Skip to comments.The Skinny on Ham Radio: Getting Licensed
Posted on 01/02/2012 10:46:48 AM PST by Professional Engineer
A lot of preppers are talking about Ham radio as a communications system during and after an SHTF event. The ability to listen and even talk with people vast distances away in real time is powerful tool.
For a very long time Ive wanted to get an Amateur Radio license (Ham). For one reason or another I never undertook the study and the test. Until now. I have just passed my Technicians license exam! (as of writing this) While it will still be a couple of weeks before I get my official station call sign, Im very excited and already preparing for the next step of licensing. In this article I will walk you through the details of exactly how to get your first Ham radio license. It isnt a hard process but can be a bit confusing and I didnt find any one source that clearly listed it all.
(Excerpt) Read more at thesurvivalmom.com ...
Does one have to get a license if only listening?
I used to have mine (25 years ago) but stupidly let it lapse. I was terrible with morse code. I understand thats not a requirement anymore though.
Congrats! Now, get moving on your General ticket!
After years of delay I got mine a few years ago. We have a small group of like-minded hams scattered across the region and regularly practice voice and digital communications, mostly without relying on infrastructure (e.g. repeaters) that are out of our control.
As I understand it, you do not need a license to listen.
Considering the nature of the 0bamunist regime currently in power, I would not even bother with a license when purchasing a transmitter/receiver, just DON’T transmit until the SHTF, if a truly global/regional disaster strikes, the Feds will very likely be trying to shut down any loose cannons on the airwaves, licensed or not. If they already have your personal information from applying for your ticket, you’ve made their job that much easier. I don’t advocate transmitting without a license, however at this stage I find it more useful to listen and sort through the information coming over the receiver.
Pinging the SWL/HAM/DX list
Powerful tool indeed.
In fact so powerful, during World Wars the United States Congress suspended all amateur radio (Ham) operations.
Anyone may listen.
“Does one have to get a license if only listening?”
Just get your self a General Coverage Shortwave radio and listen to your hearts content.
Shortwave is what got me interested in HAM.
No you don't. Those who indulge this way are called short wave listeners (SWL). Mylife does this.
Many countries require X years of SWL experience in order to sit for license exams. Nice filter for the rif raf, methinks.
Congratulations! Yes go ahead and get your General ticket. I have been making great contacts from Chile on 20 meters and Alaska on 10 meter FM! 73 N7LRG.
No. Short Wave Listening (SWL) is a very popular hobby. You can listen on any Ham band, as well as on foreign short-wave bands, police, fire, aircraft, pizza delivery, etc. There are some frequencies on which you may not listen, such as cell phones. However, most commercial short wave receivers block out those prohibited bands, so you needn't worry about inadvertently eavesdropping.
I’ve been licensed for 23 years. In that time I’ve made ONE on-air CW contact, and have the card to prove it. Hi Hi.
My first long distance contact was right after I got my ‘General’(15 years ago).
Johannesburg, South Africa.. on 12 meters..
I earned my Advanced ticket many years ago. I would have kept it too, but the lure of the Extra sub-bands called.
The Governor replied in a disgusted tone, "No, we don't need to deal with ham radio operators..."
Yeah, their just citizens, and outside of jamming them, it's hard to completely control them.
I should have added that it was a ‘voice’ contact.. not CW.
Whata doofus Romney is.
HAM is the first line of info in a disaster where the infrastructure is lost.
I have a friend that worked out a system for mobile deployment cell towers, but HAM is always the first comms up.
All you need is a battery, radio and a wire.
I was about to ping you anyway.
Are you the Gatekeeper now? lol
“HAM is the first line of info in a disaster where the infrastructure is lost.”
I guess he didn’t see the movie “Independence Day”.
I was taught by 3 old timers. One of them was a code operator for the rail road. At about 89 years of age he could still do 40+ wpm. I was lucky to do the 5 wpm required at that time but did participate in quite a few contacts at the time. Its been a while though.
The other two could take a box of parts and build a radio, then use it to make contacts. Of course they preferred their fancy commercial models.
They tried teaching me but I put a capacitor in backwards and it exploded.
