Getting on the Air

MARC - Mountain Amateur Radio Club Hiawassee, Georgia KI4ENN Repeater 146.865 Mhz, +offset, pl  151.4 hz
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What is Amateur Radio?  Amateur radio (also called ham radio) is the use of designated radio frequency spectra for purposes of private recreation, non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communication. Radio amateurs, often called “hams,” enjoy radio technology as a hobby. But it's also a service –a vital service that has saved lives when regular communication systems failed. Amateur Radio Licensing All Amateur Radio operators must be licensed. In the U.S., there are three license classes. The higher the class of license, the more frequencies are available. Operating under organizations called Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, volunteers administer and grade tests and report results to the FCC, which then issues the license. U.S. licenses are good for 10 years before renewal. The Technician class license is the entry-level license of choice for most new ham radio operators. To earn the Technician license requires passing one examination totaling 35 questions on radio theory, regulations and operating practices. Amateur Radio Clubs Amateur Radio Clubs can be found in most towns and cities across the United States. These clubs welcome new members, and not only folks with Amateur Radio Licenses but also those who have an interest in amateur radio and those pursuing a license. These clubs foster everything amateur radio including training others interested in qualifying for a license, radio activities like “radio fox hunting”, community emergency services, field day, and just sharing the enjoyment of radio communications over thousands of miles. Here, you can even find an “Elmer”, which is an amateur radio term for a knowledgeable member who loves to share his knowledge and experience. Amateur Radio Stations Which radio will you purchase for your first Amateur Radio station?  Do you want a large, full-featured transceiver for the HF bands? Perhaps a mobile radio for operating on VHF+ or even a tiny hand held transceiver? Before you decide, review the advice offered at the ARRL web page “Buying your first radio”, to help you focus on the features and functions you will need for the operating activities you plan. This topic will require you to do a little research as there are many options, and understanding where you want to start will determine what equipment you will need. There are many articles on just this topic on the Internet, so do some searches and explore the possibilities. Here are a couple of places to look at to get you started. How to join an ongoing QSO communication (Thanks QSL)
Getting on the air Getting on the air