Welcome to Amateur Radio!
Here's your invitation to a friendly, high-tech hobby that's got something fun for everyone! You can become an Amateur
Radio operator--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. People from all walks of life pass their entry-level exam
and earn their Amateur (ham) Radio license. They all share the diverse world of activities you can explore with ham radio.
You never know who you'll run into when communicating with Amateur Radio: Young people, retirees, teachers and students,
engineers and scientists, doctors, mechanics and technicians, homemakers...
Getting started in ham radio has never been easier! We invite you to explore the following information and
learn about Amateur Radio, and a little about us, the ARRL... the National Association for Amateur Radio, a non-profit membership
organization. We've been helping hams get started since 1914! We know you'll enjoy this fascinating world of Amateur Radio,
and we hope to have the chance of meeting you on the air--when you become an Amateur Radio operator!
A FUN Hobby...
What Can Amateur Radio
Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats
and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers,
and Morse code. Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the
other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets.
Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their
own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy
today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on the International Space Station and thrill thousands of
hams on earth with a call from space!
ARISS: Amateur Radio on the International Space Station http://www.arrl.org/amateur-radio-on-the-international-space-station
With a SERIOUS Side...
Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during
emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds
of emergencies including:
Tornadoes and floods
Fires and chemical spills
Search and rescues
Where Do I Start?
The rules for earning an Amateur Radio license vary depending on which country you live in. In the US, there are three license levels, or "license classes" (Technician class, General class and Extra Class). These licenses are granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It's Easy to Get Started
The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires
only a 35 multiple-choice question written examination. The test is written with the beginner in mind. Morse Code is not required
for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These
privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to
stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband
voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively
Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. First, locate a radio club in your area. Some radio clubs offer ham radio licensing classes, or they can find a club volunteer to answer your questions. You may even be invited to attend a local radio club meeting.
Do you learn best from a manual, a teaching videotape, an in-person course or an on-line course? Which of these choices
will fit better into your busy schedule? You can choose what will work best for you because ARRL has it all! ARRL produces
popular ham radio license study guides, fast-paced learning videos, and even a brand new on-line course. You'll learn the things you need to pass the license exam and have fun with Amateur Radio.
The Amateur Radio license examinations are administered by ham radio volunteers. When you're ready to take your exam, you'll
need to locate an exam session near you.
The American Radio Relay League
Who are we? The 170,000+ members of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) are among the most active and enthusiastic amateurs
in the country. Headquartered in Newington, CT, ARRL speaks on behalf of its members in Washington and internationally as
well as providing direct member benefits.
|ARRL, The national association for Amateur Radio --
Hams Get Started Since 1914.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Allen Pitts, W1AGP
Media and Public Relations Manager
To find out how to get started and who to contact in your area, call or write The American Radio Relay League,
225 Main Street, Newington, CT 06111.
Telephone 1-800-32 NEW-HAM. or click here for the A.R.R.L. web site: http://www.arrl.org/
Or you may contact us the BeartoothARC@gmail.com or also contact the Yellowstone ARC at www.K7EFA.org
Amateur Radio activities and practices:
Amateur Radio operators use various modes of transmission to communicate. Voice transmissions are most common, with some, such as frequency modulation (FM) offering high quality audio, and others, such as single sideband (SSB) offering more reliable communications when signals are marginal and bandwidth is restricted.
Radiotelegraphy using Morse code is an activity dating to the earliest days of radio. Technology has moved past the use of telegraphy in nearly
all other communications, and a code test is no longer part of most national licensing exams for amateur radio. Many amateur
radio operators continue to make use of the mode, particularly on the shortwave bands and for experimental work such as earth-moon-earth communication, with its inherent signal-to-noise ratio advantages. Morse, using internationally agreed code groups, also allows communications between amateurs who
speak different languages. It is also popular with homebrewers as CW-only transmitters are simpler to construct. A similar "legacy" mode popular with home constructors is amplitude modulation (AM), pursued by many vintage amateur radio enthusiasts and aficionados of vacuum tube technology.
