There are over 700,000 ham radio licensees in the USA and about 2 ½ million worldwide. Today, this international community of wireless communications devotees are celebrating World Amateur Radio Day, recalling the advances Amateur Radio Service has made for modern man. Their theme for 2012 is Amateur Radio Satellites: Celebrating 50 Years in Space in remembrance of the launch of the first Amateur Radio satellites OSCAR 1 on December 12, 1961 and the launch of OSCAR 2 on June 2, 1962. Their ranks have included people like Steve Wozniak of Apple and Jack Kilby who invented the integrated circuit, Dr. Karl William Edmark who invented the heart defibrillator, Scott Durchslag, the Chief Operating Officer at Skype, and Dr. John Grunsfeld of NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. This is the 87th anniversary of the foundation.
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Happy World Amateur Radio Day too from France 😉
If you need components and test equipment, in the US visit http://www.arrl.org and see where your nearest Hamfest is. In my area (NW GA) there are at least 3 hamfests per year, the entrance fee is nominal and there are all kinds of used test equipment, of course Amateur Radio equipment and electronic components. I am not a HAM but they have always been very welcoming and helpful. If you have extra stuff that you would like to sell, you can “tailgate” for a nominal fee. For those of you who want an introduction to electronics, The Radio Amateurs Handbook is a good reference.