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Ham Radio For Dummies

ISBN: 978-0-7645-5987-7
384 pages
April 2004
Ham Radio For Dummies (0764559877) cover image
It’s time we cleared the air about ham radio. If you think of it as staticky transmissions sent by people in the middle of nowhere, think again. Today’s ham radio goes beyond wireless to extreme wireless, Operators transmit data and pictures, use the Internet, laser, and microwave transmitters, and travel to places high and low to make contact. In an emergency or natural disaster, ham radio can replace downed traditional communication and save lives. Whether you’re just getting turned on to ham radio or already have your license, Ham Radio for Dummies helps you with the terminology, the technology and the talknology. You discover how to:
  • Decipher the jargon and speak the language
  • Buy or upgrade your equipment, including the all-important antennas
  • Build a ham radio shack, complete with the rig, a computer, mobile/base rig, microphones, keys, headphones, antennas, cables and feedlines
  • Study for your license, master Morse code, take the test and get your call sign
  • Understand the basics of ragchews (conversations), nets (organized on-air meetings) and DX-ing (competing in contacts to make contacts)
  • Keeping logs with the vital statistics, including time (in UTC or World Time), frequency, and call sign

Written by Ward Silver, an electrical engineer, Certified Amateur Radio License Examiner, and columnist for QST, a monthly magazine for ham operators, Ham Radio for Dummies gives you the info you need to delve into the science or dive into the conversation. It explains how you can:

  • Tune in to the most common types of signals, including Morse Code (CW), single-sideband (SSB), FM, Radioteletype (RTTY), and data signals
  • Break in, introduce yourself, converse, and say or signal goodbye
  • Communicate while traveling (ham radio goes where mobile phones go dead)
  • Register with an emergency organization such as ARES and RACES
  • Help in emergencies such as earthquakes, wildfires, or severe weather
  • Pursue your special interests, including contacting distant stations, participating in contests, exploring the digital modes, using satellites, transmitting images, and more

Complete with a glossary and ten pages of additional suggested resources, Ham Radio for Dummies encourages you to touch that dial and take that mike.

CUL. (That’s Morse Code for “see you later.”)

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Introduction.

Part I: What Is Ham Radio All About?

Chapter 1: Getting Acquainted with Ham Radio.

Chapter 2: Getting a Handle on Ham Radio Technology.

Chapter 3: Finding Other Hams: Your Support Group.

Part II: Wading through the Licensing Process.

Chapter 4: Figuring Out the Licensing System.

Chapter 5: Studying for Your License.

Chapter 6: Taking the Test.

Chapter 7: Obtaining Your License and Call Sign.

Part III: Hamming It Up.

Chapter 8: Making Contact.

Chapter 9: Casual Operating.

Chapter 10: Operating with Intent.

Chapter 11: Specialties.

Part IV: Building and Operating a Station That Works.

Chapter 12: Getting on the Air.

Chapter 13: Organizing Your Shack.

Chapter 14: Housekeeping (Logs and QSLs).

Chapter 15: Hands-On Radio.

Part V: The Part of Tens.

Chapter 16: Ten Secrets for Beginners.

Chapter 17: Ten Secrets of the Masters.

Chapter 18: Ten First Station Tips.

Chapter 19: Ten Easy Ways to Have Fun on the Radio.

Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Give Back to Ham Radio.

Part VI: Appendixes.

Appendix A: Glossary.

Appendix B: The Best References.

Index.

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Ward Silver is an electrical engineer who’s been a licensed ham for 31 years. He is a contributing editor and columnist for QST, a monthly magazine for ham operators.
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Bonus Chapter
From here, you can download and read the bonus chapter that we've made available in Adobe PDF format. If you don't already have it, you'll need Adobe Reader to view this file.
1.42 MB Click to Download
FM Radio Feature Comparison Table
Here is an FM Radio Feature Comparison Table for your use as well in Microsoft Word format.
22.00 KB Click to Download
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Web Resources

1000 Miles Per Watt award
http://www.qrparci.org/arciawds.html

10-10 International Club:
http://www.ten-ten.org/

50 MHz Propagation Logger
http://dxworld.com/50prop.html

AC6V's Amateur Radio and DX Reference Guide:
http://www.ac6v.com

Adventure Radio Society:
http://www.arsqrp.com

Amateur Radio Webring:
http://g.webring.com/hub?ring=amateurradio

American QRP Club:
http://www.a-qrp.org/

AMSAT:
http://www.amsat.org

ARRL (American Radio Relay League):
http://www.arrl.org

ARRL "Contester's Rate Sheet":
http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/about.html

ARRL Contest Calendar:
http://www.arrl.org/contests/calendar.html

ARRL DX Bulletin:
http://www.arrl.org/w1aw/dx

ARRL's callsign lookup service:
http://www.arrl.org/fcc/fcclook.php3

Band plans:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bandplan.html#17m

