Here's your invitation
to a friendly, high-tech hobby that has 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
exams and earn their Amateur (ham) Radio licenses. 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,
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
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 space shuttle missions and thrill thousands
of hams on earth with a call from space!
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.
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." These licenses are granted by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC).
The most popular
license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which no
longer requires a Morse Code examination and gives you all ham radio
privileges above 30 MHz. These privileges include the very popular
2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small 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. They can even make international
radio contacts via satellites using relatively simple equipment.
You'll need to pass the Technician written exam to earn a Technician
license. This is usually a multiple-choice test, written with beginners
in mind. You'll study topics such as radio operating practices,
FCC rules, and basic electrical theory.
in Amateur Radio has never been easier. Although we only occasionally
organize ham radio licensing classes, some clubs
in your area may regularly offer classes. If you'd like, you
may attend one of our meetings to get
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.
If you're a self-starter,
we recommend that you purchase the book Now You're Talking!,
ISBN 0-87259-797-0, about $20. You can purchase this book locally
at Gateway Electronics
or through the ARRL On-Line
Catalog--choose the License Manuals, Video, and More
product category. After you read it, call Ron Lemons, KBØDIY,
at 314-510-3223. Ron is the most prolific of the local
Volunteer Examiner Coordinators and offers monthly exam sessions
at the St. Louis Senior Center at 5602 Arsenal (3 blocks East of
Hampton). Tests are typically on the third Saturday of each month
at 10:00 a.m. Ron requires pre-registration, no walk-ins permitted.
You may also
want to try Ham
University is a Windows program for helping you pass your FCC
Exams. It contains all the questions for all FCC written exams.
You can browse the questions, quiz yourself on your weak areas,
or set yourself up in a mock exam. It also provides you with three
ways to learn Morse code including formal lessons which introduce
the code one letter at a time, transmission exercises, and a game
that makes acquiring the code effortless.
The members of
the Boeing Employees' Amateur Radio Society-St. Louis thank you
for your interest in our hobby. 73! (that's ham radio jargon for