Who is the radio amateur operator? What is radio-goniometry?

April 18 is the World Radio Day. Radio Club Sarajevo celebrated its seventieth anniversary.

Radio amateurism is a profession essential for the whole society because radio amateurs establish a connection in the most difficult situations, when it is impossible to establish a connection through the phone and modern means of communication.

There are areas where communications are worse or do not exist at all, when radio amateurs go to the ground with handheld radio stations. Then there are various situations in the crisis situations. There is a radio network for the danger that can be organized in an organized manner, and it is actually formed and maintained exclusively for such needs.

Radio amateurs played a particularly important role during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when, in the absence of telephone communication, they established conversations between members of families who were physically separated.

During the siege of Sarajevo that lasted over 1,700 days, I was a radio amateur operator in 3 radio amateur clubs. It was a job on a voluntary basis, without salary and without fixed working hours. After the war and the siege of Sarajevo is over, I was awarded by the WUS Austria for my volunteerism.

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Photo: QSL card after the connection between two radio amateurs have been established.

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People did not have communication throughout the city. You do not have electricity, you do not have a telephone at all. So, radio amateurs have made a great contribution to establishing connections and gathering information.

Each time you feel happy when you provide people with information about their family members.

They called us “war radio amateurs”. My radio-amateur sign is T95MJL.

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Photo:My first radio amateurs club where I got my license back in 1983.

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Photo: The ticket/receipt from the radio-goniometry competition

In peacetime situations and when there are no natural disasters, radio amateurs are ready to expect a call for action. The equipment is usually very old and radio amateurs are not always sure they will work the right way and at the right time.

This type of communication is very important because it does not depend on electricity.

It can work with batteries, aggregates and similar things and go to the field where it is needed.

Radio Club Sarajevo celebrates its seventieth anniversary in 2018. Since 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a member of the International Telecommunication Union, while in the ’93. In the first year of the first announcement of our country for Eurosong Music Competition, it was announce  through radio amateurs from Sarajevo.

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Photo: Received QSL card confirming who sent me the card, where and when the connection was established.

History of radio amateurism

More than 100 years ago, the first time a message was transmitted via radio waves. Nikola Tesla found a radio transmission, and Marcconni was the first one who used it commercially. At the same time, there is a great curiosity and interest in the radio, as a communication tool. Radio amateurs appear. Initially, they are curious people who are beginning to organize themselves in radio clubs and other forms of association. In 2015, the IARU International Radioamateur Organization celebrated its 90th anniversary.

Radio amaterism has a number of disciplines and the basic ones are:

  • Constructors

This is the first radio amateur discipline that has appeared. Radio amateurs – designers create various devices in the field of electronics, measurements, automation, radio techniques, antennas, auxiliary devices for radio stations, etc. Sometimes they are devices by ready schemes, and sometimes personal constructions. It is known that many amateur constructions have found application in practice and factories have taken over their mass production. Because of this, many world manufacturers of radio equipment support radio amateurs, since they come up with ideas and some technical solutions free of charge. There are practically no competitions in this field, but there are exhibitions of fairs, presentations, etc.

  • Operators

Radio amateurs operating on radio stations are called “operators”. They establish radio links among themselves, exchange information on link quality, their experiences, conversations, etc. In this discipline there are competitions of all levels, from regional to international. Propositions for competitions are prescribed by the organizer. Sometimes it is the number of established connections in a certain period of time, sometimes the number of different countries, sometimes in total bridged kilometers or various combinations. The competitions are held throughout the year, especially during the weekend. Radio amateurs have at their disposal a large number of frequency bands for their work. Broadcasting of radio waves primarily depends on the operating frequency, the time of the day, the seasons, the sun’s activity, etc. The spread of radio waves of various frequencies at different time periods is a very important data for equipment producers and radio wave users. This is the reason that in each characteristic frequency band radio amateurs have their own part. In this way, the “free” comes up with important data.

  • Radio goniometry

The use of radio transmission has created the problem of locating the radio transmitter for several reasons. Some of them are: finding a transmitter that does not have a broadcast license or deliberately or accidentally bother other participants, hostile radio transmitters, etc. Devices for finding a transmitter are called “radio goniometers”.

Radio amateurs are trained and compete in locating a radio transmitter, and the popular name of this discipline is “fox hunting”. Using special radio receivers with directional antennas (“foxes”), radio amateurs locate hidden radio transmitters, running them coming to them and registering time finding hidden transmitters. These competitions are organized at all levels. This is a technical and sports discipline in radio amateurism.

  • RMZO – Radio Network for Danger

This is not a special discipline of radio amateurism. In the event of any “disaster”, when professional radio links that come out of the function on the scene, radio amateurs enter, make available to the community and provide them with the necessary and urgent radio connections. There are a number of positive examples of this activity. To this end, radio amateur organizations make special rules and occasionally performs work checks. This activity exists from regional to international level.

If you are thinking about your new hobby, think about doing this beautiful and above all humanitarian hobby. You never know when and where you can help all the people of the world who are in trouble.



  1. Congratulations and thank you. I have often thought of taking up HAM radio (?) for the reasons you have mentioned. With climate change we seem to have more disasters and then there is always the threat of cyber attacks or government shutdown of normal communications. I live in the dunes so an antenna tower or lack of a tower, stops me from going further.

    If you have advice for a possible beginner I would appreciate it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear “dunelight”,

    You are very welcome. During the brutal war and the siege of my home town Sarajevo (1992-1995), radio-amateurism saved my life and life of all people living under the siege. We could communicate to the outside world. I was doing shifts in 3 different radio-clubs located in Sarajevo and it also helped me to “mentally ” survived this period of life. For a possible beginner I would recommend to buy a small table radio-station or the portable one, for example Yaesu FT 1900, or check on Amazon or eBay all other companies for beginners. I used to have Yaesu at home and it worked for me. You will need license and a kind of permit to use it. I wish you a good luck and if you have any more further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. My best regards,

    Liked by 1 person

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