Section 1: Overview. (Welcome to the Class!). Facts About the Technician License There are more technician licenses than that of any other class. 50% of all hams are technicians. No Morse code requirement (now across all licenses.) - That does not mean it will not be used.
Section 1: Overview (Welcome to the Class!)
Facts About the Technician License There are more technician licenses than that of any other class. 50% of all hams are technicians. No Morse code requirement (now across all licenses.) - That does not mean it will not be used. - Used often for weak signal work. What to Look Forward To: You will have the ability to communicate with thousands of other hams. You will have ability to experiment with numerous facets of communication technology. With practice and experience, you will be ready to upgrade to a higher class amateur license. Welcome to Amateur Radio
Obtaining Your License Obtaining Your Technician License • You must pass a 35 question examination. Worry not, the examination is multiple choice consisting of: • Rules of Amateur Radio • Operating Procedures • Basic Electronics • To prepare for the examination, study on your own, take a class, or study on the web. • The examination times and locations can be found online. • Examinations are given by hams acting as Volunteer Examiners (V.E.s).
Obtaining Your License (cont.) • After passing your examination, you will be presented with a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE.) • Examiners will file all of the necessary paperwork so your license will be granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC.) • In a few days, your name and callsign will be in the FCC's database. At that point, you can go on the air! • Shortly afterwards, you will receive a paper license in the mail.
Amateur Radio Class • This class uses the ARRL's Ham Radio License Manual (HRLM), and follows its content.
Section 2: Starting Your Journey ( Getting your HAM RADIO License – section 1.1 from HRLM)
Section 2: Starting Your Journey ( Getting your HAM RADIO License – section 1.1 from HRLM) • Key Terms: • FCC: Federal Communications Commission • Volunteer Examiner (VE): An amateur accredited by one or more VECs who volunteers to administer amateur license exams. • Elmer: An elmer is a Ham that tutors or mentors another Amateur Radio Operator. • CSCE: Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination
What You Need to Begin • To be successful, you must have a strong interest in the amateur radio service and a willingness to continually learn: • There are many avenues of amateur radio. • Ham radio consists of a diverse group of topics – too many to learn all at once. That is what makes the hobby fun. • Requires experience and educational resources: • References (Books, Articles or Online) • ARRL Tech Q&A (publication) • Elmers • Get to know the different aspects of amateur radio. • Focus on what you want to learn.
While Learning • Use previous experiences to help you learn: • Other radio or communications training • Other radio experience (CB, FRS, even cell phones.) • Computer knowledge • Regularly quiz yourself: • Study in several short bursts (do not cram) • Use flash cards • Use the test pool in the HRLM appendix (this has all the questions and answers) • Websites (http://www.hamtestonline.com) • Do not memorize the answers to the questions. • If something is unclear, review section and/or ask about it.
While Learning (cont.) • Learn from other hams: • Ask us questions. We can help! • Learn with your fellow perspective hams. • Practice examinations: • There are a number of sources to take practice examinations. Practice examinations can be found in: • Test pool in the HRLM • Online tests • Some keep track of the questions you miss, and ask them more often. • Some provide detailed information about why the correct answer is correct. • Make sure the questions are current – they change every 3 years.
While Using the HRLM • Watch for words in italics. These are important words you should know and understand. • Watch for websites. They are useful in learning and gathering valuable information. • Read the sidebars in the HRLM because they: • Present information relevant to what you are studying • Point to other resources • Help in your understanding • Present relevant and interesting history and traditions
What to Expect from the Testing Process • It is up to you to find and attend a test session. We can help you find one. • ARRL provides a test session search page: http://www.arrl.org/examsearch • You should register in advance for the test session if possible though many support walk-ins. • To test, you must have two forms of Identification (1 photo ID.) Examples may be: • Drivers license • Passport • Employment/student ID • Know your Social Security Number
What to Expect from the Testing Process (cont.) • You may bring pens, pencils and a simple calculator. • You may not bring computers, programmable calculators or online devices. • V.E.s must accommodate for disabilities. • Let them know in advance of any special needs. • The test fee is $14. • Test Duration: 15-45 minutes • Test is multiple choice and consists of 35 questions.
