What Is Amateur Radio?

Amateur Radio is a unique form of communications. Amateur Radio Operators, or HAM's, can talk locally, regionally, and world-wide over Amateur, or HAM, Radio. But doing so requires a license to use specific frequencies. On Amateur Radio, you can talk about your weather, how your day went, or during a disaster giving reports of your area. Amateur Radio is meant to be for emergency communications, but current Amateur Practice is using it as an easier way to communicate without the internet.

Why Do You Need A License?

To talk on the Amateur Radio Bands (Frequency Ranges) a license is required. A license is required because when working with high-voltages and emergency communications, you need to know how to be safe, and how to properly communicate. There are 3 license classes. Technician, General, and Extra. The Technician license is the first class of license you will test for first. As a technician you can talk locally (Regionally even). The General and the Extra classes are meant for world-wide communication, which requires a larger setup and more equipment.

What Is VHF/UHF vs. HF?

VHF and UHF are frequencies used for local and sometimes regional communication. These radio's cost less than HF Radios (or rigs) and requires an easy setup. However, range is very limited. GMRS/FRS Radios (Walkie-Talkies) operate on the UHF Spectrum, there you can see how far you can talk, but with an Amateur Radio License you can operate up to 100 times more power than the standard walkie-talkie. HF is composed of frequencies from 160 meters to 10 Meters. Here, you can talk around the world but you will need a nice antenna setup, and rig.

Become A HAM Today

The BCARA VE Team holds Amateur Radio Exams Sessions at the Boy Scout Center, 850 Morton Avenue Extension. There are exams; Technician, General and Extra Class. Exam fee is $15.00 per session (retests are considered a new session). The Exam Team will schedule special sessions upon request as needed. Reservations are required for all sessions. For additional information contact Dave, AA3YW@arrl.net or by phone at 724.282.6777.