Amateur (Ham) Radio

by: Al Duncan - VE3RRD

I have been an Amateur Radio operator since 1983, although I haven't been very active in the last few years. I was originally licensed in Newfoundland as VO1RD, and later held the call VE4AOA in Manitoba.

To become a Ham Radio Operator, you must pass an exam from Industry Canada (the current federal government body looking after communications in Canada). Check the RAC (Radio Amateurs of Canada) web site for current information on licensing requirements.

Unlike CB radio operators, Ham Radio operators are allowed to use many different frequencies permitting communications from short distances (like across the city), to far away countries on the other side of the world. Many different modes of communications are used including voice, Morse code, slow and fast scan television, radio teletype and many newer computer-to-computer data systems.

One of the better known uses for Ham Radio is communications support to police, fire etc during emergencies. This is especially important during times when these agencies are unable to handle the large amounts of communications that occur during a disaster.

Some Web Sites:




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last updated 8 Apr 2002