TMCnet Feature
March 04, 2020

Beginners guide to Ham Radio and how it works

Do you remember how when we were young, we’d fantasize about the future and think about how cool it’d be if we had a wireless gadget for communication? Well, if you were like me, then you’d be very pleased to hear what I have to say.

 I grace you with the Best Dual Band Mobile Ham Radios. A wireless device that has effective performance to blow your mind. Stick around to find out what it’s all about.

What is a Ham radio?

I’m sure by now you’re wondering what a ham radio is. I’ll inform you.

So, first things first, you should know that it’s also known as an amateur radio, and it’s used for testing wireless communication, socialization and emergency communication.

I call this device futuristic for one main reason and you’ll agree with me in just a few seconds. Seriously, how cool would it be if you could monitor two frequencies, at the same time. Guess what? This device gives you the ability to do that and so much more.

With this device, you are able to talk to the driver who’s in front of you, as well as the one near you. Awesome right? This amazing device doesn’t even need the internet or a cellphone.

Ooh and did I mention that apart from talking to people around the world and across town, you can talk to someone who’s in space with it? Well, the more you know.

The history of the ham radio/ amateur radio

This radio dates back to the 19th century, where the word ham, had a meaning that was derogatory, where it was used in professional wired telegraphy, to ridicule operators who had morse code skills that were poor.

Interestingly,the invention of the radio didn’t stop the term from being used. However, the 20th century brings light, when the amateur radio community rebranded the word leading to it losing its derogatory meaning.

Fun fact, the enthusiasts of the amateur radio have since made various contributions to engineering, social services, industry and science.

How it works

Operators of the amateur radio, be it doctors, movie stars, truck drivers, politicians, students and even kids, need to get a licence to use the radio. The licence is issued by the Federal Communication Commission(FCC (News - Alert)), which allows the operators to work with radio frequencies that are given by the FCC for use. Note that the frequencies are also called bands and all operators use the radio to communicate to the world.

As much as ham radios transmit information in all directions, it is important to know that the enthusiasts don’t operate as a normal radio station would. The communication that occurs here is two-way, hence only another ham, or a group of ham users are the only ones who can communicate.

One more thing I feel would be important to know is that these radios are able to operate right above the AM frequency, to a region that’s called the microwave region, which is in the gigahertz range, hence the MHz.

After knowing how it works, the next thing is knowing how to get started and I’ll tell you how.

Getting started with a ham radio

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re probably interested in finding out how you can own your very own ham radio. Here’s how:

As you know, the main thing to get you started will be to get a licence. Applying for a licence would mean that you’ll have to go before the Volunteer Examiners (VEs), and if you happen to qualify, then congratulations you are now eligible to apply for an operator licence grant.The licence goes up to 10 years from the issued date, and can be renewed online. The licences are issued in levels, and are:

  • The Technician class - Also known as the entry level, the licence will be issued after  completing a 35-question multiple choice exam, successfully. The licence will grant you full  privileges such as getting access to all bands above 30 MHz.
  • General class licence - For one to qualify for this licence, you’ll need to go through a general 35-question multiple choice exam. The privileges that come with this licence is that you’ll get access to over 83% bands with the HF bandwidth.
  • Amateur Extra class licence - This licence will require you to pass 3 tests. Both tests that have been mentioned above, together with a 50-question exam.With this, one will be able to have access to all bands.

Now that you know how to start, what’s stopping you?


 Honestly, what’s more amazing than fulfilling a dream that your child self will be extremely proud of. Get yourself a ham radio and enjoy the days away.

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