|Interested in Amateur Radio?|
There are three easy steps to becoming a ham radio operatior:
1) Study! Most hams start with a Technician class licence. That allows use of the UHF and VHF bands, including the popular 2 meter band. License topics cover regulations, operating practices and basic electronics theory. Different stufy methods work for different people. You may want to try:
2) Take the test. Its 35 questions, all multiple-choice and you can usually find a local testing session every weekend. We recommend our joint testing session with W4AQL. It takes around an hour, it's $15 and if you pass, you can take the next level test free.
3) Get on the air. You can get an inexpensive 2 meter handheld for around $100 or be a bargain shopper!
Read more about it: This Wiki article from Wired Magazine goes into more detail.
Local Training Classes:
Know of a class? Email our webmaster and we'll list it here. In the mean time, start reading!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Do I have to have a license?
A: Yes, solo operation on the frequencies we use is only allowed by licensed operators. However, unlicensed operators can operate if under the supervision of a licensed ham, known as the control operator. Licensed hams can operate in bands on which they are not licensed if supervised by a control operator. In both cases, the operator will have the same privileges as the control operator.
Q: Do I need to learn Morse Code?
A: No. There is no longer a Morse Code requirement for any level of Amateur Radio.
Q: Is there a lot of science / math / electronics required?
A: It depends on what you consider a lot. Most of the topics on the Technician test are about operational procedures, but some electronics is covered.
Q: Do I have to buy an expensive radio?
A: No! Some Hams buy new, some buy used, some build their own!
Q: What advice would you give a new ham?
A: The theme is exploration: explore hamfests, explore clubs, explore operating modes and find what is right for you.The opportunities are very deep in all of the areas. Many suggest staring with a 2 Meter rig for simplicity and work from there. Others suggest that you not rush to upgrade; there are plenty of things to explore at the tech level, including CW via HF. Finally, listen, listen listen. Listen to Elmers (amateur radio term for mentors), listen for good operators and emulate them, ask questions and listen for advice.