Who are Amateur Radio operators or Hams?
you know could be an Amateur Radio operator or "ham" --no matter what
age, gender or physical ability. From ages 8 to 80, people in many
countries of the world can have fun as radio amateurs. If you've had fun
with CB radio or trying new things with your computer, wait till you
see what you can do with ham radio!
What Can I Do With Ham Radio?
can communicate from the top of a mountain, your home or behind the
wheel of your car. You can take radio wherever you go! In times of
disaster, when regular communications channels fail, hams can swing into
action assisting emergency communications efforts and working with
public service agencies. At other times, you can talk to Shuttle
astronauts or bounce signals off the moon. You can use telegraphy,
voice, digital, even images in communication with other hams. Know any
other hobby with so much to offer?
Why Do I need A License?
the main purpose of the hobby is fun, it is called the "Amateur Radio
Service" because it also has a serious face. The FCC created the
"Service" to fill the need for a pool of experts who could provide
backup emergency communications in times of need. In addition, the FCC
acknowledged the ability of the hobby to advance communication and
technical knowledge, and enhance international goodwill.
What will this cost me?
basic new handheld radio can cost about the same as an inexpensive
19-inch color TV. Flea market bargains can cost a lot less. A new
tabletop multi-band unit for your home radio shack can cost about the
same as the PC you're reading this on. Materials to get you started are
relatively inexpensive, and the exam fee you'll pay when you're ready to
test is nominal.
When was Amateur Radio started?
knows when Amateur Radio operators were first called "hams," but we do
know that Amateur Radio is as old as the history of radio itself. In
1912, Congress passed the first laws regulating radio transmissions in
the US. By 1914, amateur experimenters were communicating nationwide,
and setting up a system to relay messages from coast to coast (that's
how we got our name, American Radio Relay League, ARRL, for short).
I don't have a lot of time. Can I still enjoy the hobby?
bet! The beauty of ham radio is it can fit the time, space, and budget
that YOU decide is right for you. It's got that low stress, high fun
ratio that many busy people seek in their off-hours. It can also be
great family fun or a solitary pleasure.
Who can help me get started?
Beaver Valley Amateur Radio Association (BVARA) and this web site can
be invaluable in helping you find the fast track to on-the-air