wythall radio club

having fun with RF

What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio is a world-wide technical hobby which allows people of all nationalities, religions, age groups and abilities to communicate with each other and have a lot of fun at the same time. It has a strong volunteer public service content.

Amateur Radio is also known as “Ham Radio” and has been around for over 120 years. Radio Hams have the opportunity to experiment with all aspects of radio, including construction; contesting; working other hams in other continents or rare destinations (otherwise known as “dx’ing”) by voice, morse , video or other digital modes;, direction finding, communicating via satellites or the International Space Station and lots more. It is an incredibly diverse and very popular interest hobby with over six million people involved worldwide.


If you have ever been interested in, or dabbled with, any of the following, then amateur radio could be for you.

  1. Used a walkie talkie, either as a youngster or in work and want to know how it works
  2. Used CB radio in the past and want to add some technical content to your skills
  3. Listened to overseas broadcast stations or air traffic control on a short-wave receiver
  4. Like electronics and making things or fiddling with gadgets and computers
  5. Still see some magic in how radio waves travel around the globe and how radio works.

Why amateur?

The term amateur is very important, as it denotes the fact that amateur radio operators do not operate for profit or commercial gain, as opposed to commercial radio broadcast operations. Amateur radio gives participants a better understanding of different people, places and cultures on a world-wide basis.

How do you get started?

Anyone can listen in to amateur radio transmissions. In fact if you’re new to amateur radio, listening-in for a while is a good way to get a feel for what is going on. To transmit you will need to pass an examination which entitles you to an amateur radio licence. To find out how to become a licensed amateur radio operator see our Training section on the Header Menu.