|What does HAM stand for?|
HAM is not an acronym. In short it is slang for Amateur Radio Operator.
What does HAM mean?
The reason why an amateur radio operator is called a 'HAM' is not known. Some relate these three letters (HAM) to the names of three great radio experimenters.
Some people believe that when the young and inexperienced radio enthusiasts began to venture on air with crude spark transmitters based on vehicle ignition coils, their Morse code transmission must have been pretty poor and professionals dismissed them as 'ham fisted'!
"Ham: a poor operator. A 'plug'."
That's the definition of the word given in G. M. Dodge's The Telegraph Instructor even before radio. The definition has never changed in wire telegraphy. The first wireless operators were landline telegraphers who left their offices to go to sea or to man the coastal stations. They brought with them their language and much of the tradition of their older profession. In those early days, spark was king and every station occupied the same wavelength--or, more accurately perhaps, every station occupied the whole spectrum with its broad spark signal. Government stations, ships, coastal stations and the increasingly numerous amateur operators all competed for time and signal supremacy in each other's receivers. Many of the amateur stations were very powerful. Two amateurs, working across town, could effectively jam all the other operators in the area. When this happened, frustrated commercial operators would call the ship whose weaker signals had been blotted out by the amateurs and say "SRI OM THOSE #&$!@ HAMS ARE JAMMING YOU."Amateurs, possibly unfamiliar with the real meaning of the term, picked it up and applied it to themselves in true "Yankee Doodle" fashion and wore it with pride. As the years advanced, the original meaning has completely disappeared.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 25 April 2011 19:48 )|