges. There’s a lot of satisfaction to be had by setting up and operating your own amateur radio station. Some go even further and design and build their own radio gear and antennas. And, as amateur radio communications becomes even more digital, some hams are developing the software that will drive the amateur radio digital communications systems of tomorrow.
Others enjoy the communications aspects. These include such diverse activities as emergency and public service communications, contacting other amateur radio operators in foreign countries, operating small portable stations from parks and mountain peaks, and competing against one another in a variety of amateur radio contests. And, yes, some of us still communicate with one another using Morse Code.
As you can see, amateur radio is a diverse hobby with a diverse array of participants pursuing a wide variety of activities.