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All About Ham Radio

Added 7-10-19: All About Operating Procedures with info about "calling frequencies".

Added 6-17-19: Hams with Limitations.

Click here for current events.

What is considered "Broadcasting"? New info from the FCC!!!

Do you have a Baofeng radio? Is it legal? See this article from the FCC.

Ever wonder what NETiquette is? Check this out.

June 2019. A lot of interest in Digital Radio. Here is a discussion for you.
Here
is some info about VOIP, Allstar and IRLP.

May 2019. Do you have an opinion you wish to share? This page is the place to share your thoughts.
If you have something to add, please email it to me. This is not a page to create arguments- just opinions.
Updated as new opinions come in.

Ham Radio is a large part of Scouting. See this page for info.

You are never too young to get into Ham Radio See this page.

My newest venture is the Alaska Morning Net. Check this page for more info.

For more info about Baker to Vegas and links to the B2V info click here to download a PDF

Check this page about volunteering for B2V

There are many aspects to Ham Radio. These pages will introduce you to some of them.
Volunteering to assist is a great way to use your licensing. Click here for some info.

What is a HAM?

In the USA, Ham Radio is a special area of radio transmissions licensed by the FCC as the Amateur Radio service.
This is a place for hobbyists, not commercial operations.
In other countries of the world licensing is handled by the governing agency. This one is a worldwide agency.

Ham Radio is found on many frequencies in the air ways. In order to prevent interference, the FCC and the various agencies worldwide assign specific frequencies to the various entities that need to transmit information over the air. This includes Military, Aircraft, Emergency services, Private companies, TV, Radio (AM & FM) and hobbyists Ham, Boating, Radio Controlled Toys, etc.

What makes Ham Radio different is that we are assigned a range of frequencies and may operate on any frequency within the range of our license. Other services are assigned a specific frequency and may only transmit on that frequency. Usually it is the company or organization that obtains the license and the individuals using the radios are not licensed. In Ham Radio the license is assigned to an individual.

The assigned frequencies are designated as HF, VHF, UHF and similar. The range and allowed use of these frequencies is available on the Internet. Some information available here and here. This site has info about frequency allocation worldwide.
For a discussion of frequency allocation by the FCC, check this page.
For a very good chart of all the ways radios are used, check this page.
Here are a couple of places to download a printable chart of allocated frequencies.
From Icom
From ARRL with selections,
, another page from ARRL, The printable PDF

The various ways to transmit have varied over the years. CW (Morse Code) , AM, FM are methods used by a radio to transmit signals over the air. Today we have analog Vs digital and the Internet that have provided a great variety of ways to communicate.

Some Ham Radio operators have been licensed for many years and many "Hams" are new to the hobby. Until a few years ago it was required to learn Morse Code to get a license. Since that requirement was dropped, a lot of people have received a license that were prevented by the CW requirement.

If you are new to ham radio, here are a couple of suggestions to get you started. Echolink and QRZ

Here is a nice article about the value of ham radio for emergency situations.

For those Hams that have been licensed over 40 years, there is a group called the OOTC (The Old Old Timers Club). If you qualify and want info please send me an E-mail or just check it out here.

There is a lot of good information about Ham Radio and the activities happening in the interconnecting of computers and Ham Radio on the Internet. Google IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project), VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and Allstar (a particlar type of VOIP).
There is information on getting licensed and operating procedures all over the web.

In the past getting involved usually required purchasing a variety of expensive equipment. Today that has all changed. You can now get involved in Ham Radio using a computer, tablet or a cell phone. Of course you can still spend money. Some radios are computer controlled and run many thousands of bucks.

A ham used to be known by his "Ham Shack". A place where his radios and transmitting equipment reside. Today you might see a "Ham" talking to someone across the world on their cell phone.

This a very general discussion. So if you are not aleady a Ham please join us.
For info about licensing, start at the ARRL site here. The ARRL (American Radio Relay League) is the backbone of Ham Radio in the USA. For more info about them check this out.
If you are a Scout, you can earn a badge for getting involved in Amateur Radio. Read about it here and here and here and here.
If you have questions, send me an E-mail or just Google for info.

Another area that causes problems for hams is living in an HOA.

Here is a discussion and links for current thinking.

Hams can talk to other hams by simplex or by a repeater. See the discussion below.

Simplex is talking from one radio to another radio directly. The common simplex frequency in the USA is 146.520. The distance covered is limited to the ability of the 2 radios to reach each other. This may be from a couple of miles to many miles if either of the radios has elevation.

Repeaters allow 2 or more hams to communicate over long distances, even worldwide.
A repeater operates by receiving a transmission on one frequency and retransmitting it on a second frequency.
Many TV and radio stations use this process to reach other areas.

A repeater can be located at high elevation for greater coverage or at a hams house for local coverage.

For more discussion on repeaters, check this page.

There are even songs about ham radio. Check this site. While you are at it check AL7MI on QRZ. He provided the link for the music.

And here is a song called CQ Serenade. It's an MP3 download.

VOIP technology has changed ham radio forever. Hams are using Node radios to connect to the web and converse with hams everywhere.
Check this page for some info on node radios.

Hams use abbreviated codes in various situations. Hams all know what 33 and 73 mean.
Do you know what 72 means? Or the history of codes? Click here to find out.

Is there proper operating procedure? Another possibly controversial subject.
It varies depending on what system you are operating. The way to find out is to Listen, Listen, Listen.

Operating different modes may have different procedures. Usually listening will help. Do as the Romans do is fairly safe.
The ways of operating CW (Morse Code), HF, VHF/UHF, digital may vary. Also whether you are operating in an informal setting or a formal one will affect operating.
Many times someone will ask for a signal report. Check this page for info on the RST system.
This a downloadable doc file with links to other sites.

There are many ways to use your computer to enhance your fun. Here are some of those.
Netlogger. Click here for info.
Remote Hams is a site that allows you to operate someone else's radio remotely.
Try Googling for Ham Radio Sites. Here are a few results:
eham.net
A site with lots of links here
Top 10 by ARRL here


One interesting thing about ham radio is talking to folks all over the world.

When you meet somone in person and then talk to them on the air you can see a mental picture of them.

I have met a number of hams and it makes the radio contact more personal.

On this page are some photos of the friends I have met.

Note: this site is provided free. Donations are accepted to help support the work. Click here for instructions.


2000-2019, FMS All Rights Reserved. All original material on this site is copyrighted.
Copyrighted material from other sources and/or trademarked
material is the property of the respective owner.
If anyone feels any material on this site violates these rights, please
E-Mail me using the link above