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Ham Radio Technician Class License Noji Ratzlaff KNØJI noji.com/hamradio Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Purposes of this course Acquaint you with the ins and outs of ham radio Demonstrate how it works Prepare you for the ham test Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Basic course outline The Person Behind Ham Radio How you work with ham radio The Science Behind Ham Radio How ham radio works The Final Exam Online study and practice Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The Person Behind Ham Radio That would be you Your privileges Your responsibilities Things you can do Things you shouldn’t do Safety Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
What the heck is ham radio? You can talk with another person by radio Ham radio is a nickname for amateur radio Operators often refer to themselves as hams Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Amateur radio Not broadcast Not commercial Not official Personal aim No pecuniary (for money) interest, except incidental to classroom instruction Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
What’s it used for? Can be a fun hobby Can be a serious part of your emergency plan Can be both Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Why ham radio? Greater range than regular walkie-talkies Greater availability than CB radio More reliable than cell phones if the power goes out Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Must not be interfered with The government wants you to help out with emergencies They have taken great pains to ensure your communications have priority Believe it or not, they are on your side if you have a license Anything that interferes with your ability to communicate during an emergency is considered harmful because people’s lives could be at stake Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Ham radio requires a license Regulated by the FCC Free-of-charge Good for ten years Must keep your mailing address current Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The license requires passing a test 35 multiple-choice questions 26 correct answers passes the test Test is not timed, within reason Must be taken at a testing center Many study aids available No re-test needed to renew your license The FCC wants you to pass the test Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Your call sign You are assigned a unique call sign You must not transmit until your name and call sign appear in the FCC’s ULS database If your license expires, you must not transmit until the ULS database shows that your license has been renewed Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Call sign formats One or two X one, two, or three KR5LYS (2x3) KNØJI (2x2) N7XGA (1x3) WN7P (2x1) One X one reserved for special events Q9A (1x1) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Legal call sign formats? WØRPD P1NK ALGØRE KG7EKY W7N4L CR8TER W3ABC Yep Nope…why not? Yep Nope…why not? Yep Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
More on call signs Tactical call signs “Headquarters” or “Team 1” Can apply for a vanity call sign Like CØWPI or NO1UNO Learn the phonetic alphabet Clarifies your call sign Often requested Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The phonetic alphabet Alfa Bravo Charlie Delta Echo Foxtrot Golf Hotel India Juliet Kilo Lima Mike November Oscar Papa Quebec Romeo Sierra Tango Uniform Victor Whiskey Xray Yankee Zulu Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Phonetic alphabet quiz Spell your first name phonetically November Oscar Juliet India Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
You are operating a radio station There are rules to follow No specific frequency No specific location Respect and courtesy No foul language No music allowed, except for manned spacecraft re-transmissions Must not broadcast, meaning “for the general public” Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The control operator The person at the controls The licensed person supervising The licensee designates the operator Both responsible for proper operation Only needs to be there if transmitting Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
A few definitions Voice communications known as “phone” Morse code is known as “CW” Digital communications referred to as “data” Broadcast means transmitting to the “general public” “On the air” means you are transmitting Your “ID” is your call sign Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Getting on the air Pick a frequency Listen Listen some more Proceed to speak Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Station identification Must identify yourself every ten minutes Must end your communication with your call sign Must not fraudulently use another Must use only English for your ID On phone, must use voice or CW (morse code) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
What do you say first? CQ (means “Calling any station!”) “CQ, CQ, CQ” Say your call sign instead of CQ “KNØJI” Other call sign, then your call sign “KR5LYS, this is KNØJI” Announce you are listening on a repeater “KNØJI listening” or “KNØJI mobile” Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Emergencies “Emergency!” (follow with your call sign) “Break!” (follow with your call sign) “Priority!” When you hear this from others, don’t transmit unless directed to do so Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Shorthand codes QSY Please change frequency QRM There’s too much interference QSO (pronounced cue’-soh) Made contact Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Current license classes Technician Probably all the license you’ll ever need General Access to talk on HF Amateur Extra Access to everything on all frequencies Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Former license classes Novice Tech Plus Advanced Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Station control types Local control You’re at the radio location Remote control You’re far away from the radio Automatic control Nobody is at the radio Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Station control Station accessories Interference Grounding Operating controls General operations Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Basic station accessories A set of headphones instead of a speaker is useful in a noisy area A regulated power supply prevents voltage fluctuations A TNC (terminal node controller) can communicate between a transceiver and a computer Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Specialized station accessories We use “RF” to refer to radio frequency signals of all types Use a ferrite choke to prevent RF current flowing on the cable shield Install a filter between the transmitter and antenna to reduce harmonics A flat strap is the best conductor