WHAT EXACTLY IS HAM RADIO?
The term HAM radio often causes confusion – what exactly is a ham? Truthfully, the meaning of the acronym is now lost to history, but we know what a ham radio is by what it does: essentially amateur radio that is used for private recreation.
In the United States, ham radio is overseen (albeit loosely) by the FCC, and generally requires a license to operate. Don’t fret, however – this license is easily obtained and well worth the trouble for you, the prepper. You’ll note that the term ‘ham radio’ refers to two separate things – 1) the method of transmission itself, and 2) the actual handset that does the transmission. We’ll look at the first section initially.
Radio is nothing more than the transmission of invisible waves through space. In a nutshell, the way all radio works – including ham – is as follows:
- Someone makes a transmission, be it voice or music, and this transmission is sent to a receiver.
- The receiver sends the transmission to an antenna, which broadcasts the transmission.
- Other antennas pick up the broadcasts, and transfer them to their own receivers.
- We hear the original transmission through our receiver.