Ham Radio For Dummies
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Would you be ready if a call came from your local public service group to provide some ham radio expertise for a day or so? Items in the following list are the basics of what should be in your radio go kit. Now is a good time to check your supplies and be prepared! Don’t forget to put together a personal go kit, too.
  • Dual-band (VHF/UHF) handheld radio and mini manual

  • Full-size flexible whip antenna

  • Copy of your Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license and any public service group or government agency IDs
  • Mag-mount antenna with necessary adapters for connecting to various connectors

  • Extra battery packs and charger

  • AA-cell battery pack if available and fresh batteries

  • AC power supply and cigarette-plug cord with spare fuses

  • Headset with microphone (preferred) or speaker-mic

  • Copy of your local emcomm frequencies, phone numbers, and procedures

  • Pocket knife and/or multipurpose tool

  • Flashlight or headlamp and spare batteries

  • Pencil and notebook, clipboard, and permanent marker

  • Duct tape, electrical tape, and a few small cable ties

  • Cash for food, gas, and telephone calls (about $20 in small bills and change)

About This Article

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About the book author:

H. Ward Silver has experienced a 20-year career as an electrical engineer developing instrumentation and medical electronics. He also spent 8 years in broadcasting, both programming and engineering. In 2000, he turned to teaching and writing as a second career, producing Ham Radios For Dummies in 2004. He supports Seattle University’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in laboratory instruction. He is an avid Amateur Radio operator, Extra Class, first licensed in 1972. Each month, his columns and articles can be found in the national ham radio magazine, QST, published by the American Radio Relay League (ARRL). He is the author of the ARRL’s online courses in Antenna Design and Construction, Analog Electronics, and Digital Electronics. When not in front of a computer screen, you will find him working on his mandolin technique and compositions.

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