to use for RF grounding Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Interference Annoying interference – Atmospheric noise – Static – Power line hum – Computer equipment – Automobile engine electrical noise Harmful interference – Others cutting in your conversation Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Causes of RF interference Fundamental overload Harmonics Spurious emissions Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Correcting RF interference Install snap-on ferrite chokes Install low-pass and high-pass filters Install band-reject filters Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Harmful interference Interferes with proper communications Must not cause harmful interference If you are the cause, you must stop transmitting and take steps to eliminate the cause of the interference Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Common operating controls The output signal might get distorted if the microphone gain is set too high Store a favorite frequency in a memory channel to access it quickly Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Squelch controls Squelch mutes the receiver when no signal is being received Carrier squelch mutes the receiver only when an RF signal is present Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Bands Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The privileges The ARRL Authorized bands Authorized frequencies Bandwidth Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Useful units Hz V A Ω W m hertz volts amperes (amps) ohms watts meters Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Units modifier convention m µ k M G milli (1/1000) micro (1/ ) kilo (X 1 thousand) mega (X 1 million) giga (X 1 billion) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Units examples µV MHz km mA kΩkΩ GHz mW microvolts megahertz kilometers milliamperes kilohms gigahertz milliwatts Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Radio and TV band categories HF VHF UHF 3 to 30 MHz 30 to 300 MHz 300 to 3000 MHz Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Bandwidth The frquency range that is… Allocated Used Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Amateur HF bands 160 meters 80 meters 60 meters 40 meters 30 meters 20 meters 17 meters 15 meters 12 meters 10 meters Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Amateur VHF bands 6 meters 2 meters 1.25 meters These have mode-restricted sub-bands Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Amateur UHF bands 70 cm 33 cm 23 cm Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
General operations Simplex Repeaters Public services Amateur satellite / space station Fun with ham radio Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Simplex Transmitting and receiving on the same frequency MHz is the national calling frequency for the 70 cm band Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Repeaters Transmits and receives on different frequencies Frequency offset Tones Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Repeater frequency offset 2 meter band Plus or minus 600 kHz offset 70 cm band Plus or minus 5 MHz offset Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Tones CTCSS Sub-audible tone that opens a receiver squelch DCS (digital version of the same) Audio tone burst (one you can hear) What kinds of problems? Burst required or CTCSS / DCS not set Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Public services ARES Amateur Radio Emergency Service RACES Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service EOC Emergency Operations Center Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Amateur satellite / space station Who can communicate with these? Anybody with a Technician license What does satellite U/V mean? 70 cm (UHF) up / 2 m (VHF) down What is a LEO satellite? One in Low Earth Orbit What is a satellite beacon? A space station transmits about a satellite Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Fun with ham radio Contesting Contact as many stations as possible Foxhunt (radio direction finding) Locate a hidden transmitter Requires a directional antenna IRLP Talk with somebody across the globe Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The ITU International Telecommunication Union The ITU is a United Nations agency The FCC rules fit within the ITU ITU regions (we are in Region 2) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Safety AC power Hazardous voltages Fuses and circuit breakers Batteries Antennas RF (radio frequency) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electricity can kill Seriously? Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
How electricity can create a health hazard It heats body tissue It disrupts the electrical function of cells It causes involuntary muscle contractions Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
How to avoid an electrical shock Use three-wire cords and plugs for all AC equipment Connect all AC-powered equipment to a common ground Use a circuit protected by a ground- fault interrupter (GFI) Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antenna safety Power lines Towers Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Power lines Install an antenna so that if it should fall unexpectedly, no part of it can come closer than 10 feet to power wires Avoid attaching an antenna to a utility pole because the antenna could contact high-voltage power wires Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antenna towers Wear a hard hat and safety glasses at all times when working on a tower Put on a climbing harness before climbing a tower Never climb a tower without a helper or observer When installing an antenna tower, stay clear of overhead electrical wires Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antenna grounding When installing grounding wires on a tower, ensure the connections are short and direct Connect all coaxial cable feedline protectors to a common external ground Avoid sharp bends when installing grounding wires Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
