How insignificant are we...    






The Expanding Universe is incomprehensibly vast and about 13.8 Billion years old. There are at least 100 Billion Stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone and according to current estimates, there are at least 200 Billion Galaxies in the observable Universe. Some estimates reach far beyond that not to mention the Trillions of Planets, Suns, etc.. Click Deep Field.  They say that there are more Stars in the Universe than grains of sand on Planet Earth. The circumference of the Earth is about 40,000 klms. High frequency radio waves, being electromagnetic radiations travel at the speed of light, about 186,000 miles per second, basically being received instantaneously around the World. Depending on the relative position of Mars from Earth, radio waves can take up to about 20 minutes to reach the Red Planet. The Space Craft Voyager 1 has been traveling away from Earth for over 40 years, having been launched in 1977. It's currently in interstellar space and over 13 Billion miles away. It's radio signals take something like 19 hours to reach home. Due to the time delay in Radio Communications, as we strengthen our influence in Space, a new form of Communication will need to be invented. If interested in a new Communication System, click on the link 'Quantum Radio' and go to the bottom of the page. In my opinion this will involve mental telepathy or quantum mechanics communication. If we can befriend ourselves and then each other here on Planet Earth, then our destiny lies out there in Space. Exploring and discovering. As the sailors of years gone by, so the sailors of the sky will open our lives to new possibilities. Imagine for a moment, what this World of ours would be like without Radio Communications. They're vital to our way of life and without our current understanding of our place in the Universe which is largely due to Radio Communications, we would still be living in the 'dark ages'. Consider how dependent Defense Forces are on Radio Communications. Imagine also being in a small life raft, winds howling and  freezing cold in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with waves towering over head. The radio or beacon on board could be your life saver. Radio to the Rescue again. Italian inventor and electrical engineer, Guglielmo Marconi is credited with the first transatlantic telegraphic radio communications in 1901 and now the hobby of Amateur Radio has been around for well over 100 years. Amateur Radio Operators have contributed to our current understandings of Radio Communications. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and their hard work and contributions. It is apparent that Amateur Radio can be a gateway to the advancement of Humanity. Looking towards the future, we need to see over the horizon to the possibilities and the hope which is there. Visionaries of the sky will be expanding our horizons and developing advanced Radio Systems will mean that we will be able to do more than we currently can. It's in our nature to go beyond. Nowadays, remote control of Amateur Radio Stations is a reality and remote control of advanced technologies in Space also require Radio Communications. The more aware we become of Space and what may be out there, the less self-centered and mentally constricted we will be. TV programs and films such as 'Star Trek' and 'Star Wars' help in this regard. 'Looking back we can see that our Earth is just a pale blue dot in an ocean of darkness.' As we slowly further Our Reach into Space, Radio Communications of one form or another will help us to broaden our horizons and we will realize, if we survive long enough, how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps one day with this more expansive view of our insignificance, we will be able to see more clearly how futile it is not to work together and may then gradually leave conflict behind. We are all really 'Children of the Universe' and subject to It's Universal Laws of Life. The consequences of our expansion into Space would mean that Radio Communications could Save our Civilization because without them we would feel as though we were the Centre of the Universe, not knowing the vastness beyond and we would not be able to leave our home, Planet Earth. Radio Communications always have been and always will be a means of our Civilization expanding and moving forward.








The  Hobby  of  Amateur  Radio  (also  known  as  'Ham  Radio')  has  been  around  for  well  over  100  years.  This  Hobby  basically  involves  qualified  people  communicating  with  each  other  using  their  'Amateur  Radios',  (transmitters and receivers / transceivers)  which  operate  on  specific  bands  of  frequencies.  Amateur  Radio  Operators,  also  known  as  'Hams'  come  from  all  walks  of  Life.  From  engineers  and  doctors  to  bricklayers  and  teachers,  Operators  now  number  around  3  million,  worldwide.  Both  able  and  disabled  people  can  participate.  Ages  range  from  about  8  years  to  people  well  into  their  90's.  There  are  more  Women  Amateur  Operators  nowadays  than  ever  before. Ham  Radio  gives  operators  a  sense  of  excitement.






