What is the meaning of "ATV" ?

If you have found this very homepage by chance you might ask yourself, what are they talking about, when they speak of "ATV" ?! Searching for "ATV" with one of the search-machines in the Internet might brought you here, but you were actually looking for "All Terrain Vehicle", were you ? Well,- in that case I must disappoint you... ;-)

The HAM-Radio hobby

"Our ATV" means "Amateur Television" and is a popular part of the HAM-Radio hobby. People who pursue the hobby of using a personal radio station to communicate, purely for non-commercial purpose, with other radio hobbyists call it "ham radio" or "Amateur Radio". They call themselves "Amateur Radio operators", "ham radio operators" or just plane "hams".

Hams communicate with other hams around the block, on a distant continent or from an orbiting space station ! Some talk via computers, others prefer to use regular voice communication, and some use the efficient and enjoyable 19th sentury technology know as Morse code. Some hams help people save people's live by handling emergeny communications following a natural disaster or other emergency. Some become close friends with the people they talk to on the other side of the globe - then make it a point to meet one or more of them in person.

It would take hundreds of pages to tell what ham radio is all about, but I can tell you: it's one of the most exciting and versatile hobbies at all.


Amateur Television as part of HAM-Radio

One very special department of the various modes in ham radio is the Amateur Television. It's special in the sense that you can send and receive TV (also often called fast scan TV) pictures, which are exactly the same as you view them on your local broadcast station, cable or TV-satellite,- live in color, with motion and audio. You can see, hear and watch who you are communicating with. Pick the programm material you want to share with your friends or visit him live without leaving your warm room. Where else can you play the part of a television station owner, studio manager, audio and video engineering technician, lighting and camera operator, producer, director, and talent coordinator all at the same time ?

Just to mention only a few other applications:



On the one hand, ATV can be very demanding, because it combines various techniques beginning from a simple power supply over audio- and video- techniques up to the high frequencies chapter. On the other hand, even beginner, with no ham radio experience, can participate with only a few items... It's easier (and cheaper) than you might think !

How far does ATV go ?

This certainly depends on many factors, but regard 25 miles (40 kilometers) as an average distance. It varies with the frequency, with the modulation (AM = Amplitude Modualtion or FM = Frequency Modulation), with your hight over ground and your sourroundings, with the quality of your receiver/ transmitter and the antenna etc you are using.
ATV - repeater systems, build on high mountains or buildings, retransmit your signals from down the valley and can bring you in contact with people a hundred or more miles away. So repeaters often play a very important role with Amateur Television. But with or without repeaters, distances from up to 500 miles (800 km) have already been established.
Even YOU can try to receive your local ATV repeater with only some items. Try to locate a ham radio operator in your neighbourhood or the local ham radio club. They'll help you further...

But if you carefully read these very homepage further, you'll find a lot of hints to receive ATV - signals. There are also many hyperlinks to the US, where you can investigate more closly depending on where you live...


The variety of ATV is so wide, that it is impossible to describe the possibilities and technical background in only a few lines. I started the ATV-homepage only a few weeks ago and wish to present an interesting site on this theme. I rely on the feedback and the active ATV operators to help to get this real. Please sent your suggestions, articles or hints to DL4EBJ (Johannes).

Good luck and always remember the ATV-motto:

A picture is worth a thousand words



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Copyright 1996 by Johannes Köring (DL4EBJ). All Rights Reserved.