What does 'ON5GQ' mean?" you may ask. ON5GQ serves as my ham radio call sign. In simple terms, ham radio, also known as "Amateur Radio," is a hobby centered around radio communications. Utilizing ham radio equipment, individuals can engage in conversations globally or within their local community. It presents a captivating way to connect with neighbors or learn about diverse cultures in far-reaching parts of the world. Ham radio differs from "CB" or "Citizens Band" radio, where a license is not required to operate a CB. While anyone can purchase a CB and communicate on CB frequencies, legal restrictions pertain to output power, allowable frequencies, and communication methods. In contrast, ham radio operators are licensed by the Federal Government, granting them access to a broad spectrum of frequencies, higher output power, and the ability to use various communication forms, including Morse Code, Radio Teletype, and Television. Each ham radio operator is assigned a unique call sign, akin to those issued to broadcast radio or TV stations. This call sign serves as an identifier for the station, with the prefix varying between countries, and the number depending on the operator's class of license. Different license classes necessitate proficiency in various technical and operational skills. Ham radio operators play a crucial role in emergency communications, particularly during natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. Amateur radio operators frequently assist local emergency personnel with communication and disaster relief efforts. Their contributions prove invaluable to both the local community and the nation. Beyond its practical applications, ham radio offers a rewarding hobby with numerous awards attainable for achieving operating proficiency, contacting specific countries, reaching all U.S. states, and more. Contests also provide opportunities for enthusiasts to test their skills against others, striving to communicate with the most people within a specified time period. To delve deeper into the world of ham radio, you can explore the website of the Royal Union of Belgian Amateur Radio at www.uba.be.
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© Bernard Backaert
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Last Updated :05/05/24