Amateur  Radio  attracts  people  for  a  number  of  reasons.  For  most  people,  I  believe,  the  appeal  is  the  technical  aspects  of  the  Hobby.  As  their  involvement  in  the  Hobby  deepens,  their  interests  within  it  can  and  often  do  change.  For  me  and  I  think  a  lot  of  people,  the  mystery  and  fascination  of  being  able  to  communicate  with  someone  wirelessly,  who  is  some  distance  away,  is  something  which  excites  the  imagination  and  curiosity.  The  desire  to  understand  how  this  phenomenon  works  is  a  driving  force.  Hams  are  able  to  communicate  with  each  other  in  a  variety  of  ways  and  also  over  very  long  distances  using  their  Radios  and  Antennas.  Around  the  World  Communication  is  the  priority  for  a  lot  of  Amateurs,  while  for  others  it  may  be  chatting  to  someone  close  by  or  even  to  an  Amateur  Radio  Operator  on  board  the  International  Space  Station.  Outdoor  antennas  are  generally  needed  to  transmit  and  receive  the  Radio  Signals.



These  Radios  are  able  to  be  used  in  a  wide  variety  of  ways.  Of  course,  using  a  microphone  to  chat  to  someone  and  hearing  their  voice  coming  in  from  possibly  thousands  of  miles  away  is  always  a  thrill.  Morse  Code  is  still  used  today  by  thousands  of  Hams  around  the  World.  With  the  coming  of  computers,  various  forms  of  digital  communications  are  now  wide  spread  within  the  Amateur  Community.  For  example,  you  can  have  a  'digital  conversation'  by  using  your  Amateur  Radio  Station  and  computer  keyboard  to  type  messages  to  each  other.  Radio  Signals  on  Earth  are  basically  received  and  transmitted  instantaneously,  whereas   to  reach  the  planet  Mars,  they  can  take  about  20  minutes  or  more.  These  days,  using  some  modes  of  Digital  Radio  Communication,  signals  can  now  be  detected  and  decoded  which  are  not  even  audible.  Remotely  operating  a  station  is  now  becoming  popular.  This  means  that  even  though  you  may  be  thousands  of  miles  away  from  your  Amateur  Radio  Station,  using  a  fast  Internet  connection  to  it,  you  can  still  operate  it  from  many  places  around  the  World.  You  may  be  in  Texas,  U.S.A., for  example,  but  your  Radio  Station  may  be  in  England.  With  an  adequate  Internet  connection  between  the  two,  you  can  control  your  Station  remotely,  even  though  you  may  be  thousands  of  miles  away  from  it.  Such  is  the  power  of  the  Internet.  ie.  your  transmitted  signal  is  from  England.



Pictures  can  be  sent  via  Radio  using  Slow  Scan  Television  (SSTV).  Ham  Radio  signals  are  able  to  be  sent  to  the  Moon  and  reflected  back  from  its  surface  to  Earth  so  that  Operators  on  the  other  side  of  the  Earth  are  able  to  receive  the  weak  reflected  signals.  This  is  known  as  'Moon  Bounce'.  Many  Satellites  made  by  Amateurs  are  in  Earth  orbit.  These  'Birds'  receive  Amateur  Signals  transmitted  to  them  and  retransmit  the  Signals  back  to  Earth  so  that  the  Signals  are  able  to  travel  further  around  the  World.  An  Amateur  Radio  Station  is  located  on  board  the  International  Space  Station  and  contacts  from  there  are  often  made  to  classes  of  School  Children  on  Earth.  ARISS.  and  20 Years AR.




Ham  Radios  are  also  used  while  operating  Mobile,  from  push  bikes,  motor  bikes,  motor  cars  and  boats  to  aeroplanes.  They  are  also  operated  by  Hams  in  hard  to  get  to  places.  From  various  remote  islands  and  mountains  around  the  World  to  inhospitable  locations  like  Antarctica,  for  example.  Public  Service  is  at  the  Forefront  of  Ham  Radio.  Amateurs  often  provide  valuable  Help  to  the  Public  in  Times  of  Need.  It  may  be  the  relaying  of  critical  information  about  the  advancement  of  a  wild  fire  in  Central  Australia  or  the  well  being  of  people  who  have  suffered  an  Earthquake  in  Chile,  South  America.  There  are  many  other  aspects  to  Amateur  Radio  as  well.  Some  Amateurs  participate  in  Amateur  Radio  Contests  of  various  forms. The  Hobby  often  leads  People  to  a  career  in  Electronics  and  Associated  Fields  of  Employment.  Many  Amateur  Radio  Operators  have  contributed  significantly  to  the  Technological  Advancement  of  Our  Societies.



