What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur Radio is a form of communication; a hobby; community service; a fun way to experiment and learn about electronics and radio communications! It's a unique mixture of fun, ease in communication and also service to the society!
There are many Web pages with information about Amateur Radio, so I won't be repeating it here. A couple of places where you can find additional information are the Radio Amateurs of Canada and Wikipedia.
You will find many more resources if you just do a Web search!
You can listen to a very informatice short introduction to amateur radio here and also watch a nice videoclip from "The Ham Band".
A question asked by most people when they first hear about Amateur Radio is:
"Why use a radio to talk to someone and not just use the telephone?"
Well, here are a few reasons:
- Amateur Radio is not just about communication. It's also a way to experiment and learn. Anyone can use a telephone, but you need special knowledge to use the radio and manage to make distant contacts.
- Most times telephone systems get overloaded and fail in cases of disasters or emergencies, but radios are independent and can still be used for communication. That's why amateur radio operators offer their services in cases of emergency.
- We even had cases when there was no cellphone coverage, but we managed to communicate using a handheld radio!
- There's much more thrill when you manage to talk to people all over the world using just a radio about the size of a shoe box and an antenna made out of a few meters or wire than when using the telephone!
- You cannot communicate with satelites or cosmonauts onboard the International Space Station over the phone ;-)
- You can use other interesting communication modes other than voice, such as Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) or Slow-Scan Television (SSTV)
- Communication over the radio is free :-)
The Cyprus Amateur Radio Society
The Cyprus Amateur Radio Society (CARS) was funded in 1975 and currently has around 90 members. CARS represents the radio amateurs of Cyprus in their transations with the Cyprus Ministry of Communications and Works, meetings of international Amateur Radio organizations and to the public. It's the initial source of information about the various issues related to ham radio in Cyprus. It also offers any possible support to the district radio clubs and through a number of working groups provides technical support for the repeater and digital communications networks as well as guidelines for the creation of Amateur Radio Emergency Response Teams. In addition, it organizes activities that are of interest to its members. It's important for all radio amateurs in Cyprus to join and support CARS!
Where can I get more information?
The best way to get more information about Amateur Radio is by face-to-face contact with other amateurs. For more information you can visit CARS' Web site at www.cyhams.org.
You can also contact me. I'll give you as much information as I can.
My name is Andreas and I come form the island of Cyprus. Although I got my license in 1999, I got my first radio, a YAESU FT-7100M in May 2002. At the start I had it installed in my car. There is not much traffic on 2m in my area, but I managed to make a few contacts, mostly with amateurs in other cities in Cyprus and amateurs in Israel and Lebanon through our repeaters.
Later I built a Tiny-3 antenna and managed to have some contacts through R2 Repeater in Rhodes. A while later I built a second one and stacked the two together. Their performance was quite satisfactory and helped getting better signals with local amateurs and better access to R2 in Rhodes.
I currently have a number of VHF/UHF radios and my main HF radio is a Yaesu FT-847. I also use my first HF radio, a Yaesu FT-897, for portable operation.
I'm now mostly active on 20m using a home-made dipole as my antenna. My VHF antennas are currently... under maintenance. I'm also running the 5B8AP-5 APRS I-Gate. I still need to find time and space to set up some better antennas, maybe a multiband dipole or vertical.
Hope to catch you on the air!