How Did It All Start?
The defining point for amateur radio was when radio was first invented. The first ever ham station was first introduced back in 1898. Meade Dennis established the station’s equipment. DX radio stations and traditional radio stations at first required the same exact components. However, since then, there have been some slight changes as well as new options for their components.
The pioneer of ham radio, and the world’s first ham operator, is believed to be Heinrich Hertz. He conducted multiple successful experiments, which were later re-conducted by Guglielmo Marconi. Marconi took this further by experimenting with various differences between DX stations. This resulted in long-distance communication, earning a headline as the “first ham” to establish overwater communication and the first international communication in 1901. Since then, interest in radio stations became widely popular. The press regularly talked about the development of the invention. Some iconic magazines were established that were entirely devoted to DX radio- some of which are still available today.
Why Did It Stop?
Amateur radio was put to a pause during World War I in 1917. Congress in the United States had ordered that all ham radio operators stop their operations for security reasons. Services were restored again on October 1st in 1919 after the war was over. ( Source : ham radio forums )
United States Congress re-suspended amateur radio again during World War II. The US government also created the “War Emergency Radio Service” which remained active throughout the year of 1945. After the suspension was over, many ham enthusiasts had converted war radios, like the ARC-5, into a vintage amateur radio.
When Did It Regain Popularity
Ham radio regained popularity several times since its creation. It obviously died out and regained popularity before and after the first and second World Wars, but it also saw boosts in popularity as advances in radio technology progressed. In 1979, Geneva’s “World Administrative Radio Conference,” established three new radio bands: “12 meters, 17 meters, and 30 meters.” These three bands are still active today, and are referred to as “WARC bands.”
The general popularity of radio stations have relatively died out with the advancement of other technologies such as televisions, and now, personal computers, tablets and smartphones. However, there has been a slight peak in amateur radio use as pop culture started to bring older hobbies back into style.
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