Ham Radio

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How to Listen to Ham Radio on Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency

Most ham radio contacts on the VHF and UHF bands are made with repeaters. Repeaters are most useful for local and regional communication, allowing individual hams to use low-power handheld or mobile radios [more…]

How to Decipher QSO Contacts on Ham Radio

As you tune across the bands on your ham radio, dozens of contacts (called QSOs) may be going on. That number may sound like a bewildering variety, but you’ll find that most QSOs are one of three types [more…]

How to Make Ham Radio Contacts on a High Frequency Band

Your big moment approaches! You’re ready to use your ham radio to make contact with other ham radio operators. To show you how to do this, these examples use the call signs NØAX and KD7FYX, respectively [more…]

How to Break in to a Ham Radio Contact

Sometimes, you can’t wait for the end of a contact to call a ham radio station. Interrupting another contact is called breaking in (or breaking). The proper procedure is to wait for a pause in the contact [more…]

How to Set up Your Ham Radio

After you figure out offsets, tones, and repeater frequencies, as you get set up to begin your ham radio hobby, take a few minutes to check out your radio’s operating manual. To use your radio effectively [more…]

How to Use Autopatch on Your Ham Radio Repeater

One important feature of ham radio repeaters is called autopatch, which allows a repeater user to make a telephone call through the repeater. When you access a repeater’s autopatch function, a dial tone [more…]

How to Use Repeater Networks on Ham Radio

Within a local or regional area, many ham radio repeater systems may use remote receivers that relay weak signals from outlying areas back to the main repeater transmitter. The relayed signal is transmitted [more…]

How to Receive Ham Radio Messages Remotely

Ham radio has made those days where messaging capability is tied to specific phone numbers, bulletin boards, and servers obsolete, just as wireless networks have freed the computer from cabled connections [more…]

How to Join a Ham Radio Emergency Organization

An important element of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Basis and Purpose of amateur (ham) radio is emergency communications. Recently, hams provided critical emergency communications during [more…]

How to Prepare for an Emergency as a Ham Radio Operator

Getting acquainted with emergency organizations for ham radio is fine, but it’s only a start. You need to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself so that when the time comes, you’re ready to contribute [more…]

How to Operate Ham Radio at Low Power (QRP)

Why would you want to use low power and a weak signal for your ham radio instead of high power and a strong signal? Skill. Putting as little as possible between yourself and the station at the other end [more…]

How to Choose a Computer for Your Ham Radio Shack

A computer can be involved in almost every activity. Ham radio has embraced computers more intimately than most hobbies. Originally used as a replacement for the paper logbook, the computer in ham radio [more…]

How to Operate a Ham Radio in an Emergency

All emergencies are different, of course, so no single step-by-step procedure for your ham radio is always going to be useful. But here are some solid general principles, based on the ARES Field Resources [more…]

How to Participate in Ham Radio Nets

Nets — regularly scheduled on-the-air meetings of hams who have common interests — are among the oldest ham radio activities. The first net was probably formed as soon as two hams went on the air. Sometimes [more…]

3 Tips from Ham Radio Contest Winners

After you’ve participated a few ham radio contests, you may feel that the top scores are out of your reach. How do the contest winners achieve them? They’ll tell you that no magic is involved: Winning [more…]

How to Chase Ham Radio Awards

Seeking awards is one of the most fulfilling activities in the hobby of ham radio. Certificates (often called wallpaper)are the usual rewards. Some radio shacks are literally papered [more…]

How to Go Digital with Your Ham Radio: PSK, Radioteletype, PACTOR, WINMOR, and Packet

Operating via digital modes is the fastest-growing segment of ham radio today. Applying the power of digital signal processing (DSP) allows hams to communicate keyboard to keyboard, using just a few watts [more…]

How to Go Digital with Your Ham Radio: MFSK, WLAN, Digital Voice, and APRS

Digital is the next frontier in ham radio. The spread of digital technologies has increased the options available for ham radio operators. Modes of digital transmission include multiple frequency shift [more…]

How to Operate Ham Radio via Satellite

Nonhams usually are pretty surprised to find out about ham radio satellites. Imagine — do-it-yourself satellites! The first amateur satellite, OSCAR-1 [more…]

Basics of High Frequency (HF) Ham Radios

All modern ham radios have perfectly usable receive and transmit performance. The differences involve performance in several key areas, such as capability to receive in the presence of strong-signals, [more…]

Basics of Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios

Many high frequency (HF) ham radios include 50, 144, and 440 MHz operations. The Kenwood 2000 series goes all the way to 1200 MHz. This power makes purchasing a second radio just for VHF/UHF operating [more…]

Ham Radio: Basics of Software-Defined Radio

The software-defined radio (SDR) in which most of a ham radio’s functions are implemented by software is one of the most significant changes in ham radio technology since the transistor; some people believe [more…]

How to Choose a Ham Radio Antenna

It’s hard to say which is more important for a ham radio operator: the radio or the antenna. Making up for deficiencies in one by improving the other is difficult. A good antenna can make a weak radio [more…]

How to Build Safety into a Ham Radio Shack

Whatever type of ham radio station you choose to assemble, you must keep basic safety principles in mind. Don’t think that you can ignore safety in the ham shack. Sooner or later, equipment gets damaged [more…]

How to Ground Power and Radio-Wave Frequency in Your Ham Radio Shack

Providing good grounding — for both AC and DC power as well as for the radio signals — is very important for a trouble-free ham radio shack. Although proper power grounding is fairly straightforward for [more…]


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