Ham radio, also known as amateur radio, offers a way for individuals to communicate with others around the world. Many enjoy ham radio as a hobby, learning about radio communication and building radios from the ground up to carry out their communications. Others use ham radio for more serious purposes, serving as important lines of communication in emergency situations, including after hurricanes or other natural disasters that knock out other lines of communication. Whatever the purpose, all ham radio operators are required to meet FCC guidelines and become licensed by the FCC.

Ham Radio for Beginners

While knowledge of basic electronics and science is helpful for those interested in ham radio, it is easy for those new to the world of ham radio to figure it all out. Local ham radio clubs are often full of individuals eager to get others involved with ham radio and help teach them the ropes.

Interesting Facts About Ham Radio – Learn how amateur radio got started and the different ways they can communicate with this comprehensive overview of ham radio.

About Amateur Radio – Discover the various uses for a ham radio license to see if it’s an ideal hobby for you.

What is Amateur Radio? – Get a basic overview of ham radio, including why ham radio operators call themselves “hams."

Communications Log – Keep track of your contacts with a handy communication log template.

Phonetic Alphabet Tables – Print out these phonetic alphabet tables and keep them handy because the phonetic alphabet is an important component of ham radio communication.

Omniglot: Morse Code – While knowing Morse Code is not required for enjoying ham radio, some operators prefer to communicate using the dots and dashes.

Exam and Certification Resources

To help keep track of ham radio operators and employ a list of experts for use in emergency situations, the FCC requires that ham radio operators receive an official license. This involves passing a special ham radio exam. Passing the exam requires understanding the basics of using ham radio in an emergency and demonstrating knowledge of FCC guidelines.

Find an Exam – You cannot adequately prepare for the licensing exam without knowing where to take it. The AARL helps those wanting to take the exam find one in the area.

AH0A Technician Class: Exam Study Guide – Prepare for the technician license exam with this comprehensive document covering basic operation, FCC rules and radio set up.

The No-Nonsense, Technician Class Study Guide – Learn about electrical principles, radio and magnetic properties and other operating procedures and materials used in ham radio operation.

Technician Test Self-Study Guide – Not only does the self-study guide present information that will appear on the licensing exam, it contains review questions to help test your knowledge.

Amateur Radio Exam Practice – Test your knowledge of ham radio operation by taking a technician or general practice exam.

Ham Radio Exam Study Tips – Do not stress about taking the licensing exam and, instead, follow some handy tips to make your studying successful.

U.S. Amateur Licenses – Ham radio operators can obtain different licenses; learn what they are and what is required to obtain each one.

FCC Form 605 – Every amateur operator must fill out FCC Form 605 in order to officially get started with the ham radio process.

FCC Universal Licensing System – Access all of the forms and services need to obtain and renew your license to operate a ham radio.

Help and Tips for Ham Radio Operators

Even veteran ham radio operators need help every now and then. Knowing the hot call signs and keeping up with the latest news can help all ham radio operators get the most out of their hobby. It can also help ensure their radios are up-to-date and they are ready to pitch in should a natural disaster strike.

AmateurLogic.TV – Watch videos on how to set up ham radio equipment and learn tips to improve your ham radio operation.

A Beginner’s Guide to Making CW Contacts – Learn how to find contacts that prefer to communicate using Morse code.

UALR Call Sign Database – Make sure your call sign information is up-to-date and find the call signs of other ham radio operators.

Amateur Radio Newsline – Keep up with the latest FCC regulations, product launches and other news in the world of amateur radio to make your hobby more enjoyable.

Radioactive Camping Tips – Take your ham radio camping, making sure you have the proper tent, stakes and power sources in advance.

72-Hour Kit – If you plan to use your ham radio skills to help in an emergency, make sure you are prepared to survive by preparing a 72-hour kit of food and other essential supplies.

Suggested Go-Kit Checklist – Have everything you need to pick up and go when disaster strikes by making sure you have everything on this go-to checklist.