Amateur radio, often called ham radio, is both a hobby and a service in which participants, called "hams," use various types of radio communications equipment to communicate with other radio amateurs for public services, recreation and self-training.
Amateur radio operators enjoy personal (and often worldwide) wireless communications with each other and are able to support their communities with emergency and disaster communications if necessary, while increasing their personal knowledge of electronics and radio theory. An estimated six million people throughout the world are regularly involved with amateur radio.
The term "amateur" reflects the principle that amateur radio and its skilled operators are committed to helping communities without financial compensation; whereas commercial radio operates for profit.
An example of an amateur radio station with two transceivers, amplifiers, a computer for logging and digital modes. On the wall are examples of various awards, certificates, and a reception report card (QSL card) from a foreign amateur station.