When You Are Done Testing • Test will be scored by a V.E. • When you pass, you'll fill out a CSCE and a form 605 • Examination organizers will submit your results to the FCC • You keep your CSCE as proof that you passed the examination • When you see your name in the FCC ULS database, you are ready to go on the air. • You will receive a paper license in the mail shortly after that (usually 7-10 days.) • You can retake the test (immediately if you like.) • Now that you have taken the test, you know what to expect from future tests!
Section 3: A Feeling of Belonging (Amateur Radio Clubs and Organizations) • Key Terms: • ARRL: Amateur Radio Relay League • Volunteer Examiner Coordinator: an organization that has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission for the administration of amateur radio license examinations in the United States. • ARES: Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Helping You to Begin • When starting out, know that you can find help from: • Fellow classmates/students • A nearby ham • Amateur radio clubs • Amateur radio national organizations • Publications or web sites • Helping newcomers is amateur radio's longest tradition. • Most Hams have mentored or have been an elmer to another ham at some point in their involvement with the amateur radio service.
Elmers • An elmer is a Ham that tutors or mentors another amateur radio operator. • Almost everyone has had an elmer to help them at some point. Often times hams have many elmers with a variety of expertise. • Seek out those who are experienced in the topics that interest you. • It is important to remember that we can all learn from each other. Offer your advice and experience. Empathize with others' suggestions and advice. • To be an elmer for another ham is the highest compliment and honor in amateur radio.
Amateur Radio Clubs • You can search for radio clubs in your area on the ARRL website: http://www.arrl.org/clubsearch • There are several types of clubs. Some clubs are specialized, some are general interest. It may be in your best interest to start with a general interest club to gain exposure to the different facets of Amateur Radio. • Many clubs make special efforts to help new hams. • Take advantage of the clubs' offerings. Network with and learn from other hams: • Monitor the website • Attend open houses • Attend operating events (visit club stations) • Attend breakfasts, lunches and dinners • Make sure to introduce yourself
Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL) • Possibly the oldest radio organization in the world. The ARRL has been an integral part of amateur radio from the beginning: • Offering assistance to potential and licensed hams • Recruiting new hams, providing educational publications, promoting ham radio in the classroom. • Operating as the largest Volunteer Examiner Coordinator • Working on behalf of all hams with the FCC and Congress • Has helped to keep amateur radio thriving even with attempts to restrict its growth. • Promoting the public-service aspects of amateur radio • Created Amateur Radio Emergency Service in 1935. • Publishing QST magazine (authoritative source of news and information pertaining to amateur radio.)
American Radio Relay League –The National Association for Amateur Radio • The core missions of the ARRL are: • Public service • Advocacy • Education • Membership • www.arrl.org
Section 4: What Have I Gotten... (What Is Amateur Radio) • Key Terms: • Frequency: The rate at which a radio signal oscillates (electrical vibrations.) • Band: A range of frequencies, usually used for a common purpose, such as byamateurs or broadcasters. • Signal: Radio energy used in a circuit or as a wave in order to communicate. • Channel: A number that refers to radio operation on a fixed frequency. Channelnumbers are easier to remember than frequencies. • HF, VHF, and UHF: High Frequency, Very High Frequency, and Ultra HighFrequency refer to different frequency bands. • EOC: Emergency Operations Center • The Amateur Service: Legal name for amateur radio
What is Amateur Radio? • Amateur radio is the most powerful communications service available to private citizens anywhere on Earth. • Recognized as a national asset providing trained operators, technicalspecialists, and emergency communications in the time of need. • It was created to cater to people like you that have an interest in radio with various focuses on communications, technology and science of radio. • There are various reasons to become a ham: • Provide stable communications in times of emergency • Ability to experiment with new technologies • Maybe just to talk with other hams
Amateur Radio History • Nobody knows where the term “ham” came from. • Amateur Radio has been around since the beginning of radio communications. The very first amateur licenses were granted in 1912. • Early stations used “spark”, a vigorous and noisy electrical arc to generate radio waves. Inefficient and hazardous, spark was soon replaced by vacuum tube transmitters. • By the end of the 1920s, both voice and Morse code could be heard on the air. • The FCC was then created to regulate the competing radio users (broadcasters, commercial message and news services, military, and public safety. • The Amateur Service (legal name for amateur radio) was created in 1934 and has grown in size and capability ever since.
