Ham Radio

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Ham Radio For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you're new to ham radio, these articles contain information that new ham radio operators should keep handy while gathering experience. You’ll find these references to be just what you need while learning [more…]

Ham Radio Licensing and Exam Preparation

You’ll feel far more relaxed when taking the ham radio licensing exam if you’re comfortable with the materials you’ll be using. Following are examples of the forms used in the exam and how the test questions [more…]

Predicting Propagation in Ham Radio with VOACAP Online

Operating on the high-frequency (HF) ham radio bands can be very exciting as conditions change around the world. To help you be in the right place at the right time, propagation prediction programs are [more…]

Personalized QSL Cards for Ham Radio

Ham radio operators exchange QSL cards (QSL is short for “received and understood”) to document their contacts. You have many excellent QSL card vendors to choose among, but creating your own “homebrew” [more…]

10 Ways to Give Back to Ham Radio

Ham radio provides you many wonderful things to do and discover, yet it’s a service. The expectation is that beyond using ham radio just for personal enjoyment, you’ll contribute a little to the public [more…]

How to Make Contacts in the Ham Radio Community

If you were to tune a radio across the ham bands, what would you hear hams doing? They’re talking to other hams, of course. These chats, called contacts, [more…]

How to Build a Ham Radio Shack

For many people, the term radio shack conjures visions more worthy of a mad scientist’s lab than of a modern ham station. Your radio shack, however, is simply the place you keep your radio and ham equipment [more…]

Basics of Radio Waves

Understanding ham radio (or any type of radio) is impossible without also having a general understanding of the purpose of radio: to send and receive information by using radio waves. [more…]

How to Construct a High Frequency Wire Antenna for Ham Radio

The simplest wire antenna for ham radio is a dipole,which is a piece of wire cut in the middle and attached to a feed line. The dipole gives much better performance than you may expect from such a simple [more…]

Basics of High Frequency Vertical and Beam Antennas for Ham Radio

At high frequencies, ham radio antennas can be fairly large. An effective antenna is usually at least ¼ wavelength in some dimension. On 40 meters, for example, a¼-wavelength vertical antenna is a metal [more…]

Basics of Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency Antennas for Ham Radio

Most ham radio antennas used above 50 MHz at fixed stations are either short whips (thin steel or aluminum rods) or beams. Whips mounted so that they’re vertical are used for local FM operation, whereas [more…]

Basics of Mobile and Portable Antennas for Ham Radio

For VHF/UHF FM ham radio use, mobile antennas are whips that are at least a full 1/4 wavelength. You can mount mobile antennas as removable or permanent fixtures. The most easily removed antennas are the [more…]

Basics of the Amateur Ham Radio Service

By international treaty, the amateur service for ham radio in every country is a licensed service — that is, a government agency has to approve the application of every ham to transmit. Although regulation [more…]

Types of Ham Radio Operator Licenses

Three types of licenses for ham radio operators are being granted today: Technician, General, and Amateur Extra. By taking progressively more challenging exams, you gain access to more frequencies and [more…]

How to Get Licensed to Operate a Ham Radio

To become licensed and receive your “ticket” to operate a ham radio, you’ll need to do a little studying, and you have plenty of opportunities to practice. Then you’ll take your exam, administered by volunteer [more…]

How to Listen to Ham Radio at High Frequency

For ham radio operations, most of the traditional shortwave bands between 1.8 MHz and 30 MHz are broadly organized into two segments. In the United States, Morse code [more…]

How to Register Your Ham Radio License with the FCC Online

The FCC has done a lot of work to make ordinary ham radio license transactions easier by creating the online ULS system, which allows you to process renewals, address changes, and other simple services [more…]

How to Find Study Resources for Ham Radio Licensure

If you’re ready to start studying, what do you study? Fortunately for you, the aspiring ham radio operator, numerous study references are available to fit every taste and capability. Common study aids [more…]

What to Expect the Day of Your Ham Radio License Test

In the so-called Good Old Days, the higher-class ham radio license exam sessions were conducted in federal office buildings by FCC employees. These days, exams are certainly more conveniently offered and [more…]

How to Find Your Ham Radio Call Sign

If you took the ham radio license test to upgrade to a higher-class license, you already have a call sign, but you’ll need to change it temporarily.

If you’re a first-time licensee, you can begin watching [more…]

How to Pick Your Own Ham Radio Call Sign

You can pick your own ham radio call sign (within certain limits, of course). If you’re the sort of person who likes having a license plate that says IMABOZO or UTURKEY, you’ll enjoy creating a so-called [more…]

How to Listen to Ham Radio

The most important part of successfully putting a contact, also known as a QSO, in your ham radio logbook is listening — or, in the case of the digital modes, watching what the computer displays. [more…]

How to Listen to Ham Radio on Digital or Data Signals

Many types of digital signals exist for ham radio, and all of them sound a little different on the air, from buzzing (PSK31) to two-tone chatter (RTTY) to a sound like a rambling calliope [more…]

How to Listen to Ham Radio on Single Sideband

Single sideband (SSB) is the most popular mode of voice transmission on the HF bands in ham radio. (FM is mainly used above 50 MHz.) The mode got its name from a key difference from the older mode, AM, [more…]

How to Listen to Morse Code on Ham Radio

In ham radio, Morse code signals are often referred to as CW, which stands for continuous wave. Early radio signals died out quickly because they were generated by sparks. Soon, however, operators discovered [more…]

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