| || |
The Amateur Radio community@from Leonardo de Souza Menezes and Kai Ruhl, etamax space Gmbh
@topic An outsider's introduction to amateur radio.
@time May 2009
The Amateur Radio community is a world wide communication network consisting of HF (high frequency) radio stations placed all over the world. This network is used by Radio Amateur users as an instant messaging system.
In this instant messaging system, the users have a unique identification, named callsign (or "call signature"). They communicate to each other in small and long distances to exchange messages and information, usually making use of so-called Q codes (see below). Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory.
Amateur Radio and the Ionosphere
Long distance communications (DX transmissions) are done through the ionosphere (when line of sight is not given, the ionosphere bounces the signal, allowing longer distances). This also means that during the communication, it is possible to acquire information about ionospheric conditions at the moment of the transmission, by analysing the quality of the signal transmission. Normally, the users make many transmissions world wide to talk to their contacts (who may be on the other side of the planet), so that is possible to know the ionospheric conditions of almost the entire globe at any given moment.
Frequently used terms in Amateur Radio
The following terms can give you a quick start on amateur radio "lingo".
Amateur Radio in SWENET
Within SWENET, the amateur radio community is present through the Ionosfera service. As part of the Ionosfera service, we have communication data about 80.000 calls sorted by UTC time stamp, as well as some plotting capabilities, which allow you to analyse ionospheric conditions at a given time.
If you want to learn more, the links below can be helpful to find more information about the Amateur Radio community: