Ham radio, most commonly referred to as amateur radio, is a form of radio communication much like the public radio stations you listen to at home or in the car. The ham radio signals are sent on open-air frequencies (under 30MHz for high frequency bands and over 420MHz for other signals) using an assortment manufactured and/or homemade (“homebrew”) components. Automated relay stations around the world, called repeaters, allow signals to be carried over long distances. Access to amateur satellites via a transceiver extends the reach of a single radio operator’s signal to include other operators around the world. Proper licensing is required for ham operators.
The primary difference between commercial radio stations and ham radio is that ham radio operators use their own equipment to communicate with other operators without any form of financial benefit. These operators not only communicate for fun and enjoyment, they also provide a valuable service in emergencies when other communications are limited or fail completely. Many amateur operators, called “hams,” find challenge in building their own systems and reaching other operators as far away as possible. Other operators simply want to meet other hams and provide valuable emergency services to their communities should tragedy strike their area. The ability to combine computers and digital technologies like satellites with ham radios has tremendously increased the popularity of amateur radio in recent years.
Basic Ham Radio Information
American Radio Relay League. National Associate for Amateur Radio, information for beginners.
KR4AD Amateur Radio. Introduction to ham radios.
HFRadio.org. Introduction to amateur radios, including recommended books and websites for the beginner.
Hamtalk.org. PDF document on choosing the right radio.
OCARC (Orange County Amateur Radio Club.) Comprehensive list of suppliers and manufacturers of ham radio equipment, broken down by categories of components needed.
Emergency Amateur Radio Club. Links to user-submitted instructions for “homebrew” (homemade) ham radio equipment.
Manitoba Amateur Radio Museum. Museum dedicated to antique ham equipment.
Southgate Amateur Radio Club. DRM minimum receiver requirements for below 30MHz
Ebook of Common Frequencies. PDF ebook listing hundreds of ham radio frequencies including scanner frequencies for aviation, emergency services, VHF marine frequencies, short wave radio, and others.
Bandwidth PDF. DATV RF bandwidth for DVB-S
National Weather Service. Gives examples of proper reporting procedures, including use of call signs and terminology, for weather incident reporting via ham radios
Palo Alto Amateur Radio Association. Glossary of general ham terms and other information
Icom Glossary. PDF glossary (comprehensive) of ham radio terms
Ham Radio Jargon. Abreviations and Terminology
Federal Communications Commission. Amateur radio basics including call sign information and licensing.
W5YI Group. Information and procedures for obtaining a vanity call sign.
Licensing. FCC licensing and exam info.
RadioExam.org. Information on getting ham radio licensing, what is needed, how to get study guides, and what is included in the exam.
Amateur Radio Disaster Services. Resources for amateur radio operators including licensing information.
Ak-Sar-Ben Amateur Radio Club Omaha, Nebraska. Features an eswap for ham radio equipment.
Amateur Radio Club International. Features QRP frequencies and distance calculator.fcc licensing faq
AMSAT Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation. Link to resources and detailed information on the use of satellites by ham radio enthusiasts.
International Amateur Radio Union. Advocate organization for two-way radio communications and ham operators.
Wireless Institute of Australia. World’s oldest national amateur radio organization founded in 1910
India’s National Institute of Amateur Radio. This organization is funded by the government of India to promote amateur radio.
Irish Radio Transmitters Society. Amateur radio operators in Ireland.
New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters. Nonprofit organization comprised of ham operators across New Zealand.
South African Radio League. Organization of amateur radio operators in South Africa, includes price guide for components as well as marketplace for hams to buy/sell their equipment.
Radio Amateur Society of Thailand. Sanctioned and patronized by His Majesty, the King of Thailand.
MARS. Military funded and operated group of amateur radio operators.
University of Maryland. Ham shack on University of Maryland campus, run by an organized group of students and amateurs since 1932.
First Class CW Operator’s Club. British organization of amateur operators using Morse code since 1938.
British Amateur Television Club. The latest challenge for ham operators – television, using Fast Scan.
Technical Class Study Guide. PDF document to use as study guide for ham radio licensing exam, technical class.
General Class License Study Guide. PDF document for studying for licensing under general class.
Amateur Extra Class Study Guide. PDF document intended for those studying for amateur class licensing.
Online Practice Exams. An online resource providing practice exams.
Social Networking for Ham Radio Operators
73s.org Ham Radio Social Network. Social network for ham operators.
Ham Radio for Teens. Discussion forum for teenaged, beginner ham radio operators.
HamRadioForum. Ham radio discussion forum for adults.
Hunstville Hamfest. One of many hamfest conventions held yearly around the globe, this one bills itself as “The World’s Friendliest Hamfest.”
Victor Amateur Radio Association. Online calendar with links to hamfests all over the northeastern United States.
eHam.net. Community for hams, includes articles, news, and forums.
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