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Introduction to Ham Radio

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Ham Radio"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Ham Radio
Wireless Technology – It is still a viable mode of Communication!

2 Introduction to Ham Radio
Welcome! To the World of Ham Radio! I Hope this Presentation will Spark an interest to you in this Great & Rewarding Hobby!

3 "Hello!" Not surprisingly, it was the first word to be heard over the radio some 100 years ago
Listen to Fessenden's first voice transmission on December 23, 1900 he says, "Hello! Test, 1, 2, 3, 4. Is it snowing where you are Mr. Thiessen?"

4 From the time he was a young boy, Canadian Reginald Fessenden was fascinated with the idea of transmitting voice. Upon hearing his uncle describe Alexander Graham Bell's demonstration of the telephone, the 10 year-old reportedly asked, "Why do they need wires?" He then spent much of his life trying to figure it out.


6 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Amateur radio is a hobby that has been around almost as long as radio itself.

7 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Amateur radio operators, usually referred to as “Hams”, are people with an interest in radio design and communication.

8 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Hurricane Katrina Aug 28, 2005 More importantly, they provide the community with a vital resource in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.


10 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? A Great Hobby & Just Plain FUN!

11 Who's the Typical Ham?

12 Who's the Typical Ham?

13 Who's the Typical Ham? Amateur Radio operators come from all walks of life -- movie stars, missionaries, doctors, students, politicians, truck drivers and just plain folks! Sometimes you get to meet them as well as talk to them on the air.

14 Who's the Typical Ham? 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 reach out.

15 Who's the Typical Ham? Ham with a small solar powered Radio makes friends over the radio with another ham in Lithuania. A Ham uses a handheld radio for vital emergency communications.

16 Who's the Typical Ham? An Ohio teenager uses his computer to upload a digital chess move to an orbiting space satellite, where it's retrieved by a fellow chess enthusiast in Japan.

17 Who's the Typical Ham? An aircraft engineer in Florida participating in a "DX contest" swaps his call sign and talks to hams in 100 different countries during a single weekend. In California, volunteers save lives as part of their involvement in an emergency response. And from his room in Chicago, a ham's pocket-sized hand-held radio allows him to talk to friends in the Carolinas.

18 Who's the Typical Ham? Hams enjoy operating their own two-way radio station to talk to people all over the world or in their own community. Today, Hams are more likely to talk into a microphone or use high tech digital techniques.

19 Who's the Typical Ham? In the early days of radio a century ago this was done using the "dits" and "dahs" of Morse code. Hams can be found bouncing signals off the moon, using satellites or using the computer in their hobby. Many Hams simply like to “Ragchew", the Ham term for sitting back and having a long conversation with another Ham.

20 Who's the Typical Ham? Amateur radio is not only a hobby.
Thousands of Hams are involved in essential public service.

21 Who's the Typical Ham? We provide communications after natural disasters, such as tornadoes, floods or earthquakes, when all the other lines of communications are down.

22 Who's the Typical Ham? We bring with us our own power generators and equipment so that we are completely independent. We maintain our emergency equipment in readiness so that we can move to an area in trouble with the minimum of delay.

23 Who's the Typical Ham? Hams have been active in many community activities, providing communication during Hurricanes and tornados and the forest fires & earthquakes.

24 What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?
Some 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.

25 What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?
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.

26 What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?
This unique mix of fun, public service and convenience is the distinguishing characteristic of Amateur Radio.

27 What's the Appeal of Ham 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.

28 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? There are many ways in which Hams communicate. The most popular is using voice transmissions, just as you would over the telephone (without getting a bill at the end of the month!) Increasingly now, Hams use digital modes. The oldest of these is Morse code, which is still used by many Hams.

29 What is There to Do? Experimenting - Electronics & Antennas
Lots and lots of kits to build HF is more tolerant of wiring techniques Try a homebrew transmitter (QRP!) Make your own antennas Antenna modeling software and courses

30 What is There to Do? New Modes Try CW, it’s fun! SSB is a natural
Digital Modes RTTY and PSK PACTOR and WinLink SSTV

31 What is There to Do?

32 What is There to Do? DX-ing and Contests DXCC, WAZ, IOTA programs
DX-peditions: operations from rare locations Contests are good exercise Contest calendars for listings All sizes, modes, and coverage Great for chasing awards Especially good for learning propagation

33 What is There to Do?

34 What is There to Do? Award Programs or “Wallpaper Chasing”
K1BV Awards Directory, >3000 awards WAS and County Hunting Specialty awards: regional, mode, band Special events

35 What is There to Do? Awards

36 Do I Have to Learn Morse Code?
WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Do I Have to Learn Morse Code? Not any more! While many hams LIKE to use Morse code, it is not required for your entry level license.

37 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Traditional modes, such as radiotelegraphy, are still popular but, with the advent of the computer, Hams now use some very sophisticated techniques to get messages to remote parts of the world. PSK 31 is a mode generated by a computer that can be transmitted by radio over long distances with very low power. The Internet is used to enhance radio transmissions in modes called Echolink and IRLP.

38 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? Amateurs can operate their equipment in homes, cars, boats, office buildings, even on bicycles and Horses or Backpacking in the woods. The necessary equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver, an antenna (which can be as simple as a length of wire), and a microphone. The transmitter and receiver are often combined (called a transceiver) and may be small enough to fit in a shirt pocket or large enough to occupy a desk.

