HAM Radio has been around since the late 19th century, but didn’t gain popularity until the early 20th century. It is a network of amateur (HAM) radio operators from all around the world. They communicate using various radio frequencies from HF, to VHF, UHF and microwave. These frequencies are surprisingly powerful, allowing HAM operators to communicate with people from as close to their own city to as far away as the other side of the world. Some operators utilize space satellites or even the moon to bounce signals around the world! Amateur (HAM) radio operators can be found in all walks of life. A fascinating and very diverse hobby that can cater to any level of skill you wish to achieve!
Each HAM operator must take a test to prove their knowledge of radio regulations and their understanding of the electronics. In Canada there are three levels of operator, each requiring a test to be passed and each level gives access to more radio frequencies. Once the test is passed each person is given a call sign that is their license number on the radio. While Morse code used to be required to get your license, it is no longer necessary.
Gary Wheeler (owner of this site) has been a HAM operator in Lethbridge, AB since 1995, but dabbled in CB radio and communications since 1972. He has participated in many events and contests through HAM radio contacting people around the world!.
Through HAM radio, this weather station also participates in CANWARN which involves an active group of amateur (HAM) operators that spot and report on severe weather. It was originally formed as a network of weather-trained ham radio operators across Ontario, and has since spread to Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and into Atlantic Canada.
If you are interested in becoming a HAM operator, check out Radio Amateurs of Canada
Current HAMs wishing to check the radio band propagation forecasts can see from the graphics below
’73 de VE6CV (Best wishes from VE6CV aka Gary Wheeler)