What is Amateur Radio?

Amateur radio or ham radio operation, education and collecting are at the heart of the creation of the Antique Wireless Association.  For those not familiar with the activity, it utilizes specific sections of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum for non-commercial purposes including the exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, training, private recreation, contesting and emergency communications.  The term “amateur” is used to identify the authorized operator has a purely personal purpose and without any profit or revenue making interest.

The amateur radio service is established by international law and enforced by national government laws and regulations that define the technical and operational characteristics of transmission and the issuance of station licenses and identifying call signs.  Those wishing to be amateur operators are tested for their understanding of key electrical and electronics concepts as well as operational regulations.

Radio amateurs utilize a variety of voice, Morse code, text, image, and data communications operating modes and have access to frequency allocations throughout the RF spectrum.  This allows for communications either point to point or in a shared one-to-many mode.  The activity also supports communications between computers or transceivers that implement private networks or connection to the internet.

The world of amateur radio is Internationally represented and coordinated by the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).  If interested in learning more about Amateur Radio, the best resource is the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).

Antique Wireless Association (AWA)

In the 1950s, a group of radio amateur in upstate New York were amateur radio operators and collectors of historic artifacts from the beginnings of radio experimentation.  (See a brief summary of the Antique Wireless Museum’s history here.)

This website contains significant information regarding amateur radio due to the organization’s founders and membership.  These interest areas include:

Antique Wireless Museum: 

Initiated by the founders of the Antique Wireless Association, the Museum represents a facility and resources focused to house the organizations artifacts, host educational activities and present the history of electronic communications to the visiting public.  Much of the information regarding the organizations and facilities can be found on this website starting here.

Radio Knowledge:

Some consider this to be related to the technology of radio, however, many are also interested in the history and the personalities associated with the creation of radio communications.  The AWA produces the AWA Journal as well as the AWA Review to support this spectrum of interests.  Also, a quarterly newsletter, the Museum Sparks, is focused on the Museum’s events and educational activities. You can review these publications starting here.

Amateur Radio Operations:

With the creation of the new museum facilities, the Antique Wireless Museum is developing an operating facility know as a “Ham Shack”.  The vision is to host a series of technologies, provide educational opportunities and provide fully equipped operating positions for members and non-members to operate.  In addition to normal activities, the facility is being created to support routine net efforts.  Additionally, it is envisioned that the applicable equipment can be utilized to become a participant of the annual “On-the-Air” contests or weekly networks here