39 WHAT IS HAM RADIO? A Typical Station Set-up

40 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
Amateur radio satellites are orbiting the globe and provide another way for Hams to talk to each other. Signals are even bounced off the moon by some Hams. Television has not been neglected and there are two types. Slow scan television uses simple equipment to transmit single pictures. ATV or amateur television allows live video to be sent over the air, just the same as with commercial television.

41 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
Radio signals are a form of light waves, just at a different frequency. Like light, radio travels in straight lines. If you can see a place from your station, you will be able to get a signal there. That is one reason why many antennas are very high up; you can “see” more from there. Radio is different from light because it bends more easily and can to a certain extent penetrate solid objects.

42 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
This is the reason that you can often talk to places, which fairly close, that you cannot “see”. Since the earth is curved, it doesn’t seem reasonable that a radio wave that starts off from your house in a straight line could reach the other side of the world.

43 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
The trick is to bounce the radio waves off a layer, Hundreds of miles above us, called the ionosphere. Think of it as a Big Mirror in the sky! This is quite possible using certain frequencies, typically below 30 MHz. The signal bounces back down to earth, often thousands of miles away and may then bounce back to the ionosphere and back to earth and so on.

44 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
This property of the ionosphere is a blessing for Hams who can then talk to people on the other side of the globe. This doesn’t happen with all frequencies and Hams learn that there are particular frequencies as well as particular times of the day, of the year. During certain times of the sunspot cycle when we in America can easily talk to the Russians, the Australians or Hams in India. We call this Phenomenon Propagation !

45 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
What is Propagation ? The Ionosphere UV F2 F1 E D Ground Wave

46 How do Radio Signals reach around the world?
What is Propagation ? The Ionosphere 50 to 500 miles up D, E, F1 and F2 layers Effect of solar radiation (UV) MUF “Skip” or “Hops”

47 What is Propagation Like ?
How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? The Sun UV ionizes the upper layers, raises MUF MUF tends to “follow the sun” More sunspots = Higher MUF A and K indices from WWV and NOAA Solar cycle, minimum in 2005/2006 Solar flares and other disturbances

48 What is Propagation Like ?
How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ?

49 What is Propagation Like ?
How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? High-bands and Low-bands High: meters ( MHz) Highest open band is best 20 and 17 widest coverage now 15, 12, and 10 mostly in southerly directions Low: meters ( MHz) Absorption high in the day, low at night Watch at sunset and sunrise

50 What is Propagation Like ?
How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ? “Skip Zone” Results from ground-wave versus sky-wave Sky-wave depends on MUF and signal angle Up to 200 miles on 40-meters 30- and 40-meters can “go long” 60-meters is good transition band 80- and 160-meters are solid at night

51 Why Do You Need a License?
Although 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.

52 How Much Does it Cost? The necessary equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver (or transceiver), an antenna (which can be as simple as a piece of wire), a microphone and/or a Morse code key. For more complex communication specialized equipment is required, The cost of equipment varies widely depending on which modes the amateur wants to use. One can get on the air for as little as $ with used equipment. Because of the variety of equipment and the modes available, it is possible to spend a fortune or a “fancy Ham station”. However, it is certainly not necessary to spend a lot of money to enjoy the hobby.

53 How Much does equipment Cost?
Once you have your first license, most hams find it best to start with simple equipment and grow over time. It usually costs less than $200 to get your own first radio and start saying Hello. Many ham radio flea markets are held all over the country that sell good used equipment for even less.

54 How Much Does my License Cost?
Normally the basic study materials for passing the FCC test and getting your initial license usually cost less than $40. Some people use the Free online self study like and the cost for taking the test is $14.00 There are also classes held by many local groups for people who want more interaction. If possible, taking part in one of these classes is the best way to go, but there's even an online course you can take if your personal schedule is too hectic.

55 What is the ARRL? Founded in 1914, the 150,000-member ARRL - The National Association for Amateur Radio is the national association for Amateur Radio in the USA. Other countries also have their own national associations. The ARRL not only reflects the commitment and many enthusiasms of American hams, but also provides leadership as the voice of Amateur Radio in the USA, whether in dealings with the Federal Communications Commission, the World Administrative Radio Conference, the International Amateur Radio Union, or with the general public.

56 What is the ARRL? The ARRL is the primary source of information about what is going on in the ham radio world. It provides books, news, support and information for individuals and clubs, special operating events, all sorts of continuing education classes and other benefits for its members. Being a member of the ARRL is important for hams!

57 How do I become a Ham? If you would like to step into the world of Ham Radio, choose one of the following steps, or pick all three to speed things along: Find and join a supportive amateur radio club near you. May we suggest the TCHC Twin City Ham Club in West Monroe. Some clubs are specifically set up as "mentor" clubs to help people get into the hobby. "help for newcomers". Join the ARRL - The National Association for Amateur Radio. There are many benefits of membership that will help you grow as an Amateur Radio operator.

58 How do I become a Ham? Do it yourself with the helpful list of resources from ARRL, including books, guides, online courses and more! A New Webpage for 2006

59 Introduction to Ham Radio
Welcome to the World of Ham Radio! This presentation was made for individuals that knows little or nothing about Ham Radio (Amateur Radio). So I hope it served it’s purpose. Good Luck in getting your Ham Radio License. Some of the resources on this PowerPoint presentation came from the ARRL website at & and various locations on the world wide web. This PowerPoint was Presented by Larry – N5ASA July 2006

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