n. A radio service licensed by the FCC and authorities in most other countries to provide noncommercial hobby and emergency access to the radio waves. Known officially as amateur radio. Ham radio gives hobbyists access to a vast range of frequencies, from under 1 MHz to the hundreds of gigahertz. Using the correct bands, hams (as the operators are called) can communicate over tens of thousands of miles. Bands are set aside by international convention for their use. In emergencies that knock out normal telephone service, hams have many times provided communications for locals. Many embedded systems engineers got their start in ham radio in their youth. One of the authors of this books has ham call sign N3ALO.
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