come to the right place. Attend
one of M.C.A.R.Cs club meetings. We
can assist you with training and licensing. Above is a
picture of one of our meeting.
is Ham Radio?
unique mix of fun, public service and convenience is the
distinguishing characteristic of Amateur Radio. Although hams get
involved for many reasons, they all have in common a basic
knowledge of radio technology and operating principles, and pass
an examination for the FCC license to operate on radio frequencies
known as the "Amateur Bands." These bands are radio
frequencies reserved by the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) for
use by hams at intervals from just above the AM broadcast band all
the way up into extremely high microwave frequencies.
is the Typical Ham?
Radio operators come from all walks of life -- movie stars,
missionaries, doctors, students, politicians, truck drivers and
just plain folks. They are all ages, sexes, income levels and
nationalities. They say Hello to the world in many languages and
many ways. But whether they prefer Morse code on an old brass
telegraph key, voice communication on a hand-held radio, or
computerized messages transmitted via satellite, they all have an
interest in what's happening in the world, and they use radio to
the Appeal of Ham Radio?
hams are attracted by the ability to communicate across the
country, around the globe, or even with astronauts on space
missions. Others may like to build and experiment with
electronics. Computer hobbyists enjoy using Amateur Radio's
digital communications opportunities. Those with a competitive
streak enjoy "DX contests," where the object is to see
how many hams in distant locations they can contact. Some like the
convenience of a technology that gives them portable
communication. Mostly we use it to open the door to new
friendships over the air or through participation in one of more
than 2000 Amateur Radio clubs throughout the country.
Do You Need a License?
the main purpose of Amateur Radio is fun, it is called the
"Amateur Radio Service" because it also has a serious
face. The FCC created this "Service" to fill the need
for a pool of experts who could provide backup during emergencies.
In addition, the FCC acknowledged the ability of the hobby to
advance the communication and technical skills of radio, and to
enhance international goodwill. This philosophy has paid off.
Countless lives have been saved where skilled hobbyists act as
emergency communicators to render aid, whether it's during an
earthquake in Italy or a hurricane in the U.S.
to Become a Ham
radio is the premier high-tech hobby. It's enjoyed by people from
all walks of life from around the world. The rules for becoming an
amateur (ham) radio operator vary from country to country around
the world. On this page we're going to tell you a little about the
hobby and how you can obtain the necessary license to operate in
the United States.
never been so easy to get into ham radio. All ham radio operators
must be licensed before they can legally operate. This differs a
great deal from the CB (i.e. truckers) and FRS (i.e. dimestore
walkie-talkie) services which require no licenses.
radio operators must be licensed because they are given
transmitting privileges on a wide variety of frequencies and are
allow to use just about any equipment imaginable, even home built
radios. Amateurs are allotted not single specific frequencies but
usually whole ranges (bands) of different frequencies to operate
on. These frequencies and methods of transmission are are
specified by FCC rules and so it is therefore necessary to be
generally familiar with your operating limitations in order to
order to qualify for an amateur radio license, you must pass
certain tests to determine that you have the required knowledge.
Fortunately, the tests are not terribly difficult for most people.
There are three license levels (known as classes) where each class
to the individual. There is a single
written test for each license class.
license classes are:
this is the entry level license. It gives privileges on all
amateur frequencies above 50 Mhz and is the most popular. It
requires only a written test.
this is the mid-level license. It enables privileges on most
amateur frequencies below 50 Mhz and includes global HF (shortwave)
communications. It has its own written test and requires
that you also have passed the Technician class
this is the highest level license. It grants privileges on all
amateur frequencies. It has its own written test and requires
that you also have passed all of the Technician and General
so where do I start?
part is easy. The first thing you should do is contact Macoupin
County Amateur Radio Club. We will help you obtain the home
study materials and tutoring to prepare you for the test. This
will give you the background that you'll need to understand the
gist of what the tests are about.
Radio Public Service
service communication has
been a traditional responsibility of the Amateur Radio Service
since 1913. In today's Amateur Radio, disaster work is a highly
organized and worthwhile part of day-to-day operation, implemented
principally through the Amateur
Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and
the National Traffic System
(NTS), both sponsored by ARRL. The
Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES), independent nets
and other amateur public service groups are also a part of ARRL-recognized
Amateur Radio public service efforts.
Radio Emergency Service (ARES)
Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists
of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their
qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public
service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless
of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization,
is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification,
other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere
desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs
are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered
equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.
is the National Weather Service (NWS) program of
trained volunteer severe weather spotters. Skywarn volunteers
support their local community and government by providing the NWS
with timely and accurate severe weather reports. These reports,
when integrated with modern NWS technology, are used to inform
communities of the proper actions to take as severe weather
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