From the ARRL…
Newington, CT. April 12, 2011 — The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), and its member societies representing over 150 countries around the world, will celebrate World Amateur Radio Day on April 18. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Amateur Radio: The first technology-based social network.”
Long before the Internet and smart phones, Amateur Radio operators, often called “hams,” have been talking, texting and sharing for decades. But unlike those commercial services, Amateur Radio continues to attract people world-wide by providing international communications for free. And because it does not need pre-established supporting infrastructure, these radio-savvy “amateurs” can reach out to friends in every corner of the world – and into space too.
Amateur Radio operators have been the leaders in developing many of today’s modern electronic and communications marvels. Today the citizens of Earth think of “wireless” as being the ubiquitous cellular phone – only made possible because of the pioneering work in radio technologies first explored by these “amateurs”. Many of our leading electrical engineers draw from their practical experiences as Amateur Radio operators as they continue to develop applications blending computers and radios. Ham Radio operators may be “amateur” because they are unpaid volunteers, but their skills and contributions to the world are of the highest order.
Calling, texting or even using old Morse code on the Amateur shortwave bands can result in chatting with other radio amateurs across town or far across the oceans. While hams have repeatedly been in the news for their life-saving communications services in disasters, a large part of their activities is the excitement and joy of contacting distant and remote areas of the world, learning directly about each others’ regions and lives and trying different ways to make radio contacts around the world.
Since 1925, the IARU has been instrumental in coordinating and representing Amateur Radio to the world. For information about the International Amateur Radio Union please see: www.IARU.org