Amateur Radio History (cont) • Amateurs played crucial roles during World War II as operators and radio engineers. • After the war, thousands of hams turned to radio and electronics as a profession. • Morse code was popular as ever, but the bands began to fill with voice and radioteletype signals. • Amateurs even created a new form of picture transmission called slow-scan television which could be performed with regular voice equipment. • In 1961, the first amateur satellite (OSCAR-1) was launched transmitting simple Morse code messages back to Earth for several weeks. • In the 1970s, amateurs built an extensive network of repeater stations.
Amateur Radio History (cont) • In the 1980s and 1990s, microprocessors were quickly applied to radio ushering in a new area of digital communications: • Packet Radio • Design, Modeling and Record keeping • Voice over IP (Echolink, IRLP) • Throughout the amateur service's history, hams have contributed either as a part of their profession or as individuals pursuing a personal passion.
Amateur Radio Today • Ham radio has not been eclipsed by other technologies. It offers reliable communications when other methods fail. • The Internet has only grown the capabilities of the amateur service by connecting remote stations, and allowing hams to create their own wireless data networks, radio based email and position reporting systems. This allows hams in the most remote of locations to be able to “log in.” • Computers play a big role in amateur radio as hams send text message to one another, send pictures over the radio and even assemble their own TV stations – transmitting professional quality video. • There are more than a dozen active amateur radio satellites in orbit. • The International Space Station even has an amateur radio station on board.
Amateur Radio Today (cont) • Amateurs have even learned to bounce their signal off the auroras, meteors, rainstorms and the moon. • When disaster strikes, amateurs respond quickly in support of public safety and relief agencies like the Red Cross. • Hams also provide communications in public service events such as parades, sporting events, festivals and other public occasions. • Though the scope of amateur radio has grown, the “tinkerers” that founded the hobby are still among us – advancing the hobby and pushing the envelope of what can be done with wireless communications. You are encouraged to build and repair your ownequipment!
Who Can Be A Ham? • Anyone! Everyone! • Once licensed, you are on a first name basis with all other hams regardless of your profession or status in society: • Musicians • Truck Drivers • Doctors/Nurses • Scientists (Astronauts) • All age groups • There are thousands of people with disabilities for whom amateur radio opens a new window to the world.
Field Day Field Day is an annual amateur radio exercise sponsored by the American Radio Relay League which encourages emergency communications preparedness. Since the first Field Day in 1933, Amateur radio operators throughout the United States have practised the rapid deployment of radio communications equipment in environments ranging from operations under tents in remote areas to operations inside Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs). Operations using emergency and alternative power sources are highly encouraged, since electricity and other public infrastructures are often among the first to fail during a natural disaster or severe weather. To determine the effectiveness of the exercise and each participant's operations, there is an integrated contesting component.
Why Amateur Radio • Variety. Most other radio services are very specialized, and limit what you can do with them. Amateur Radio allows you to do much, much more with your license. • Experimentation. You are allowed to build and modify your own equipment. You can even convert commercial service equipmentinto ham equipment. While these services are valuable and perform their own particular functions, amateur radio can take you further!
Section 5: That's the Rules (The FCC & Licensed Radio Services) • Key Terms: • ITU: International Telecommunications Union • NCVEC: National Council of Volunteer Examination Coordinators – team that creates the test pools for radio licenses.
The FCC • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is charged with administering all of the radio frequencies used by U.S. radio stations • The FCC also coordinates the use of these frequencies with other countries as part of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU.) • The vast majority of radio users must have a license or be employed by a company that has a license.
Why Get a License? • When you are licensed, you are free to choose any combination of radio activities in the amateur service. • Licensing is there to make sure you understand the basics of amateur radio so you do not run into problems while on or off the air. • As a licensed ham, you have the right to be protected from harmful interference by signals generated from unlicensed devices.
Amateur Licenses • Once tests were given by the FCC. This caused people to have to travel distances to be tested at regional federal buildings. • Today, amateurs give and grade the exams. • Amateurs create the question pools through a team called the National Council of Volunteer Examination Coordinators (NCVEC.) • Each license is granted for a term of 10 years after the FCC receives a notice from a VEC that you have passed the necessary elements.
Section 6: What We Do (Basic Amateur Radio Activities) • Key Terms: • Simplex: Radio to radio contact • CW: Continuous wave (also known as Morse code.) • Modulation: The variation of a property of an electromagnetic wave or signal, such as its amplitude, frequency, or phase.
