A Comfy Introduction to Amateur Radio

Amateur radio is one of those things that most are vaguely aware of as well as totally clueless about. It’s the only hobby that lets you say “I’m a ham radio operator”, the response to which is normally feigned interest and an attempt to quickly exit the conversation.

For those of you not quick enough to make your escape, I will address the following attempts to break off from conversation:

I don’t know what amateur radio is - a quick introduction to the hobby

I don’t have any interest in amateur radio - how to achieve worldwide communications without any public or private intermediate infrastructure

I’m not interested in talking to people on the radio - a discussion of text based and machine to machine modes

I really can’t afford a lot of expensive radio equipment - how to make a cheap entry to the hobby

I don’t have the space for huge antennas - a discussion of antennas that work in small spaces

Really, my neighbors just wouldn’t be OK with me putting up giant antennas - concealed and indoor antennas

I don’t know how to get licensed and I really don’t want to - how to get licensed