We are a group of Radio Amateurs Based in West Auckland and we all got involved in Amateur Radio for many reasons, but we all have in common a basic knowledge of radio technology, regulations and operating principles. We have All have passed an examination leading to an authorisation to operate on the "Amateur Bands." These frequency bands are reserved for use by Radio Amateurs at intervals from just above the AM broadcast band, all the way up through the microwave frequencies. Amateur radio encompasses a wide variety of activities all of which are centered around an interest in radio and communications. We come from all walks of life and all corners of society. We encourage you to explore this interesting activity and encourage you to learn more about it. We hope that you will find helpful and useful information by exploring this section of our Web Site.
The appeal of Amateur Radio is the ability to communicate across the country, around the globe, and even with astronauts on space missions. Some Radio Amateurs build and experiment with radio. Computer hobbyists find digital modes to be a low-cost way to expand their ability to communicate. Those with a competitive streak enjoy "DX contests" where the object is to see how many distant Radio Amateurs they can contact. Some like the convenience of a technology giving them portable communication. Others use it to open the door to new friendships over the air, or through participation in an Amateur Radio club. Many combine Amateur Radio with the internet in various ways.
A short Film made by BBC news about Amateur Radio
In the face of the internet, mobiles and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio - or ham radio as it's also known - to be on the decline.
But in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 - with 80,000 currently issued in the UK.
Using designated frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with people over the world. Many prefer the relaxed approach of 'rag chewing' or chatting at length with people, who often become friends - while at the opposite end of the spectrum 'contesters' compete to make as many contacts as possible in a given period.
The hobby is also a public service, with Raynet (in the UK) stepping in during emergencies when regular communication networks fail. Amateur radio enthusiasts are currently contributing to relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
BBC News joined the Chorley and District Amateur Radio Society as they put on a special "Castles and Stately Homes On The Air (CASHOTA)" event at Astley Hall, a Grade I listed house in Lancashire. The club is keen to break down traditional stereotypes of amateur radio enthusiasts and offers free training courses to its members who range from 8 to 80.
Amateur rado is popular technical hobby and volunteer public service that uses designated radio frequencies for non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communications.
Amateur Radio is the only hobby governed by an international treaty.
As a radio amateur you are able to transmit radio signals on a number of frequency bands allocated specifically to the radio amateurs.
Radio amateurs make use of their frequencies in a number of ways:
Contacting people all over the world by radio which often leads to developing international friendships.
Competing in international competitions to test how effective your equipment is, and how good you are as an operator.
Technical experimentation — many of the leaps forward in radio technology have been initiated by radio amateurs.
Communication through amateur space satellites or with the International Space Station (which carries an amateur radio station)
Providing communications at times of emergencies and undertaking exercises to ensure you keep the capability to do so.
There is no better way to explore the fascinating world of radio communications than by becoming a radio amateur.
Whilst the Internet has brought us instant world-wide email, VOIP and video communication, it is tied to an infrastructure of enormous proportions.
With Amateur Radio, you are communicating directly, “point-to-point” with no intermediate infrastructure. You are also communicating with people in their cars, on ships, on remote islands, and in under-developed parts of the world. But perhaps more importantly, Amateur Radio is not just about communicating — it’s about exploring the technology that makes radio communication work — the electronics, the antennas, the propagation characteristics of the ionosphere, and even computers that are linked to radio equipment for all sorts of purposes including specialised modes of communication, station logging, propagation prediction, etc.
Anyone can listen in to amateur radio transmissions. If you’re new to amateur radio, then listening-in for a while is a good way to get a feel for what is going on.
To become a radio amateur, licensed to transmit, you will need a brief period of study, and to pass a simple theory examination.
In conjunction with radio clubs around the NZ, the Western Suburbs Radio Club provides the examination to enable you to become a radio amateur. The NZART has the course work on-line and the Question Bank with Mock exams for you to practice. When you are ready to sit the examination contact the Western Suburbs Radio Club for an examination time and date.
Once you have obtained your licence, the Western Suburbs Radio Club is there to hold your hand through the early days as a licensed radio amateur, and to provide advice and guidance as you progress.