What is Amateur Radio?
Have you recently received your amateur radio operators license and don't know what to do with it? Why not check out your local radio club and find an "Elmer”? Don't know what an "elmer" is? Then keep reading. Questions have been asked on some "insiders" information as to what some of the lingo which you hear on the bands means. So hopefully answers to some of your questions can be found here and clear up some of the "mysterious" words and phrases you will encounter while tuning to the ham frequencies. Most phrases and "codes" come from communicating via morse code. It is much faster to send a series of code letters or numbers than it is to spell each word out one at a time. Therefore, a group of codes was derived to make it easier on the Morse operator during his/her sending. I will not list them all as most are not relevant to your operating practices, but will list the most common ones heard on the bands today.
The meanings carry over to phone (SSB, AM, FM) as well as the digital modes . Try to refrain from using the "Q" codes on phone unless the band conditions are really poor. Why? Because if you are communicating with someone else who speaks your same language (which is most likely) there is no need to use codes as they will better understand you if you speak plain English (or whatever language you are speaking!).
An "elmer" is a kindly ham who helps newcomers get started in amateur radio. Many are happy to invite you into their "shacks" for a demonstration as to how an amateur radio station operates. Others enjoy helping with the testing procedures, and getting a station set up and on the air. Many Elmers can be found at your local ham radio club, contact the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters' Society (MARTS) for information on any clubs you may have in your area.
Early Radio Amateur Activities in Malaya
Jim Macintosh, VS2AA, came on the air during January 1934. Using only 5 watts, he established two-way working with five out of the six continents on 40 meters CW during his first month. The missing continent was South America, which is still a difficult continent to contact. Before the year was out, never using more than 20 watts, he had his WAC (Worked All Continents), and WBE (Worked all British Empire). The first WAC for Malaya was made by A.N. Randall, VS3AB.
In the early days, communication was restricted to CW. But today, Malaysian amateurs, perhaps better known as hams, can be heard in most evenings on 15 and 20 meter bands conversing on phone with other hams in Australia, north America, Europe, Africa, and occasionally with the extreme ends of the earth, eg. Virgin Islands.
For local contacts between amateurs in Malaysia, the 40 meter band is the most popular. And there has been a regular Sunday morning phone net for several years. It usually ets going at around 9:30 am, and sometimes lasts into the early afternoon.
Since the World War II, groups keen amateurs have formed societies to promote their interests, and lend a helping hand to the beginners. The Perak Radio Society and Selangor Radio Society were formed in 1947, whilst the Malayan Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society was registered in 1952. The latter’s chief function being to act as a central bureau for both inward and outward QSL cards (confirmation of contact) between the Malayan stations and amateurs situated overseas.
The Selangor Radio Society was the result of the untiring efforts of the first president, Jim Macintosh, VS2AA, Law Joo Ghin, VS2AO, N.L. Narayan, VS2CN, N.A.K. Nair, Au Yong Siew Thong, and Rodgers Rowe.
The Singapore Amateur Radio Transmitting Society was founded in 1949. Amongst these who attended the inaugural meeting were Ted Yates, VS1AD, Reg Hollis-Bee, VS1AG, Mike de Cruz, VS1DU, Charles Salton, VS1DV, Ken de Souza, VS1CZ, and John Osborne, VS1BO.
The tendency had been for the Malaysian Amateur Radio Transmitters’ Society (MARTS) founded in 1952, to expand at the expense of the local societies with the result that the smaller societies have been wounded up. The service provided to members will then be always up to the standard envisaged by its founders.
Sources from http://www.marts.org.my/