Pat Nelson / KEØQXD's
Amateur (Ham) Radio FAQ Page
I was presented with the above certificate for talking with a group of student Ham Radio enthusiasts at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory HQ (January 2023)
The radio show I did on KFAI in honor of International Women's Day 2022 with Carolyn Odom Burleson-K6COB, Candis Cummings -AC8EX, and Wendy Horn- KB3ZDM/W3NRN
I was interviewed for ON THE AIR. the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) magazine's March/April 2022 edition
What is Ham Radio?
The Amateur Radio Service (“ham radio”), according to the FCC, - “...is for qualified persons of all ages who are interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.”
What is Ham Radio used for?
While it is considered a fun hobby, it has many benefits: use during disasters/emergencies, gaining computer, electronic, technological and radio skills, and making contacts with people around the world.
How can I become a “ham”?
Since radio waves are used to communicate, each person is required to transmit and have license to transmit on the frequencies that are permitted to be used. In other words, by licensing “it allows amateurs to communicate internationally and directly without using any kind of intermediary system that regulates their activities. Each has to certify that they have a minimal amount of technical and regulatory background so that they can co exist with other radio services.”
There are three types of Licenses or "tickets" each requiring a written test:
Technician - Limited ham radio access - 35 questions, 26 or better correct.
General - HF and all Technician license access - more access - 35 questions, 26 or better correct.
Extra Class - entire amateur radio service access - 50 questions, 37 or better correct
There are on-line classes, and self-study books available for each type. All of the questions for the tests are also available through ARRL (see Resources). You must earn the Technician License first, then General, then Extra Class. If very ambitious, you can take more than one exam at a time.
What equipment do I need?
Basically, you need a transmitter and a receiver. Those can range from handheld "walkie talkies" to desktop HF radios, to a computer . Your "shack" can be a desktop, a room, or wherever you wish to work on this wonderful hobby.
Two Goals - Get On The Air (GOTA) / Get Involved (GI)
GOTA - GET ON THE AIR - either through a hand-held or through the computer (DMR), there are other hams (around the world) waiting for you!
GI - there are clubs, organizations, and even public service aspects to "ham" Explore one or all!
H. Ward Silver, Ham Radio for Dummies, 4th ed., Wiley Publishing
Gordon “Gordo” West: 2022- 2026 Technician Class License Preparation
“ 2023 - 2027 General Class License Preparation
“ 2020 - 2024 Extra Class License Preparation
(all through Master Publishing)
IARU: International Amateur Radio Union - www.iaru.org
ARRL: American Radio Relay League - www.arrl.org (National)
AARG: Aurora Amateur Radio Group - www.aarg.club (National)
OMIK: Amateur Radio Association - www.omikradio.org (African-American)
RARA: Rainbow Amateur Radio Association - www.rara.org (LGBTQ)
Broadcasting and Its History - an infographic on how communications have shifted over time (courtesy Noah, Ms. Helen, and the Fullers Library Broadcast Club)
HandiHams: www.handiham.org - for hams who may need some extra handicapabilities.