Bernie McClenny W3UR's Daily DX bulletin:
http://www.dailydx.com/clubs.htm

Buckmaster Publishing Hamcall:
http://hamcall.net/call

Calling frequencies:
http://www.ac6v.com/callfreq.htm

Callsign databases:

Carribbean Emergency and Weather Net:
http://www.geocities.com/ttarsorg/Caribemergency.html

Common Q-signals:
http://www.qsl.net/oarc/oarc/q_signals.html

Contester's Rate Sheet:
http://www.arrl.org/contests/rate-sheet/about.html

Contesting.com:
http://www.contesting.com

CQ Magazine:
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.html

CQ VHF Quarterly:
http://cq-amateur-radio.com/ourother.html

CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System) or PL (Private-Line) code frequencies:
http://www.larkfield.org/staticpages/index.php?page=20041013203724870

CW (Morse code) abbreviations:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/forms/fsd218.html

CW (Morse code) prosigns (combinations of characters that are sent as single characters without any extra spacing):
http://www.ac6v.com/morseaids.htm#PROSIGNS

Daily DX:
http://www.dailydx.com

DX Magazine:
http://www.dxpub.com/dx_mag.html

DX Summit:
http://www.dxsummit.com

eHam.net:
http://www.eham.net

Electrical Contractor's Safety Forum:
http://electrical-contractor.net/ESF/Electrical_Safety_Forum.htm

eQSL:
http://www.eqsl.net/qslcard/

FCC Web site's list of organizations that serve as Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) in the different regions of the U.S.:
http://www.arrl.org/w1aw.html#w1awsked

FCC's "License Search" Web page:
http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchLicense.jsp

FISTS (International Society for Morse Preservation):
http://www.fists.org

Geoclock:
http://home.att.net/~geoclock

G-QRP club:
http://www.gqrp.com/

hfradio.org:
http://www.hfradio.org/propagation.html

High Speed Multimedia Radio (HSMM):
http://www.arrl.org/hsmm

Hurricane Watch Net:
http://www.hwn.org/

International Telecommunications Union Standard Phonetics and non-English DX Phonetics:
http://www.ac6v.com/dxphonetics.htm

International Telecommunications Union:
http://www.itu.int/home/

K3FN Air Mail Postage Service:
http://users.net1plus.com/ryoung/index.htm

K3TKS' QSL.net:
http://www.qsl.net

Logbook of the World (LOTW):
http://www.arrl.org/lotw/

Maritime Mobile Service Net:
http://www.mmsn.org

Meteor Scatter:
http://www.meteorscatter.net

Metric prefixes:
http://www.essex1.com/people/speer/large.html

National Contest Journal:
http://www.ncjweb.com

National Contest Journal:
http://www.ncjweb.com

Online licensing exams:

OPDX Bulletin:
http://www.papays.com/opdx.html

QRP Amateur Radio Club (QRP ARCI)
http://www.qrparci.org/

QRZ DX:
http://www.dxpub.com/qrz_dx_nl.html

QRZ.com:
http://www.qrz.com

RF Safety Calculator:
http://n5xu.ae.utexas.edu/cgi-bin/rfsafety.cgi

RSGB Propagation Page:
http://www.keele.ac.uk/depts/por/psc.htm

Six Meter International Radio Klub (SMIRK):
http://www.smirk.org/

SKYWARN:
http://www.skywarn.org/

SM3CER's Contest Calendar:
http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal

Spaceweather:
http://www.spaceweather.com/

Sparks Telegraph Key Review:
http://www.zianet.com/sparks/

TAPR (Tucson Amateur Packet Radio):
http://www.tapr.org

The First Class CW Operator's Club (FOC):
http://www.firstclasscw.org.uk/

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/ham.htm

The national VEC organization Web sites that list test sessions:

The RF Connection:
http://www.therfc.com/

US Amateur Allocations subbands:
http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/bands.html

US Frequency Allocation Chart:
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/osmhome/allochrt.html

US Post Office postage rates:
http://www.usps.com/common/category/postage.htm

VK4DX's Contest Calendar:
http://www.vk4dx.net

VUCC (VHF/UHF Century Club):
http://www.arrl.org/awards/vucc/

W1AW operating schedule:
http://www.arrl.org/w1aw.html#w1awsked

WA7BNM's Contest Calendar:
http://www.hornucopia.com/contestcal

Western Washington DX Club:
http://www.wwdxc.org

WF5E QSL Service:
http://www.qsl.net/wf5e/

Worldradio magazine:
http://www.wr6wr.com

Yahoo! Amateur and Ham Radio Directory:
http://dir.yahoo.com/News_and_Media/Radio/Amateur_and_Ham_Radio

Yankee Clipper Contest Club:
http://www.yccc.org/Links/Contest_clubs.htm

YLRL (Young Lady Radio League)
http://www.ylrl.org

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