And that is just what China does with the Fire Drake jammers.
I kept my advanced and now they are no longer being issued, so I will hang onto it as a testament to my being an old timer:)
Up your alley?
The reason given for licensing is that an unknowledgeable person who is transmitting can disrupt communications.
Not to be disrespectful but why get a license at all?
If SHTF, who cares if you’re licensed?
I wouldn’t think “rif raf” would be hoarding ham radios and using them to terrorize at that juncture.
No, I just picked up the list.
I forget used to maintain it, but they declared that they didn’t wish to do it anymore, so I copied it over.
Its on my FR page if you want to use it.
I have an old 2x2 call. I’ve been asked more that once if it was a vanity call since not many with that particular prefix kept them.
Sweet. Thanks man.
“I wouldnt think rif raf would be hoarding ham radios and using them to terrorize at that juncture.”
You’d be surprised how much unlicensed ‘rif raf’ there is on the HAM bands.
True enough, but a guy has to tweak his system, and that needs to be done in a legal fashion to be effective.
If SHTF, a lot of legal guys will lose their call signs.
Got to keep the arts alive. LoL
>> “Considering the nature of the 0bamunist regime currently in power, I would not even bother with a license when purchasing a transmitter/receiver” <<
The problem you may encounter with that approach is that you may have to purchase all your equipment new from retailers. Most licensed Hams will not sell their equipment to unlicensed persons.
I topped out at about 18 wpm. After trying a few times I called it good, then the “no-code” extras came along.
Blowing up stuff is always a good learning experience. I turned a full wave bridge into a volcano once, complete with molten plastic flows. Dadgummed ground loop.
This article is full of misinformation.
1) Waiting to get your licensed call sign: BOGUS. My recent upgrade from Tech to General was on the FCC ULS website in less than a week and searchable on QRZ.com a day after the FCC webpage update. This comment is a response to the misleading info in the early part of the article as the author does reference the ULS in the closing paragraphs.
2) The “One Source” is actually multiple sources for licensing info but if there is “One Source”, the American Radio Relay League website should suffice: www.arrl.org
3) FTA: “...the licensing and regulations, technology, science, and capabilities are nearly the same as any commercial radio station.” While the electrical theory behind radio is the same for all, Amateur Radio is governed by Part 97 of the FCC regs and you had better be thoroughly familiar with all that entails because it is most certainly different in multiple ways from commercial radio stations. I have held both kinds of licenses, commercial and amateur, so I have no doubt when I say they are very different.
Closing thought: perhaps noob enthusiasts in any endeavor should spend some time learning before attempting to advise other potential noobs. I’m sure the prepper community would agree that this would apply to other areas of typical prepper interest such as food storage/canning, firearms, etc. where there could be less than optimal results should one make a noob mistake.
You get the call/license so you can practice the craft.
I have been storm spotting/chasing for a long time. Being able to communicate with other spotters and NWS is crucial.
Yeah, that with get your attention!
That is correct. Morse is no longer required.
I got my Technician and Novice licenses in 1952 (Novice Class no longer exists). Both required Morse at 5 words per minute. I let my licenses expire when I was traveling around in the Air Force and couldn't maintain a ham station. About 15 years ago I got what was then called the "no-code Technician" license. Later, when the code requirement was eliminated, I went to the Dayton Hamvention and took the tests for both General and Extra. Passed both. Still operate mostly on VHF because I don't have room for an HF antenna. However, I find it's a nice hobby.
It was highly embarrassing to do it in front of a guy who could do it in his sleep.
So if I buy a Maxowatt Humslinger and start blabbing, declaring myself just a Georgia good ol’ boy won’t be appreciated? lol
Seriously... I’ve noticed (good)SW radios seldom pop up at flea markets or pawn shops. I can see where it’s good to be legit just to get advice on advanced technical issues like antenna design, range, etc.
I need to get one just to broaden my horizon...so to speak.
Did it clear a few components from the board? LOL
I will take the exam(s) in March; figure I know about 75% of the material right now just by osmosis over the years. I purchased both these radios for a total of $160, plus some more in accessories. The Degen active loop indoor antenna (about $27) works extremely well to reduce noise.