VK3YE amateur radio pages

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Amateur radio beginner and general articles


1. What people do with amateur radio


2. Getting involved

Amateur radio is a non-commercial technological activity enjoyed by people in their spare time. It has many diverse facets, as shown in the video. Activity in most countries is supported by a national organisation and a network of regional and interest-based clubs.

Most facets require access to radio frequencies that governments worldwide have allocated for amateur use. In return amateur applicants must pass a test, obtain a government-recognised callsign, and (in some countries) pay a small annual licence fee. These arrangements exist so that amateurs are qualified enough not to cause interference to other radio users such as broadcasting, emergency services and defence.

If you like what you saw and wish to get involved there are many sources of further information. Your national society's website is a good starting point. This will have information and links to activities, rules, radio clubs and getting licenced. Our activities are much the same worldwide but rules and processes differ slightly between countries so it's important to read nationally-relevant material, eg the following:

American Radio Relay League Deutschen Amateur-Radio-Club

Japan Amateur Radio League New Zealand Association of Radio Transmitters

Organisation Amatir Radio Indonesia Radio Amateurs Canada

Reseau des Emetteurs Francais Radio Society of Great Britain

South Africa Radio League Wireless Institute of Australia


In the US? You really need the comprehensive Ham Radio Get Started (ebook or paperback).

In Australia? The Australian Ham Radio Handbook is the book for you. Paperback available from Jaycar.
Less comprehensive than the book but worth watching is this video guide on getting licensed in Australia.


3. Equipment

Please see Equipment and equipment reviews

Also avoid online rip-offs with some tips below.


4. Operating

Foundation guide to frequencies and getting contacts

First contacts (for the Foundation licence in Australia)

An HF primer - Part 1 An HF primer - Part 2

A VHF/UHF primer

Voice repeater basics


Receive and transmit through amateur satellites

HF portable the simple way

Be the one everyone wants to contact

The importance of finding low noise locations to operate from

Introduction to HF QRP pedestrian mobile

I don't have time to go portable

Experiences on 630 metres

Transmitting on 160 metres

Ten metres for the newcomer

Making contacts with Morse

The joys of AM transmitting

Making the most of Sunspot Cycle 24 (and 25, 26, 27 etc)

Radio contesting

Amateur radio direction finding

Swap pictures with slow scan television (SSTV)

Track your movement with APRS

Keyboard chat with JS8

Exploring WSPR (Weak Signal Propagation Reporter)

Meteor scatter with MSK144

Ham Babble - making sense of what's said on the bands


5. Technical

Homebrewing for the novice

Amateur radio projects

Amateur radio antenna projects

The four pieces of radio test equipment you really need

Amateur radio's 'hidden curriculum'

Radio hints and tips

Exploring rechargeable batteries


6. External resources

Australian amateur radio FAQ

Amateur Radio: A 21st century hobby (video)

Foundations of Amateur Radio (podcast)

Radio & Electronics School (helps you study)

Australian Maritime College (administers amateur exams & callsigns)

Australian Communications & Media Authority (the spectrum regulator)

Wireless Institute of Australia (national representative association)

Books by VK3YE

Ham Radio Get Started (USA)

Australian Ham Radio Handbook (Aust)

Hand-carried QRP Antennas

More Hand-carried QRP Antennas

99 things you can do with Amateur Radio

Getting back into Amateur Radio

Minimum QRP

Illustrated International Ham Radio Dictionary

Make your Passion Pay (ebook writing)


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