HAM Radio operators

How to be a HAM Radio Operator? Let’s Find Out

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What you will learn from this article:

  1. What is HAM RADIO?
  2. How to be HAM Radio operator?
  • Getting License.
  • Equipment Purchase.
  • First Contact
  1. Leading Amateur Radio organizations.

What is HAM RADIO?

Amateur or HAM Radio is wonderful & very rewarding HOBBY that carries various activities. e.g.

  1. Talking people around the world with the speed of light.
  2. Participating in group discussion (Nets).
  3. Contacting operator in a given time frame (Contests).
  4. Locating hidden radio transmitter by radio direction finding techniques (Transmitter Hunting).
  5. Contacting with other radio amateurs in distinct countries (DXing)
  6. Talking locally through repeaters.
  7. Communicating with “very low power” & it is a challenge that many hams enjoy. (QRP)
  8. Talking by reflected radio waves of the moon back to earth again (Earth-Moon-Earth communications or Moon Bounce)
  9. Communicating with astronauts. (Satellite communications)
  10. Helping out during emergency situations. (Earthquake, Flood, tornado, breakdown, accidents etc…)
  11. Hiding radio signals by increasing bandwidth (Spread Spectrum techniques)
  12. And much more etc…

The best thing about this hobby is that user of any age can get “ON Air”. It’s entertaining, easy to use, educational, and no operational cost.

How to be HAM Radio operator?

Step 1: To License Yourself

HAM Radio operator can work from anywhere such as at home or at an office. Before you get on air you need to pass the test & get hold of license. In the USA once you are registered then you can operate up to ten years. There are three types of license awarded by FCC to radio amateurs that are:

Technician License

General License

Amateur Extra License

Technician License is for beginners ham radio operator, Attaining Technician license you need to pass an examination having total 35 questions. Mostly these questions are about basic radio theories, regulations & operating them. General Class is next level license that allows radios users to operate all HAM Radio bands & all operating modes. If you want to speak the entire world then this license will open doors to it. Exam pattern contains 35 written question. The benefits of the license will be you can operate VHF/UHF Amateur bands and most HF privileges (10 through 160 meters). The level 3 is Amateur Extra Class License. It allows you to operate on all bands and all modes. Obtaining this license is more difficult, it requires passing 50 written questions examination.

Step 2: Equipment Purchase

For purchasing right equipment to get on AIR! You need to know your goal, operating conditions and some other variables like ($$ you can spend, mounting location, best brand & etc…) Listed below are few points that can be helping hand during purchase.

  1. It’s not necessary that your starting transceiver must be new. There are many older radios in the market that can do well for you. You can also buy radios from online stores.
  2. Decide that, should you want to get ON-AIR from your car (Mobile system), inside the home (so do you have the space for mounting antenna outside the home) or a portable HAM Radio HT.
  3. Make a list of what type of equipment you need e.g. A Radio, Power supply, Microphone, an antenna along with tuner.

Don’t get discouraged while selecting equipment. Get in touch with any dealer/seller nearest to you or contact your local HAM radio club, they feel glad to assist you. Also you consult any ham radio operator for help. 

Step 3: Get ready your QSO

Turn ON radio & search for an open frequency. Check again to see if the frequency is not being used by someone. Your first conversation (QSO) may scare you off. So for that reason, it will be best if you arrange a QSO with someone from the radio club or with a friend. This will easy for in start. Try to arrange QSO on 2M FM rather than HF SSB. For a good contact, we require a minimum amount of power. So check following things:

  1. That your radio is setup up properly
  2. By using an antenna tuner, tune your antenna near to 1:1. For achieving LOW reading you must install antenna correctly & it is in good condition.
  3. Adjust microphone gain correctly.

For your first contact you have two choices, answer someone who is calling CQ (It’s a conventional way of searching contacts) or you can call CQ. Another HAM will hear your call and hopefully answer it. Don’t get disappointed if no one answers you. Try it 3 to 4 times before switching to next frequency. The best way to send CQ in MORSE CODE is:  “CQ CQ CQ DE [Your call-sign] [Your call-sign] K”. DE means “This is” and K means “Back to you”. Remember to speak in normal speed not too fast or slow. Try to talk like professional, as you are representing Amateur Radio community and your country.

Leading Amateur Radio organizations from all over World

  1. International Amateur Radio Club.
  2. Radio Amateurs of Canada.
  3. Wireless Institute of Australia.
  4. Radio Society of Great Britain.
  5. American Radio Relay League.
  6. Chinese Radio Sports Association.
  7. The Russian Amateur Radio Union.
  8. Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation.
  9. Singapore Amateur Radio Transmitting Society.
  10. New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters.

Thank you very much for reading it. We hope that we help as many people as we can. Share it with others.  

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7 thoughts on “How to be a HAM Radio Operator? Let’s Find Out

  1. Dave

    1) It is ham radio (normal case). Ham is not an abbreviation or acronym and should NOT be written in all caps.

    2) Talking to astronauts is NOT the same thing as satellite communication. Satelitte communication uses a satellite as a repeater. Talking to astronauts is point-to-point communication.

    Reply
  2. Timmy Gee

    what do you think abount geting a Stryker 955 S.S.B. AM FM HAND HELD 10 AND 12 METER . i have a vhf 5 hand held . but can not get far with it as its only vhf . you see hand held is good i think if your off camping in the wilds what do you think please

    Reply
    1. Radios Guide

      Some VE teams charge a small exam session fee, usually no more than $15, to cover the costs of running the sessions. The FCC regulations state that within a single exam session, for a single exam fee, you can keep taking exams until you either fail one or pass all the way up to Extra.

      Reply

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