Intro to Ham Radio

The Amateur Radio Service as defined by the Federal Communications Commission is "a radio communication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."

Five Principles of the Amateur Radio Service:

  1. Recognition and enhancement of the value of the amateur service to the public as a voluntary noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.
  2. Continuation and extension of the amateur's proven ability to contribute to the advancement of the radio art.
  3. Encouragement and improvement of the amateur service through rules which provide for advancing skills in both the communications and technical phases of the art.
  4. Expansion of the existing reservoir within the amateur radio service of trained operators, technicians and electronics experts.
  5. Continuation and extension of the amateur's unique ability to enhance international goodwill.

An Amateur operator is a person holding a valid license to operate an amateur radio station. In the United Sates, the Federal Communications Commission issues amateur radio licenses.

Here's your invitation to a friendly, high-tech hobby that's got something fun for everyone! You can become an Amateur Radio operator--no matter what age, gender or physical ability. People from all walks of life pass their entry-level exam and earn their Amateur (ham) Radio license. They all share the diverse world of activities you can explore with ham radio.

You never know who you'll run into when communicating with Amateur Radio: Young people, retirees, teachers and students, engineers and scientists, doctors, mechanics and technicians, homemakers...


Follow this link to learn more about the Amateur Radio in Space Program

Listen to an astronaut talk to students using ham radio.
and astronauts...

and even

A FUN Hobby...

Listen to a Morse Code transmission in RealAudio.

What Can Amateur Radio Operators Do?

Ham radio operators use two-way radio stations from their homes, cars, boats and outdoors to make hundreds of friends around town and around the world. They communicate with each other using voice, computers, and Morse code. Some hams bounce their signals off the upper regions of the atmosphere, so they can talk with hams on the other side of the world. Other hams use satellites. Many use hand-held radios that fit in their pockets.

Fun for All Ages

Hams exchange pictures of each other using television. Some also like to work on electronic circuits, building their own radios and antennas. A few pioneers in Amateur Radio have even contributed to advances in technology that we all enjoy today. There are even ham-astronauts who take radios with them on the International Space Station and thrill thousands of hams on earth with a call from space!

These videos from ICOM America demonstrate more ways that hams have fun with Amateur Radio.

With a SERIOUS Side...

Listen to amateurs talking through an FM voice repeater (RealAudio).

Using even the simplest of radio setups and antennas, amateurs communicate with each other for fun, during emergencies, and even in contests. They handle messages for police and other public service organizations during all kinds of emergencies including:

  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Tornadoes and floods
  • Motorist accidents
  • Fires and chemical spills
  • Search and rescues

Where Do I Start?

It's Easy to Get Started

The most popular license for beginners is the Technician Class license, which requires only a 35 multiple-choice question written examination. The test is written with the beginner in mind. Morse Code is not required for this license. With a Technician Class license, you will have all ham radio privileges above 30 megahertz (MHz). These privileges include the very popular 2-meter band. Many Technician licensees enjoy using small (2 meter) hand-held radios to stay in touch with other hams in their area. Technicians may operate FM voice, digital packet (computers), television, single-sideband voice and several other interesting modes. You can even make international radio contacts via satellites, using relatively simple equipment.

Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. Contact either K9IU or Bloomingtons Amateur Radio club, and we will set you up with all the information you will need to get started on your Amateur radio hobby.

Do you learn best from a manual, a teaching videotape, an in-person course or an on-line course? Which of these choices will fit better into your busy schedule? You can choose what will work best for you

The American Radio Relay League

The 170,000+ members of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) are among the most active and enthusiastic amateurs in the country. Headquartered in Newington, CT, ARRL speaks on behalf of its members in Washington and internationally as well as providing direct member benefits.

For more information on the Amateur Radio Relay League goto

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