For many years, demonstrating a proficiency in Morse code was a requirement to obtain amateur licenses for
the high frequency bands (frequencies below 30 MHz), but following changes in international regulations in 2003, countries
are no longer required to demand proficiency. As an example, the United States Federal Communications Commission phased out this requirement for all license classes on February 23, 2007.
Modern personal computers have encouraged the use of digital modes such as radioteletype (RTTY), which previously required cumbersome mechanical equipment. Hams led the development of packet radio, which has employed protocols such as TCP/IP since the 1970s. Specialized digital modes such as PSK31 allow real-time, low-power communications on the shortwave bands. Echolink using Voice over IP technology has enabled amateurs to communicate through local Internet-connected repeaters and radio nodes, while IRLP has allowed the linking of repeaters to provide greater coverage area. Automatic link establishment (ALE) has enabled continuous amateur radio networks to operate on the high frequency bands with global coverage. Other modes, such as FSK441 using software such as WSJT, are used for weak signal modes including meteor scatter and moonbounce communications.
Fast scan amateur television has gained popularity as hobbyists adapt inexpensive consumer video electronics like camcorders and video cards
in home computers. Because of the wide bandwidth and stable signals required, amateur television is typically found in the 70 cm (420 MHz–450 MHz)
frequency range, though there is also limited use on 33 cm (902 MHz–928 MHz), 23 cm (1240 MHz–1300 MHz)
and higher. These requirements also effectively limit the signal range to between 20 and 60 miles (30 km–100 km),
however, the use of linked repeater systems can allow transmissions across hundreds of miles.
These repeaters, or automated relay stations, are used on VHF and higher frequencies to increase signal range. Repeaters are usually located on top of a mountain, hill or tall building, and allow operators to communicate over hundreds of square miles using a low power hand-held transceiver. Repeaters can also be linked together by use of other amateur radio bands, landline or the Internet.
Communication satellites called OSCARs (Orbiting Satellite Carrying Amateur Radio) can be accessed, some using a hand-held transceiver (HT) with a stock "rubber duck" antenna. Hams also use the moon, the aurora borealis, and the ionized trails of meteors as reflectors of radio waves. Hams are also often able to make contact with the International Space Station (ISS), as many astronauts and cosmonauts are licensed as Amateur Radio Operators.
Amateur radio operators use their amateur radio station to make contacts with individual hams as well as participating in round table discussion groups or "rag chew
sessions" on the air. Some join in regularly scheduled on-air meetings with other amateur radio operators, called "Nets" (as
in "networks") which are moderated by a station referred to as "Net Control". Nets can allow operators to learn procedures for emergencies, be an informal round table or be topical, covering specific
interests shared by a group.
Meeting People with Ham Radios:
Many believe the first ham radio message was broadcasted in 1901 and sent from Newfoundland to England. With that transmission
the culture of the amateur radio operator was born. By 1914, many Americans were using ham radios as hobbyists, attempting
to communicate across states, countries and even galaxies. The popularity of ham radio compelled the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) to set guidelines for using high frequency radio waves. Every ham operator must possess a valid novice, technician,
or technician-plus license. After earning the proper license, just about anyone can join the ham radio culture by purchasing
or building their own radio system, which typically consists of receivers, transmitters, microphones, antennas, and roofing
Technique: MSNBC article looks at how ham operators use the airwaves, even when other communications are not possible.
Licensing: Glossary explains the different licenses available for operating amateur ham radio.
Study Guide: A guide to prepare for earning a technician’s license.
Communicating with the Moon: Article discusses the common ham radio operator pastime of bouncing signals off the Moon.
Guide to Getting Started: This University of Nevada file (.pdf format) show has to set up a basic ham radio. Includes some
Maidenhead Grid: This website, which identifies different coordinate systems, discusses the common grid system used by
High Frequency: This PowerPoint presentation by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discusses the high frequency radio
wave system, the most popular of three systems used by ham radio operators.
List of Suppliers: This list directs people to places online where they can obtain equipment to set up ham radio operations.
Preparedness: An explanation of how the lack of dependence on wires and carriers makes ham radio perfect for emergency
Basics: The primer explains the basics of what ham radio is and why people use it.
