Ham or amateur radio is a hobby that has been around since radio was invented. It is the only hobby I am aware of where an exam pass is required to gain a licence.
There are many different aspects of the hobby from talking to other hams, local or world wide, to designing and building your own equipment. Much of the technology we take for granted today can trace it's roots back to amateur radios experimenters, your mobile phone is no more than an encrypted walkie talkie for instance.
The electronics and communications industries have relied on the knowledge and enthusiasm of amateurs for many years to provide free research and development. It has to be free or we would no longer be amateurs, we are not allowed to charge for anything with the exception of manufacturing and selling equipment. In return we have have been allocated small pieces of the radio spectrum spread from one extreme to the other in which to experiment, this is regulated and protected by international law.
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