How to Get Started With Ham Radios

Posted by cymoo | Ham Radio Use | Thursday 27 December 2012 8:59 pm

Ham radios are two way radios that, in essence, talk to one another without the help of any outside force. The technology has been around for a very, very long time. They are a great way to be prepared in case of an emergency. Here are three helpful tips on how to get started with ham radios.

1. You need a license!
The law requires that you, as an amateur operator, you need a license in order to legally operate your device. Licenses are required because of the range of ham radios and the uses of them. If you do not know what you are doing and get in the way of an emergency operation, you could potentially cause harm to the persons involved. Because of this, law requires that you get a license. Licenses are relatively easy to get as long as you do your research. All you have to do is sign a few forms and take a test. Once you are done with the test, you’ll get your call sign mailed to you and then you are set.

It does get quite a bit more complicated than what was just stated, but you’ll find out all the information you need once you start doing research for your test. To truly cover the whole topic of ham radio licenses, this guide would have to be massively long!

2. Do your research!
You will need to do a decent amount of research before you start on your ham radio journey. For instance, what type of equipment are you going to need? There are mobile stations, base stations, and there are even handheld transceivers. To truly answer this question, you first need to consider what you are going to use your ham radio for. For example, if it is going to be used solely for emergencies, then you should consider an HT. They are the smallest and most portable types of two way radios.

The research also applies to taking the test. There are different bands that ham radios can “talk” to. Different bands require different levels of certification. The lower bands, such as the 2 meter band, require the lowest (and therefore easiest to get) license. The higher up you get in the bands means that the radios can broadcast further. Communications equipment also becomes more expensive the higher up you go (as do the antennas), which brings up a good point!

3. What frequency band will you be using?
This section is going to be relatively short because for me to truly cover all of the bands I would need hours and hours of your time. What you need to get out of this section is this. The lower frequency bands of ham radio are for the beginners as they do NOT broadcast as far and the license for said bands is much easier to get. The higher the band, the farther the signal will go. You should do your research so you know what band will be best suited for you and your needs!

Ham radios can be complex things, but do not let yourself become overwhelmed! The research has all been done; all you have to do is find it.

The author has been an advocate of Amateur Radio for 25 plus years and helps new users find affordable ham radios for sale and on his website you can learn more about the hobby and find new and used ham radio gear for sale online.

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ARRL’s Wire Antenna Classics

Posted by cymoo | Ham Radio News | Tuesday 3 February 2009 8:08 pm

ARRL's Wire Antenna Classics

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By American Radio Relay League

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