Passed the exam now what?
Getting on the air after passing the Amateur Radio exam involves a few steps:
Obtain Equipment: You’ll need a radio and an antenna to transmit and receive signals. There are many different types of radios and antennas to choose from, depending on your budget and interests. You can purchase new or used equipment from Amateur Radio dealers or online marketplaces.
Choose Operating Modes: There are many different modes of operation available on Amateur Radio, including voice, digital, and Morse code. You’ll need to decide which modes you want to operate in and learn how to use them. Many radios have built-in capabilities for multiple modes.
Find Frequencies: Each license class has access to certain frequencies, so you’ll need to determine which frequencies you’re authorized to use. There are many online resources and books that provide frequency listings for different modes and license classes.
Listen and Observe: Before transmitting, it’s a good idea to listen to the frequency and observe how other operators communicate. This will help you learn the proper operating procedures and etiquette.
Make Your First Contact: When you’re ready to make your first transmission, choose a frequency, announce your call sign, and listen for a response. Follow proper operating procedures and introduce yourself to the other operator. Be prepared to have a conversation or exchange information, depending on the mode and situation.
Overall, getting on the air after passing the Amateur Radio exam involves obtaining equipment, choosing operating modes, finding frequencies, listening and observing, and making your first contact. It’s a fun and rewarding experience that provides opportunities for learning and communication with people around the world.
what can techtopicsthursday do for you?
- Regular weekly Zoom meetings to learn about the hobby and ask questions in a friendly open atmosphere.
- Wide variety of equipment (radios, antennas, power supplies) that you can look at and play before you buy something.
- Weekly and monthly in person informal gatherings/meetings to discuss topics and have fun!
- Great technical resources – TechTopicThursday Bulletins, weekly topics, Electronic Course
- Introduction to other amateur radio operators that do CW, contesting, fox hunts, SOTA, POTA, build kits, etc…..
- Keep learning
- HAVE FUN!
Over 25+ Bulletins on various topics from selecting you first radio to no radio to antennas to RF safety to ZOTA…..
What Radio Should I Buy?
Congratulations on passing your amateur radio exam! Choosing a radio can be an exciting but overwhelming experience. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a radio:
Budget: Radios can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Determine how much you’re willing to spend before starting your search.
Frequency coverage: Make sure the radio covers the frequencies you’re interested in using. Different radios can cover different bands, so check the specifications before making a purchase.
Power output: Consider the power output of the radio. Higher power output can increase your range, but it may not be necessary if you’ll be operating locally.
Size and portability: Consider how you plan to use the radio. Will you be taking it with you on the go or operating from a fixed location? Choose a radio that fits your needs.
Features: Consider the features you need. Do you need a built-in antenna tuner, a digital display, or a built-in speaker? Make a list of the features you need before making a purchase.
Brand and reputation: Consider the brand and reputation of the manufacturer. Look for reviews and feedback from other amateur radio operators to determine the reliability and quality of the radio.
Accessories: Consider the accessories that come with the radio, such as the microphone, power supply, and antenna. Make sure they meet your needs and budget.
Ultimately, the radio you choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Take the time to research and compare different radios before making a purchase to ensure you get the best radio for your needs and budget.
VHF / UHF OR HF?
When choosing your first radio, one of the important decisions to make is whether to get a VHF/UHF or HF radio. Here are some factors to consider:
Operating distance: VHF/UHF radios are typically used for shorter distance communications, while HF radios can cover longer distances. If you plan on primarily operating locally, a VHF/UHF radio may be sufficient. If you want to communicate with other operators around the world, an HF radio may be a better choice.
Frequency range: VHF/UHF radios operate on higher frequencies than HF radios, which can affect the types of communications you can make. VHF/UHF radios are typically used for line-of-sight communications, while HF radios can communicate over the horizon using the ionosphere.
Antennas: Antennas for VHF/UHF radios are smaller and more compact than those for HF radios, which can make them easier to install and use in small spaces. However, HF antennas can be more efficient and effective for longer distance communications.
Noise and interference: HF radios can be more susceptible to noise and interference from electronic devices, while VHF/UHF radios can have issues with line-of-sight obstructions.
Licensing: The license requirements for VHF/UHF and HF radios may differ depending on your country’s regulations. Make sure you understand the licensing requirements before making a purchase.
Ultimately, the decision between a VHF/UHF or HF radio will depend on your individual needs and preferences. Consider the types of communications you want to make, the operating distance you need, and the license requirements before making a decision.
ARchery or Fishing?
VHF/UHF amateur radio is often compared to archery because it requires more precision and skill to make contacts due to the higher frequency and shorter wavelengths involved. VHF/UHF signals are more line-of-sight, meaning that they are limited by obstacles such as buildings, mountains, and hills. This requires a more strategic approach to antenna placement and aiming, similar to how an archer must aim precisely to hit a target. VHF/UHF radio communication also tends to be more localized, with contacts typically limited to a few dozen miles or less.
On the other hand, HF amateur radio is often compared to fishing because it involves casting out a signal and waiting for a response. HF signals can travel much farther than VHF/UHF signals, allowing for contacts across continents and even around the world. However, the quality and reliability of these contacts can vary greatly depending on factors such as time of day, atmospheric conditions, and the strength of the signal. This requires a more patient and persistent approach to communication, similar to how a fisherman must wait for the right conditions and persistence to catch a fish.
why are amateur radio operators afraid to push the "PTT" button?
There could be several reasons why amateur radio operators may feel hesitant or afraid to push the PTT button on their radio:
Lack of Experience: For new or inexperienced operators, using a radio may seem intimidating, and they may be afraid of making mistakes or sounding foolish.
Fear of Breaking Rules: Amateur radio operators are bound by a set of regulations and procedures, and some may be afraid of accidentally breaking them, resulting in consequences such as losing their license.
Technical Issues: Some operators may be worried about damaging their equipment or causing interference with other radio users if they do not use the radio correctly.
Social Anxiety: Some operators may feel anxious about communicating with other people over the radio, especially if they are not confident in their communication skills.
Fear of Judgment: Operators may worry about being judged by other members of the amateur radio community, particularly if they are new to the hobby or have limited technical knowledge.
It is important to remember that these fears are normal and can be overcome with practice and experience. Most amateur radio operators are friendly and supportive, and are happy to help new operators learn and grow in the hobby.