We want to tell you a little about the Amateur Radio hobby and how you can obtain the necessary license to operate in the United States. If you have time, this is a good YouTube video describing the wonderful world of Amateur Radio. Its about a 30 minute video.
Hams were the original Makers and Hackers, using new, used and scavenged parts to make transmitters, receivers, and antennas capable of communicating with other hams anywhere on Earth-and beyond. In this hobby, communicating is the keyword. And, when computers came along, they fit right into the ham's wide world. Using their technical skills and imagination, hams put together advanced communication networks connected by radio waves instead of wires. Yes, Ham Radio Operators invented the cell phone and related systems.
It's never been so easy to get into ham radio. All ham radio operators must be licensed before they can legally operate.
This differs a great deal from the CB, (i.e. truckers) and FRS, (i.e. dimestore walkie-talkie) services which require no licenses.
Amateur radio operators must be licensed because they are given transmitting privileges on a wide variety of frequencies. Ham Radio Operators are allowed to use just about any equipment imaginable, even home built radios. Amateurs are allotted not single specific frequencies but usually whole ranges (bands) of different frequencies to operate on. These frequencies and methods of transmission are are specified by FCC rules and so it is therefore necessary to be generally familiar with your operating limitations in order to transmit lawfully.
In order to qualify for an amateur radio license, you must pass certain tests to determine that you have the required knowledge. Fortunately, the tests are not difficult for most people.
There are three license levels (known as classes) where each class grants greater privleges to the individual. There is a single written test for each license class.
The license classes are:
Technician Class - this is the entry level license. It gives privileges on all amateur frequencies above 50 Mhz and is the most popular. It requires only a written test.
General Class - this is the mid-level license. It enables privileges on most amateur frequencies below 50 Mhz and includes global HF (shortwave) communications. It has its own written test.
Extra Class - this is the highest level license. It grants privileges on all amateur frequencies. It has its own written test and requires that you also have passed all of the Technician and General class written tests.
The Bella Vista Radio Club is excited to be offering VE license testing through the ARRL VEC!
The Amateur Radio Testing sessions will be held at the Highland Christian Church in Bella Vista.
1500 Forest Hills Blvd (Hwy 279 North), Bella Vista, AR. 72715
License testing is held on the 2nd Saturday of the month at 2:00 p.m.
Please visit our License Testing page for more information.
If you would like more information, here is our Club Brochure.
If you would like to join us, here is our Club Membership Application.
Basis and Purpose of the Amateur Service
The Amateur's Code
The Radio Amateur is:
-- The American Radio Relay League, Inc., Copyright 1997
Some History of Ham Radio
And remember; "Ham Radio sparks the imagination, teaches patience, tolerance and understanding, increases your awareness of mankind's achievements and promotes worldwide friendship." ©1997 K6RLA