Amateur radio covers a broad spectrum of frequencies and it also covers a very broad spectrum of activities. Whether you are interested in contacting people all around the world, providing emergency and community assistance as a volunteer or communicating with satellites in orbit, amateur radio is the way to go.
Amateur Radio Bands
The amateur radio service has been assigned bands (ranges of frequency) from HF (1.8 MHz) up into hundreds of GHz. Different frequencies lend themselves to different tasks. Daylight and weather are also important factors.
Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) radios that automatically choose the best frequency for connection to another station on a net.
A fox hunt is a game where the contestants attempt to locate a hidden transmitter using direction finding equipment or techniques.
VHF and higher frequencies depend largely on line of site between antennas for successful communication. Two people on the street with hand held radios can usually expect about two miles of range. In order to allow reliable communications at greater range amateur radio groups all over the world have installed repeaters. Repeaters usually have antennas on towers or rooftops that are hundreds of feet above the ground. They receive the transmission from one radio and retransmit (repeat) it. This allows people with hand held, mobile or modest base stations to transmit and receive over a wide area with high reliability.
Military Auxiliary Radio Service
The Military Auxiliary Radio Service (MARS) consists of licensed amateur radio operators in service to the Department of Defense. These volunteers are ready to supplement or replace regular communication between federal and other agencies in the event of an emergency.