You are on page 1of 58

Introduction to Ham Radio

Wireless Technology – It is still a viable mode of Communication!

Introduction to Ham Radio


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

"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?"

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.


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

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

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


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

Who's the Typical Ham? .

Who's the Typical Ham? .

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

voice communication on a hand-held radio. sexes. or computerized messages transmitted via satellite. income levels and nationalities. But whether they prefer Morse code on an old brass telegraph key. and they use radio to reach out. They say Hello to the world in many languages and many ways.Who's the Typical Ham?  They are all ages.   . They all have an interest in what's happening in the world.

 .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.

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.

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. a ham's pocket-sized handheld radio allows him to talk to friends in the Carolinas. volunteers save lives as part of their involvement in an emergency response.   . And from his room in Chicago.

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

Many Hams simply like to “Ragchew".  .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. using satellites or using the computer in their hobby.  Hams can be found bouncing signals off the moon. the Ham term for sitting back and having a long conversation with another Ham.

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

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

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

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

Computer hobbyists enjoy using Amateur Radio's digital communications opportunities.  . or even with astronauts on space missions. Others may like to build and experiment with electronics.What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?  Some hams are attracted by the ability to communicate across the country. around the globe.

Some like the convenience of a technology that gives them portable communication.   ." where the object is to see how many hams in distant locations they can contact. 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.What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?  Those with a competitive streak enjoy "DX contests.

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

What's the Appeal of Ham Radio?  Although hams get involved for many reasons.  ." 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. 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.

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

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 .What is There to Do?  Experimenting .

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

What is There to Do? .

What is There to Do?  DX-ing and Contests • DXCC. 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 . WAZ.

What is There to Do? .

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

What is There to Do? Awards .

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

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. are still popular but.WHAT IS HAM RADIO?  Traditional modes. with the advent of the computer. such as radiotelegraphy. Hams now use some very sophisticated techniques to get messages to remote parts of the world.   .

  . The necessary equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver.WHAT IS HAM RADIO?  Amateurs can operate their equipment in homes. and a microphone. an antenna (which can be as simple as a length of wire). boats. cars. 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. even on bicycles and Horses or Backpacking in the woods. office buildings.

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

Slow scan television uses simple equipment to transmit single pictures.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.  . ATV or amateur television allows live video to be sent over the air. Television has not been neglected and there are two types. just the same as with commercial television. Signals are even bounced off the moon by some Hams.

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

which fairly close.  . 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. that you cannot “see”.How do Radio Signals reach around the world?  This is the reason that you can often talk to places. Since the earth is curved.

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

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. the Australians or Hams in India. of the year. We call this Phenomenon Propagation !    . During certain times of the sunspot cycle when we in America can easily talk to the Russians. This doesn’t happen with all frequencies and Hams learn that there are particular frequencies as well as particular times of the day.

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

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

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

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

10 MHz)   . and 10 mostly in southerly directions Absorption high in the day.8 .30 meters (1. 12. low at night Watch at sunset and sunrise • Low: 160 .How do Radio Signals reach around the world? What is Propagation Like ?  High-bands and Low-bands • High: 20 .10 meters (14 -28 MHz)    Highest open band is best 20 and 17 widest coverage now 15.

and 160-meters are solid at night .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.

In addition.   . it is called the "Amateur Radio Service" because it also has a serious face. and to enhance international goodwill. whether it's during an earthquake in Italy or a hurricane in the U. Countless lives have been saved where skilled hobbyists act as emergency communicators to render aid.S.Why Do You Need a License?  Although the main purpose of Amateur Radio is fun. This philosophy has paid off. The FCC created this "Service" to fill the need for a pool of experts who could provide backup during emergencies. the FCC acknowledged the ability of the hobby to advance the communication and technical skills of radio.

  . The cost of equipment varies widely depending on which modes the amateur wants to use. it is certainly not necessary to spend a lot of money to enjoy the hobby. For more complex communication specialized equipment is required. it is possible to spend a fortune or a “fancy Ham station”. However. a microphone and/or a Morse code key. One can get on the air for as little as $150.How Much Does it Cost?  The necessary equipment consists of a transmitter and receiver (or transceiver). Because of the variety of equipment and the modes available.00 with used equipment. an antenna (which can be as simple as a piece of wire).

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

If possible. taking part in one of these classes is the best way to go.  Some people use the Free online self study like and the cost for taking the test is $15.  .qrz. but there's even an online course you can take if your personal schedule is too hectic.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 $40.00 There are also classes held by many local groups for people who want more interaction.

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

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

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

This PowerPoint was created by Larry – N5ASA & www. So I hope it served it’s purpose. Some of the resources on this PowerPoint presentation came from the ARRL website at www.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). Good Luck in getting your Ham Radio and various locations on the world wide July 2006 .