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Radio amateurs
Licenced amateur radio operators · HAMs - this page is a stub

An amateur radio operator, also known as radio amateur, ham or HAM, is a person who uses amateur radio equipment to communicate with other amateur operators, on radio frequencies (bands) assigned to the Amateur Radio Service. For the use of these frequencies, they have been granted a licence by their local governmental regulatory authority, after passing an examination on electronics, radio theory, radio operation and regulations. As part of their licence, amateur operators are assigned a call sign that they use to identify themselves during communication [1].

Most countries have one or more national radio societies of which amateur radio operators can become a member. The national organisations are commonly involved in liaison with the national regulatory body for telecommunications. At a global level, the national societies are united in the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) — the liaison between amateurs and the International Telecommunication Union ITU. The IARU is divided into the same three regions as the ITU:

IARU   International Amateur Radio Union
Established on 27 April 1925.
 IARU website
National organisations
Below is a non-exhaustive overview of amateur radio societies and related organisations.

Related subjects
Below is an overview of the frequency bands that have been allocated to the Amateur Radio Service. Licenced Amateur Radio Operators can use these bands for transmission, subject to international and national regulations. For each band, a detailed bandplan is applicable [5].

Band Frequency Wave Modulation
LF 1.35.7 - 137.8 kHz 2200 m CW
MF 472 - 279 kHz 635 m CW
  1.81 - 1.88 MHz 1 160 m CW, Digi, voice
HF 3.5 - 3.5 MHz 80 m CW, RTTY, voice
  5.350 - 5.450 MHz 2 60 m CW, RTTY, voice
  7.0 - 7.2 MHz 40 m CW, Digi, voice, beacons
  10.1 - 10.15 MHz 30 m CW, Digi
  14.0 - 14.35 MHz 20 m CW, Digi, voice, SSTV
  18.068 - 18.168 MHz 17 m CW, Digi, voice, beacons
  21.0 - 21.45 MHz 15 m CW, Digi, voice, beacons. SSTV
  24.89 - 24.99 MHz 12 m CW, Digi, voice, beacons
  28.0 - 29.7 MHz 10 m CW, Digi, voice, beacons, SSTV, Sat
VHF 50 - 52 MHz 6 m All modes
  70.0 - 70.5 MHz 4 m  
  144 - 146 MHz 2 m All modes
UHF 430 - 440 MHz 70 cm All modes
  1240 - 1300 MHz 23 cm All modes
  2320 - 2450 MHz 13 cm All modes
SHF 3400 - 3475 MHz 9 cm All modes
  5650 - 5850 MHz 6 cm All modes
  10 - 10.5 GHz 3 cm All modes
  24 - 24.25 GHz 12 mm All modes
EHF 47.0 - 47.2 GHz 6 mm All modes
  76.0 - 84.5 GHz 4 mm All modes
  122.25 - 123.00 GHz 3 mm All modes
  134 - 141 GHz 2 mm All modes
  241 - 250 GHz 1 mm All modes
  1. In Belgium the upper limit is 2 MHz.
  2. Secondary usage.

National organisations
DARC   Deutsche Amateur-Radio-Club
National amateur radio society of Germany.
 DARC website
AATiS   Arbeitskreis Amateurfunk und Telekommunikation in der Schule
Working Group for Amateur Radio and Telecommunications in Schools.
 AATiS website
Amateur organisations
VERON   Vereniging voor Experimenteel Radio Onderzoek in Nederland
Established in October 1945 by merging the pre-war NVVR, NVIR and VUKA.
 VERON website
VRZA   Vereniging voor Radio Zend Amateurs
Established in 1951 by a number of disaffected VERON members.
 VRZA website
QRP   Benelux QRP Club
Organisation for the promotion of low-power (QRP) radio amateurism in Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxemburg (Benelux).
 Website Benelux QRP Club
Former organisations
NVVR   Nederlandse Vereniging voor Radiotelegrafie
Established in 1916. In 1945 dissolved into the VERON.
NVIR   Nederlandse Vereniging voor Internationaal Radio-amateurisme
Established in 1929. In 1945 dissolved into the VERON.
VUKA   Vereniging voor Ultra Korte Golf Amateurs
Established in 1934. In 1945 dissolved into the VERON.
At the beginning of WWII, the Netherlands had approx. 400 licenced radio amateurs. Together with the naval marconists, they belonged to the small group of people that were capable of giving and taking 1 messages in morse code. Because of the cameraderie and close friendships between the HAMs throughout the country, many of them were recruted by one of the secret underground movements. During the war, there were three important clandestine resistance organisations:

Each of these organisations had its own clandestine radio service, 2 although the first two, OD and RVV, probably had the largest ones, with direct links to the Dutch Government in exile in London. The clandestine radio services were largely populated by HAMs, many of which lost their lives after being caught. According to the VERON — the main Dutch amateur radio association — about 60 licenced amateur radio operators (15%) were active in resistance organisations, 21 of which lost their lives as a result of it, which is 5% of the total number of amateurs in the country.

 Dutch WWII resistance organisations

  1. In telegraphist speak, the word 'giving' is commonly used for 'transmitting' or 'sending' messages in morse code, whilst 'taking' is used for 'receiving' or 'reading' messages in morse code.
  2. There were overlaps. Some operators worked for more than one organisation.

United Kingdom   UK
RSGB   Radio Service of Great Britain
National amateur radio organisation of the United Kingdom (UK)
 RSGB website
United States   USA
ARRL   American Radio Relay League
National association for Amateur Radio in the United States of America (USA).
 ARRL website
  1. Wikipedia, Amateur radio operator
    Retrieved January 2021.

  2. sTEN, Canon van de Telecommunicatie
    Retrieved January 2021.

  3. Wikipedia, International Telecommunication Union
    Visited February 2023.

  4. Wikipedia, ITU Region
    Visited February 2023.

  5. Theo Vermeulen, Amateur Bandplan (Dutch)
    17 July 2016.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Last changed: Monday, 06 February 2023 - 14:51 CET.
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