Amateur "Ham" Radio

Communication during an emergency is absolutely critical.

Area Frequencies

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Area Ham Radio Network

Each Area should have a Ham radio network set up and be completing Net sessions weekly. This network ideally should include at least two designated Area control operators that understand, have good equipment and can facilitate an Area Net Session weekly. Each Person in the Area should own a Ham radio and listen into the Net session weekly. If you are licensed you should check in with the Net controller during the session. If you are not licensed then you should listen in and only communicate with the controller if there is an emergency. Each person has the responsibility to get trained and understand how to use the radio you own (during an emergency or communication crisis is not the time to learn). There are many videos and information online to help accommodate you with being confident in using your radio.

Area Assistants in each Area must choose a primary and secondary Area frequency and a Net Session schedule. The frequency and net time should be entered into the Area page and should be communicated to all the people in the Area. Each person can then log into their People's Rights website and see the Area frequency numbers and the next Net Session time. The AREA FREQUENCY AND NET TIME SHOULD NOT CHANGE unless there is very good reason to do so. Each Person in the Area should remember, write down and not forget the Area frequency (in an emergency you may not be able to log in to the People's Rights website to retrieve the information).

If "normal" communication became unavailable, the people in the Area should communicate by radio using the Area frequency lead by the Area Assistants and the designates Area Controllers.

It is the responsibility of each Person to make sure they can connect with the other people in their Area. If you need equipment to reach a little further to communication with your neighbors (including the Area Assistants), then get it. If you need to find a repeater to transmits out, then find one and get connected. Don't find yourself alone in a dire situation.

The responsibility to secure your family and yourself belongs to you. Act now so you will not be acted upon later!

Net Sessions (Important)

Net Sessions should be routinely done each week in each Area. Once you get a Ham radio you can program the Area Frequency into your radio and each week during the Net Session time you can listen to the Area info and updates.

The importance of a routine Net Session is for if/when traditional means of communication (Internet access, phones, text, etc) cease to function, neighbors will already have a time, frequency and the experience to communicate with each other and act unified as needed. Performing Net Sessions, possessing a Ham radio and knowing how to use it could save our lives and our freedom!

The Basics

You need a radio, you need to know how to use it (which includes how to set it to the necessary frequencies) and how to communicate with your neighbors.

You also need to get in the routine of communicating by radio so when other communication go down you and your neighbors are not isolated.

Ham radio communication is a very independent way to communicate, all you need is a radio, the frequencies and someone to communicate with.

The Details

The primary difference between commercial radio stations and ham radio is that ham radio operators use their own equipment to communicate with other operators without any form of financial benefit. These operators not only communicate for fun and enjoyment, they also provide a valuable service in emergencies when other communications are limited or fail completely. Many amateur operators, called "hams," find challenge in building their own systems and reaching other operators as far away as possible. Other operators simply want to meet other hams and provide valuable emergency services to their communities should tragedy strike their area. The ability to combine computers, the Internet and digital technologies with ham radios has tremendously increased the popularity of amateur radio in recent years. 

In other words, it's not just for old men in basements.  ;-)

Be a Net Control Operator

Ham Radio Q&A: How to be a net control operator...

Get a Ham Radio Now!

You can purchase Ham radios at many location.
Here are a few that we have vetted out.

Get a Radio Now

History of Amateur Radio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Main article: Amateur radio

The history of amateur radio, dates from the dawn of radio communications, with published instructions for building simple wireless sets appearing at the beginning of the twentieth century.[1] Throughout its history, amateur radio enthusiasts have made significant contributions to scienceengineeringindustry, and social services. Research by amateur radio operators has founded new industries,[2] built economies,[3] empowered nations,[4] and saved lives[5] in times of emergency.