RF safety Exposure Proximity to antennas A person who touches your antenna while you are transmitting could receive a painful RF burn Safe power levels Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The Science Behind Ham Radio Electricity and electrical circuits Parts of a radio Radio waves Antennas Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electricity basics Electric components Electric circuits Electrical calculations Schematic symbols Circuit diagrams Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electric components Resistor Battery Lamp (light bulb) Diode Transistor Capacitor Inductor Transformer Fuse Switch Power source LED Antenna Ground Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electric circuits – Figure T1 1 = 2 = 3 = 4 = 5 = resistor transistor lamp battery ground Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electric circuits – Figure T2 2 = 8 = 6 = 4 = 5 = 3 = 9 = fuse LED capacitor transformer diode (rectifier) single-pole, single-throw switch variable resistor Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electric circuits – Figure T3 2 = 3 = 4 = variable capacitor variable inductor antenna Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electrical calculations Ohm’s Law Power law Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Ohm’s Law E = I X R voltage = current X resistance volts = amps X ohms Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Obeying Ohm’s Law Cover the unknown quantity 10 amps and 12 ohms 12 volts and 2 ohms 24 volts and 3 amps 10 X 12 = 120 volts 12 ÷ 2 = 6 amps 24 ÷ 3 = 8 ohms Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Power law P = I X E power = current X voltage watts = amps X volts Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Obeying the Power Law Cover the unknown quantity 10 amps and 120 volts 24 watts and 12 volts 100 watts and 4 amps 10 X 120 = 1200 watts 24 ÷ 12 = 2 amps 100 ÷ 4 = 25 volts Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Radio station equipment Transmitter Receiver Antenna Feedline Transceiver Amplifier Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Transceiver types HT : handheld transceiver (handy- talkie) Mobile : less portable, but stronger Base Station : usually permanent Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Equipment malfunction Troubleshooting Basic repairs Testing Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Troubleshooting If a neighbor’s device is causing interference, Check your own station first Work with your neighbor Politely inform your neighbor If you hear that your signal sounds distorted, Your batteries could be running low You could be in a bad location Your transmitter might be slightly off- frequency Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Basic repairs and testing Using test equipment Soldering Remember to identify the transmitting station (state your call sign) if you make on-air transmissions to test your transceiver or antennas Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Test equipment A multimeter measures voltage and resistance A voltmeter measures electric potential in parallel with the circuit An ohmmeter measures resistance in a circuit that is not powered An ammeter measures electric current in series with the circuit Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Soldering Rosin-core is best for radio and electronic use A grainy, dull surface is the appearance of a “cold” solder joint Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Radio waves Electromagnetic radiation How electromagnetic waves travel The Electromagnetic Spectrum Frequency and wavelength Radio Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Electromagnetic radiation Called electromagnetic because it is made of an electric field and a magnetic field traveling simultaneously Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The Electromagnetic Spectrum Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Radio Frequency Portion Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
How waves travel Electromagnetic waves travel at the speed of light in free space The speed of light is 300 million meters per second Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Frequency and wavelength Frequency is number of wave crests per second Wavelength is the distance a radio wave travels during one cycle Frequency X wavelength = speed of light MHz X meters = 300 So, 300 ÷ MHz = wavelength in meters Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Frequency / band short quiz MHz? 1296 MHz? MHz? MHz? MHz? 6 meter band 23 cm band 1.25 meter band 2 meter band 70 cm band Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Radio wave behavior HF waves VHF waves UHF waves Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Modulation modes AM ― SSB is one form of AM FM ― commonly used for VHF and UHF SSB ― voice modulation used for VHF and UHF LSB USB Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
CW (Morse Code) Specifically, International Morse Code Has the narrowest bandwidth 150 Hz bandwidth maximum Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Digital modes PSK31 (Phase Shift Keying) ― low rate RTTY PACTOR III Packet MSFK Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antennas Matter Different types Their polarization Feedlines Connectors SWR ― standing wave ratio Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antenna types Rubber duck Vertical Dipole (horizontally polarized) Yagi Dish Directional Omnidirectional Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Antenna polarization Broadside ― strongest signals on dipole Beam ― concentrates signals Horizontal Vertical Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The atmosphere We live in the Troposphere The Ionosphere is made of four layers Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Atmospheric layer results The ionosphere reflects radio waves Can reflect waves around the world The troposphere is the lowest Can reflect waves over the horizon The sporadic E layer is farther Can reflect waves even farther Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Atmospheric effects Tropospheric scatter can go 300 miles Sporadic E-layer allows over-the- horizon signals on 10 m, 6 m, and 2 m 10 meter signals are best during the day Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Feedlines Coaxial cable (coax) is easy to use 50 Ω impedance RG-8 has lower loss than RG-58 Power lost is converted to heat UV light can damage the jacket, allowing water to enter Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
Connectors BNC SMA : most common for HTs PL-259 : commonly used at HF SO-239 N : suitable above 400 MHz Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
SWR Standing wave ratio 1:1 ― ideal (perfect match) 1.5:1 ― terrific 2:1 ― transmitter power reduced 4:1 ― impedance mismatch An antenna tuner can do the matching Erratic SWR could be caused by a loose feedline connection Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
More troubleshooting Your friend reports that your 2-meter station sounded strong a minute ago, but now sounds weak or distorted Try moving a few feet or changing the direction of your antenna Now he says you’re “picket fencing” – what does he mean? A rapid, fluttering sound is coming from your radio because you’re moving Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
The Final Exam What’s on the test? Study aids Register with HamStudy.org Studying flash cards Practice exams Where and when to take the test Checking for your license Copyright © 2014 Noji Ratzlaff
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