Amateur  Radio  Clubs  are  wide  spread  throughout  many  Countries.  Regular  meetings  are  held  where  Licensed  Amateurs  and  People  aspiring  to  become  Hams  come  together  to  share  their  Common  Interest.  Lessons  are  given  and  different  grades  of  License  Examinations  can  be  taken  here  to  qualify  for  your  Amateur  License.  A  basic  knowledge  in  Radio  Theory  and  Operating  is  all  that  is  needed  to  acquire  the  Basic  License.  Young  Children  are  able  to  pass  these  tests  and  become  Licensed  Amateur  Radio  Operators.

Each  licensed  Ham  Radio  Operator  is  given  a  Callsign  to  identify  Him  or  Her.  The  Callsign  also  indicates  the  Country  in  which  they  live. For  example,  my  individual  callsign  is  VK5SW.  The  prefix  of  'VK'  indicates  that  I  am  in  Australia.  The  'number  5'  indicates  that  I  am  located  in  the  state  of  South  Australia  and  the  letters  'SW'  are  my  own  individual  callsign  letters.

 The  map  below  shows  the  Amateur  Radio  Callsign  Prefixes  of  various  Countries  around  the  World.  For  a  list  of  Country  Callsign  Prefixes,  Click  RSGB.





Also,  'QSL  Cards'  shown  below  are  often  exchanged  between  Hams  to  confirm  their  contact  or  conversation.




Amateur  Radio  Operators  include  nobel  prize  winners,  singer/songwriters,  musicians,  hollywood  movie  producers/directors,  actors,  composers,  authors,  politicians,  professors,  astronauts  and  scientists.  Well  known  Ham  Radio  personalities  include  country  and  western  singers  Patty Loveless  KD4WUJ and  Chet Atkins  W4CGP  sk,  singer  Donnie  Osmond  WD4SKT,  The  Eagles  band  member  Joe  Walsh  WB6ACU,  newsreader  Walter  Cronkite  KB2GSD  sk,  actor  Marlon  Brando  FO5GJ  sk,  Priscilla Presley  NY6YOS,  King  Hussein  of  Jordan  JY1  sk  and  Australian,  Dick  Smith  VK2DIK.



Amateur Radio can enable you to forget about yourself and your worries and fill you with feelings of contentment, even excitement.

Amateur  Radio  has  been  and  always  will  be  a  Passion  for  many  People  from  all  Walks  of  Life.  Whether  you  are  a  Mother,  a  Construction  Worker,  a  young  Person,  Boy  or  Girl,  or  a  Professor,  there  is  the  opportunity  for  You  to  experience  Great  Fun  via  Radio  Communications.  I  encourage  You  to  take  the  first  step  towards  a  rewarding  past  time  and  google  'Amateur  Radio  Association'  or  similar  in  your  Country  or  City.  (If in Australia,  Thereafter,  if  interested,  pursue  it  and  then,  one  day,  when  You  are  licensed  and  sitting  in  front  of  Your  Amateur  Radio,  You  will  have  the  World  at  Your  finger  tips  which  can  enable  You  to  make  Radio  Friends  around  the  World  and  open  Your  mind  to  new  possibilities.

It's  All  up  to  You.

I recommend that You obtain an appropriate Radio Receiver. It does not need to be very capable. By doing so, You will hopefully be able to listen to Amateur Radio Operators chatting with one another. In my case, when I was a 15 year old boy, I found an old short wave radio at the local rubbish tip. Took it home, repaired it and was then able to listen to Ham Radio Operators, worldwide. This inspired me and drove me into the World of Amateur Radio. Perhaps something similar can happen for You. However, if You live in a city, the background noise on the radio may be too great to be able to copy Amateur Radio Signals. You may be able to do so though by listening to Radio Signals on line. Google 'Amateur Radio Receiver online,' or similar.