Amateur radio came into being after radio waves (proved to exist by Heinrich Rudolf Hertz in 1888) were adapted into a communication system in the 1890s by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi.[6] In the late 19th century there had been amateur wired telegraphers setting up their own interconnected telegraphic systems. Following Marconi's success many people began experimenting with this new form of "wireless telegraphy". Information on "Hertzian wave" based wireless telegraphy systems (the name "radio" would not come into common use until several years later) was sketchy, with magazines such as the November, 1901 issue of Amateur Work showing how to build a simple system based on Hertz' early experiments.[1] Magazines show a continued progress by amateurs including a 1904 story on two Boston, Massachusetts 8th graders constructing a transmitter and receiver with a range of eight miles and a 1906 story about two Rhode Island teenagers building a wireless station in a chicken coop. In the US the first commercially produced wireless telegraphy transmitter / receiver systems became available to experimenters and amateurs in 1905.[1] In 1908, students at Columbia University formed the Wireless Telegraph Club of Columbia University, now the Columbia University Amateur Radio Club. This is the earliest recorded formation of an amateur radio club, collegiate or otherwise.[7] In 1910, the Amateurs of Australia formed, now the Wireless Institute of Australia.

RMS Titanic (April 2, 1912).

The rapid expansion and even "mania" for amateur radio, with many thousands of transmitters set up by 1910, led to a wide spread problem of inadvertent and even malicious radio interference with commercial and military radio systems. Some of the problem came from amateurs using crude spark-transmitters that spread signals across a wide part of the radio spectrum.[1] In 1912 after the RMS Titanic sank, the United States Congress passed the Radio Act of 1912[8] which restricted private stations to wavelengths of 200 meters or shorter (1500 kHz or higher).[9] These "short wave" frequencies were generally considered useless at the time, and the number of radio hobbyists in the U.S. is estimated to have dropped by as much as 88%.[10] Other countries followed suit and by 1913 the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was convened and produced a treaty requiring shipboard radio stations to be manned 24 hours a day. The Radio Act of 1912 also marked the beginning of U.S. federal licensing of amateur radio operators and stations. The origin of the term "ham", as a synonym for an amateur radio operator, was apparently a taunt by professional telegraphers.

World War I

By 1917, World War I had put a stop to amateur radio. In the United States, Congress ordered all amateur radio operators to cease operation and even dismantle their equipment.[11] These restrictions were lifted after World War I ended, and the amateur radio service restarted on October 1, 1919.

Between the wars

Early homebrew amateur radio transmitter

German amateur radio and ski enthusiast in 1924

In 1921, a challenge was issued by American hams to their counterparts in the United Kingdom to receive radio contacts from across the Atlantic. Soon, many American stations were beginning to be heard in the UK, shortly followed by a UK amateur being heard in the US in December 1922. November 27, 1923 marked the first transatlantic two-way contact between American amateur Fred Schnell and French amateur Léon Deloy.[12] Shortly after, the first two way contact between the UK and USA was in December 1923, between London and West Hartford, Connecticut.[13] In the following months 17 American and 13 European amateur stations were communicating. Within the next year, communications between North and South America; South America and New Zealand; North America and New Zealand; and London and New Zealand were being made.[14]

These international Amateur contacts helped prompt the first International Radiotelegraph Conference, held in Washington, DC, USA in 1927–28.[8] At the conference, standard international amateur radio bands of 80/754020 and 10 meters and radio callsign prefixes were established by treaty.

In 1933 Robert Moore, W6DEI, begins single-sideband voice experiments on 75 meter lower sideband. By 1934, there were several ham stations on the air using single-sideband.[15]

World War II

During the German occupation of Poland, the priest Fr. Maximilian Kolbe, SP3RN was arrested by the Germans.[16] The Germans believed his amateur radio activities were somehow involved in espionage[17] and he was transferred to Auschwitz on May 28, 1941. After some prisoners escaped in 1941, the Germans ordered that 10 prisoners be killed in retribution. Fr. Kolbe was martyred when he volunteered to take the place of one of the condemned men. On October 10, 1982 he was canonized by Pope John Paul II as Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Apostle of Consecration to Mary and declared a Martyr of charity.[16] He is considered the Patron saint of Amateur radio operators.[17]

Two radios in the ARC-5 series. Unit on the left is a BC-453-B, covering 190-550 kHz; the one on the right is a BC-454-E, covering 3-6 MHz. Both have been modified for Amateur Radio use by replacing the front connector with a small control panel.

