What can you do?
People ask me what you can do in ham radio. They often wrongly mistake it with CB - and that you can just talk to
So I've come up with a list of some of the aspects of the hobby, along with some YouTube links.
To get this out of the way though: You won't find the love of your life on it, and it won't make you rich.
Some things you can do are:
- Talk to someone
- Talk to kings, presidents, emirs, astronauts, TV personalities, musicians, etc
- Talk to someone through a repeater
- Talk to someone via satellite
- Talk to someone on the other side of the world by bouncing your signal off the ionosphere
- Talk to someone on the other side of the world who is walking around
- Talk to someone on the other side of the world who is in a car
- Talk to someone on the other side of the world who is on a ship
- Talk to someone on the other side of the world who is in an aircraft
- Talk to someone who is in space
- Take part in contests
- Take part in direction finding contests
- Bounce signals off meteor trails
- Bounce signals off aircraft
- Take part in Summits On The Air
- Take part in Islands On The Air
- Take part in Youngsters On The Air
- Help out with Jamboree On The Air
- Go on a holiday with a few mates to a remote desert island, take some equipment and antennas with you, and claim it's a "DXpedition"
But if you don't want to speak to anyone, you can:
- Use Morse code
- Use Digital modes (with a computer):
- Digital voice
- Bounce signals off the moon
- Connect to the internet thousands of miles away from anywhere
- Use DMR
- Packet radio
- Build an antenna out of bits of wire
- Use a weather balloon for an antenna
- Use a kite for an antenna
- Or other ingenious ways to get an antenna up
- Send images
- Send television
- Help out with emergencies
And of course, you can make stuff
- Build a receiver from a razor blade and a pencil
- Build transmitters
- Build an antenna, say out of a tape measure
- Build a satellite
- Invent a new modulation technique
- Design a new type of antenna
So what can't you do?
- Make money from it or use it for commercial purposes.
- Play music or broadcast to "anyone who might be listening".
- Use any form of encryption.
- And it's generally considered bad form to swear, or talk about controversial things like politics, religion, etc