Amateur Radio (Ham Radio)

General Class - KE0RWC

What is Amateur Radio?
It is a hobby that provides opportunites for learning, communiating with others, and options to participate in public safety events.


There are no restrictions on the ability to listen to (receive) Amateur Radio messages, but in order to be able to talk (ztransmit) you need to have an Amatuar Radio License that is granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). To get your initial license it is

Before you can get on the air, you need to be licensed and know the rules to operate legally. US licenses are good for 10 years before renewal and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government. In the US there are three license classes—Technician, General and Extra.

Technician License

The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. The license gives access to all Amateur Radio frequencies above 30 megahertz, allowing these licensees the ability to communicate locally and most often within North America. It also allows for some limited privileges on the HF (also called "short wave") bands used for international communications.

General License

The General class license grants some operating privileges on all Amateur Radio bands and all operating modes. This license opens the door to world-wide communications. Earning the General class license requires passing a 35 question examination. General class licensees must also have passed the Technician written examination.

Extra License

The Amateur Extra class license conveys all available U.S. Amateur Radio operating privileges on all bands and all modes. Earning the license is more difficult; it requires passing a thorough 50 question examination. Extra class licensees must also have passed all previous license class written examinations.

And More....

There are so many other aspects of technologies and intersts related to Amateur Radio but also indertly there are many other opportuities to learn.

Communicating with Others

Mobile two-way communications via well situated VHF FM Repeaters around the country – This is not a substitute for cell phones of course, but still provides a party line style of communications that still has a place in modern society. Worldwide Shortwave Communications via the HF Bands – Not a substitute for the Internet, but still a fun and practical way to contact someone around the world with just a radio, an antenna and no additional infrastructure.
Digital Communications – The PC with sound-card has revolutionized methods for sending digital data over the ham bands. Many applications relay messages much like cell phone texting.
Morse Code, but only if you want – Morse code is no longer a requirement for testing and some are saddened by this change. However, this has elevated morse code from a must-do task to a voluntary and skillful art-form. Don’t let the code hold you back from getting your license. You can ignore it or learn it at your own pace.

Public Safety

Occasionally hams receive requests to help provide communications for various events. In the 21st century, these needs can often be met with other means. For the times where the unique qualities of ham radio equipment and operating techniques are helpful, local radio clubs often can muster volunteers from their ranks to help.
Emergency Communications (EMCOMM) – While quite rare, amateur radio does occasionally provide a measurable benefit to society via simply having the radio gear and the knowledge to use it when trouble arises. If a more organized emergency team is your goal, several organizations (like SATERN, ARES, etc.) exist to help. However, the biggest public service any practicing ham can provide is simply having the “ham option” available when confronted with an unfortunate situation.

Radio Communications Equipment

Xiegu G90 HF Transceiver, Operating Mode CW, AM, SSB

Receive (Transmit - Power):
HF - .5 MHz - 30 MHz
160 m: 1.8 - 2.0 MHz (General Class License Privileges: Full - 20W)
80 m: 3.5 - 3.9 MHz (General Class License Privileges: 3.8 - 4.0 MHz - 20W)
7.0 - 7.2 MHz (General Class License Privileges)
10.1 - 10.15 MHz (General Class License Privileges)
14.0 - 14.35 MHz (General Class License Privileges: )
18.068 - 18.168 MHz (General Class License Privileges)
21.0 - 21.45 MHz (General Class License Privileges)
24.89 - 24.99 MHz (General Class License Privileges: )
28.0 - 29.7 MHz (General Class License Privileges)

Anytone D878UV Plus HT w/ GPS and DMR

Receive (Transmit - Power):
2m 136.0 - 174.0 MHz (General Class License Privileges: 144.1 - 148.0 MHz - 7W)
70 cm 400.0 - 480.0 MHz (General Class License Privileges: 420.0 - 450.0 MHz - 6W)

Relm VHF HT (2 Units)

Receive (Transmit - Power):
2 m: 136.0- 174.0 MHz (General Class License Privileges: 144.1 - 148.0 MHz - 5W)

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