Are you interested in ham radio? Do you want to get a license to operate? Ham radio, also known as Amateur Radio, is not your typical method for communication. Rather than relying on man-made networks like the internet or telephone wires, ham radio utilizes the pure power of radio waves, using only a small radio, a few cables, an antenna sitting outside, and a layer in the sky called the ionosphere. You don’t need to be a science/electronics nerd to get into ham radio. Ordinary people like you can get licensed to operate a ham radio at your own home. Ham Radio is great if:
1. You’re a boy scout
Ham Radio can help you earn your Radio Merit Badge! Boy scouts even have their own ham radio day every year, called JOTA, where boy scouts get to operate ham radio.
2. You want to be prepared for natural disasters
Because ham radio doesn’t rely on the internet or cell phone networks, it is very reliable, especially when said networks go down during natural disasters. When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, the area went off the grid. But not ham radio! Volunteers helped out from the ham community, and these hams played a crucial role in Hurricane Katrina and many other major natural disasters, using ham radio to communicate when nothing else worked.
3. You just want to have some fun!
Here’s a list of just some of the exciting things you can accomplish using ham radio:
- Talk to interesting people from all sorts of different backgrounds
- Talk to astronauts on the International Space Station
- Bounce radio waves off the ionosphere (part of the sky) to contact people from other countries all around the globe! (usually requires the 2nd level of licensing)
- Bounce radio signals off the moon
- Accomplish all of the above (with some extra cash) using only a 2-pound radio and a giant stick (metal antenna) in the backyard (Note: contacting astronauts and bouncing signals off moon require more complicated antennas.)
This self-paced course, taught by a ham radio licensed college student, uses easy-to-understand video lectures and a plain-English textbook/manual to help you study to take a 35-question multiple-choice test to earn your Technician class ham radio license, which gives you basic privileges to set up and operate your own ham radio. Having attained the highest (3rd) level of ham radio licensing (Amateur Extra Class), this instructor is excited to offer this beginner course! (Note: if you don’t want to take the real licensing exam at your local ham radio club, that’s OK! You can still learn a lot from this course).