Again during World War II, as it had done during the first World War, the United States Congress suspended all amateur radio operations.[9] With most of the American amateur radio operators in the armed forces at this time, the US government created the War emergency radio service which would remain active through 1945. After the War the amateur radio service began operating again, with many hams converting war surplus radios, such as the ARC-5, to amateur use.

Post war era

U.S. Postage Stamp from 1964, commemorating amateur radio.

In 1947 the uppermost 300 kHz segment of the world allocation of the 10 meter band from 29.700 MHz to 30.000 MHz was taken away from amateur radio.

During the 1950s, hams helped pioneer the use of single-sideband modulation for HF voice communication.[18] In 1961 the first orbital amateur radio satellite was launched. OSCAR I would be the first of a series of amateur radio satellites created throughout the world.[19]

Ham radio enthusiasts were instrumental in keeping U.S. Navy personnel stationed in Antarctica in contact with loved ones back home during the International Geophysical Year during the late 1950s.[20]

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Adrey Garret uses a ham radio at Williams Air Operating Facility during the 1956 winter. Ham radio was the only means of voice communication with friends and family back in the U.S. for navy personnel living and working in Antarctica in the days before satellite telephone technology became common.

Late 20th century

At the 1979 World administrative radio conference in Geneva, Switzerland, three new amateur radio bands were established: 30 meters17 meters and 12 meters.[21] Today, these three bands are often referred to as the WARC bands by hams.

During the Falklands War in 1982, Argentine forces seized control of the phones and radio network on the islands and had cut off communications with LondonScottish amateur radio operator Les Hamilton, GM3ITN[22][23] was able to relay crucial information from fellow hams Bob McLeod and Tony Pole-Evans on the islands to British military intelligence in London, including the details of troop deployment, bombing raids, radar bases and military activities.[24] During 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav amateur radio operators exchanged information from posts in public shelters.[25] However, owing to an informal code of conduct, radio hams usually avoid controversial subjects and political discussions.[26]

Major contributions to communications in the fields of automated message systems and packet radio were made by amateur radio operators throughout the 1980s. These computer controlled systems were used for the first time to distribute communications during and after disasters.[8]

American entry-level Novice and Technician class licensees were granted CW and SSB segments on the 10 Meter Band in 1987. The frequency ranges allocated to them are still known today throughout much of the world as the Novice Sub Bands even though it is no longer possible to obtain a Novice class license in the US.

Further advances in digital communications occurred in the 1990s as Amateurs used the power of PCs and sound cards to introduce such modes as PSK31 and began to incorporate Digital Signal Processing and Software-defined radio into their activities.

21st century

For many years, amateur radio operators were required by international agreement to demonstrate Morse code proficiency in order to use frequencies below 30 MHz. In 2003 the World radiocommunications conference (WRC) met in Geneva, Switzerland, and voted to allow member countries of the International Telecommunications Union to eliminate Morse code testing if they so wished .[27]

On December 15, 2006, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order eliminating all Morse code testing requirements for all American Amateur Radio License applicants, which took effect February 23, 2007.[28] The relaxing of Morse code tests has also occurred in most other countries, resulting in a boosting in the number of radio amateurs worldwide.

While there is no longer a requirement for hams to learn "the Code", it remains a popular communications mode.

Most of Europe allows licensed operators from other countries to obtain permits to transmit in Europe during visits. Residential permits are available in many countries globally whereby a valid license from one country will be honored by other countries under international treaties.

In early 2010, only North Korea had an absolute ban on ham radio operator licenses, although many countries still maintain careful records of ham licensees, and limit their activities and frequency bands and transmit power output.

Amateur radio emergency communications assisted in disaster relief activities for events such as the September 11 attacks in 2001,[29] Hurricane Katrina in 2005,[30] and the Sichuan earthquake in 2008.[31] In 2017, the Red Cross requested 50 amateur radio operators be dispatched to Puerto Rico to provide communications services in the wake of Hurricane Maria.[32]

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