Identification and Contacts • On the air, your identity gets something new – a call sign. • For example, instead of Brad, on the air I am Brad AI0BP. • Hams become known by their call signs, and often keep them for life. It is guaranteed to uniquely identify you -- nobody else in the whole worldwill be issued your call sign. • Your call sign communicates both your identification and your nationality. • Identifying yourself by call sign is known as signing. • You are required to state your call sign regularly during every contact so that everyone knows whose transmissions are whose.
Identification and Contacts (cont) • Any conversation between hams over the air is called a contact. • Starting a conversation on the air is called making a contact. • Attempting to make a contact by transmitting you call sign is called making a call or calling. • If you are making a “come in anybody” call to which any station can answer, you are calling CQ. • When calling CQ, you say “CQ CQ CQ, this is AI0BP calling CQ.” • When answering someone calling CQ, you can make a contact with them by stating their call, and then saying “this is (your call)” such as “KI7K this is AI0BP.” • If you've made a contact with someone, you've worked them (also known as a QSO.)
Identification and Contacts (cont) • Once you have established a contact, the next step is to exchange more information: • Signal report – lets a station know how well you are copying them • Name and Location • Whatever else you may wish to communicate (EG: station setup) • At the end of the contact, you sign off. • All this procedure helps facilitate successful communications over half duplex communications (one person can talk at a time.) • If you are transmitting, you can not hear the other person. • Remember to speak clearly and practice proper radio etiquette.
Using Your Voice • The most popular method or mode of making contacts is by voice. • There are a number of different ways to transmit voices via radio signals (modulation.) • Widely used for short range and long range contacts. • You can make contacts directly (simplex) or through a repeater. Repeaters relay signals from low-power mobile or hand-held transmitters across a wide area. Internet links help widen the coverage of repeater systems. • Hams use English as a common language around the world. • Often when talking to locals, people will use their local language. As a result, amateur radio is also a great way to polish your language skills.
Using Morse Code • May seem irrelevant since code requirements have been removed, but CW provides reliable communications where voice would not get the job done. • Morse code can be generated with very simple transmitters – something to generate a radio signal, and something else to turn it on and off. • Copying the code requires only a basic receiver and a human ear. • Software has made it easy to type and decode CW.
Exchanging Digital Data • Inexpensive sound card interfaces and using computers for decoding signals has made digital modes more popular and wide spread. • Conversations are carried out as streams of characters send over the airwaves. • A data interface connects the radio to the computer. • Most digital contacts are keyboard to keyboard (half duplex.) • A number of different protocols exist including (but not limited to): • RTTY • PSK31 • PACTOR • Winlink
Emergencies and Public Service • One of the reasons Amateur Radio is so valuable. • Communications is key to making any organized effort work whether it is a small parade, or major emergency event. • Hams are adaptive to a large number of emergency situations, and there are a large number of talented individuals to implement solutions. • By learning to operate your radio equipment, and by taking a few training classes you'll be ready to join in and practice with other hams ARES: Amateur Radio Emergency Service (organized by the ARRL) RACES: Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (works with civil defense agencies) SATERN: Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network HWN: Hurricane Watch Net (works with National Hurricane Center) SKYWARN: Severe weather watch and reporting system (works with the N.W.S.)
Emergencies and Public Service (cont) Places to Help • Home/EOC – use your base station and antennas to provide long distance communications, relay messages and act as net control to coordinate communications • Vehicle – Mobile stations provide valuable relay and net control functions in the field • On Foot – Go where the action is to provide status reports and relay supply and operations messages between the control stations and workers in the field. • Relaying information is key – it requires accuracy and efficiency
Awards and Contests • Hams continue to develop not only by training and practice, but getting on the air and having fun. • Contests (sometimes called radiosport) are competitive Amateur Radio activities that help keep us sharp, and polish our skills. • From short lived sprints to longer term contests. • Awards are competitions with yourself – seeing what feats you can accomplish. There are operating achievement awards for almost anything you can imagine such as: • Work all States, Counties, Countries or Continents • Contacting satellites • Low power contacts • Collecting certificates and prizes can be addictive.
Other Activities • Slow Scan Television (SSTV) and Amateur Television (ATV) • Automatic Position Reporting System (APRS) • Packet Radio • Can use a Terminal Node Controller (TNC) or Sound Card Interface • Meteor Scatter and Earth Moon Echo (EME)