What is Amateur Radio?
Radio is a great way to learn about
communications technology and make friends all over the
world. Getting involved in this fascinating hobby is
very easy and won't cost and arm and a leg.
Tell me more
Radio Amateurs, or "Hams" use two-way radio
communication to make contact with other radio amateurs
all over the world. They are even able to use satellites
and on occasion speak with astronauts. Radio Hams can
do this from home or while mobile in cars, boats or on
Radio Hams have a full range or communication
modes at their disposal. These include plain voice,
Morse code, numerous digital computer modes and
even graphical modes like television. As a licensed
amateur radio operator you will be able to join in
experiments using all these modes.
Amateur radio can be enjoyed by young and old, male
and female, even the most severely disabled can make
friends around the world from their own home. This hobby
knows no boundaries.
uses the Shuttle Amateur
Radio Experiment gear while
talking with students in Maine, USA.
Using even the simplest of radio setups and
antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun,
during emergencies, and in contests. Through HAMNET they
may be called upon to handle messages for police and
other public service organizations during all kinds of
How do I get my license?
Because radio amateurs are permitted to use a
wide range of frequencies and types of transmission,
they must be qualified operators. In South Africa like
most countries around the world, Amateur Radio is
regulated by the Government Department of
Communication. Licensing is dealt with by the
Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (
South African regulations require you to write a
small exam, which is set to test your understanding
of the basic principles of radio and the regulations
governing amateur radio operators.
This exam is simple enough for anyone with high
school education and an interest in the hobby to pass.
Click here to find out more about the
Radio Amateurs Exam.
In most cities and towns around the country there
are clubs that provide classes for the RAE and
facilitate the writing of the test. Click here for a
To find out more about the different classes of
amateur radio license
talking to a distant station
or "working DX" from home.
A typical Ham station at home
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