Ham radio enthusiasts do not operate in a bubble, although at first radio exploration is usually an isolated activity.
The biggest lure of the amateur radio culture is that it affords the opportunity to meet strangers from around the world and
socialize. Before chat rooms and forums existed on the Internet, ham radio meet-and-greet culture provided the means for people
to go on air and meet across great distances while maintaining anonymity and speaking in code. Housewives, sports players,
children, science geeks, people with disabilities, and even celebrities are among the types of people you might encounter
while using a ham radio. All socio-economic classes, genders and races comprise the segment of society using ham radios.
Meeting people in ham radio now includes more than just surfing frequencies and broadcasting. Many amateur radio operators
meet fellow hobbyists through state and national clubs; this is often called “eyeball meeting.” Often these organizations
host yearly conferences where people can meet in one city to discuss ham radio and exchange equipment. The bond between “hams”
is very strong and their short-hand radio speak creates an intimacy and a wall that keeps out those who don’t know their
Union: The International Amateur Radio Union lists different membership groups for operators.
The Original SMS: Article discusses how ham radio communications preceded the short message test system for keeping in
touch among friends.
Summer Camp: Articles looks at how the radio technology stays relevant for youngsters through summer camps.
Astronomy Connection: This article discusses the connection between ham radio operations and early radio astronomy.
FCC Guide: This Federal Communications Commission lists and answers frequently asked questions related to ham radio operations.
Astronomers Group: This Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers brings together people from around the world who use ham primarily
for exploring the solar system.
Satellite Operations: This group helps radio operators interact with astronauts and space stations.
Radio Association: This is the website for the American Relay Radio League and the National Association for Amateur Radio.
It includes licensing information, training, and venues to meet other operators in your geographic area.
Opportunities: This introductory page to ham radio culture explains the opportunities and benefits from practicing the
Hamvention: This site belongs to the organization that hosts a yearly convention for ham operators. The event consists
of socializing and swapping equipment.
Ham Radio Social Network: 73s.org is a social networking site that helps bring Ham's together from all over the world.
NH7C: This site is another great social networking tool for Hams to meet, and stay in contact with other hams.
Despite new technology like texting, wireless phones and laptops, the use of ham radios for communication continues. Each
year, the FCC reports that more than half a million people apply for amateur radio licensing. The new technology might be
faster and sleeker, but it can’t rival the ham radio’s ability to communicate with cosmonauts and possibly life
forms on other planets.
Crash Course: A page tutorial on how to initiate yourself into the ham radio world.
Etiquette: A list of do’s and don’ts for broadcasting.
Lingo: This table lists some of the private abbreviations used by ham operators.
Museum: This museum site gives an online tour through the history of ham radio.
In Classrooms: Rice University PowerPoint presentation looks at how teachers are incorporating ham radios in classroom
Technology Clash: This USA Today article looks at how wireless technology is interfering with ham radio culture.
Government Use: CNN article explores how the Air Force uses ham radio frequencies for email.
Frequencies: This webpage offers an experiment for testing radio frequencies.
Emergency Protocol: Sites includes a table for what types of information to release over the airwaves during emergencies.
NASA: NASA details how and why cosmonauts and astronauts carry ham radios when visiting international space stations.
Note: The information contained in this site is for general use on Amateur
Radio matters of interest only. While we here at BARC have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in
this site has been obtained from reliable sources. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results
obtained from the use of this information. All information in this Site is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness,
accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express
or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of particular purpose. Anyone who may use any information from
this website and the information is not correct does so at their own peril. Certain links in this Site connect to other Web
Sites maintained by third parties over whom Beartooth Amateur Radio Club and or NQ7L has no control and makes
no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web Sites. BARC operates this website as a free service to all Radio Amateurs and prospective Radio Amateurs.
Beartooth Amateur Radio Club, NQ7L, KC7AX or any member will not be held responsible or libel in any way or manner for this
information on this web site, which may also include bad or dead links.
Beartooth Amateur Radio
Club website is solely owned, created and managed by James NQ7L.
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