Radio amateurs are a specific breed. They come in different shapes, colors and what have you. The one thing common to most of them is that they have and sometimes operate a radio transmitter and a receiver (mostly combined to a "transceiver"). Many modes of operation and a wide spread of frequencies can be used. You find anything from Morse's code (called cw or code work) over speech and television to digital operation. The latter ones preferably on higher frequencies (433 MHz and up). I'm one of these old fashioned guys using shortwave for world wide communication. As you may have guessed from the title of this page, my call sign is DF5TP. I was DL9CB from about 1956 on, but dropped my license for some years before getting back on air in 1979 with the new call.
My equipment is a Kachina 505DSP, a Yaesu FT817, a Flexradio SDR 1000, an amplifier for short wave, a 3 element 3 band beam (FB33) on a telescoping tower 11 m high over ground (Antenna shown on the picture below, taken September 12, 2001. The antenna is normally not visible from this point of view.) I also have a Butternut HF6V vertical for 80 - 10 mtrs. This one is located down in the garden, I use it for contacts on the 40 and 80 mtr bands.
My antenna during the days after September 11th, 2001
I'm a member of the German Amateur Radio Club, DARC (http://www.darc.de). Our local division of this club has a web site under DARC-P07
My qsl card, the kind of confirmation that radio amateurs exchange - if they do - after a contact over the radio (a qso) shows beautiful downtown Reutlingen, the market place on a friendly summer saturday morning. This is what the term market place originally meant. The major building at the centre and to the right is called "neues Spital" (meaning new hospital) and was first mentioned in documents quite a few years back, in 1333. So, "new" seems to be a relative term. These days, the building is used for musical events.
Additional information under Luetkens Automation